Purchasing an RV is an exciting opportunity to the hit the open road and control your own vacation. It can also be an opportunity to save money, believe it or not.
Here’s how you can save money as a new RV owner:
Start with a low rate and a good loan
Financing an RV shouldn’t be stressful — you’ve got camping to do, after all.
To get the best travel trailer financing terms possible, make sure you have good credit, a low debt-to-income ratio, and a sufficient down payment. RV loans can have stricter credit qualifications, like needing a higher credit score and possibly a down payment to get a lower interest rate, so the more prepared you are before you buy, the better off you’ll be.
As for loan length, the loan term for RVs depends on the amount financed and the vehicle’s age. The average term for recreational trailers between $25,000–$99,000 is 8 to 15 years. Use an RV payment calculator to figure out how much you can afford, and look for the best RV Loan rates to save the most money in the long run.
Learn to do your own (minor) repairs
Repairing a veritable home on wheels might seem intimidating, but you’d be surprised at how many repairs you can do yourself.
Replacing vent lids, for example, is an easy, seasonal task that requires a few parts and a few moments of your time. Same goes for leaky waste valves. And when it comes to a dripping roof, you could save thousands of dollars by investing in some sealant and a step ladder.
With a little grit and a few tools — and some help from Google — you can save thousands in repair and parts costs.
Get the best insurance for your needs
RV insurance is a must, no matter how much time you intend to spend in it.
Work with your insurance agent to determine how much insurance is legally required and how much you’ll need for your personal situation.
Shop around for fuel
Fueling an RV is not a cheap task, but shopping around could save you a significant chunk of cash.
First, don’t pay for convenience. Stations a little farther down an exit road are proven to have lower prices than those located closest to freeways.
Second, be smart about your fuel. Don’t wait until your tank is nearly empty to fill up; turn off your engine when possible; and keep your tires properly inflated. Taking minor steps like these will help you turn what used to be gas money into more adventure funds.
Use that kitchen
It’s a simple concept, but many new RV owners forget: You bought a vehicle with a kitchen in it; don’t neglect to use it.
Instead of eating out for every meal, spend one or two each day in your portable dining room. Learn to prepare your favorite meals inside and enjoy them in the great outdoors. You’ll be surprised at how much money you save — and how much healthier you feel.