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Annual Cost of Owning and Maintaining an RV????

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Easystreet, Jun 23, 2010.

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  1. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have any ballpark figures on what it costs to own and operate an RV per year? Let's assume that the RV is actually used about 3 months out of each year and the rest of the year it just sits unused. What would it cost in depreciation, insurance, operating costs, etc?

    The reason I'm asking this question is because my wife and I are retired and thinking of MAYBE getting an RV of some kind (trailer, motor home, or whatever) and doing some traveling for about 3 months of each year. I wonder how the cost of owning and operating an RV would compare with just staying at a decent motel?

    Thanks for any info.

    Easystreet
     
  2. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    I'm going through some of he same questions you are.. but,, one of my major deciding factors was that when you check into a hotel room.. the bed cover isnt washed only the sheets.. I havent bought one of those CSI lights yet that show dried human fluids but i'm almost there.. I dont like the idea of my kids rolling around on the covers when you dont know who or what has been on them.. I know I'm a oddball.. think of it this way, with a motorhome..as long as there is a walmart around you have a place to stay!
     
  3. neofight

    neofight TS Member

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    I have never really penciled it out all the way. For us, it's the freedom of being able to go on the spur of the moment, take our boys with us(2 great dogs)and to stay in remote areas where motels don't exist. We have a 32' Hitchhiker ll 5th wheel with 3 slides and it meets our needs nicely. We are able to store it at the ranchette, so no storage fees involved.Depreciation is part of ownership, but staying with a quality unit will soften the blow a bit over time.

    Maintenance is minimal, as we routinely run the appliances, keep the batteries charged and de-humidify the coach. it's alway at the ready when we decide to hook up and take a few days away from the house. It's a good idea to pull the hubs and inspect/ pack/replace bearings each season and check the brakes, but if you keep the unit running from time-to-time, there's little else you will need to do.

    Our camp spots run anywhere from free to $35.00 a night, compared with motels in the $100-150 range. We prepare most meals in camp, so food is not an issue, compared with eating all meals out. We camp for the experience and for the freedom, as well as having our own bed every night. At this late date in my life, depreciation takes a back seat to the fun we have.

    It's nice having enough storage to handle guns, ammo, rods/reels, metal detector, bbq, horseshoes, laptop, outdoor furniture, camera gear and whatever else we decide to bring on the longer trips. Good luck on whatever you decide.
     
  4. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    There are too many variables to give you an accurate figure, each situation is different. Variables such as; will you purchase a new or used RV. The type of RV you purchase. Your driving history for insurance purposes. Will you have to pay to store the RV or can it stay at your home. The state license fees vary widely. Cost of your camping fees. It goes on from there.

    The nicest thing about an RV is you take YOUR bed with you, no one else slept there the night before. On the other hand, owning an RV is like owning a small second home that comes with all the work and expense.
     
  5. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    For what it cost to own,maintain, and travel with an RV you could stay at the Hilton and eat prime rib every night.
     
  6. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    People buy vacation homes all the time. Well mine has wheels. I can put it in FL or AZ in the winter. I can put it in any camp ground available and enjoy that area. I have camping spots reserved at several shooting venues. My wife can do her thing inside the motor home while I am outside shooting, making it enjoyable for both. It is impossible to put a price on it. If it's a luxery you can afford than do it, it's like a lot of things in this life - you can do it cheaper but not better. If you travel with guns then it's the only way to go, try carrying your guns through the lobby of the Hilton or leave them in your room.

    Don
     
  7. mis-some

    mis-some TS Member

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    They are not hard to maintain. I have an A class, and the big thing in 5 years is new tires. I like the freedom of having all my stuff close and my own bed kitchen and potty. As it is considered a second home the interest is tax deductable if you have a loan
     
  8. TEXASZEPHYR

    TEXASZEPHYR Member

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    I'd a whole lot rather have my rv at a shoot than have to travel back and forth each day from a motel/hotel. When its really hot outside, it's worth it to have a place to go to where you can relax, get a glass of tea, eat a bite, and just be cool till you are up to shoot again. Sometimes at a shoot without the rv its tiring to just hang out all day.

    Bob
     
  9. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    I believe that the question was related to the cost---not convience of owning an RV.
     
  10. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Registration and insurance are cheaper than you might think. Gas really adds up. Three months use might be a trade-off compared to motels if you buy used so depreciation doesn't hit you as hard as it does with new. Maintenance begins to be a factor after about five years from new and that can snowball, since refrigerators, heaters, air-conditioners, water heaters, and so on all age quickly on the road. Eventually, you just have to replace the whole thing with newer. They are, after all, just stapled together as quickly and cheaply as possible and outfitted according to the same plan.

    Neil
     
  11. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    Shadow,

    Yes, you are correct. The question is about cost and how that would compare with say staying in motels. I'm not wanting an RV to travel to tournaments, although I would plan to do some shooting and golfing while on the road.

    I would like it if someone could give me some examples of their cost to own and operate an RV. For example, I imagine that big motorhomes probably cost well over $100,000 to purchase and some may cost $200,000 or more. Even if you never used it, it would probably depreciate $15K to $20K per year. In addition to that, you would have taxes, license fees, insurance, oil, gas, etc. You would also have campground fees if you actually used it to travel. I would guess that all this could add up to $30K or $40K per year, but that's just a guess. I'm hoping that someone can either confirm this or correct me.

    I would think that a travel (pull behind) trailer would be considerably less expensive, but then you would need some big truck of some kind to pull it. Since I don't have a big truck, that would be another expense.

    In my situation, storage of an RV would not be a problem or expense. I'm just trying to get some idea of what the convenience of sleeping in my own bed while traveling is going to cost. Thanks for any input.

    Easystreet
     
  12. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Just the deprecation alone would pay for the Hilton and Prime Rib. Your talking Apples and Oranges. RV's are a convenience, and if your worried about cost of ownership, you best rent one for a while before the big purchase. See if you like it first. RV'ing is not for everybody. I know, it was not for my wife, even in a 40' diesel pusher.
     
  13. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    I would NEVER give up my RV and switch to staying motels. There is just no comparison. And when you are traveling, you ALWAYS have a bathroom with you. If it's not an issue now, it will be someday...
     
  14. Matt Colman

    Matt Colman Member

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    I have a 28' travel trailer that i stay in while i work out of town and it is great. There are places that i would like to take it but the only thing i cant afford is the extra time, i am still working for a living!
     
  15. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. Here is kind of a summary of what I've learned from the responses. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    1. Using an RV is kind of like camping, although you have your own bed to sleep in and don't have to hike 15 miles on foot to reach the camp site. I don't think my wife wants to do any camping at this stage in her life. We did some of that 30 to 35 years ago and I don't think that she wants to do it again.

    2. Using an RV is a convenience of having your own bed and bathroom and your own stuff with you, but that convenience comes at a considerable cost. I've yet to learn what that cost may be, but I suspect it may be upwards of $20K or more per year. Also, as someone pointed out, maintaining an RV may be about like maintaining a small second home. I know for a fact that things deteriorate much faster here in the Florida sun than up north. I would have to park my RV out in the sun all day every day, so that might not be good for the long term durability of it.

    3. If I buy a large motorhome, I probably would also have to buy a small car to tow behind since we probably want to "run around" some wherever we go. If I buy a trailer type RV, then I'll have to buy a large truck of some kind to pull it with and that is a considerable extra expense.

    4. I estimate that we could stay in decent motels for 3 months for about $9,000 plus whatever gasoline our car (SUV) would use. It's beginning to sound like that's a lot less than an RV would cost, but at this point I still don't know for sure.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Easystreet
     
  16. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    RVing is a lot like reloading shot shells. It can be very trying to justify reloading or RVing when expenses and time are considered. But if you want specifically tuned reloads or the ability to have your home on wheels when away from home, it just has to be accepted as "worth it.".......breakemall.....Bob Dodd
     
  17. Jeff P

    Jeff P Well-Known Member

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    Shadow's spot on....

    I'll go one step farther. First off, lets assume you're going to buy a $100k RV - that's not a stretch by any means. You could easily spend multiples of that.

    Its pretty easy to get 5% return on your money in the stock market (and NO, I'm not dispensing advice as I have no brokers license, but check out the dividend yields on SO, SCG, PNW just to name a couple, then do your own research). That would put $5k in your pocket, each and every year, AND YOU"LL HAVE THE $100k FOREVER.

    How many nights can you stay in a hotel in the areas you want to travel to for $5,000?

    So....do you want spend money on licenses, taxes, gas, maintenance, storage (may be a big issue if you have covenants prohibiting parking on your lot), overnight fees - you're not just going to park it for free, you're going to have to pay for the spot.

    If the spot costs $20....and the hotel costs $100...you can stay 62 nights in a hotel just on the income you'll earn, REGARDLESS of extra gas, insurance, storage, etc.

    Rent one for a few months and try it. You won't be an owner.
     
  18. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    Three things important to me not mentioned
    1)You cant start a campfire and roast weinies and drink beer in lawn chairs with all your friends in a hotel room........2)You never have to lug suit cases and guns into "your room" ....3) Having watched some shows that used the CSI method of illuminating nasty body fluids and other leftover gifts from previous guests...I will always chose bringing my own bed that nobody but me has siesta'd or fiesta'd in ...let your imagination take it from there
     
  19. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    It all depends on how much you will be using it!

    Been there, done that, got the Tshirt!

    Started with a slide in camper, trailer, 5th wheel and motor homes!

    Got tired of renting campers and trailers ... so bought a really nice used 5th wheel. It was great and comfortable. but a lead sled! It was a bear pulling it up mountain roads ... so traded it for a nice motor home.

    The motor homes were on the road almost every weekend. Eventually due to old age and deteriorating body, I became a Day Shooter instead of a Weekend Shooter. It sat there for around 3 years ... until my son was thinking of aquiring one ... so he now has it.

    If you plan on using it often ... well worth the expense! If only 3 or 4 times a year ... rent one or stay in motels.
     
  20. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

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    The title of this thread brought this to mind.

    The two most widely-used sayings about boats are that they are "holes in the water, into which you throw money" and "the happiest day of a boat owner's life is the day they buy the boat and the day they sell it."
     
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