Making the transition to RV life full-time might seem daunting, but the future ahead is exciting. You’re about to embark on one of the biggest adventures of your lifetime and are sure to learn countless lessons about navigation and auto-maintenance along the way. While many people enjoy living in their RVs, there are a few mistakes that some mobile homeowners make along the way. Follow these five tips for a smooth transition.
1. Look for a good extended warranty.
Combining your home into your vehicle means if something goes wrong, it could cause double the headache, sidelining your living space and your automobile for hours or days. Not only do you have to keep your home appliances in top shape (like your refrigerator or sink), but also your automotive parts like your transmission and engine. A good extended warranty for your RV can cover all of these problems so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg on repairs when something goes wrong.
Make sure you do your research when picking out a warranty. There are many RV extended warranty companies that offer different levels of service at various price points. Find the one that works for you.
2. Decide what you want to do with your home.
You have two choices when considering what to do with your current home: keep it or sell it. Selling your home can help you pay off your RV and give you cash to travel around the country. It makes you completely mobile, which means you aren’t tied down to any state or city. However, keeping your home can give you a place to stay if you want to get off the road, which can be nice if you want to host family gatherings during the holiday season. Plus, if you keep it, you could rent it out for six months or a year to help cover the costs of your mortgage and household expenses while you travel.
Look at your finances to answer this question: How much will it cost to keep your home each year? You may need to review your mortgage 101 basics to see whether or not you should sell your property before buying an RV.
3. Thin out your possessions.
If you plan to sell your home, it’s probably pretty obvious that you can’t fit everything from your house into your RV. You will need to sell your furniture, most of your clothes, and other possessions to make sure everything fits.
Most RV owners go through two stages of decluttering. They pack up everything they think they need in the first stage but then continue to donate or sell items that they no longer find useful once they hit the road.
Even if you end up keeping your home, you’ll still need to separate what stays in the house from what you’ll take with you in your RV. Give yourself time and careful consideration to make these decisions. The good thing is, your new home has wheels. If you decide after a month on the road that you made poor packing decisions, you can head home and make any necessary adjustments.
4. Create a travel plan for the year.
RV life isn’t random. While you can pick up and drive wherever you want, you still need a travel plan to guide you through the year. First, consider where you want to be each month. If you don’t like snow, then make plans to drive to Florida or other parts of the American south in the winter. If you want to see the fall foliage, plan to visit Virginia or Kentucky in October.
Additionally, some RV parks and resorts require advance reservations. Planning a few months ahead can help you book slots before they fill up. Plus, this and creates an itinerary to follow.
5. Let your friends and family know how to reach you.
Even as you travel the open road, you will still need to receive mail and be reachable to those back home. Consider taking out a P.O. box at your local post office to receive mail and designate a family member or close friend to check it and forward anything relevant on. This person should also be able to reach you in case of an emergency (and vice versa). This will help you stay connected to people back home no matter where you are.
Once you’re all set up in your RV, the only thing to do is pick the next state you want to visit. From the canyons of the West to the Appalachian trail in the East, there will always be something new to explore.