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Old 03-22-2012, 06:17 AM   #1
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$5.00 per gallon diesel? What is the cost for a 10 week trip around the US in a RV

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

$23,957. WOW!

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.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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Thanks for the calculations. I think we will be only going 5 weeks this year.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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I think I`m financially eliminated from any of the scenarios described above!.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:23 PM   #4
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$16.00 Per night at campground in Ia
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:43 PM   #5
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What color is the sky in this world you are talking about?

I would not spend that kind of money if I had it. We don't eat out that much and never figure food in trips cause we are going to eat anyway no matter where we are. We hardly ever drive all day and spend the night over once w/o stopping for a few days. When we reach our destination we stay for at least a week before moving to a new destination.

We can still enjoy camping without breaking the bank. Not only for the cost but because that is our preference.

There are many more ways to cut cost if that is the only option.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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That's insane paying those prices and still can't process those numbers.
The whole point of RV'ing / camping is to get out of the city, town etc. and to be in the open spaces to see stars at night, wake up to a campfire and a dutch oven breakfast!
Why not find a nice RV campground somewhere in your local mountains and spend the summer there? That's about a 17k savings!
Better yet camp host and its practically free!
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:59 PM   #7
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I've got a long trip planned for this summer but I can tell you, that's not even close to the budget I am working with. We eat a lot of meals that I can put together for $5 or $10 and they're good meals... better than what you might eat at any typical fast food joint.

That said, if you do see a post from me "will work for gas to get home"... please help out. Hehe :hihi:
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:56 PM   #8
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hey, i'll put a couple of bucks to that, if it comes to that.
Enjoy, Dave.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norty1 View Post
What color is the sky in this world you are talking about?

I would not spend that kind of money if I had it. We don't eat out that much and never figure food in trips cause we are going to eat anyway no matter where we are. We hardly ever drive all day and spend the night over once w/o stopping for a few days. When we reach our destination we stay for at least a week before moving to a new destination.

We can still enjoy camping without breaking the bank. Not only for the cost but because that is our preference.

There are many more ways to cut cost if that is the only option.
GUYS i didn't write it, it was taken from rvnews.com. But some of the things are true like once fuel reaches $5 per gallon we will still be cheeper then staying in hotels, our cost of food is 1/2 of eating out. My eagle is very close to staying at a hilton hotel I think. Just remember in the story its all about being on the road 10 weeks not one week with one spot then go home its all about 10,000 miles over ten weeks. My cost would be like this.
10mpg at a cost of $5000
food $1000
Beer, Soda & bottel water $160
Camping stays 5 night per wk $1000
launder mat $250
tolls $400
entertanment $750
2-Oil change & rotate on the road $120
Misc expences $200
Total $8,880
Cost per mile is 89 cents per mile includes everthing in that price

Now what would your list and prices look like for 10 weeks on the road? Remember this would be at $5 PER GALLON everywhere.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:19 AM   #10
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Sorry for jumping the gun. In the future I will read the header a little closer to see who wrote it. It would be very hard for us to make that kind of estimate because we would not even consider a 10 week whirlwind trip.

Now buying a 1/4 mil used Prevost for a 10 week trip and then quickly selling it afterward? I still want to know the color of the sky in that guy's world.

Have fun camping whatever your interests are!
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:14 AM   #11
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GUYS i didn't write it, it was taken from rvnews.com.
That website lost all credibility with me now.:lightning:
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:22 AM   #12
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Now what would your list and prices look like for 10 weeks on the road? Remember this would be at $5 PER GALLON everywhere.
We went on an 8 week trip and traveled 8,000 miles in 2008 when diesel was at its peak at $5.29 a gallon here in CA. It cost around $3,500 for fuel and about the same for everything else.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:29 AM   #13
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We went on an 8 week trip and traveled 8,000 miles in 2008 when diesel was at its peak at $5.29 a gallon here in CA. It cost around $3,500 for fuel and about the same for everything else.
Dang 3500.00 for fuel and I bet the oil companies posted record profits that year too!
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:47 AM   #14
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Sorry for jumping the gun. In the future I will read the header a little closer to see who wrote it. It would be very hard for us to make that kind of estimate because we would not even consider a 10 week whirlwind trip.

Now buying a 1/4 mil used Prevost for a 10 week trip and then quickly selling it afterward? I still want to know the color of the sky in that guy's world.

Have fun camping whatever your interests are!
$250k to spend and then think it will sell fast after the trip is over is nuts but some people have tons of money to blow.

We currently get 5 weeks vacation per year but my employer will not allow more then 2 weeks at a time off. It would be nice to dream of 5 weeks off in a row.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:40 AM   #15
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Dang 3500.00 for fuel and I bet the oil companies posted record profits that year too!
I will let you know before the next trip and you can buy some stock.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:46 PM   #16
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In 2008 we took a 10 week 9,250 mile trip west and paid over $5/gallon for diesel in California. We did a lot of Camp Walmart as well as national/state/local parks and privates. Our total cost, including the entertainment & sight seeing ventures was $5,960. Of that fuel was $3,745 and we got 11.3 MPG. Camping fees was $587 with the highest in Salt Lake City $39/night.

In 2009 we took 9 week 5,590 mile trip ending in Maine. Our total cost was $3,635 and of that fuel was $1,155 and we averaged 12.26 MPG. Our highest camping fees were in CT @ $45/night.

We have generator on our 5th and that really makes boon docking (Camp Walmart) do able. We always call ahead and verify the Walmart allows over nighting. We try and pick out one that is not next to an interstate as we find they are quieter. When we hit a full service camp ground, I dump and fill up with fresh water. We can stay out 4-5 nights before hitting the next camp ground. Our restriction is we run out of fresh water. I have have never dumped at Pilots/Flying J's etc.
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:12 AM   #17
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Interesting 'logbook', thanks. I keep one for my boat now I will get one for the TT.
Dave
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:56 PM   #18
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We are in the process of planning some summer travels so after picking myself up off the ground I went back and re-read the cost calculations and considered the source! Don't think we'll make it 10,000 miles but we're thinking about 3,000+ and a lot more economical for sure!
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:08 PM   #19
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Where going, txdoodah?
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