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Old 08-03-2021, 01:01 PM   #1
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To Purchase or Rent a Motor Home

Seeking out information from folks that have seriously considered Purchasing versus Renting and why you chose one over the other. We are elderly, retired, and are not into camping outdoors, boondocking, hiking, and all of the same. Simply want a comfortable way to get from point A to Point B and to do some exploring at Point B in the motorhome where we have all of the facilities coming along with us. Interested in smaller C's and B's. A's are two big for us and require towing a vehicle. We would not full time but would be out and about 3 to 4 times a year for a week or two each time and maybe short trips around the area. I have tried to bounce the total costs related to owning versus the total costs related to renting and don't really know where to start.

Any assistance would be much appreciated.

Old Guy Dave
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Old 08-03-2021, 01:14 PM   #2
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If you are mechanically incline and know how to work on stuff, I would spend the money on purchasing a used smaller motorhome. That way you know what you have and are comfortable driving it. Changing sizes, floor plan layout, storage, and utility items can sometimes get confusing, and not having to relearn things is nice.

On the other hand, if you dont want maintenance. Then rent, only problem I see is if you rent from a small rental place and go across the states. Hopefully they have a good system if something does break while using.

I purchased a small used class A, and had to tinker with a couple things on the coach side of it. But for the cost, I would do it again. Just depends on your budget and storage I suppose.

Say its $250 a night on the low end, for 7 days its $1750. Do that 4 times a year its $7k per year. If you do it multiple years it all adds up.
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Old 08-03-2021, 01:35 PM   #3
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Not sure of your financial situation, but my thought is if you’re not going to use it a total of 90 to 120 days per year, your money maybe better spent on renting or a hotel room. Any rvs now, either used or new are likely over priced because of the demand. You figure in insurance, additional fuel costs , maintenance, storage, and depreciation you’ll quickly realize owning an rv is an expensive proposition. We’re on our third class A, and love it and use it nearly 180 days per year. That said, nothing is cheap to fix and if you approach it from a poor economic point of view, probably a less than optimal investment. But you can’t put a price on fun. Enjoy whatever you opt to do.
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Old 08-03-2021, 01:40 PM   #4
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A lot depends on how much you will use the RV. If you only plan to use it 1 week a year it would probably be more economical to rent. If you expect to use the RV for a month ore more and more than once a year it would not take long to be less costly to buy than to rent.
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Old 08-03-2021, 05:44 PM   #5
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Old 08-03-2021, 06:01 PM   #6
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A Class B might be good for you. It's more like a car and you could even use it as such when you're at home.

Having your own lets you be comfy with your own things. You could outfit it with a good sturdy mattress rather than a thin foam one. Most things, other than food, can stay in the RV until the next trip.... not much packing/unpacking. It's your very own space rather than using one that others have used... and are 'rough' on it.

Rentals are expensive and they still have breakdowns. The holding tanks probably aren't kept up as good as you would do if it were your own. The fresh water tank probably isn't sanitized between renters. They are outfitted in the bare minimum - down to a cheap sewer hose which may break. They don't supply much in the way of bedding, kitchen things. You sometimes have to 'buy' a kitchen/bedding package.

We rented one for one of our Alaskan trips and we tooled around with two other couples who rented. Something was always breaking or missing on one of ours and we rented from one of the best Alaskan rentals.
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Old 08-03-2021, 06:08 PM   #7
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Make a list of the needs and wants you'd both like to have in a small RV for the stated purpose(s). Then search for a rental based on that list. In the end, if you don't like the experience, all you need to do is return the rental, pay the bill and simply walk away, done. If it turned out to be something you liked, use that same list to search for a keeper.
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Old 08-03-2021, 06:38 PM   #8
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Keep in mind that if you rent, you’ll have to plan ahead more so you can reserve a unit. If you purchase, you can go any time the fancy strikes you. It sounds to me like purchasing a class B would be perfect for you since you don’t want to tow a dinghy. You might rent one for a week first to try it out and see. Best of luck.
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Old 08-03-2021, 06:47 PM   #9
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rent one first to see if you enjoy it and also you will find your likes and dislikes if you decide to buy
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Old 08-03-2021, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duster73 View Post
If you are mechanically incline and know how to work on stuff, I would spend the money on purchasing a used smaller motorhome. That way you know what you have and are comfortable driving it. Changing sizes, floor plan layout, storage, and utility items can sometimes get confusing, and not having to relearn things is nice.

On the other hand, if you dont want maintenance. Then rent, only problem I see is if you rent from a small rental place and go across the states. Hopefully they have a good system if something does break while using.

I purchased a small used class A, and had to tinker with a couple things on the coach side of it. But for the cost, I would do it again. Just depends on your budget and storage I suppose.

Say its $250 a night on the low end, for 7 days its $1750. Do that 4 times a year its $7k per year. If you do it multiple years it all adds up.
Mechanical idiot. Desk executive my entire career. Most of the private rentals like Outdoorsy are usually pretty nice fully equipped units and come with mandatory roadside service insurance and owner is responsible for any repairs/maintenance. I can see where the rental costs may approach that of buying one and dealing with the repairs and maintenance.
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Old 08-03-2021, 10:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKP Kirk View Post
A lot depends on how much you will use the RV. If you only plan to use it 1 week a year it would probably be more economical to rent. If you expect to use the RV for a month ore more and more than once a year it would not take long to be less costly to buy than to rent.
In my original thread

"We would not full time but would be out and about 3 to 4 times a year for a week or two each time and maybe short trips around the area".

From your advice looks as though we should maybe buy.
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Old 08-03-2021, 11:00 PM   #12
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I'm also thinking that, although a motor home is not really considered a return on investment, it is an investment of sorts. If the unit is maintained properly it should at least hold a percentage of its resale value. A new motor home will lose a lot in the first 3 years or so. But, after that, the depreciation evens out. With renting there is zero return on your money. So, I guess I have to think long and hard exactly what the path forward will be and then go for it.
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Old 08-03-2021, 11:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floridastorm View Post
Seeking out information from folks that have seriously considered Purchasing versus Renting and why you chose one over the other. We are elderly, retired, and are not into camping outdoors, boondocking, hiking, and all of the same. Simply want a comfortable way to get from point A to Point B and to do some exploring at Point B in the motorhome where we have all of the facilities coming along with us. Interested in smaller C's and B's. A's are two big for us and require towing a vehicle. We would not full time but would be out and about 3 to 4 times a year for a week or two each time and maybe short trips around the area. I have tried to bounce the total costs related to owning versus the total costs related to renting and don't really know where to start.

Any assistance would be much appreciated.

Old Guy Dave
Based on your requirements and usage list, I'd consider a Class-B, such as a Coachmen 22D. They will be easy to drive, park, and get good mileage. Definitely not a RV for full-timing in.
https://www.giantrv.com/class-b-motorhome-floorplans/

With that said, most small B RVs have wet bathrooms. Not the best for us, but might work out well for traveling in for you. You will have a toilet, an a small shower area, if you need one.

Regarding rent or own:
You can rent a Class-B and see what you think about its usability for you and your wife. You might find that a Class-B Plus is better for your travel needs.
https://www.thormotorcoach.com/motor...us-motorhomes/

My parents rented a number of RVs in the 70's and 80's. There were break-downs. From cabinets that broke to exhaust gasket blow outs. My mom was also a clean freak, and had to clean some of these RVs for an entire day, before she allowed us to load it with clothing, pots, pans, dishes and bedding.

They finally stopped renting and purchased a used Class-C in the very late 80s, and a new short Class-A in 1996. We have followed in their footsteps and own or vintage coach.
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:13 AM   #14
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You might consider a small TT. If so you will need an appropriate tow vehicle to get it to your locations and have to do your on location travels. A small TT should be able to be pulled by a larger SUV, body on frame mainly type, and actually give you more "house room" than a B.
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