Will RV Checklists Help You Organize a Smooth Transition from Sticks & Bricks to Full-time RV Living?
Ever wonder why a veteran pilot still uses a checklist? Do you use a to-do list or an activity calendar? Do you organize your search for the perfect entertainment room equipment? Planning a vacation? Ever try to keep an upcoming wedding organized and on-schedule? When the process gets complex, checklists are often a better servant than taskmaster. Checklists are everywhere! But you really don’t have to be anal about things to appreciate a checklist or spreadsheet to ensure the results you desire really come to fruition. If you don’t view them as a restrictive or daunting tool they can actually be valuable for maintaining your sanity in the midst of complex planning and decision-making. Recently when we started down a path to purchasing a pre-owned RV — trying to find the right one for our needs — we discovered just how big the used RV marketplace really is. There are a myriad of variables to consider, making it way more complex than choosing a new-to-you car! In fact, we looked online for checklists that would help us organize what seemed like a huge task. We found a few that covered different aspects of the process, but none that really encompassed enough to help us identify and determine the differences between absolutes and nice-to-haves — to help in our decision-making.
So we developed our own, have been using it, and as a result have focused our shopping to a short-list of brands and cofigurations we believe have the “right-stuff” for us. Now our searches online are for those brands and models instead of the willy nilly exercise we started with.
Then it wasn’t long before we began to get serious about our budgeting–
- How much would it cost us to enjoy the RV lifestyle on our own terms?
- What should we expect to pay for Insurance, warranty coverage, roadside assistance?
- What will fuel cost to go the distances we had in mind?
- How about the investing in campground discount packages?
- We wanted to budget for destination site-seeing fees.
- And then there was contingency funding for routine maintenance,
- Storage of personal belongings left behind.
- Plus a host of other items that were not necessarily RV specific, but would be real costs of living we should include.
The list grew. Again we needed another checklist, but this time it was a spreadsheet. See we couldn’t find one that would feed us graphic overviews and forecast the income necessary monthly, periodically and annually, later providing us with a hindsight view of budget vs. actual expenses.
Once again, we developed our own. We must admit, using it was rather eye-opening!
As with any checklist, these can be valuable tools purpose-designed to help you organize your information in a fashion that results in making more clear-cut, well advised choices and decisions.
Upcoming in this section, we’ll be discussing these and several other planning tools and RV Checklists we’ve developed and how to use them. And yes, we’ll soon be making these available to help you too. Bookmark this page or subscribe to the RSS feed to get the latest announcements.