I bought my RV!
It’s been inspected, registered, and insured! I’ve just moved my stuff I think I need into it, and I’ve said goodbye to the old place I was in!
Awesome! Congratulations! I wish you every bit of happiness that I have felt in doing the same!
Now, once the whole honeymoon phase is over, you’re going to see things that are really annoying to you. There are going to be things that are built into that RV that just don’t work for you. My advice?
Not the creative type? Hit up the internet. Google things like “RV Renovations”. There’s even groups on Facebook that are dedicated to renovations of RV’s. I’m a member of a couple, but I cannot yet recommend any to you as they’ve been quiet and so far, not very helpful.
This is now your home. You can do anything you want to it. Make sure you don’t put yourself into a deficit changing things however. Figure out what you want to do and it’s cost, then budget and save. A lot of things you wouldn’t expect to be too expensive, are actually quite pricey. For example, I wanted to change out the old “Razor Only” two prong outlet in the bathroom for a proper GFCI three prong outlet, and the cheapest one I could find was just over $20, most are over $40.
You are going to find that after a month or two, most of what you thought you would need, is nothing more than a space killer. Figure out what you do not need, and get rid of it. Whether you are storing it, or selling it. If you don’t use it in the first month, you will most likely never use it.
We bought our RV over a year ago, and we have been living in it for over two months (full time). Yet, there are things to fix, things to update, and things to spend money on. You need to see what you need, in order to make your new home, a home.
Don’t ever presume that you made a bad call. You may have bought an RV that needed a bit more work than you expected, but as long as you can register and insure it, you can worry about the extra details later.
When we bought our RV, we saw its potential. We looked at this old RV, and while its engine purred (older vehicles don’t break down like newer ones), it looked like it did when it rolled off the line. It was ugly inside. It was only looked at when the previous owners went camping. They didn’t care what it looked like aesthetically.
When you finally have your new home in your name, you’re going to look around it and think, “Wow, this thing is nasty.”
It’s only nasty because it doesn’t meet the style you expect. So, throw some paint on it, change those handles. Absolutely update your lights to LED.
Do those little things first before you decide to go all out on the big ticket items, like solar, or countertops. Depending on your power needs, your solar set up could run you far more than you bought your new home for, so make sure you’re happy with your new home before you add those big finishing touches.
While you’re living and working in your new home, plug in somewhere you can actually use the RV. A family members driveway with a 15amp connection will not allow you to test your A/C. Most A/C pull 17amps, which means you’ll always blow your circuit before you can see if it works.
Go to an RV park. Most are pretty cheap for a day or two. If you can, find one that will bill for far less monthly. Spend a month at one. You’ll get all of your power, and sewer needs taken care of. It’ll give you time to work out what you are actually using in your new home. Who knows, maybe you’re spending more than you use in a park.
Just don’t discount many RV parks. Depending on your location, many are open year round (even in colder climates), and will charge very little during their slow months, which here on Vancouver Island are from September until May. That’s eight months of very cheap living. Especially if you have a full time job paying you very well. Bank your money. If your rent is $400/mth, and you are single, you can survive very well off $800/mth, put the rest in a savings account to anticipate the summer months, travel, and those unexpected expenses that crop up when you least expect them.
I’ll talk more about what you should do and expect once you’re settled into your home in my next post.