Why I'm Not Listening to Dave Ramsey's RV Living Advice
Dave Ramsey's RV living advice is wrong on several points. If you ask Dave, "is an RV a bad purchase" he says RVs are about the worst possible investment you can make. Dave calls RVs depreciation on four wheels.
I was watching YouTube and ran across a video by Dave Ramsey, and I was shocked. I found six videos from him about whether people should buy an RV. I was utterly shocked by his advice and how horrible it was.
Dave's personal opinion
Dave admits in his videos that he doesn't recommend this lifestyle because he can't see himself doing this, and his wife wouldn't stand for it. That's only his opinion, and he's sharing that with tens of thousands of other people as if that is what they should be doing.
I only found one of his videos about RVs where he gave the green light for the couple to buy an RV. Even then, it would be a used one, and they would pay cash. They were millionaires and debt free.
From a financial standpoint only
Dave says RVs are about the worst possible investment you can make. Dave is correct if you look at it only from a financial standpoint. They are a terrible investment. RVs will not increase in value.
Dave calls RVs depreciation on four wheels, but isn't that like your car? You buy cars for a specific purpose, and they go down in value. However, they might be a lousy investment on paper, but that doesn't mean you don't buy a car.
Other things to consider
Your dreams and this lifestyle are not depreciating assets. Memories of living the life you want to live are an appreciating asset.
What is the financial worth of incredible scenery and beauty all around the country or worldwide?
Enough dream stealers tell you not to do something or live your life a certain way, and Dave Ramsey doesn't need to be another. He only looks at the numbers. Your life is so much more than just the numbers.
Going into debt for an RV
We are in the market for a different RV and will likely go into more debt for that RV. There's nothing wrong with buying an older or used RV if that's something that you want to do. We're just not into fixing them up. We're looking for the best features that RV manufacturers have to offer.
We're willing to make that RV payment because we have the income to pay for that. Being in debt is a reason to go full-time living in an RV because living in a smaller space is much more cost-effective.
You downsize so much, sell a lot of your stuff, and have a much smaller footprint. You can live your RV dreams for a lot less than you think.
When to buy an RV
I went from hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for a house to a lot less than $100,000 in debt by living in my RV full time. I know many RV years have followed Dave's advice over the years for getting debt free. Less debt is optimal.
I think the key difference is not waiting to be debt free to buy an RV or having to pay cash, or waiting until retirement to live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of.
Taking kids on the road
The next point is Dave discourages couples from taking their kids out on the road. A couple wanted to finance an RV to take their kids out on the road with them for a couple of years. They would need financing for that, and Dave shot it down immediately.
Dave says that would mess up their finances and the kids' college futures. Dave recommended that this couple travel in a car or SUV and stay in hotels for a couple of years. He suggested that that would be cheaper than living in an RV. I don't think so.
In another video, a couple with kids was selling their house, and the husband had just got a new job on the road working in construction. He would be gone all week long.
Rather than being away from the family, their idea was to get an RV and keep the family together. Dave also shot that idea down because they would need to finance the truck and the RV.
He recommended the husband commute and not see his family during the week. Think about the educational opportunities while your kids are young. With the internet and homeschooling options right now, it's easier than ever to educate your kids while traveling full-time on the road.
Choosing your lifestyle
I am not encouraging debt. Some people think of debt and immediately think all debt is bad. I encourage you to live the life you've always dreamed of. If you can do it with little or zero debt and you're okay with that, then do it that way.
Just because you've listened to an expert like Dave Ramsey, who is not into this lifestyle, doesn't mean he has the right advice for you if you want to choose this lifestyle.
They are not living your life and won't suffer the consequences of not living your dream. Only you can take responsibility for making that decision. So don't leave it up to them. Don't let somebody else make your big decisions for you. You choose the life that you want to live.
RV vs. mortgage or rent
A $500 monthly payment on an RV could buy any of thousands of different RVs out there, new or used. Or you could spend thousands of dollars a month on rent or a mortgage and have nothing to show for it, or be upside down if your home's real estate value goes down when you try to sell it.
I believe that if you wait too long, the only RV experience you will have will be in a hearse after being tied down to your house.
Why I'm not listening to Dave Ramsey's RV living advice
Has Dave Ramsey's advice stopped you from buying an RV? Let us know in the comments.
My husband and I full timed for 13 years and loved every second of it. We only retired from the life because of age (I'm 86) and physical limitations, and both of us miss it sorely. I say leave Mr. Dave to his boring lifestyle and go for it. You'll only regret it if you don't want to see what's over the next hill.
I agree with the idea that RV living is a freedom of personal choice- and a financial freedom. Children can be taught from anywhere now- and traveling is a teaching aid in itself that I would have loved myself!