Blog copyright Janet Groene 2024.
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RV Costs: A Reality Check
Some RV owners can coast for years before the roof caves in. Smart RV-ers, however, recognize from the get-go that things wear out, rust, fade and break down. Smart money managers save from the beginning for the inevitable expenditures, some of them carrying a big, big price tag.
As a rule of thumb, it’s wise to put aside 5-10 percent of the cost of the RV each year for replacements and upgrades. If you’re a clever shopper, can do most of your own work, take preventive measures and are lucky, this should be more than enough. If you must hire someone for every repair, or are accident prone or just have bad luck, such savings may not stretch far enough.
Let’s say you start with a $150,000 RV and put $1,500 in your RV Reserve Fund the first year. The first year everything is still new and under warranty, so you’ll probably raid the fund only for small custom features such as extra towel racks, closet accessories and bed linens.
By Year Two you add another $1,000 or so. You now have all the bugs out, all furnishings in, and the fund is earning interest. Still loyal to the plan, you add another $1500 in Year Three and the fund looks fat. However by Year Four you’ll probably be tapping regularly into the fund for minor repairs or routine maintenance.
The goal is to stay ahead of the game so that Year Ten finds you able to make major upgrades or repairs, or a substantial down payment on a new RV.
Where might all that money go? Prices vary widely and much depends on whether you can install things yourself. Here are some items you may want to add or upgrade in time.
Air conditioners may wear out, or you may just want a larger, quieter, or more energy efficient model.
Captain and co-pilot chairs start at about $350 plus installation and go as high as $2,000 or more for leather upholstery, power, heat and air. Ready-made slipcovers for the old covers may cost under $50. Custom slip covers cost twice that and more.
Closed circuit TV is a good addition if it didn’t come with the rig. Custom leveling systems cost $2,500 to $4,000 plus materials and installation depending on the type of controls and how many jacks are needed. Shop around to get quotes.
Communications upgrades are a constant temptation because of the fast-changing technology available. You may not need them if you want only at campgrounds that have the latest Wi-Fi and cable.
Light fixtures can be cheap or classy. Most are an easy, DIY addition. You’ll probably want more light than came standard with the RV.
Solar comes in many forms and price ranges, from a simple, portable solar panel to a rooftop system that runs the entire “house”. .
* Trade your existing microwave for the latest a combination microwave-convection oven for about $1,2000. Cost will be higher if you have to add ducting for an exhaust fan.
Ben Franklin told us that a penny saved is a penny earned. When you’re an RV-er those pennies can buy happier, safer miles as the years go by.
Is full-time RV life in your future? We tell the story of our ten, happily homeless, years on the go in Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition. As a travelwriter-photographer team, we earned a living while traveling in our 21-foot diesel Class C camper. Full-timing is no longer just for retirees. All full-timers have different tastes, travel goals and budgets, so read as many books on the topic as possible including ours. https://amzn.to/3knbvll
See Janet Groene’s weekly RV Recipes of the Week and Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week at CampAndRVCook.
Janet Groene has no connection with this company nor its affiliates.
|Bands come in a compact case with full workout instructions
They call them “booty bands. ” The new set of 3D Active Fabric Resistance Bands is actually a complete workout in a small package that slips easily into your RV cupboard. Light, Medium and Heavy resistance bands can work you up from a beginner’s 15-30 pounds to an athletic 40-60 pounds. (The company also offers other sizes up to 110 pounds.)
Resistance bands come in many sizes, shapes and prices but these non-slip, non-curl 3D bands shine bright because of the whole-body workout routine pictures that come with the package. In no space at all, you can have a complete fitness regimen rain or shine, at home and away, even in the smallest RV. See the discount at
CAMPGROUNDS GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS
* According to WIBX, the historic, 1,800-acre Woodstock music festival grounds in Woodstock, New York will soon be a large campground. In true hippie style the campground will have yoga classes, sound baths, evening drum circles and campfire hootenannies. Plans include sites for every camping need from tents and RV’s to glampsites. An opening date has not been projected.
|Fat Tire Festival
* The annual Santos Fat Tire Festival attracts campers and bicyclists from throughout the South for days of contests, rides, bike clinics, shopping the vendor village, swapping, entertainers, networking, music and food. Check out the vehicle and tent camping rules and get your Festival package early. This year’s dates are March 7-10 at the Santos Trails, 3080 Southeast 80th Street Ocala, Florida. See (www.) SantosfatTire.com
*A new campground has been approved for the southeastern corner of Texas in Orange County near the Louisiana border on Texas 62 south of I-10. Shadee RV Park will accommodate only RV’s not mobile homes and is expected to provide housing for workers who are developing nearby industries.
* The 92-acre Stillwater RV Resort in Winona, Texas is now a member of the Five Points RV Resorts family. The full-service resort offers winter discounts, a lazy river, an adult swimming pool with cabanas and swim-up bar, pickleball courts, spacious clubhouse, restaurant and bar. (903) 483-4414
* Is it time for Mardi Gras already? Sign up ASAP for the gala “Fat Tuesday” weekend at Fireside RV Resort in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, where the good times will roll February 10 with a charity raffle, golf cart parade, kiddy crafts at mid-afternoon, a lazy river duck race, site decorating contest and an evening DJ. Reserve an RV site or cabin. (985) 277-1059.
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