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Old 01-05-2016, 01:30 PM   #1
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RVing vs. ... (add your own comparison)

I thought this topic might result in an insightful thread!

RVing vs. staying in hotels: obviously much cheaper, we have everything at our fingertips, and we're not contending with the ills of many hotel rooms such as ... bed bugs, unsanitary bathrooms, or coffeepots used for heaven only knows what!

P.S. All the comments about 'cost' are valid - figuring in purchase price, storage fees, maintenance, etc. vs. flights, rental cars, tips, etc.. For purposes of this post, I am excluding those expenses and was comparing night-over-night and meal costs only.
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:33 PM   #2
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I would have to disagree with part about cheaper. Factor in the cost of RV purchase, maintenance, and fuel and I would seriously doubt the money saving part. We like Rving just for the convenience of having everything that's ours close at hand. Don't have to move into a hotel and like you said deal with the hotel conditions. Also nice to have our own head very convenient to us while on the road. Also nice to be able to stop and have lunch anywhere without dealing with fast food or a restaurant somewhere. Just like the life style overall.
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:57 PM   #3
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I would have to disagree with part about cheaper. Factor in the cost of RV purchase, maintenance, and fuel and I would seriously doubt the money saving part. We like Rving just for the convenience of having everything that's ours close at hand. Don't have to move into a hotel and like you said deal with the hotel conditions. Also nice to have our own head very convenient to us while on the road. Also nice to be able to stop and have lunch anywhere without dealing with fast food or a restaurant somewhere. Just like the life style overall.
RV'ing is cheaper if you fulltime like I do. And especially if you find free or very low cost camping options. But if you're only using your RV for a few weeks a year, yeah, you're right. Hotels would be cheaper. But not nearly as much fun!
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:01 PM   #4
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No Savings Here!

When I was pulling my 21ft TT, 4 years ago, I estimated the annual cost of owning and operating the TT at $12,000 - $14,000. That included everything from paying for storage to the cost of owning a truck vs a compact to paying for gas and campgrounds. Those numbers went up when I switched to a bigger TT and now my Motor Home.

Cost savings is kind of a tricky number to assess. I could easily do two - three weeks of resort living for what we spend on the RV each year. What is harder to assess is the value of each day. Yes I could get three weeks of resort living and enjoy all of the luxury those accomodations provide... But last year I spent 50 days in my RV travelling to several locations in North America. If I had to pay for hotel rooms and eat restraunt food to enjoy those same 50 days my cost would have at least doubled.

At the end of the day, we do look at the financial side of things, but it is the home factor that makes us choose the RV lifestyle. We like waking up in our own bed, knowing where all of our kicthen supplies are and not having to depend on Rotten Ronnie's for most of our Travel meals. We also enjoy see places that we would not have chosen to go to if we were hotel hopping. Our trip to Tennessee last year was all about the RV, I never would have picked that as a resort destination.

I will say though ... We do like balance! This year my bride and I cashed in our Airmiles and booked a 12 day cruise. We try and spoil ourselves once every 3 years with a trip where someone else can do the driving/flying/sailing! Guess I will only get 38 days in Griswald One this year
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:23 PM   #5
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We camp about 120 days a year. We do it because we love the lifestyle, not to save money.

We have travel with dogs and do not like sleeping in a strange bed or bathroom. Just not for us.

We have not spent a night in hotel for 14 years.
That said, others prefer neither or either. To each his own.
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:44 PM   #6
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But if you're only using your RV for a few weeks a year, yeah, you're right. Hotels would be cheaper. But not nearly as much fun!
Actually no, it's a wash. I did the math on this once. I must have been bored or something.

You're right about fun! It's an RVing thing...
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:45 PM   #7
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May I be burned in H... for what I'm about to say.

RVing vs extended vacations overseas.

My wife and I will spend three weeks or so this year in France, and possibly a few more weeks in another country or two. Trying to work out the care arrangements for my elderly mother and dog.

There are about 12 popular retirement destination countries one can live in for 3 months a year by simply renting a villa. Costs, all inclusive including air fare, are estimated at $2,000 to $3,000 a month. There are two places in France that draw retirees, for example.

When I think about plunking down $100k cash plus other road ready and traveling expenses for an rv vs say $10,000 to $12,000 for three months a year in an extended living situation overseas, that's more or less 10 years of three months a year of that type of living and the rest spent at my sticks and brick home, that I like very much.

I estimate the rv not to be worth much after 10 years, but ok, say 7 years of three months a year after rv recovery funds, but ignoring road read and rv traveling expenses that probably put it back to 10+ years easily.

Any way I cut the numbers, more or less, makes justifying an RV difficult.

I went through a popular RV blog the other day and looked at something like 100 photos and well, that looked kind of been there done that blah to me. I have traveled overseas and always loved exploring new cultures.

So, a lot depends on how the traveling goes with my Chinese wife. We have only been married six years so this will be our first traveling beyond a one nighter.

Traitor, right?
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:48 PM   #8
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I say go for it. No one here is going to condemn anyone for their personal choices, unless it affects them.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:38 PM   #9
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We can take our dog, and stay places where there are no hotels - in the woods on the side of a mountain, on an isolated beach, etc... We went on a quick 2 night trip to NC recently and stayed in a hotel because the TT was already winterized - we felt like we were betraying our camper staying in a hotel lol! It was 70+ degrees when we got there, and we were wishing we had taken the TT.
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:53 PM   #10
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Actually no, it's a wash. I did the math on this once. I must have been bored or something.

You're right about fun! It's an RVing thing...
Well Chuck, I guess your math is your math, and my math is my math. This winter I've spent $180 for 7 months (not per month-total), which includes water, dump and trash. Everything else (gas, food, etc.) I would have spent no matter where I was. So yeah, it can be a heck of a lot cheaper depending on how you go about it.
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:51 PM   #11
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RVing vs. Tent Camping: Maybe this comparison is a factor of maturing

We started tent camping when living and working in Europe, and have fond memories of both the sights and experiences we encountered (as poor pet-less adventurers) - like when we tented on the banks of the Blue Danube with a caravan of gypsies. Once back in the states it wasn't quite so fun because [1] the car trunk was filled with tents, sleeping bags, and cookware and [2] our Samoyeds did what came naturally and that was 'nesting' on top of us at night. Our solution - upgrade to a tent trailer (pop-up that we still own); it took minutes to hook up and be on our way but cold rainy weather kept us from using it year-around. Now with the TT neither we nor the short-haired Catahoula care if it is wet, cold, or sweltering hot. Life is good!
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:05 PM   #12
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Hattie, I have never suffered from those hotel items you mentioned. I think there are different levels of hotel room quality out there and I will leave it at that. Funny, you didn't mention the problems tenters have.

SmokerBill, I'm guessing your truck is your daily driver, so the only thing you might consider is part of the original cost/insurance/repairs of your trailer to be added to your monthly numbers. But after some point of time, the purchase cost of your trailer does become irrelevant.

My problem is that many of these options leave me feeling like someone put me in prison...especially the Airstream trailers.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:35 PM   #13
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.

My problem is that many of these options leave me feeling like someone put me in prison...especially the Airstream trailers.
Ah! The Silver Suppositories!

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Old 01-06-2016, 07:57 AM   #14
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Murff, I will never see another one without that image popping into my head.

Then I will smile, thanks!
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:25 AM   #15
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We camp about 120 days a year. We do it because we love the lifestyle, not to save money.

We have travel with dogs and do not like sleeping in a strange bed or bathroom. Just not for us.

We have not spent a night in hotel for 14 years.
That said, others prefer neither or either. To each his own.
Motels, mainly Patel Motels, are what got me back into camping. Since I've retired there are times the union calls and asks if I'll go work on a job they don't have enough people for. Fall of 2014 I stayed in Patel Motels for 2 months. I won't post the things I've seen, don't want to make you all sick. I also walked out of my room one night right into the middle of a race war in the hallway, it's good for me that I'm not a small person.

So when I got home I bought an old holiday rambler. Worked on it for a while and sold it, decided I needed something better. Then I took in a Terry on trade for a motorcycle. Got it ready to go, the bed was too small (corner bunk bed configuration) for me much less for me and wife. Sold it.

Bought a new jayco 23rb. Wife and I had looked all over and decided it was just the right unit for us. After camping in it and then living in it while I worked at the refinery, I decided it was too small and wife agreed. My feet hung off the bed and it was really too small for our big labrador. It was a major ordeal to get his kennel in for when we went to bed. I really needed an 80 inch bed and a slideout.

Stared at my jayco dealer's inventory page for weeks and nothing I wanted because everything I liked the floor plan of had a 6 cu. ft. fridge and no 80 inch bed.
So we end up buying the sunset trailer 250rb. Colorado pulled it ok, but I wanted more safety margin so I traded my 2015 colorado in for a 2015 silverado. We're taking this rig down to florida in a few weeks.

By now it's obvious to all of you that I have saved absolutely no money. I've been through 4 trailers in a little over a year and traded trucks twice in less than a year. And I still have a 2015 jayco 23rb for sale in my driveway.
What I have saved is my sanity and my comfort. Going back to my trailer after work where I have my own food, parking right next to my unit, no drug dealers or whores in the room next door, this makes it all worth it.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:25 AM   #16
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Wow, I see I wrote a novel. Sorry about that.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:27 AM   #17
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SmokerBill, I'm guessing your truck is your daily driver, so the only thing you might consider is part of the original cost/insurance/repairs of your trailer to be added to your monthly numbers. But after some point of time, the purchase cost of your trailer does become irrelevant.
You are so right, Rodger, so I calculated my total daily cost, not figuring in my daily driver truck expenses. For the 6 months I'm spending in Arizona this winter, considering all expenses (fuel to/from destinations, gen gas, propane, camping fees, TT registration and insurance, plus maintenance and repair), my total daily cost is $9.74 per day, or $292 per month.

Now if I add on the retail cost of my paid-off TT, divided by 4 years/1500 days, it adds on another $11.34 per day. Adding that on, my total daily RV'ing cost this winter is $21.08 per day, or $632.40 per month. I guess living the RV life IS an expensive proposition!
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:03 AM   #18
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"By now it's obvious to all of you that I have saved absolutely no money."

Just some friendly Grandpa advice. Slow down on your spending, slow down your decisions, do more research, and spend more time in this and other forums reading threads.

One of the things I learned in my photography class was that some of the best photography is in ones own backyard...and the corollary is that many RVers find that if they spend more time in one location and put on less miles they discover more wonderful things right where they are.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:07 AM   #19
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SmokerBill, I don't think that you have to come to a conclusion or form an opinion as to " I guess living the RV life IS an expensive proposition!"

Entertainment costs are part of enjoying ones life and we don't have to live someone else point of view. I believe the costs are somewhat relative to our financial resources and needs.

I think these calculations are primarily to help people stay within their budget, so they can still save some money.

I have a 99 year old Uncle that after he retired from the Navy as a Chief, he traveled Europe, Mexico, and the U.S. in a Mercedes Van he outfitted and lived in full-time for many, many years. He knows more about stealth camping overseas and the U.S., and girlfriends on the road than anyone I ever met. His van had no toilet, shower, stove, A/C, heater, or refrigerator. His RV repair costs were nothing...just the cost of operating his Mercedes.

He sold the van and now lives in Santa Barbara in a small home. He refuses to enter a retirement home or vets home. Hard nails kind of guy.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:24 AM   #20
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Like so many things, enjoyment is individual. I enjoy our fellow campers, chatting along side a camp fire much more than saying hi in a hallway somewhere. For some reason, it seems RVers are a tad more friendly than resort folks...JMHO. Also, the more you use your RV the less expensive it becomes on a daily basis. It also allows me the freedom to go wherever I want...and in a city (any size) is NOT where I want to be.
Bottom line, there is no "right" answer. I enjoy RVing, others can enjoy staying in a resort, I've done both and now do what I (and wife) enjoy...which is not a resort.

Thank God, at least for the time being, we have the freedom to choose what and where we want to visit and how we want to do it. Whatever you choose, enjoy life, were not getting out alive.
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