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Old 06-19-2011, 09:55 AM   #1
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Question Cost of RVing??

Hello All,
1) I was wondering what is the average nightly cost for overnight stays?
Most campgrounds I look at are around $40.00 a night. It would be an awfully short trip at that cost.

2) Do I need full hookups? I'm still looking for my RV, either a small Class A or a Class C.
3) What differentiates the need for 30 amp or 50 amp service?
4) Do any Class C's have 2 baths?

I hope to retire in Oct. of 2012, and WILL have my RV by then.

I want to hit the road and see some of this beautiful country of ours.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:20 AM   #2
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Most cost analysis for RV versus a minivan/motel vacation excursion usually come out with the m/m approach being less expensive. The message is that people choose the RV route not to save money but for other reasons.

You can find less expensive ways to overnight and some make it a hobby to find ways to run the cost of 'camping' to near zero but, as you note, $40 per day or more for RV site rental is not uncommon (and it can get a lot higher).

You don't need full hookups but that is a lifestyle choice matched to the capabilities of your RV. You will need to figure out some way to fill the fresh water supply, drain the waste tanks, recharge batteries, dump the trash, do laundry, replenish supplies, and whatnot if you don't use a full hookups RV site, though.

The 30 amp 120v RV service is for smaller RV's while the 50a/240 service is for larger ones. -- a lifestyle choice.

A class C RV is rather small to have 2 baths or even 2 toilets. I have seen very very few RV's that have more than 1 toilet.

RV living is a constrained lifestyle. You can have nearly every comfort you need but there are limits. You'll find threads here where folks agonize over tools they can't take with them or toys they can't accommodate or something they miss. Then again, there are folks who fulltime as a couple in a B-Van and are as happy as they can be. It is a way of life that is right for some and not for others.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jemma112 View Post
Hello All,
1) I was wondering what is the average nightly cost for overnight stays?
Most campgrounds I look at are around $40.00 a night.
We have been full-timing now for 53 months. In that time, we have seldom if ever paid $40/night. Our nightly average for those 53 months is $11.79. Maybe to help put it into perspective, there are the Ritz Carltons, the Holiday Inns and the Motel 6's. I would rate our preferences as the Holiday Inns, mixed with some pro-active management of the costs.

If you would like to get a better idea of how we achieved this $11.79 average, see the Itinerary section of our journal at www.mytripjournal.com/werewinginit .
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:49 AM   #4
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Before you take the purchase plunge, try renting a rig for a week or two, and see how you like the experience. BryanL said it very well about RVing not necessarily being a way to save money. But, in our opinion, it's way more fun than doing hotel/motels every night.

Some big class A rigs have a second bath, but that's mostly because the second bath may be blocked by a retracted slide during travel.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:10 PM   #5
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The question would be for the 40 a night what are the amenites IE pool,laundry, kid friendly things to do. We have a CG we goto for 30 a night but there is no pool or laundry but the kids are treated to lots of activies and good playgrounds. The kids really like the paved roads to ride there bikes on.
So there will be lots of trade offs. Alot of it will depend on what you want to do me personally I am happy as long as there is a place for a camp fire and my chair to sit by it.

The 30 or 50 amp is based on the size of the rig the easy way to tell is if you have one or two A/C units 2 of them and your 50 amp.

The first thing you will have to figure out is what you want to get FROM RVing that is a life style choice you have to make. The second thing you are already doing and that is ASK lots of questions. Post more question we folks that RV are are a very helpful bunch as you will see.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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I for one like the quiet ones on the bank of a river or pond that don't have much more than water, electric and a nice clean bathhouse.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:04 PM   #7
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If you have to ask;
Cost is in the eyes of the beholder;
Tent camping in a forest campground= costs =next to nothing.
Cost in a camp resort = how much do you have.
And cost is everything in between.
Figure how much you have to spend and you can go from that where you can afford to go.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:08 PM   #8
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we are new to rving our self's, we bought a used 26 ft class c good for a week or so trip and weekenders to lake but will upgrade to a class A in a few years the c is very easy to get around in much like a large van,tows our hhr ok and is pretty comfortable.
my main reason for the c was for the wife to take to lake on weekends, she gets to camp more I usually work weekends.
the bad is not enough storage,smallish bathroom, and the aerodynamics aren't good I'm convinced an A is more stable at speed and they have a larger gvw, from what i've read maybe even a little better on mpg.
you can read thru the forum a lot of people stay at state parks and some join groups like good sam and get a discount ,we've done this and save 10% on stays not a lot but it helps

happy rving
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:09 PM   #9
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You can spend a lot less than $40/night if you look in to State, BLM, COE, or National Parks, get passes (Senior Pass for National if you are 62), even many municipal parks are $10-$15. State and National will vary, but $20-$30 is the norm we have found.

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Old 06-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jemma112 View Post
Hello All,
1) I was wondering what is the average nightly cost for overnight stays?
Most campgrounds I look at are around $40.00 a night. It would be an awfully short trip at that cost.

2) Do I need full hookups? I'm still looking for my RV, either a small Class A or a Class C.
3) What differentiates the need for 30 amp or 50 amp service?
4) Do any Class C's have 2 baths?

I hope to retire in Oct. of 2012, and WILL have my RV by then.

I want to hit the road and see some of this beautiful country of ours.
You don't need full hook-ups but you will need to dump black and gray tanks often so you can do that in a full hook-up RV park, or a State or National Park (some have full hook-ups, but if they don't, they will have a dump station).

Depending on the season, you may not need electrical hook-up, but you will eventually need to re-charge batteries whether by hook-up or generator. Most State and National parks have electrical and water hook-ups and a dump station you can use on your way out, or after a few days camping.

You will need a water hook-up occasionally either to use "city water" or to fill your fresh water tank.

The electrical amperage depends on the RV you get. Class A's come with 50 amp service but can get by on a 30 amp hook-up but appliance use will be limited. Generally, for Class A's a 50 amp hook up is best, especially when the use of two or more AC's is required. Most Class C's have one AC unit although some have two. A relative of ours has a Class C that has two AC's, one AC which operates on 30 amp and the other can only operate on the generator.

Generally speaking, 50 amp is for Class A's and 30 amp for all other classes. You will probably have a refrigerator which will run on either electric (when hooked up) or propane. Some can also run off the batteries via an inverter but that is usually in big Class A's due to the requirement for additional batteries and larger inverters.

I have never heard of a Class C with two baths. A lot of new Class A's have 1 and 1/2 baths.

Good luck. Keep up the research and hang out here and read a lot. The knowledge here is unbelievable.

Don
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:43 PM   #11
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Thanks to all for the informative replies. I have loads of questions but didn't want to aggravate you.
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:59 PM   #12
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re: "We have been full-timing now for 53 months. In that time, we have seldom if ever paid $40/night. Our nightly average for those 53 months is $11.79"

Averages can be deceiving. It is the distribution that tells the story.

The near 1600 days FT is a good experience but it would help if the average was broken down to show how it is distributed among the options.

How many of those days were at full hookup places and what the average cost for them?

How many of those 1600 days were at places with partial services, such as a dump station and water, and what was the average per diem at those sorts of places?

How many of those days were dry camping and how long could that experience be before you had to refresh and what was the per diem for that experience or for the dump station and trash disposal costs? (search for quartzite for some data on this, for example)

For folks starting out in the RV experience, keeping an anchor on the full service facility is a good plan while learning about how things work and how the living experience fits. The $40 per diem may be a bit high but I think it is a good number for cost estimations. The selection of full service places gets awfully thin once you get below $20 and isn't all that great below $30 depending upon where and when.

Once you get a handle on things, then spending overnights to weekends at places like state parks with water and a dump station can extend your experience. These places often charge between $10 and $30.

Once you're comfortable with RV living and resource management, you can look at dry camping and boondocking. Start with weekend plans and grow from there as you gain confidence. Costs can run from free to nominal depending.

For those of us that have "been there, done that" let's be careful not to mislead newbies!
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:14 PM   #13
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When you plug in ALL the costs of class C or class A RVing, it is NOT a cost effective way to travel.
  • Depreciation on the RV ($5-10,000/yr on ave)
  • TOAD vehicle (depreciation, fuel, maintenance, insurance)
  • RV Fuel (7-9 mpg / $.35 -$.50 per mile)
  • RV Insurance ($75 - $150/ month)
  • RV Storage ($50 - $200/ month) (FT=$0)
  • RV Maintenance ($100 - $350 per month)
  • Camping fees (Free to $75 per night)


The Minivan/Motel/Cabin/Tent route is FAR cheaper...but as was said previously,

Its about HOW you want to travel.

For me the extra cost is worth it!
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:26 PM   #14
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mythplaced ; some of your cost seem kind of high to me 100-350 a month for maintance. At 10000 a year depreciation my rig would be worth nothing.
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