Are you full time, seasonal, weekend?
This is part of a series of articles in my Perfect RV series. Each article describes one aspect of finding the right RV for you at the moment. Your needs change as you move into an RV. Over time you will need more or less sleeping space, your facilities will change, your transportation will change and your desires will change. This is the first article in the series.
full time stable
By a loose definition living full time in their RV or recreational vehicle is considered their home. Many people choose an inexpensive way to live in recreational vehicles. His recreational vehicle is stationary and rarely moves.
There are many benefits to living in an RV. Homework takes less time, costs less, maintains less, and has a lower cost of ownership. RV owners have the same tax benefits as home owners or what we call stick and brick owners.
For 12 years we were full-time stationary campers. We lived and worked from our RVs or had full-time jobs in the local community. Daisy was a legal secretary and I was a database administrator for Nokia with responsibilities for the worldwide SQL Server network. You sold our house and the vehicle of entertainment became our home. With an annual income of over $100,000, I don’t think we qualify as trailer trash. In fact we met many people who were professionals who had decided to live this lifestyle including lawyers and doctors.
full time traveler
Common thought when people say they are full time is someone who travels across the country in a recreational vehicle full time. These people have all the benefits of stationary recreational vehicle owners and have the freedom to move whenever and wherever they want.
There are some additional costs to travel full time and that is the cost of fuel and maintenance. Many full timers who travel stay in one place for several weeks or months before moving on. You are now a full time traveler, starting our new journey in June 2014. We spend about 3 weeks per location and then move to a new campground when our time is up. This past winter we spent every two weeks in FL. It was the happiest winter I’ve ever had.
A snow bird is one that travels to warmer climates in winter and cooler climates in summer. They can have a home in both locations, live in an RV in one and a house in the other, or live in an RV year round. There are many retired snow birds who travel to FL during the winter months.
Seasonal campers are usually people who are still working but love the camping lifestyle and have kept a recreational vehicle at the campsite the entire time, but only use it on weekends or holidays. They may or may not use it for the holidays. They are considered seasonal because they pay a lot for the camping season. The camping season will vary depending on the country you are located in. In the Northeast, this can happen from March to the end of October. Some campgrounds may have two or more seasons, with varying rates. For example winter and summer rates, like in FL.
There are weekend campers who pack the RV and hit the road, usually on a Friday afternoon, to head to a local campground and camp for the weekend. Come Sunday, they pack up and go home. These people are likely to still work full time and unwilling to pack it up and leave the working world for extended periods.
Whether you are working full-time or retired, finances are going to be an important factor in getting your RV. It will be easier to finance an RV if you are working, however, there are places that will work with retirees as well. But someone with disposable income from a basic business standpoint will have an easier time obtaining financing than others.
The other financing consideration will be your budget. Your income-to-expense ratio will determine how often you can go camping or if you want to travel, how long you can travel and what you’ll be able to see and do during the trip.
There are many people who are young and old who travel full time and work a job or even more. You know about the couples who would now be considered snowbirds who serve as campground hosts year-round. You have other friends who run businesses from their RVs and still others who trade their campground site fees for a few hours a week working at the campground(s). It’s possible to earn an income while you’re on the road. Living a comfortable life, however, may be another story.
As you can see there are many things you need to consider when looking at an RV. In many ways it is like buying a house. You will be staying in it for some time and you may need facilities like your own house or apartment. Understanding how you will use the RV and what you already have can help you tow it, helping you keep up with your expenses and expectations. In the next article I will discuss the different types of recreational vehicles.