Whether you want to camp weekends or join the full-time RV lifestyle, you should know the truth about these most common RV myths (good and bad)…
Jennifer and I have been enjoying the RV Lifestyle for more than a decade. We've learned firsthand the truth about common RV myths that newbie or non-RVers often believe. Some of which we believed ourselves when we first started!
These common myths give people the wrong expectations of the RV lifestyle, leaving many new RVers disappointed and frustrated. Worst, they can leave new RVers wishing they'd never bought an RV in the first place!
So, we want to set the record straight. We're going to debunk the most common RV myths (good and bad) that may affect your impression of RVing in general. Or may even affect your decision to buy an RV or become a full time RVer.
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Myth #1: RVing Is Inexpensive
This myth is believed in two ways. First, that RVing is a more affordable way to travel. The second is that living the RV lifestyle full-time is cheaper than living in a traditional house.
The truth is that RVing can be more affordable in both cases. However, it takes a lot of planning and budgeting for that to be the case. It greatly depends on the following costly factors:
- The type of RV you buy (i.e. larger RV, fifth wheels that mean you need to buy a tow vehicle, etc.)
- Fuel efficiency
- How far you want to travel
- How often you want to travel or move from place to place
- If you can work remotely
- Maintenance & repair costs
- Campground fees
- RV insurance (tips for buying RV insurance)
Next to buying a house, purchasing an RV is likely the most expensive purchase a person makes in their lifetime. And unlike a house, it loses value every year (and even the minute you drive it off the lot!). Not to mention it can take just as much money to maintain and repair an RV than it does a house that's in good condition.
Plus, the ever increasing and unpredictable fuel costs means driving to your destination isn't always cheaper than flying! Plus, campground prices have jumped significantly in recent years. So, you need to factor in how far you want to travel and how often to determine if it's more affordable for you.
To help you understand the REAL costs of RV, check out the following:
- Fulltime RV Living: Count the Cost
- The high cost of finding a pickup truck to tow an RV
- Buying an RV: Seven Hidden Costs to Consider
- Is RV Boondocking Right For You? (Complete Guide)
Myth #2: You Don't Need Campground Reservations
This used to be true to a certain 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 on where you could stay in an area.
However, this has become a full-on myth ever since the popularity of RVing skyrocketed during the pandemic. The world of RVing has truly changed since then.
These days, it can be extremely difficult to get a campground reservation, even months in advance! Darn near impossible in summer months or even winter months where snowbirds like to camp out.
Now, you need to be up on the latest tricks to secure a campsite or learn more about boondocking:
- Is RV Boondocking Right For You? (Complete Guide)
- How to Find Campground Cancellations (7 Helpful Tips)
- Why Can’t I Get a Camping Reservation? (5 Solutions)
- Free Overnight RV Parking: No Reservations? No Problem!
Myth #3: National Parks are Very Easy to Visit
Now that RV travel is more popular than ever, there are more crowded RV parks than ever. This is especially true at national park campgrounds since people of all ages wish to travel to them.
You need to factor in peak tourist seasons when planning your visit to a national park. Otherwise, you can end up in overcrowded campgrounds and long lines of traffic to try to see that famous landmark you've always dreamed of.
So, if your bucket list includes a lot of national forests, state parks, and famous landmarks in the United States, be prepared to plan ahead. I recommend researching and using tried and proven RV vacation guides, like our Yellowstone National Park RV Travel Guide.
We have lots of articles on national parks, including tips on when to travel to them and how to avoid crowds.
Myth #4: Today's RVs are Poor Quality
People love to say, “They don't make things like they used to,” including when they're 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 having terrible gas mileage to every class of RV having better gas mileage. They also ride quieter and smoother!
Modern RVs also have more amenities than ever before. You get more creature comforts in base models with lots of great options to choose from.
Granted, new RVs come with a bigger price tag, but that is reflective of their improvements and improved quality. And yes, there are lemons in every batch, it seems. But if you get any RV inspected before purchase, you'll fare better.
Myth #5: RV Repair Service Is Easily Available
It's a common misconception that you can bring your RV back to the dealer for a quick service or repair. You think, “Oh, this is covered under my manufacturer's warranty, so no big deal!” WRONG!
Getting any maintenance or repair done on your RV is a big deal. Why?
Because there is a big shortage of certified RV mechanics, finding an available RV mechanic or even a reputable RV parts dealer is very difficult. Finding one that can fix your RV immediately is even harder.
New RV owners, full-time RVers, and anyone interested in RV should be prepared to learn basic RV maintenance and repair. That's why we recommend a home study program called RV Tech Course.
This home study course is a great option for both younger people and retired people (and everyone in between). It's a great way to boost your confidence in caring for your RV and prepare you for the most common problems you'll face.
I don't want you to be discouraged by this article, but I do hope it better prepares you for what RV ownership is really like. There are a lot of myths out there (good and bad) that can lead you astray. Hopefully, now you feel better informed to make the right decisions for you.
The takeaway from 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 big class A RVs, do your research! There are different reasons for different people to embrace the lifestyle or decide against it. You just need to find what's right for you.
I will end by saying that no matter the obstacles, Jennifer and I LOVE the RV lifestyle. We believe that RVing is the best way to see our beautiful country, meet new people, create memories, and enjoy our retirement. We love life on the open 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 need to be maintained, this program will show you how you can save time and money by gaining the confidence to take on the majority of the issues you’ll come across. Don’t get caught with your RV in the shop! Learn how you can maintain and repair your RV at your own pace and at the most convenient time for you! This course is produced by the National RV Training Academy.