According to Melody Hahm of Yahoo Finance, "The RV market is on a tear." RV shipments reached 430,961 units in 2016 which is the best annual total in over 40 years. And this demand is expected to continue to increase, especially if real per capita net worth continues to improve and the prices of homes (which have been helping households buy RVs since the end of the Great Recession) continue to appreciate.
Real estate developers are taking advantage of this in some of the hotter retirement markets (Arizona, Florida, Nevada), and building communities that cater to these baby boomers. While I am sure there are many out there, one that is doing particularly well is Valencia Lakes in Florida. They built an RV parking lot for the homeowners and currently have a waiting list.
And in Henderson, NV, Heritage offers homes with an RV garage (this brings a $25,000 premium for those homes).
RVs are whetting the baby boomer's appetite to explore more of America by allowing them to take their homes with them; they are mobile and not tied to one vacation home. Many are selling their homes and taking to the road.
While new RVs will start at about $130,000 +, there are many good used RVs available for a lot less. Prices are all over the board and it is a good idea to do your research before shopping around. A good place to look up RV values is NADA or call your local RV dealer for help. All of us here at Premier Coach Services would love to help; give us a call today at 816-587-1500 or 866-426-2247 Toll Free!
Good luck and "happy traveling!"
10 SNOWBIRDING TIPS
1. Have a Plan: It sounds obvious, but if you don’t plan ahead, it’s likely even a seasoned winter traveler will forget something obvious. Write down everything you have to do before you leave, and then start mapping out your travels so you don’t miss something cool along the way – the RoadTrippers App (available at the Apple App Store and for GooglePlay) is also a very handy companion.
2. Take Your Time: The only race you have to run here it to beat the snow. Be sure you take the time to enjoy the journey and leave plenty of time to explore unexpected “finds” as you go.
3. Lock Up: Did you shut the water off? Do you have a friend to check the house periodically? Is someone taking in the mail and door flyers? They’re small things, but they can lead to big problems if not done.
4. Have Your Paperwork: You don’t want to get to your destination and find out that medical records you may need were left in the file cabinet at home. It’s also a good idea to notify your bank and your credit card companies that you’ll be away, so those charges from South Florida don’t sound the alarm.
5. Take Your Prescriptions: Be sure you have all of your prescriptions filled. And remember to carry your medicines in their original drug store containers with the labels.
6. Don’t Expire: Speaking of important documents, be sure your driver’s license and/or passport aren’t set to expire while you’re away.
7. Share Your Itinerary: Don’t keep your travel plans a secret with friends and family. And be sure to carry an easily accessible copy of emergency contact information just in case you run into trouble and can’t speak for yourself.
8. Pack Light: If this is your first foray South, we guarantee that you are packing too much stuff! KOA campgrounds are all well equipped with RVing and camping essentials, so only pack what you need to get you to your winter destination. The rest, you can get when you arrive.
9. Make Sure You’re Covered: Check with your insurance agent to make sure everything is up-to-date with your RV insurance, including your tow vehicle.
10. Be Alarmed: Even if you have a friend checking on your property, it’s a good idea to have an alarm company contract too. And be sure the friend knows what to do if storms or high wind cause damage that needs immediate attention.
This article was written by Kristin Haugk, a Research Analyst for The Oxford Club
Hit the Open Road and Retire on Wheels
Running out of money is a top retirement concern. For many Americans, it could mean returning to work during their golden years.
In fact, nearly 20% of Americans age 65 and older are still working. That's up from 12.8% in 2000. My own father used to joke that his "retirement dream job" would be to become a Wal-Mart greeter. It's a reality for a lot of retirees. That's because the retirement formula developed during the 20th century no longer works. Retirees can't rely solely on Uncle Sam's meager Social Security checks and Medicare coverage. And they're unable to earn meaningful interest on savings or most investments, either. So it's no wonder that a record-breaking number of retirees are still employed.
But going back to work isn't the only option for making ends meet. For some healthy, adventurous retirees, becoming a full-time traveler lowers and sometimes even pays the bills. With a little creative retirement "re-planning," you too can tour the USA
and avoid spending your golden years on the job. Let me explain how it works... The Retirement Road to Riches To stretch their nest eggs, some retirees have decided to ditch their homesteads in favor of a house on wheels
. Recreational vehicles offer convenience, comfort and freedom without the costly price tags of hotels, motels, airline tickets and restaurant food. And for those on a fixed income, these cost-cutting opportunities are crucial. It may sound far-fetched, but here's why it can make financial sense...
Is Your Dividend Stock Safe? Dividends are the last place to get decent income. Savings accounts... Treasuries... bonds... They all pay next to nothing. Dividends are all that's left. But 2016 could be the year of the dividend cut. That's why we've created a tool to help determine if your dividends are safe. Just type in a company name to find out.
The median home value in the United States is $189,400. And for most Americans, their home is their largest asset. But the problem for retirees is that a home isn't a liquid asset. You can't access its value until you sell it. And even then, you may sell it for a loss or simply break even. Instead of downsizing to a smaller home or refinancing your mortgage, you'd be wise to consider cost-efficient, pared-down RV living.
Like homes, RVs come in all different styles, sizes and prices. There's one for nearly every budget. You can buy them new or used and according to the features and floorplans that match you particular needs. By choosing a model well below the sales price of your home, you'll also be able to save a bundle on your living expenses. Those savings can add a significant chunk of change to your retirement portfolio.
If you own income-producing assets like high-quality dividend stocks, you can conservatively invest that money and continue to grow it. That way you'll have a nest egg after you decide to park the RV lifestyle for good. An Affordable Solution Of course,
RV living isn't free. Insurance, maintenance, campsite rental and depreciation all cost money. But overall, you can save a lot more money than you would owning a home. RV living allows you to sidestep property taxes, utility bills, homeowner's insurance, home maintenance costs and community association fees. Plus, electricity, cable television, water and internet are often included in the price of your campsite rental. You may also find yourself buying less "stuff" since you'll have less room to store it living in an RV. And there's no pressure to keep up with the neighbors either.
Keep in mind that, while you won't have to pay property taxes, you will still be on the hook for regular income tax. But even so, you can significantly lower your tax bill by living on the road and choosing a "home base" state with low or no income tax. For example, residents of these seven states pay zero income tax to the federal government:
By sticking to a disciplined budget, RV retirees can cut their monthly expenses in half and enjoy the thrill of traveling the country. Sites like Go RVing allow you to search campgrounds by state and select the amenities that are important to you. Offering everything from boat rentals, BBQ grills, day spas, casinos and golf courses, there's bound to be an RV park for everyone.
Retire on the Road Low interest rates and unreliable government programs have destroyed the retirement of yesterday. But that doesn't mean a fulfilling, prosperous retirement is out of reach. Think about your idea of the "ideal" retirement. If you have an adventurous spirit, and if you want to keep costs down, an RV retirement may be right for you.
Here's to Good investing and Happy Retiring!
Fire in an RV is a terrifying thought!
Often these are transmission fires. It is stressed that you should have a transmission heat indicator installed in your rig. Thirty-five percent of RV fires are caused by 12 volt shorts.
Check your extinguishers. Just because the needle shows in the green does not mean the fire extinguisher will work. To check a category BC dry powder type extinguisher, (the sort used for flammable or combustible liquids and energized electrical fires), turn the extinguisher upside down and tap on the bottom. It should sound drum-like. If not, the powder has settled. Tap it until it sounds hollow and then gently drop it from a height of a few inches. It should bounce slightly.
A smoke detector is the most important device you can have in your rig. Make sure it is a UL 217 integral battery-operated detector. Carbon Monoxide and LPG gas detectors are also essential. The LPG detector should be on the wall as close to the floor as possible in the kitchen area. The carbon monoxide detector should be 4 feet above the floor, since this type of gas is lighter than oxygen and "floats". It should be in the bedroom area, close to the roof. Since carbon monoxide could enter your coach from a neighbor’s generator, install another detector in the living room area at mid-height. Make sure all detectors are approved for use in RVs.
You may have a problem with the smoke detector goes off when the toaster is used. Several ideas have been offered to cure this annoying problem. Move the kitchen smoke detector to the driver's compartment. Or -- put a shower cap or baggie over the detector when cooking. Just remember to remove it when the meal is finished! Or -- get a detector with a hush button, push the button and the detector will stop for 15 minutes -- then "chirp" to signal it's back on duty.
The National Fire Protection Agency ("NFPA") mandates the rules for fire extinguishers and escape hatches for RVs. These rules require a 5 pound "BC" rated fire extinguisher near each exit. Know how to use it! A fire usually starts at the front of the rig and moves to the rear. Motorhome fires in a rig are usually type A type fires -- common combustibles -- wood, paper etc. , and the only required extinguishers on board frequently are BC types ( for flammable liquids and gasses or electrical equipment). Type A type fire extinguishers belong inside the coach and the BC type belongs under it -- in one of the compartments. You should have 5 extinguishers -- one for the drivers compartment, one for the kitchen, one for the bedroom, one under the coach in a storage compartment and one in your towed vehicle.
Have a plan in case of fire. Find your escape windows. Unless they are the type which have a "string" around them, open them and practice getting out. This is much easier to do when you are not in a panic situation. If you cannot put out a fire in the first 30-45 seconds, get away from the fire, leave it to the fire department.
Teach your guests, especially young ones, how to open the door of your rig. Many models work differently, and escaping from a fire is not the time to be learning how to use the door latch.
Before operating your stove or oven, open a window and the overhead venting on an exhaust fan. If you smell gas, extinguish all open flames (pilot lights, lamps, smoking materials, etc.), shut off the gas supply, open doors and leave the unit until the odor is gone. Have the system checked before you use it again.
Make sure that any after-market product you get for your rig has been approved by RVIA. Many items, such as under cabinet mounted toasters, etc. are fine for a house, but the RV is subject to a great deal of shaking as it goes down the road. Home implements may not be able to stand up to this stress. Use stainless steel not aluminum cookware. Aluminum will melt and then burn.
Refrigerators do not need to run while you drive. Most will keep food cold or frozen for eight hours. Driving with propane on can add to the danger is you are involved in an accident or have a fire. If you will be driving 6 - 8 hours in a day, turn the refrigerator up to its highest setting the night before you leave, and then turn it off when you begin your next day's travels. You can purchase devices that will circulate cool air through the refrigerator while you are traveling.
When you stop at a rest stop along the highway, open the hood of your car or RV to let the engine cool.
If you smell ammonia in your refrigerator, replace the unit. It is cooled by ammonia and hydrogen. If something, a bird or insect nest, etc. is blocking the vent, an explosion can easily occur. Therefore, after your rig has been stored for a period of time, check it thoroughly.
Do not use cooking appliances for heating. Unlike homes, oxygen supply is limited due to the size of the RV. Cooking appliances need fresh air for safe operation, and the danger of asphyxiation is great -- greater when the appliance is used for a long time. Always cook with a range vent or nearby window open. Catalytic heaters should be vented; RVIA technicians are not allowed to install non-vented heaters.
Repair engine or transmission oil leaks as soon as possible. Automatic transmission fluid will ignite easily and burn very quickly. It can also ignite when it comes in contact with the exhaust system. A hard-working engine manifold can get as hot as 900 degrees, and with the heavy insulation in the compartment the heat is reflected back to the top of the engine.
In order to extinguish an engine fire, you will have to get to the top of the engine. If necessary, have something to punch holes in the hood (of the RV or tow vehicle) so that the extinguisher can get to the source of the blaze. Attack the fire from the outside. Carry a fire extinguisher in your towed vehicle. Inspect your engine compartment frequently, and keep it clean. Check your hydraulic hoses for cracks or leaks.
Class C fires -- energized electrical, 110, 120, or 240 volts. Only 8% of these are successfully put out. Cut the fire off from its source -- i.e. unplug whatever is afire, and the fire becomes a class A fire. Class D fires -- exotic flammable metals; there is only a 1% success rate here. If you should have a fire while plugged in to shore power, be sure to unplug immediately to cut the current from the fire. If boondocking, turn off the generator or inverter.
The RV extinguishers furnished with new units are usually not rated for class A fires. Dry powder extinguishers are corrosive when they touch parts of the unit not burning. In addition, the area covered by this type of fire extinguisher may not be enough to put out the fire. Halon extinguishers were outlawed by the Montreal Protocols: they are hazardous to the ozone layer. They are also possibly carcinogenic. A CO2 extinguisher is hazardous, and of no use in the wind. It is also very heavy.
Caution! ALWAYS turn off the propane when you are having your tanks filled. Often the propane dealer will vent his hose under your rig before he starts the filling process. Should your refrigerator choose that particular moment to turn on, there could easily be a fire.
Be aware that the most important thing is the safety of the occupants. If you cannot extinguish the fire don't let it extinguish you.
A big "thank you" to RVers Online for this insightful article - we hope you find it as helpful as we did!