Buying an RV for Retirement

Living in Retirement
Buying an RV for Retirement

Published: March, 2021

Retiring to an RV lifestyle can be very tempting, as you can use your RV for short vacations or live in it for long stretches of time.

Either way, it is essential to keep in mind that purchasing an RV is a sizable investment. Even though pop-up campers only cost a few thousand dollars, a loaded motorhome can easily cost half-million or more.

This guide will shed some light on what it truly means to own an RV and, should you purchase one, the pros and cons of doing so.

Should I Buy an RV?

First, you need to decide if you are looking to own a motorhome or a trailer home to tow behind a truck. Often, individuals who already own a truck may determine the towable option is best since they've already put money in to their investment. Both the truck and the RV are investments that together could cost upwards of $70,000 or more. So, you may want to ask yourself if you wish to have both or if you would be better off with just a motorhome.

Then, you will need to consider how big recreational vehicles can get and what size you want. For instance, if you think you will move in to an RV when you retire, you might be tempted to purchase a sizeable 40-foot version because you want more space. However, you will also want to consider that it could be a little more difficult for you to get into some campsites.

Also, suppose you are retired and plan to take long trips or live in your RV for extended periods of time. In that case, you will want something appropriate for the various weather conditions all four seasons bring. Many RV dealers claim recreational vehicles are four-season, only for you to find out it is really not insulated that well.

Pros and Cons of Buying an RV for Retirement


  • Embrace the RV lifestyle. People who own RVs are generally friendly types of people. The number of campgrounds all over the country is growing as they respond to the increase in RVers. The RV industry is pushing to improve, expand, and upgrade campgrounds on federal lands and national parks.
  • Travel where you want. For many people, the best part of owning an RV is the ability to travel when you want and where you want.

    Most individuals dream about traveling around the country to see different places- things they could not do when they were busy with work. After retiring and buying an RV, many can explore the entire country, historic sites and all the natural wonders of the U.S.
  • Mobility and flexibility. Owning an RV makes nomadic living simpler since all your personal belongings are already with you, possibly even your pets. RVs create mobility, and if you wish to venture somewhere, you have everything you need right there with you in your vehicle. You just need to fill up the gas tank and buy food.


  • RVs Are expensive. RVs are a big investment. Still, before you start setting your budget and looking around, you need to know the various options on the market. There's an extraordinary cost range, depending on what you get. For example, you have Type A motorhomes, which are usually the roomiest and heaviest. These typically will start at around $60,000 and can go as high as $500,000 or more. Also, you will most likely be spending money on updating the decor as well.
  • RVs depreciate in value. RVs quickly depreciate, and when you add in the other costs (like insurance, gas, food, maintenance) and other expenses of owning a recreational vehicle, it might seem like traditional vacationing is a better value for your money.
  • RVs are fuel guzzlers. Whether you are driving a motorhome or hauling a heavy trailer, you simply cannot avoid the sticker shock when filling up the gas tank, even when gas prices are low.


Whether you have been dreaming about a getaway for a few weeks or retirement on the road, RVs seem like a more viable choice these days. Just be sure you consider the pros and cons before making your buying decision.

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