Thinking of an RV? It Won’t be Like Owning a Car

Buying an RV is a great way to enjoy road trips in a way you never have. You can ride in comfort, and your younger children can move around the cabin more freely instead of being cramped in a seat for hours. You can cook food in the RV, and you can sleep overnight in it.RV at Cracker BarrellAn RV is a great choice for family trips or even for exploring during retirement, but owning one is not the same as owning any other kind of vehicle. You need to understand the unique facets of RV ownership before you decide to make the investment. Here’s what you need to know:

Insurance Requirements

Just like with any other vehicle, you are required to have insurance for your RV to cover injuries and property damage in case of an accident. However, with an RV, there are special considerations. For example, when you get into an accident, you might experience more than damage to just the RV itself. You might also lose a lot of personal possessions inside, including clothing, electronics and appliances.

Your insurance needs to be specific to the type of RV you have (class A, B or C), and it needs to cover things like emergency expenses, towing and roadside assistance, and total loss replacement. You will need full-time coverage if you live in your RV. You may also want to consider insurance that covers a hotel stay if you are without your RV, since this can add up very quickly. Getting SR22 insurance quotes can help you save money if you want to be personally responsible for costs in the event of an accident. This keeps monthly costs lower.

Maintenance Requirements

You’ll need to keep up with oil changes and filter changes on your RV the same as you would for another vehicle, but you’ll have extra maintenance for an RV. Specifically, you’ll need to also replace the fuel, coolant and hydraulic filters regularly. Failure to keep up with maintenance can cost you thousands in repairs.

You’ll also need to check the seals around your roof every six months to prevent water damage, and you’ll need to have the rubber roof treated once a year to prevent sun damage. The generator and waste water system will need special attention, including regular inspections to make sure they are in good shape.

When you are not traveling during the winter, you should remove the battery so that it does not freeze.

Required Accessories

There are a number of accessories you will need to operate and take care of your RV. Though they are called accessories, they aren’t as optional as the name might suggest.

You will need things like leveling blocks, awning stabilizers, wheel chocks, sewer hoses and more. You’ll need these things to stabilize your RV, care for your water system and ensure your safety. The accessories that you need will depend upon the type of RV you have and how much time you will be spending in it.

Pest Control

With a car or another vehicle, you don’t have to think much about pests. You might find the occasional fly inside, but pests are typically few and far between. In an RV, they can be as big a problem as for your home. You can find ants, roaches and even mice inside your RV, especially since you have food.

You will need to practice pest control both inside the RV and around it. That will ensure your family’s health and safety, as well as your comfort. After all, no one likes to wake up to a furry friend nibbling on their toes at night.

Unexpected Costs

Unexpected costs for a vehicle might include things like more gas when your fuel efficiency starts tanking or a new tire after you’ve run over a nail. The unexpected costs associated with an RV can be much more extensive.

For example, you aren’t going to find readily available parking in an RV. You might have to pay extra fees to park at a campsite, or you might be limited in where you can eat because you aren’t able to park where you want. You will likely end up spending much more on food than you do at home since you can only shop in limited quantities and food spoils much faster in the smaller refrigerators in RVs. If you are without a shower, you might have to spring for a hotel – or you might wind up in a hotel if you are delayed by maintenance or an accident. All of these unexpected costs can add up quickly.

Owning an RV is a great experience, but you need to know what to expect before you sign up so that you do not have any unpleasant surprises. Owning an RV won’t be like owning a car, which is what makes it so great and so challenging at the same time.

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