Going full-time in an RV can be a lifelong vacation, especially if you’re retiring in an RV. But RV retirement, as with any retirement plan, requires thought and purposeful decision-making to ensure every element of your RV retirement is accounted for. If you’re dreaming of driving across the country, camping wherever your heart desires, and living out your golden years on the road, retiring in an RV can be a great choice!
At Lazydays RV, we know that many retired RVers are ready to explore the open road and make the most of their retirement. With COVID as a consideration for many retirees, RV retirement is an especially attractive option thanks to its easy social distancing. Before buying an RV for your retirement, explore our tips for planning your RV retirement so you’re prepared for this exciting adventure.
Can You Retire In an RV?
Yes, you can retire in an RV! There is no law that you have to retire in your home or a senior living community. Many retirees are choosing to go mobile for their retirement, and RVs allow for safe, comfortable, and aging-friendly adventure. You can retire in an RV, especially if you purchase an RV with aging and mobility changes in mind. With the right planning, you can retire in an RV and enjoy your retirement without limits.
Understanding RV Retirement Costs
Your exact cost for RV retirement will depend on your own expenses, the type of RV you choose, and where you choose to camp. But in many cases, RV retirement is a surprisingly affordable option for retirees, with many keeping the majority of their nest egg well into their RV retirement. For those on a fixed income, used RVs are often a great way to get into an RV without breaking the bank. And in many cases, your RV purchase, whether new or used, can cost less than traditional home expenses.
There are several costs to keep in mind when budgeting for your RV retirement:
- The upfront cost of the RV. Many dealerships offer RV financing, making it easy to afford the cost on a monthly fixed income if needed.
- Additional monthly expenses, such as RV insurance or protection plans. These are not always required, but insurance can help protect your investment. RV insurance may be surprisingly affordable depending on the value of your RV, often costing less than homeowner’s insurance.
- Repair and upkeep costs. Just as with a traditional home, RVs require regular upkeep and maintenance to keep things running smoothly. Consider getting an RV service package to keep everything running at its best and without worry.
- Fuel costs, which will vary depending on the RV’s fuel efficiency and the amount you’re driving. If you’re purchasing a towable RV, your towing vehicle’s fuel efficiency will also be a consideration for this cost.
- Camping and dump costs. While dry camping is an option for low-cost or even free camping, many RV retirees also camp at camping sites or resorts. Each one will have its own prices, but there are often weekly or monthly rates that can be surprisingly affordable. Some campsites will allow visitors to use their dump station to clear their RV’s tanks, otherwise, you may need to locate this service elsewhere.
Many people who retire in an RV are surprised to see how much smaller the monthly bills are when compared to the monthly living expenses of traditional homeownership. RVs are small homes on wheels, but their smaller size means that many living expenses are smaller as well.
As always when making any long-term financial decisions or lifestyle changes, make sure to consult with your trusted financial advisors or resources.
How to Choose a Retirement RV
You’ve crunched the numbers and found out that RV retirement is an affordable option for your golden years, so now it’s time for the fun part - RV shopping! It starts by finding a reputable RV dealership, there are things to look for when choosing an RV dealership that can help you choose a trustworthy dealership. When buying an RV for retirement, you’ll need to choose an RV that’s accessible now, can be accessible for years to come, and includes the features you need. There are many RVs on the market perfect for retirees, with features like CPAP storage by the bed, ramped entry, and step-in showers with benches. Even if you do not need these features currently, you may want to consider the features that’d be great to have down the road so you can enjoy your RV retirement for years and years to come.
When choosing an RV for retirement, make sure to pick one that meets all of your needs, follow these steps to narrow down your retirement RV:
- Decide if you’d like an RV with an engine in it, like a Class A Diesel RV, or one that you tow like a travel trailer.
- Identify features that would be good to have for the future, like wheelchair-friendly entry. You can modify RVs to include this, or opt for a toy hauler RV that already has a ramp in the rear.
- Test drive several RV types to see which type you’re most comfortable with driving. Many new RVs include added measures to make them easier to drive.
- Make a list of the features you’d like to have onboard the RV, such as a full refrigerator, dual vanities in the bathroom, or an onboard washer and dryer.
- Think about what kinds of sleeping arrangements you’ll need. Will you need room for the grandkids to sleepover from time to time?
Our RV experts can help you choose the retirement RV or motorhome that meets your needs. We can take features, budget, drivability, and destination type into consideration to help you choose an RV that’ll help you make the most of your retirement.
Downsizing for RV Retirement
If you’re moving from a large home or even a small condo into an RV, you’ll likely need to pare down your possessions so you can travel light. For some retirees, this is a great way to make extra money for RV retirement. Downsizing has become quite popular in recent years, with many people choosing a minimalist lifestyle free of clutter and the burdens often associated with owning too much stuff. Moving into an RV for your retirement is a great way to focus on the items that bring you the most joy and leave the others behind.
There is a common concern many RV retirees have when they’re looking into RV retirement, and that’s the depreciation of RV value. As with any other vehicle, your RV’s value changes as time goes on. Its value isn’t tied to a location like traditional real estate, but that doesn’t mean an RV retirement is a bad investment. Whether you buy a new RV for sale or a used RV, you’re buying a future of freedom and exploration. The price isn’t just for the RV itself, but for the ability you’ll gain to go wherever you want in your retirement. So while RV values do change over time, many RV retirees do not regret their choice to go mobile in retirement.
What is the Best RV for Seniors?
The best RV for seniors will vary from person to person, as each senior has their own needs in retirement and their own adventures they’d like to have. There are several RV types that are popular among seniors:
- Class A Motorhomes, available in both gas and diesel. Class As are some of the most luxurious RVs on the market and give seniors great amenities.
- Class C Motorhomes, which are also available in diesel and gas. Class Cs are smaller than Class As and can offer increased maneuverability.
- Fifth Wheel RVs, an increasingly popular RV type that brings luxury in a towable. These are popular for seniors who prefer towing their RV.
- Travel Trailers, these RVs allow for towing by more than pickup trucks and are often impressively lightweight. They are typically one level, which can be easier for some retirees.
- Toy Haulers, which can often easily load wheelchairs without additional modifications. While handicapped-accessible RVs are available in other types and classes, toy haulers are a popular choice for RV retirement.
Ready to start your RV retirement? Whether you’re ready to buy your RV or you’re looking to explore today’s most popular RVs in person to better plan your RV retirement, we’re here to help! Visit your local Lazydays RV dealership to speak with our experts and browse our wide selection of new and used RVs that are perfect for retiring in an RV.