Welcome to the Beginner’s Guide to RVing from RVtravel.com. The information we present here every Monday through Friday is for brand-new RVers – those in the market to buy their first RV and those who just purchased theirs. If you are an experienced RVer, this material may be too basic for you.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2020
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Happy Veterans Day! Make sure you read last Saturday’s newsletter for a special note to all those who served and who are serving. And read an essay about the day and a personal tribute from Mike Sokol too.
DID YOU MISS reading this morning’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter? Good stuff there.
My husband and I are retired. He wants to sell the house, buy a big ﬁfth wheel trailer and travel in it full-time. I enjoyed our short camping trips years ago with our children, but am scared to death about traveling full-time. So we’re having some pretty heated discussions. He’s halfway out the door, but I’m dragging my feet. Do you have any advice?
With most couples, one person will want to go more than the other, most often the husband. Sometimes it’s a question of one wanting to go full-time, the other part-time. Sometimes it’s one wanting to sell the house, and the other wanting to keep it. We can’t answer what’s best for you and your husband. But keep talking. Perhaps taking a trial run of a few months might allow this question to resolve itself.
Do I need special insurance if I live in my RV full-time?
Some policies will cover you, but some won’t. Be sure to talk to your agent and then read the fine print in your policy. If your policy does not cover full-time living in your RV and you are in a serious accident, your insurance company can deny your claim, which could wipe out your life savings.
Stay free on private property across America
Boondockers Welcome is a great alternative to expensive, crowded RV parks or even Walmart parking lots. With a membership, you can stay for free at more than 1,000 private property locations across America. And, wow, will you meet some great people! Learn more or sign up.
Motorhome buying? Don’t go “upside down” with a new coach
If you are working with a limited budget and you want to get the absolute best deal on a reliable motorhome, buy a used one from either a dealer or individual. While new motorhomes are nice, you’ll pay a premium price and see immediate depreciation of at least 15% of the selling price the moment you drive the motorhome off the dealer’s lot. If you finance a new motorhome, even if you put 20% down, you’ll almost always owe more than the motorhome is worth for the term of the loan.
Here’s a typical example: Regardless of what the sticker price says on the dealer’s lot, you can expect to get the motorhome for 15% to 25% off the list price. On a motorhome with a list price of $100,000 you can expect to bargain the dealer down to around $80,000. You’ll feel good that you got such a great deal – but the reality is all dealers work the same way – 15% to 25% off the list price on most motorhomes on their lot. If you put 20% down ($15,000) on a $80,000 motorhome, you’ll owe $65,000, which can be financed over 15 years. Your payment will be about $570 a month, and even after five years, you’ll still owe about $50,000 on that five-year-old motorhome. The problem is, that motorhome which you bought new and is now five years old won’t be worth anywhere close to the $50,000 you still owe on it.
But if you bought used, instead of paying $75,000 for a new motorhome, you found a five-year-old used one of the exact same make and model, you likely would be paying around $35,000 for it. If you put the same $15,000 down, and paid $350 a month, it would be paid for in five years.
Here are the numbers: If you bought a new motorhome with a sales price of $80,000, at the end of five years you would have: paid $20,000 down; made 60 payments, totaling about $33,000 ($21,000 in interest); and still owe close to $50,000 on the loan. If you bought used, at the end of five years you would have: paid $15,000 down; made 60 payments, totaling $18,248 in payments ($3,000 in interest); and owe nothing. You’d own the motorhome outright.
As you can see from the above calculations, buying used can save you a tremendous amount of money. If you are savvy buyer, you can do even better than our calculations above. —From Buying a Used Motorhome – How to get the most for your money and not get burned. Available on Amazon.
Read editor Chuck Woodbury’s informative article What does financing an RV for 20 years really mean?
We welcome your Quick Tips. Submit them here. Thanks!
Today’s RV review…
In today’s column, industry insider Tony Barthel reviews the Homegrown Trailers Timberline Travel Trailer. As he reports, this is a unique, beautifully made travel trailer perfect for weekend getaways. Learn more.
Did you read Tony’s review yesterday of the 2021 Grand Design Imagine 17MKE Travel Trailer? If you missed it, you can read it here.
For previous RV reviews, click here.
“If you could tell someone new to RVing just one thing, what would it be?”
From the editors: We asked our readers this question recently. Here is one response:
“If you think RVing is a cheaper alternative to hotels when traveling to see our gorgeous country – It’s not! As a solo traveler with a trailer, there is a lot of additional work to keeping your RV/trailer in good working condition, and physical labor/work associated with camping. So if you’re not up to physical work and want to save money and time, then just book a nice hotel as you tour in your car for your adventures around this beautiful country. A car can get into places you can’t go with a big rig. Do your homework before buying.” —Sue W.
3-in-1 NOAA radio, flashlight and charger a must-have for RVers
This emergency hand-crank radio is a necessity for RVers. Keep it somewhere safe, you never know when it will come in handy. The 3-in-1 radio is also a bright LED flashlight and a smartphone charger. The radio can be charged via solar charging, hand cranking or a USB plug. You’ll want to buy one here.
Random RV Thought
There is no such thing as the perfect RV. There is always something you wish was a little different. Maybe it’s a bigger bathroom, or a softer chair, or more cupboards. Maybe you’d prefer a different color on the exterior or of the carpet. Maybe it’s a motorhome that needs a bigger engine. Maybe the bed is positioned so it’s hard to make. About the best you can hope for in an RV is about 90 percent of what you would consider the perfect rig. If you do better than that, you are very fortunate.
• If you buy a defective RV and are unable to get it fixed or its warranty honored, here is where to turn for help.
• If you need an RV Lemon Law Lawyer, Ron Burdge is your man.
Read previous issues of Beginner’s Guide to RVing newsletters here.
RV Travel staff
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Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editors: Emily Woodbury, Diane McGovern.
Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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