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Old 11-01-2020, 11:20 AM   #1
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Trips with RV vs trips without

I have a question for those of you who have done vacations/trips of decent length (7+ days) with your family both staying at hotels or rentals vs traveling with a trailer. Which method was more cost effective overall and which method was more enjoyable? Which method was more convenient? I am trying to weigh out the costs of owning and using a trailer vs doing trips and staying at hotels or rentals. Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:24 AM   #2
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I bought in January, waited until March for things to warm up, and then delayed by both Covid and another reason. Didn't get started again until late September. So far my total costs including the cost of buying the truck two years ago are at about $7,000 a night.

That number is dropping rapidly, and it's much more enjoyable in a trailer than a hotel. I could do tents, but the wife wouldn't be happy.
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:35 AM   #3
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Unless someone gives you the RV, motor home or truck and trailer for free, it will almost always be cheaper to travel by car or plane and stay in a hotel. Even though a short RV trip may be inexpensive, just add gas and food, it's the yearly financing, up keep, insurance and DMV fees that make RVing a luxury and not a cheaper method of travel.

As to convenience, RVing is EXACTLY why we have an RV, no cab rides, no hauling luggage to your room, and having to eat every meal out. We also know that or bed will be comfortable, clean and bug free.

Owning the average RV is luxury and not a way to save money on travel. Obviously, someone can buy a $100 tent trailer and tow it a 1970 VW and save money, but I'm talking ore about the average RVer.
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:37 AM   #4
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depends on where you are staying with the Trailer.. RV Parks or National Campgrounds....

RV Parks way more expensive than a Standard campground

For Example these are average costs...
KOA at Glacier NP MT summer.... 100.00 Night
Hotel 300.00 Night.....
National Park CG 30.00 Night

Do the math....

Lot of times the CG's and KOA fill up fast.. Months in advance...
Some are first come first serve... Stress of finding a CG for the night. With screaming kids.... Been there done that...



Trailer upkeep costs
Added expense for gas mileage and wear and tear...
For me more stress when towing something.... However it is worth it.

The list goes on.....

me, I like being out in the woods, I unhook from the world when I go on Trips..
I dont stay at RV parks and dont need all the Bells and whistles........
I like having the extra room to bring more crap that I may not need...
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:37 AM   #5
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We don't do hotels/motels!
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:41 AM   #6
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The other option is renting an RV. It's a hassle, but cheaper than buying. And probably something that should be done before buying in any event if you don't have RVing experience.
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Old 11-01-2020, 11:52 AM   #7
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Bed bugs, adult activities, shower fungus, unknown when carpets were last cleaned, unknown when bed spreads were last cleaned etc etc etc

Hotels/Motels -- disgusting

I don't care what it costs.....MY RV is safest/cleanest means of travel
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewH View Post
I have a question for those of you who have done vacations/trips of decent length (7+ days) with your family both staying at hotels or rentals vs traveling with a trailer. Which method was more cost effective overall and which method was more enjoyable? Which method was more convenient? I am trying to weigh out the costs of owning and using a trailer vs doing trips and staying at hotels or rentals. Any help would be much appreciated.
Unless you travel A LOT (something like 2 months a year for a trailer, and more for a motorhome), it's cheaper to stay in hotels after taking into account the cost of the trailer and tow vehicle or motorhome, insurance, gas, etc...

For me and my family, having a camper (of some sort) is far more enjoyable though. We sleep in our beds, with our stuff, and are closer to trailheads, have a campfire, etc... It's just what we want to be doing. Having a camper is both more and less convenient, depending. It's more convenient if going to more remote locations, especially during the summer season, when rentals and hotels are few but campgrounds are plentiful (e.g. visiting Algonquin Provincial Park is easier and simpler if one is camping). It's less convenient in that one travels slower, has to stop for gas more often, has to consider suitable parking availability when stopping for meals or breaks, and other things like that.

Overall, I'd rather be in a camper than not, but that's going to be the case for just about everyone here given the nature of the forum.

Each person, and each family, has to make their own choice based on what's important to them. I have colleagues at work that do what I do, and I have colleagues that do only pre-packaged vacations that include air, hotel, and activities.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:04 PM   #9
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1. They just mean that most people (I think) go to the "New Posts" button which shows all posts across all forums, so you don't need to post in multiple forums. I did the same thing when I first found this site.

2. To your question: In my experience, it really depends on where you're going and why. There are some spots in urban centers where the hotel trip is really the way to go. If you don't have an RV of any kind, that's where you end up vacationing.

But there are lots more spots across the country uniquely suited for experiencing in your own little home on wheels. Mountains, parklands, nature, coasts . . . Places you simply won't consider seriously if you're limited to hotels and rental cars and restaurants.

I did both types when my family was young. The hotel route was more expensive, but when doing (say) a Disney trip in CA, that was just the way to go. But to Yellowstone, or the Gulf coast, or pretty much anywhere non-urban, the RV trips were much more affordable, and fun in a different way.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:11 PM   #10
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The other factor is location. The state parks we've gone to this year have been destinations in themselves. With the possible exception of maybe something like a motel overlooking the ocean or near the Grand Canyon that is not likely to be the case with motels.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:19 PM   #11
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For us convenience is the #1 reason we own a RV. I try not to think about the cost of it, if I can afford to own it I can afford to use it otherwise I wouldn't own it. We have been all over this country on trips that have lasted 2 plus months in our RV and wouldn't wanted to have done it any other way. No dragging luggage in and out, having to decide where we are going to eat each meal, I have my own bed, toilet and shower, I could continue on but I think you get the point.
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
The other option is renting an RV. It's a hassle, but cheaper than buying. And probably something that should be done before buying in any event if you don't have RVing experience.
Renting is all we've done so far. It is a hassle, but it's allowed us to narrow down what we'll buy. We want to be able to travel spontaneously and renting doesn't allow that.

However, we still will travel without an RV. Can't drive to Hawaii!
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Old 11-01-2020, 12:54 PM   #13
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We don't full time, but do take 3 to5 month long trips plus many shorter trips.

DW has significant food allergies and CAN NOT eat out. Thus RV travel is really our only safe option. We travel for just about our regular living costs at our S&B. Totally within our monthly budget. Thus we don't consider the travel costs. I would own the truck either way, so only real additional costs are the purchase of the RV and its upkeep. We have never bought a new RV, I do all of the service work and they are stored at home. Thus our ongoing costs don't need to be very high.

RVing allows us to stay in many different kinds of places and in many cases permits us to alter our trip schedule on the fly. I have never liked hauling off that stuff into a hotel and back out all the time. Plus I have the comfort of our own place not some shutup hotel room.

To us RVing is a life style choice, not a means to save money. We do not track all of our RV expenses in detail. Just look at the monthly CC statements to see about where it stands. I come from a strong science not business background so this is plenty close enough for us.

But I do hope many people continue to prefer the hotel option to keep them out of the RV camping areas. But this is only my opinion.
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Old 11-01-2020, 01:06 PM   #14
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We bought a used, 2001 Keystone Hornet, (30 foot) for $4000.00. It needed a little work, but I am handy with most projects so for a few bucks more we have a nice clean unit. My tow vehicle is a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500 purchased in 2012. I bought it from an estate and it had 11,000 miles on the clock. I have less than $20,000.00 invested and camp 3 months per year in Coastal Alabama. Our campground fees are $450.00 per month, all inclusive.( electric/water included) The usual insurance and upkeep, wear and tear etc etc would be additional. Bottom line is if you are handy and are happy with spending much less than a couple hundred thousand dollars for a tow vehicle and camper, you can do it on the cheap and enjoy the stay as much as the guy that is averaging $7000.00 a night so far.
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