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Old 06-29-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
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cost of ownership

Obviously I am new to the R.V. world. I have started what I expect to be a year long or longer education and have found this site to be a wonderful treasure chest. I have done some searches but this is one big site with a lot of differing opinions.

I have a long boating background and you will find the same diversification in opinions and information but there is a commonly agreed formula to assess general costs of ownership and was wondering if it applies to the R.V. world.

1. Figure 10% of purchase price per year in maintenance for a well maintained unit.

2. Cost of ownership goes up expodentially not linearly as the length/size increase.

3. For new add 10-20% of purchase price for outfitting to make it functional/safe for long term use, 35-50% for older/pre-owned. In many circumstances buying new or near-new is the better value.

4. You can get speed, quality & low-cost but you can't get more than two together.

I ask this question because it is my experience that just because you can afford to buy something doesn't mean you can afford to own it.
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swing View Post
I ask this question because it is my experience that just because you can afford to buy something doesn't mean you can afford to own it.
Very true.

If you cringe at $5, $6, or more per gal fuel or $50+ campsites, you might not want to jump into RV'ing.

Costs as you listed are probably close.

I know that BOAT is an acronym for "Break Out Another Thousand" but have not figured out what RV stands for.

PS:
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I haven't seen much discussion on this... probably because it's true for RVs too and none of us want to know!

1) the 10%/year for maintenance sounds pretty high.

2) price vs length is probably not linear.

3) not sure about the cost of outfitting being accurate. We put about 5% of the purchase price into improvements in our new DP. Rarely will buying new be a "better value".

4) Substitute power for speed and this is probably true... or even more true with RVs than boats.

Your overall question is at least "almost" as valid with RVs as it is with boats. Yes, some might be able to afford the purchase price but not the maintenance. Another reason to inspect used rigs very carefully.

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Old 06-29-2012, 07:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swing View Post
Obviously I am new to the R.V. world. I have started what I expect to be a year long or longer education and have found this site to be a wonderful treasure chest. I have done some searches but this is one big site with a lot of differing opinions.

I have a long boating background and you will find the same diversification in opinions and information but there is a commonly agreed formula to assess general costs of ownership and was wondering if it applies to the R.V. world.

1. Figure 10% of purchase price per year in maintenance for a well maintained unit.

2. Cost of ownership goes up expodentially not linearly as the length/size increase.

3. For new add 10-20% of purchase price for outfitting to make it functional/safe for long term use, 35-50% for older/pre-owned. In many circumstances buying new or near-new is the better value.

4. You can get speed, quality & low-cost but you can't get more than two together.

I ask this question because it is my experience that just because you can afford to buy something doesn't mean you can afford to own it.
10% of the cost of maintaining an RV is very high. I think it is more in the 1 to 2% range provided the RV is in good shape.

I agree with your point #2.

Your costs in #3 are way too high. Outfitting is always a personal thing but we spent less than 2% of the cost new including a tow package for the toad.

I agree with your #4 and your last statement also.

Good luck and happy camping!

Don
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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I was so overwhelmed at how much $ I spend to own an RV I gave up crunching the numbers. I figure it costs me about 1500 per month when you add it all up. I could, instead of indulging my RV fantasies, each year fly my entire family to France or Germany, stay in a swanky hotel, and feed everyone while spending tons of cash all while doing it for less the owning my RV. But then, I wouldn't have an RV. Now that is really disturbing!!
-Paul R. Haller-
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwomack View Post
Very true.

If you cringe at $5, $6, or more per gal fuel or $50+ campsites, you might not want to jump into RV'ing.

Costs as you listed are probably close.

I know that BOAT is an acronym for "Break Out Another Thousand" but have not figured out what RV stands for.

PS:
Pound for Pound, inch for inch compared to "boat" RV stands for real value.
Add to that at cruising speed my current boat at best gets 3mpg and you have to make every trip twice, gotta come back you know.

While gas price must be considered, for me it is not a primary concern. The higher it get's the longer I'll sit at an enviable location. As far as plug in sites I know I will need to do that at times but I prefer to boondock as much as possible.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
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I was a boater too. So I'm sure you know the saying: the happiest day of your life is the day you buy your boat; the second happiest day is the day you sell it

Not so true with RVs IMHO. I've never figured a formula for boats or RVs, but what you say is probably close. I think the major difference in the two is the age difference at the age one buys one. I would think most pleasure boat buyers are in their late 30's to 50's. I would guess most RVers are approaching retirement age or are already there. Of course there are lifetime campers out there too.

There is little difference in the amount of boating, the cost you are willing to pay/spend than the equivelent in RVing. Everyone has their, likes, needs, expense limits, ect.

Some fully time, some weekend when they can. We are Snow Birds. We love our house on the lake in northern Mich and we stay here Apr to Dec then we head to Fl. It's all diverse and relative to ones needs/desires. To me, boating is more expensive and generally a much bigger PITA than owning/operating a MH. Just my 2 centavos
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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I always budgeted 10% for maint. etc on my boats but never spent it! Haven't spent that much on my MH's either so I would guess them to be about equal. Both too much! Yet we still do it and love it!
We used the boat to tour with and do the same with the RV. The cost of a transient slip would be anywhere from 50 cents a foot to $2 or even more in places like NYC. With a 50ft boat that means from $25 to over $100 an night. Both campgrounds and Marinas offer about the same amenities. Annual slip cost and anual RV spots would be a bit cheaper for the RV until you consider the cost of an enclosed building to store the RV in when not in use. Winterizing the RV would be less. The boat had more systems to winterize.
The Trawler had 2 Diesels + Gen set. The MH has 1 + genset. Initial purchase cost was about the same.
Outfitting a boat for travel may mean buying a dinghy and for land travel we carried a scooter aboard and used a rental car in many places. The boat required 1000 gal of fuel at each fill and the RV 100! Price of fuel required fills at marinas was more per gallon as you cannot head for the nearest truck stop. The boat got 1.97 MPG. The RV gets 8 MPG. Yet at the same time in 6 hours of travel cruising in the boat you would cover maybe 50 or 60 miles and the MH would go over 300.
If you go first class, a 45ft MH may cost as much as $2.5 Million and a 45 ft boat could cost you triple that. Yet most of us will not do that and couldn't afford it anyway.
I spend less on the MH and also find it less challenging and fullfilling. Wish I had the money and time available for both!
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:14 AM   #9
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Costs are a factor in owning a RV, however traveling and touring every state in the US from Alaska (twice) to the Keys, the Maritimes to Mexico is priceless. 168,000 miles later we have no regrets.I think your estimates are a bit high. Would not have done it without an RV. By the way RV stands for "repair vehicle".
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:22 AM   #10
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I disagree with (1) and (3) I purchased my last 2 new and I know you are way off. Are they a luxury that you pour money into absolutely. I agree with your #4 if it wasn't true there would not be so many repos and forclosures. I would only buy with disposable cash that does not interfere with your life style if you don't have it.
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:10 AM   #11
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Won't the maintenance and upgrade costs vary greatly depending on the owner and his/her mechanical abilities? The owner that performs all his own maintenance & repairs and install his/her upgrades saves quite a bit of money by not paying the $100 plus per hour that many RV shops charge. I feel I'm lucky that I some mechanical abilities and do most everything myself. I don't think I could afford an RV if I had to pay to have it maintained.
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:08 PM   #12
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Hi Swing,
Welcome to iRV2. My first coach was in 1978. I've looked at coach ownership as a lifestyle choice. Cost never entered my consideration or planning. It is something I saw value in for my family. Therefore, I viewed all decisions, on this matter, to be focused on the value to the family. So far it has worked out quite well. Consider not making the decision over complicated.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:18 PM   #13
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The costs associated with rving can be extreme for sure. But several years ago we made the decision that we had worked hard for what we have and that God had indeed been good to us. So, from that point on we simply enjoy our rving to the best our finances allow. Our children are long since grown and gone from home and have done well so they really dont need whatever we might leave after we die. They tell us to enjoy ourselves as we have done plenty for them and given them all the important things already, being good and loving parents. With that said, enjoy your life and health while you can and dont fret to much about the costs. Rv within your means and enjoy,
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Paul R. Haller View Post
I was so overwhelmed at how much $ I spend to own an RV I gave up crunching the numbers. I figure it costs me about 1500 per month when you add it all up. I could, instead of indulging my RV fantasies, each year fly my entire family to France or Germany, stay in a swanky hotel, and feed everyone while spending tons of cash all while doing it for less the owning my RV. But then, I wouldn't have an RV. Now that is really disturbing!!
-Paul R. Haller-
Ha, hah! Good point! I said the same thing before we purchased our MH, and then we went out and bought one anyway. I guess it's because we wanted to do this more than go to France or Germany.
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