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Old 06-23-2014, 11:17 PM   #1
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How do you justify your motorhome MPG?

These days, I ride a bus to/from work in downtown. This saves as follows per year: (2011 Subaru Outback)

8,200 commuting miles
310 gallons of fuel @ $4/gallon
2 extra oil changes @ $35 each
$300 insurance savings due to reduced mileage policy
$1440 in parking
= $3050 per year

Above doesn't even include depreciation, wear & tear and other maintenance.

That's $3,050 in real cash to pay for for fuel and travel costs for the RV "hobby". We all know that it doesn't offset the overall cost, but it is a start. In this case, all just for being willing to ride a bus for 20 minutes longer than driving each way. I guess I see that as worth it for the vacation payback and I can do my email on the bus anyway, getting back part of the commute time lost and less stress.

For those not yet retired, how do you justify your motorhome MPG? No snide comments please. .

History: '08 View, '05 Chinook, '01 Jamboree 24D, '78 Apache Popup, 81 Komfort Tlr,
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:23 AM   #2
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I justify it by comparing what it would be if I had to pay for hotels, cabins, and such and had to buy lots of meals at restaurants every time I took a holiday. There is a cost to ownership for sure but it is still one of the most inexpensive holidays going dollar for dollar and that is including fuel. Every holiday has a cost whether by car, plane, train or boat. I prefer to sleep in my own bed, make many of my own meals and take my furry friends with me (and no I don't mean my wife although she comes too). How much does and average 3 week holiday cost you when you are paying for meals and hotels for a family of 4? About the only cheaper one is tenting or visiting with family where the cost of accommodation can be sometimes negated.

1999 - National Tropi Cal
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:33 AM   #3
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I justify with the enjoyment and relaxation and friends of RVing.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
I justify with the enjoyment and relaxation and friends of RVing.

X 2. There is no way we could claim a financial justification but we have a 25 year old handicapped son that does not adjust to strange beds and loves camping, that's all we need.
Neal, Tam, & JR
Elmo & Rosie (Cavaliers) Aggie (White Lab)
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:58 AM   #5
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When we go on vacation with our MH, we go out for at least a month. We hit quite a few different locales throughout the country too. Imagine the airfare for two people to all these different locations we visit. I justify it by having my own bed with us wherever we go, plus not being in hotels means not spending for at least four meals a day at restaurants, the savings on car rentals, the savings on hotel rooms. Even if we were to stay at an RV resort (which we rarely do, we prefer state or national parks) it would still not be as expensive as a hotel room per night. Plus you can't put a price on the scenery looking out that huge front windshield.
Richie, Rose and our Australian Terrier Harley
2004 Bounder 35R, 2012 ACME EZtow,2012 Kia Rio Hatchback
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:11 AM   #6
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I don't drive a Volkswagen!
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:15 AM   #7
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I'm not exposed to nearly as many germs as I would be when flying. I don't have to hope there are no bed bugs or other nasty things in that expensive hotel room. I get to sleep in my own bed and eat my own diet regulated food. Plus I get to enjoy the friendships I develop when we travel. We are not on the road continuously, but drive to an area, then park for a month or 2 to make day trips.

Yes, if I were on the road continuously my FT home would get much more expensive. We wish to leisurely see this great country. Our travel generally takes place in the summer.

When we were working, there were no bus routes close to where we worked for many years. On my last job I lived 4 miles from work. I could not justify the extra 20 minute bus ride with the same aforementioned problems (exposure to germs, etc.) instead of a 5 minute car ride.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:26 AM   #8
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the SUV that we would drive on any trip is a Excursion with a v10 it only gets 12mgp on the highway the rig gets 7 to 8... not a big difference to have everything you need when you get there.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:27 AM   #9
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There is no financial justification...unless you maybe have a traveling business. My tax accountant pointed out it was not a wise financial move...after we bought our MH. For him everything is a financial equation.

For us it has nothing to do with financial justification. We don't count the cost...we just enjoy everything else that RVing has to offer.
Jerry & Barb ~ Furbies: Gunner, Dylan, Daisy, Brandee
2003 Monaco Camelot 38PST, Cummins 350 ISC, Roadmaster RR8S chassis, 2004 Honda CR-V Toad, FMCA, Olympia, WA K7DKO

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Old 06-24-2014, 06:08 AM   #10
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As full-timers we spend ~$5k/yr in diesel fuel to have the experiences of a lifetime. Some people spend more than that to go on a cruise for a week or two. We get a year's worth of adventures from that expenditure. To us, it's priceless.
Sandie & Joel (RVParkReviews admin)
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:18 AM   #11
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It is a hobby. All hobbies have expenses and RVing is no different.

It appears that you found a way to save some real money,and that is great.

Do I ever "justify" spending money on my hobby? Nope.

Now my hobby is my life, as I full time.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:29 AM   #12
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We do not try to justify it. Being retired we are enjoying our adventures together, spending the kids inheritance money. If there is anything left, they can have it.
Harold & Linda
2009 CT coachworks siena 35V
W22 Workhorse 8.1L. Explorer Sport toad,
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:38 AM   #13
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Well I'am glad we never looked at it that way. Lets just say "it the way we roll" its better then what my 102 year old grandmother used to say "I look to window"
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:05 AM   #14
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Last year I didn't own an RV. Without even realizing it, I was saving a ton of money on depreciation, maintenance, insurance and fuel.

This is better.

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