Remember when an RV was only a vehicle to take into the woods on vacation? It was (and still is) a budget-friendly way to travel with your family with the added bonus of being able to bring some modern conveniences from home: your own bathroom, mini-kitchen, and sleeping area! It was as simple as that! Since then, the uses for an RV have grown dramatically.
Consumers are looking for ways to get the most value out of their RV when they aren’t using it for vacation. And many others are now living in them full-time. Enter the need for an RV office.
Turn your RV into a home office
More and more people are working from home than ever before. For some it has been an uncomfortable situation getting adjusted to a new way to do their same job. It has also forced people find a quiet, productive space to work from that is not the kitchen table. Put a spouse and some kids into the equation and it’s time to get creative.
RVs are a great solution to create privacy, functionality, and decrease noise. They are self-contained with their own restroom, break room (the kitchen), and working area (the dining table), which makes them an ideal alternative to working in your home.
When working in an office you usually have your own dedicated space. With an RV you are ensured to have that. An area to make your own, free of outside distractions.
Stationary home office
Jeremiah Owyang, an independent tech analyst in Silicon Valley, recently bought a 22-foot Airstream RV. He parked it in his backyard and equipped it for video calls. He found that local rentals were charging at least $2,000 a month. Instead, he got a 30-year-loan on his Airstream Sport Trailer for $370 monthly.
“I own it. I can claim it as a business deduction and re-sell it at some point in the future,” says Owyang.
Owyang will not be cruising with his Airstream on the open road this summer. Instead of using it for it’s intended travel purpose, it’s a permanent fixture in the backyard. “We don’t take it out, it’s a dedicated office,” he says.
As Jeremiah stated, there are tax advantages to having your own dedicated work space at home. Contact your tax consultant for specific information.
Rolling remote office
While Jeremiah uses his Airstream as a stationary home office in his backyard, there are many who work remotely from their RV while traveling.
This requires a little more creativity since the RV is also used for living, eating, socializing, and traveling down the road. You have to take your own needs into consideration. Does it need to be an area with a door because you are recording podcasts or can it just be a desk area? Can it have a dual-purpose like working during the day and eating area at night?
Here is an example of an RV renovation where a dual-purpose space was created in the back of a fifth wheel for a full-timer.
The new space offers a desk for working along with a seat for socializing and watching TV. The desk chair can also be used for seating by guests when turned around.
In order to make it as private as possible, headphones are used for video conferences and phone calls. Who wouldn’t want the variety of ever-changing views while working?
Many RV manufacturers are offering desks in their models, either standard or as an option.
If you are on the road and looking for that deduction for a home office, remember to consult with your tax advisor. To get the deduction, you most likely have to have a dedicated space with a door, like a converted bunk room, for example.