We were recently interviewed by mobilehomepartsstore.com, along with 18 other RVers. Head on over to their website to read the full article. Here are our responses:
How much should a young couple spend on their first RV?This depends entirely on their financial situation. In my opinion, you should spend no more than 80% of your savings on an RV. Also, I don’t believe anyone should finance an RV.
This is pretty personal, and it depends entirely on your financial situation. In our opinion, some people shouldn’t spend more than $5k, and others can afford whatever they want. We have a lot of friends who finance everything: TV, couch, vehicles, etc. We are not a fan of this mentality. We realize you can write off your interest as a second mortgage for your RV, but we don’t finance anything, including our RV. We’ve never had a car loan, and we have always paid cash for our vehicles (including our tow rig and our Airstream).
Sure, it means you may have to wait a little while ‘till you can afford it, but it’ll be worth it. We all want to be on the road ASAP, and there’s a certain excitement to throwing caution to the wind and going for it, but we always recommend being financially prepared first. There’s no need to add financial stress to your RV experience. Buy what you can afford, or save ‘till you can afford what you want.
We’re Millenials, so we can relate to the desire to have new and shiny stuff we can’t afford. A lot of Millenials these days want instant gratification: we want what our parents have without realizing it took them 30-40 years to get there. Who wouldn’t want a big $200-300k diesel pusher? As a young, first time RVer, with less disposable income than most retirees, buy used! RVs depreciate faster than just about any other purchase. Buying used can save you a huge amount of money. Most people use their RV about 4 weekends out of the year, so “used” models are almost new. You can save $10k-50k buying a year or two used. Plus, used RVs usually have all the bugs worked out. New RVs have more issues than used ones. Don’t be surprised for your brand new RV to spend 3-4 months in the shop the first year, getting all the bugs worked out from the warranty. If you buy an RV that’s a year or two or 10 old, the bugs will already have been fixed under warranty.
The $300k rig can come one day, but give it time.
$3000-8000 can get you an extremely nice, used trailer that’ll serve you well for years to come. Plus, you never know what type of RV you’re going to want in 5 years, so save that money once you decide what you really want.
Assuming they already have an RV, how much money should a young couple save up before embarking on their fulltime RV adventure?This depends as well, but I think it’d be good if people had $20-30k in the bank before embarking. That reflects my personal views of finance.
However, this is extremely personal. We are of the mentality of having a solid savings account before heading off. Stuff is going to come up: you’ll need new tires, or a new transmission, or you’ll decide you want a huge battery bank with solar and a monster inverter. You’ll want some money socked away to handle these issues as they arrive. A lot of young RVers are living paycheck to paycheck, and they have a tough time making their savings account grow. While that can be fun and exciting (and it certainly works for some people), we recommend having a solid amount of money in savings first. We didn’t feel comfortable leaving until we had $20k+ in our savings. What if you’re unemployed for a few months? What if something big goes out? We think it’s better to be prepared. There’s no one dollar amount that’s going to be ideal for everyone, but we think it’d be smart to have 6-12 months of living expenses in your savings account before heading off.
ABOUT THE AUTHORSteve and Tess, from The More We Explore, love the outdoors, exploring, living simply, and have a YouTube video series of their journey as they prepare to live in their Airstream Full-time.
Steve and Tess love to explore nature, whether it be backpacking, packrafting, mountain biking, hiking, or just wandering. The more we explore, the more we realize just how little we've seen.