Let’s face it, RV living has a lot of pros and cons. While it’s convenient to bring your house with you wherever your heart takes you, it’s not all butterflies and roses. Just like a car, it requires maintenance for basic wear and tear. Having a mobile house means there most certainly will be mishaps of some sort. So, what do you do when you RV is in the shop?
Sure, you can hire a mobile RV repair person for those smaller projects. But what about when you’ve got major damage? Your RV will most likely need to go to a repair shop for any length of time. That means you need to find a place to live in the meantime.
There are a few options for you.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may make commission off of purchases made through the links in this post.
What Should I Do When My RV Is In The Shop
1. Stay with friends & family
The cheapest option is to stay with family or friends. You don’t want a large repair bill AND to be paying daily/weekly for an alternative place to stay. It can be very convenient to crash with family or friends during the repair.
Although it’s the cheapest option, it may not be the best situation. Repair work can take time and have unexpected delays. The stress of staying with someone else, or in a space that is not entirely yours, can take a toll on you.
If you know the timeframe it will take to complete the work and you are confident that you can handle sharing a space, I highly recommend this option. Your bank account will thank you!
2. Find a rental
A short term rental is the most economical option if you need to pay for a place to stay. You can usually get a short term rental between one month to six months, depending on the location. This is a great choice if your repair timeframe is a little longer. You may not need this long of a rental. But, it gives you security in the event that there is a delay in the repairs.
Best case scenario, ask around to friends, family, or social media followers for connections in your area. You will be surprised who might have a rental available that offers flexibility.
3. Get an AirBnB or VRBO
AirBnb or VRBO are great for short or long term stays. Typically, you get a discount the longer you stay. The beauty of AirBnb and VRBO is that they are available pretty much anywhere. The downfall, you have to book for a specific length of time and there’s no guarantee the owner can work with you should you need to stay longer.
The plus side to this, there is a lot of flexibility with cities, locations, and size of the place. You could use it as an opportunity to take a break from tiny living and rent a house. Or you could rent a small space in a cool city and use it as an unplanned vacation.
4. Stay in a hotel
Staying in a hotel is probably the most expensive option, but it is the fastest and easiest. Hotels are easy to find and usually easy to book last minute. They are a great option if you only need a few days or if you are far away from home and need some time to come up with a game plan.
If you’re credit card savvy, you could even use points to get a free or cheap stay.
Personally, I love staying in hotels and could stay for a few days. But longer than a week, I would need something that felt more like home and had space for us to live normal.
5. Rent an RV
This is a great option if you are already renting a spot at a campground or rv park. It also gives you the chance to try out different rv layouts. Prices can be similar to hotels though, so check out the price in your area before you put all your eggs into this basket.
Don’t want to rent someone’s private RV? No problem! Good Sam and Cruise America are nationally known companies that you can also rent RVs from. These companies are great to go through if you want to continue to travel while your RV is in the shop.
If you are able to work with the scheduling team, try to schedule your repair when you already have other accommodations. Like a previously planned vacation.
When you’re communicating with the service department, ask for a timeframe for the repair work. Plan for the work to take a little longer, just in case.
Make it very clear that your RV is your primary residence. This will help them understand the importance of communicating a clear time frame and sticking to it.
If possible, schedule your repair work at a facility near family or friends. In case something unexpected comes up and you need support or need a last minute place to stay.
Set up an emergency fund/RV account to save money for unexpected repairs or maintenance. Something ALWAYS comes up and sometimes those things can be costly. Having a plan and preparing for these circumstances can help alleviate some of the financial burden repairs can have.