Many people dream of owning and traveling in a motor home. Unfortunately, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare. With that said, here are ten reasons why you should never buy an RV.
10. They’re Expensive
According to an article published by MSN, a new Class A motorhome starts around $50,000 to $100,000! And, that’s just for the basics. Adding accessories can push that cost up to $1,000,000! Then, after you purchase it, you have to get insurance on it, which can be up in the thousands for Class A motorhomes. And, depending on what you’ll use the vehicle for (occasional trips vs. full-time residency), your rate could be even higher. Then, there’s gas. Class A RVs only get 8 to 13 mpg, and Class B or Class C gets anywhere between 10 and 20 mpg. But, we’re not done yet. Don’t forget about upkeep. That can be expensive too. According to a survey done by Mobile Home Parts Store, RV owners spend on average $1,400 annually on just the basics ( brakes, tires, oil changes, etc.) alone.
TIP: If owning an RV is an absolute must for you, get a pop-up camper or fifth wheel. They’re far cheaper ($10,000 to $15,000 with the more expensive ones topping out around $50,000).
9. They’re Hard Work
Owning a motor home is just like owning a traditional home. You have to perform regular household chores, like washing the dishes, sweeping, vacuuming, and doing the laundry. Then, there’s maintenance and repair issues as well. And, then there’s the black water tank. You know, the contraption that holds the sewage. You’ll need to dump it frequently at a designated dump station. You’ll also need to flush it regularly with chemicals that speed up the breakdown of waste. And, then there’s the toilet paper. You can’t use traditional paper. You have to find special toilet paper that dissolves easily.
8. They Can be Difficult to Drive
If you’re not used to driving large vehicles, you may want to leave that RV on the lot and purchase something you can actually handle. If you do choose to buy one, you’ll be faced with the task of maneuvering it up and down hills, making sure your vehicle can fit under bridges and overpasses, and judging distance.
Here’s another thing to keep in mind: RVs aren’t made for city driving, especially when it comes to parking (which we’ll get to later) and braking distance. Because they’re heavy, it takes RVs a lot longer than passenger vehicles to slow or stop.
7. They Depreciate Quickly
Despite the fact that RVs are very expensive, they can decrease in value rather quickly. For example, a five-year-old RV has lost anywhere between 36 to 38 percent of its value. And, by the time it turns 10 years old, it most likely won’t even be worth half of what you paid for it. That’s a lot of money gone down the drain. Obviously, this is NOT a sound investment.
TIP: If you really want to own an RV, your best bet is to buy a used one.
6. Their Quality Can be Poor
According to an article published by MSN, RV forums are filled with owners complaining about shoddy workmanship, loose screws, poorly done electrical wiring, and more. The reason being is that RV-building lacks automation — in other words, they’re built one at a time by workers of various skill levels. This lack of automation makes them expensive to build. And, like any other business, RV manufacturers look for ways to save money. Unfortunately, they do so by cutting corners. According to AxleAddict.com, these manufacturers will use “low-quality products that cannot stand the test of time and the rigors involved in driving.”
5. Injuries are Common
No, we’re not talking about injuries from highway accidents — although those certainly can happen. What we’re talking about is people injuring themselves in RVs. According to an article written by Sondra Rochelle, an RV enthusiast with more than 50 years of experience owning, driving, traveling and living in recreational vehicles, it’s very easy to hurt yourself when traveling in an RV because you’re in a different environment than what you’re used to. For example, one of Rochelle’s friends injured herself by falling out of the front door of her RV. She landed on the hitch of her car. Unfortunately, she never made a full recovery.
4. You Can Sometimes Feel Cramped
Believe it or not, as big as an RV is, people still sometimes feel cramped inside them. That’s because there really isn’t all that much space. They’re around 400 square feet at the most. And, having to share that tiny bathroom with others doesn’t help either. Not to mention having to stay in an RV park with other campers. Either way, there isn’t much privacy. And, to make matters worse, you could end up next to someone in the park who you bump heads with.
3. You’re Not Safe from the Elements
Just because you’re in a massive vehicle doesn’t mean you’re totally safe from all types of weather conditions. In fact, being inside an RV can be very dangerous when severe weather strikes. That’s why if you’re set on buying one, you’ll need to make sure you know what to do in the event of hail, a tornado, or even a thunderstorm. RVshare.com offers these tips:
-Bring things (grills, chairs, etc.) inside and batten down the hatches
-Have an emergency bag
-Know where to go if the weather gets bad
-Know the evacuation route
-If you’re on the road and there’s a tornado in the vicinity, park your RV quickly in a spot that’s out of the storm’s path. If, however, you are able to get to ground that’s considerably lower than the roadway, get out of your vehicle and move down to the lower area immediately.
-Use common sense
-Don’t take chances
2. Parking is Limited
You can’t just park an RV anywhere like you would a car, truck, motorcycle or any other traditional vehicle. This is true for two reasons: 1) You need to have access to the proper hookups for water and electricity. The best place for that is in an RV park, and 2) Depending on where you want to park, there could be laws or regulations forbidding overnight parking — even if it’s parked in a driveway. That being said, you need to check before venturing out to make sure there’s parking space available wherever you may be headed.
1. You Might Not be Able to Take it With You When You Move
If you move into a neighborhood with CC&Rs, you won’t be able to park your RV there. What are CC&Rs you ask? According to Cornell University, CC&Rs, or Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, are a set of rules, usually enforced by a homeowners’ association, that governs the use of real estate. And, if you move into a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association, you must abide by the association’s rules. That means that if the association sees RVs as eyesores, you won’t be able to park yours in your driveway.
How do you feel about RV ownership? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!