Copyed from http://www.rvnews.com/aadvocateblog.cfm?RecordID=1493
Here we go again, in the same way as they did in 2005, 2007 and 2008, the media is in a way telling us to go get out the hammer and nails and start boarding up the doors and windows so we can stay home and not go anywhere! Especially in a fuel guzzling luxury motorhome.
Remember, not many "non motorcoach owner" journalists have a clue about what the cost or return is for owning a large motorhome in bad or good economic times.
The True Cost of a diesel Coach trip across the US is based mostly on miles and RV park stays. Plus there are many variables in the cost of dry camping.( How many hours does it take to fully charge coach batteries with the generator.)
Motorhome Trip Costs
If you use the variable of $1 per mile, that should give you a good idea would it would cost in a coach that gets 7-8 miles per gallon plus maintenance.
Then add $100 to $150 per week if you eat in plus $200 to $400 per week for eating out.
RV park stays can be from 1 or 2 times per week to every day so add another $30 to $400 per week.
Cost of theme park tickets, admissions and other forms of entertainment are variables that will cost the same in any form of travel.
Trip for 2 for 10 weeks
10,000 miles assumed travel distance time $1/mile
1 main destination assumed per week for 10 weeks.
4 nights per week spent in RV Parks @$50 night.
Groceries will be $150/wk
$500 in fuel for your towed car.
$500 per week Misc spending
Total should be Approx. $13,000 plus $5,000 for Misc Expenses which will then total about $18000 for ten weeks of luxury living in a Motor Coach
SOUNDS PRICEY! Or Is It!
Now let's calculate the cost of what most of us would think is the least expensive way to travel.
Driving the car.
Lets use a luxury sedan that gets 30 MPG on the highway.
10,000 miles at 30MPG $1,667 in $5 per gallon Gas
Meals for two, three times per day at $15-$25 for Breakfast, $20 - $35 for Lunch and $35 - $70 for dinner w/tips = $70 to $130/day x 7 = $490 - $910 per week for food.
Lodging expenses are mandatory unless you plan on sleeping in your car. A cheap motel won't work in this scenerio since I am in a more affordadle to luxury mode for a realistic comparison .
I will start at the Holiday Inn Express, then Hilton and Marriott level and stop at the Ritz Carlton which is more comparable to most high end diesel pushers.
Holiday Inn Express $85 - $209 $147 Avg/night
Marriott $119 - $269 $194 Avg/night
Hilton $160 - $610 $385 Avg/night
Ritz Carlton $239 - $699 $469 Avg/night
Hotel stays will cost between:
Holiday Inn Express $595 - $1463 per week
Marriott $833 - $1883 per week
Hilton $1120 - $4270 per week
Ritz Carlton $1673 - $4893 per week
Let's not forget the $500 per week for misc. spending.
Now, Lets total it all up!
For our example, We will go with the Holiday Inn Express at an Average price of $147 per night or $1029/week for ten weeks totalling $10,290. This cost is below the luxury level of the average luxury diesel motorcoach.
Meals will be calculated at a low $100 per day or $700 per week for 10 weeks = $7,000
Add $5,000 in entertainment expenses and we are at
That number is calculated with you staying at the discount hotel chain with economy dining. If we average the hotel costs, which would average out to $299 per night(which is more realistic), It could total over:
$34,000 by adding the extra $10k in hotel expenses or $46,000 by adding $22,000 for the Ritz.
It appears that fuel prices would have to be over $20 per gallon for a car trip to be as affordable as a motorhome.
For those of you who would rather fly the friendly skies, please fasten your seat belts and hold on for this total.
You would replace the fuel expenses with car rental expenses plus fuel.
Subtract $1,667 for fuel.
Add 10 plane trips and expenses for luggage which can be as little as $600 per trip in economy class,
$1,200 in business class per trip and as high as high as $2,000 or more per trip times 10 weeks.
We can average this to $1,250 per trip or:
$12,500 for the ten weeks.
Then there is car rental each week. average rental is about $40 per day for standard to $90 per day for luxury on Priceline.
This averages out to $65 per day times 70 days or:
$5,250 for the trip including about $700 in fuel.
After adding these expenses to the cost of driving your car, you will be just under $32,000 for standard or $42,000 for luxury level on your 10 week trip.
That does not even include insurance or depreciation which I added to the motorhome trip.
There are many other variables to the costs of the trip.
For example, if you buy a brand new $400,000 Diesel pusher at retail price and sell it after your trip, you will spend upto an extra $125,000 for your trip.
If you rent an almost new luxury coach, This way you will spend between, $30,000 and $75,000 for the rental with no depreciation or other maintanence related expenses.
I prefer purchasing a pre-owned 2007 Country Coach Magna, Monaco Signature, American Heritage, Newmar Essex, Tiffin Zephyr or even a Prevost H-345 with between 20,000 and 30,000 miles on them.
These coaches can be found at a significant discount to the $400,000 to $1,600,000 new retail prices. They can be purchased for less than $250,000 to more than $500,000 and will experience very little depreciation during your trip so they can be easilly sold when you are done. Or, you may want to keep it for another year and do it again.