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RV Regret in Retirement

Are you dreaming about hitting the road in an RV? Not so fast!

I’ve always thought that owning a recreational vehicle would be a ton of fun – especially a classic Airstream! We know people who take theirs to college tailgate parties, and others who RV with friends. Last June, surveyed retirees about owning an RV. Ten million U.S. households own one and a million live in them full-time. They gave numerous reasons to regret buying it. I’ll stick with the financial findings.

First of all, they’re expensive! The roomiest begin at $60,000 and climb to over $500,000. If you spend a lot of time in one, you’ll be tempted to decorate it and if buying a used one, to update it. Some couples enjoy the closeness, but if you need privacy, think again. Like cars, they depreciate in value. Plus, there’s the cost of insurance, upkeep, and storage. Rising gas prices this year are a major concern for owners on a retirement budget. Learning to drive one can be challenging. RV classes range from $650 for a two-day class or $250 for a refresher course. Then there’s the routine maintenance and repairs. Coach Net, similar to Triple A, offers annual memberships at a cost of $180 for trailers and fifth wheels or $250 for motorhomes. If you think you’ll live in one full time, you may need to rent a storage unit for household goods. That cost depends on how much stuff you’ve got. Before making such a big purchase, estimate the true costs to see if it’s the best decision based on your retirement income and savings.

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