Whether you want to camp on the weekends or join the RV lifestyle full-time, you should know the truth about these most common RV myths (good and bad)…
Jennifer and I have been enjoying the RV lifestyle for over a decade. We’ve learned firsthand the truth about common VR myths that are often believed by newbies and non-newbies alike. Some of which we believed when we started!
These common myths give people the wrong expectations of the RV lifestyle, leaving many new RVers disappointed and frustrated. What’s worse is that they can leave new RVers wishing they never bought an RV in the first place!
So we want to make things clear. We’ll debunk the most common VR myths (good and bad) that can affect your overall impression of VR. Or it may even affect your decision to buy an RV or become a full-time RVer.
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Myth no. 1: RVing is cheap
This myth is believed in two ways. First, that RVing is a more affordable way to travel. The second is that living the full-time RV lifestyle is cheaper than living in a traditional home.
The truth is that RVing tin be more affordable in both cases. However, it takes a lot of planning and budgeting to make this happen. It largely depends on the following costly factors:
- The type of RV you’re buying (i.e. larger RV, five-wheeler that means you need to buy a tow vehicle, etc.)
- Fuel efficiency
- Where do you want to travel?
- How often you want to travel or move from one place to another
- If you can work remotely
- Maintenance and repair costs
- Camping rates
- RV Insurance (Tips for Buying RV Insurance)
Next to buying a house, buying an RV is probably the most expensive purchase a person makes in their lifetime. And unlike a house, it loses value every year (and even the moment you drive it off the lot!). Not to mention that it can take as much money to maintain and repair an RV than a house that is in good condition.
Also, increasingly high and unpredictable fuel costs mean that driving to your destination isn’t always cheaper than flying! In addition, the prices of campsites have increased significantly in recent years. So you need to consider how far you want to travel and how often to determine if it’s more affordable for you.
To help you understand REAL VR costs, check out the following:
Myth no. 2: You don’t need camping reservations
This used to be true to some extent, depending on where you camped. It was always a good idea to have a reservation, but you didn’t have to have one if you were flexible about where you could stay in an area.
However, this has become a complete myth since the popularity of RVing skyrocketed during the pandemic. The world of RVing has really changed since then.
These days, it can be extremely difficult to get a campsite reservation, even months in advance! It’s almost impossible in the summer months or even the winter months, where snowbirds like to camp.
Now, you need to be aware of the latest tricks to secure a campsite or learn more about boondocking:
Mike and Jennifer summer shirts for your next adventure
Myth 3: National parks are very easy to visit
Now that RV travel is more popular than ever, RV parks are busier than ever. This is especially true in national park campgrounds, as people of all ages want to travel to them.
You should consider peak tourist seasons when planning your visit to a national park. Otherwise, you may end up in overcrowded campsites and long lines of traffic trying to see that famous landmark you’ve always dreamed of.
So, if your bucket list includes many national forests, state parks, and famous landmarks in the United States, be prepared to plan ahead. I recommend researching and using tried and tested RV vacation guides, like our Yellowstone National Park RV Travel Guide.
We have lots of articles about national parks, including tips on when to travel and how to avoid crowds.
Myth no. 4: Today’s RVs are of poor quality
People love to say, “They don’t make things like they used to,” including when talking about RVs. However, the quality of RVs has steadily improved over the years.
RV manufacturers have made great strides in making RVs more durable, more reliable, and more fuel efficient. It’s gone from every RV with terrible gas mileage to every class of RV with better gas mileage. They also run quieter and smoother!
Modern motorhomes also have more amenities than ever before. Get more amenities on base models with lots of great options to choose from.
Of course, the new motorhomes come at a higher price, but this reflects their improvements and improved quality. And yes, there seem to be lemons in every batch. But if you inspect any RV before purchase, it will be better.
Myth no. 5: RV repair service is readily available
It’s a common misconception that you can take your RV to the dealership for a quick service or repair. You think, “Oh, this is covered by my manufacturer’s warranty, so it’s no big deal!” BAD!
Doing any maintenance or repairs to your RV is very important. Because?
Since there is a huge shortage of certified RV mechanics, finding an available RV mechanic or even a reliable RV parts dealer is very difficult. Finding one that can fix your RV right away is even harder.
New RV owners, full-time RVers, and anyone interested in RVing should be prepared to learn basic RV maintenance and repair. That’s why we recommend a home study program called the RV Tech Course.
This home study course is a great option for both the young and the retired (and everyone in between). It’s a great way to build your confidence in looking after your motorhome and prepare for the most common problems you’ll encounter.
I don’t want this article to discourage you, but I hope it better prepares you for what RV ownership is really like. There are many myths (good and bad) that can lead you astray. Hopefully, you now feel better informed to make the right decisions for you.
The bottom line of this article is to do your research and talk to experienced RVers. Whether you have or want a travel trailer, Class C, Class B or even looking at the large Class A motorhomes, do your research! There are different reasons why different people embrace the lifestyle or decide against it. You just have to find what works for you.
I will end by saying that regardless of the obstacles, Jennifer and I LOVE the RV lifestyle. We believe that driving cars is the best way to see our beautiful country, meet new people, make memories and enjoy our retirement. We love life on the road and can’t wait for our next road trip!
Get the home study course today and worry about the road, not the repairs!
Every time you move your RV it’s like driving through a hurricane during an earthquake. Parts break and many items must be maintained, this program will show you how you can save time and money by gaining the confidence to take on most of the problems you encounter. Don’t get caught with your RV in the store! Learn how you can maintain and repair your RV at your own pace and at a time that’s most convenient for you! This course is produced by the National RV Training Academy.