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Old 07-19-2007, 03:46 AM   #1
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Hi, I am currently overseas and planning to return in about a year to retire. I have been thinking about travelling around for about a year (more or less). I am considering buying a travel trailer, truck, and motorcycle, which I will use at campgrounds to sightsee.

However, I have been reading about the prices of campgrounds, and was wondering if it would be cheaper to stay in budget motels instead? Besides the cost of campgrounds and motels, there is also the difference in the amount of gas used. A truck pulling a trailer uses a lot more gas than an economical car or a motorcycle. I also have to figure in the cost of the trailer and truck. Of course, I can keep them and use them occasionally or sell them.

I was hoping that someone has thought about this or made some type of comparison that they could share with me.


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Old 07-19-2007, 10:52 AM   #2
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just a few thoughts
even with just a pop-up
"¢$20-30 a night or cheeper if you join an assoc. to receive discounts includes water and ele (which means ac if so equipped)
"¢you own sheets / pillows<<---
"¢your own kitchen stuff
"¢not having to live out of a suitcase

"¢"¢ did i mention YOUR OWN SHEETS / PILLOWS????

to cut down on $$$$ many budget motels, hotels and yes even HOSPITALS have not given fresh sheets/pillow cases every night and have even reused between guests and paients. just do a search on the net and you will find what i say is true YUCK!

"¢bedbugs from unclean motels are a bi*%h to get rid of
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:28 PM   #3
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It's probably close in $$ once you figure in all expenses. Personally, we prefer the RV as we like our own sheets, bed, pillows, etc. You can get by cheaper with your own food and you don't have to eat out every meal. We like public campgrounds and out-of-the-way campgrounds. They tend to be cheaper. Get the Don Wright book (Free Campgrounds). Many cheaper campgrounds in there. Watch the prices as they list the cheapest price not just the RV price. Sometimes that means a tent site with a seniors state discount. also monthly tays ted to be cheaper than nightly stays. Current location (pivate campground) $22 per night W/E/S vs $300 ($250 off season) per month. Our pop-up was cheap to pull with my Grand Cherokee (8 cyl engine). Downside, it was getting too hard for me to pop-up/down by myself. We bought a vintage fixer-upper Class C (6-8 MPG). Nick Russell ( has a listing of some budget places to stay. I think they are all on CD's.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:00 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I have a little over a year to try to figure out what is best for me. What I need to decide is what will I do with the truck and trailer after the year or so? I can keep it or sell it.

If I keep it, I am not sure how much I will use it. Especially after travelling around for that year or so. The truck is another problem. I am not a truck person (I have NEVER owned one before), and because of the poor gas mileage, I wouldn't drive it very much anyway.

If I sell it, how much money will I lose? I will probably buy used, and IF I could get a good deal, it is possible that I wouldn't lose much money when I sold it.

Travelling and living out of a car for a year or so isn't very appealing either.

Who knows, I may love RVing and want to do it full time. I may even do some Workamping. I have a degree in Parks & Recreation and have managed campgrounds before (I was furnished a house on the campgrounds).

Oh well, time will tell.

Thanks again,

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Old 08-24-2007, 06:43 AM   #5
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We found that we save more money by staying in our Travel Trailer because we can make our own food, have our own sheets, and if we want to hang out for a day or two, we dont need to worry about avalability.

In the long run, the cost will be close, but the comforst of sitting on a toilet you know is clean, and using all your own stuff made the decision for us.

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Old 10-27-2007, 08:47 PM   #6
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Cheap motels, that's a memory I can live without; been there-done that. I can't get that picture out of my head from last July. We had to make a quick(2 days) trip to Las Vegas in wife's car. Checked into a cheap($60/night) handy motel late after a long(12hrs) driving day. Wife turned down bed while I showered. I heard her yelling and asked what happened. She pointed to the wrinkled sheets and a stain- Nuff said. I quickly dressed and found the manager, got a credit back to our card and left.
Never again! If we can't take our 5er now, we don't go.

Afterthought; When we left that "cheap" motel, we went down the street to another. That one was only $88/night.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX,Infantry retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
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Old 10-28-2007, 02:08 AM   #7
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Motel management really hates it when I set up the BBQ, put the lawn chairs out, then build a campfire outside the front door

2006 Arctic Fox (SFE) 29-5E 5th Wheel
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Old 10-28-2007, 06:28 AM   #8
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First--We are with RAY,IN. You stop to sleep and relax and that is done best in your own bed. How can you put a value on that?

Second--Don't think the cost of budget motels will ever be less than well chosen campgrounds and if location is important to you, you will never find cheap motels in places you may want to camp.
Steve & Sherri
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:30 PM   #9
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You don't have to worry about who the pet bugs belong to!
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:03 PM   #10
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I have given this some thought and one yr while planning our vacation, I compared fuel/hotel/food expenses vs Rving:fuel/campground/taking-prepareing our own food for our vacation.

Not counting the monthy pmt of our RV, with fuel prices as high as they are, we still come out with less expense taking the RV instead of staying in cheap motels. In our experience and my comparisons Ive found that campgrounds or RV resorts are usually about half of what youd pay for a cheap motel. We have our own food to prepare our meals with so we dont have the expense of having to eat out (which adds up fast AND in my experience, eating out causes weight gain too). Plus as others have pointed out, with an RV you know your bed/sheets/bath room are clean. And for us, our RV bed is much more comfortable
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:26 AM   #11
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No one has touched the real issue with hotels. Is it just me or does the fishing in those concrete ponds need help? And the bathhouse is so far away that I can't even find it. How about the short cords on the tv's how do you get that out under the awning( some are missing this too) to watch the race. No one ever sits outside their door to talk to the nieghbors.(are we alone) One good thing those hallways between campsites - nice when it is raining and fido needs to go. (Management seems to disagree with me here even though I scoop)

For us there is no option camping we must go.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:37 AM   #12
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A couple of years ago I did two trips to Missouri and back one with rv one with car. Far cheaper in the long run with rv. Eating out and motels alone is what kills ya.
Lee and Fran
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:39 AM   #13
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Don't get hung-up that you will need a truck to pull a trailer. First find a trailer that will fit your needs. Are you traveling alone, with someone, or even pets these things all must be taking into consideration before you even look at any type of RV. Once you know what you need than you can decide what is needed to pull your trailer.
As far as campgrounds go there are a whole lot of memberships campgrounds you can buy for rock bottom prices-Coast to Coast-Passport America-Good Sam has one-Camping World has one-Thousand Trails. A couple of these memberships can be purchased on-line for a lot less than at the home resort. Check out the fine print first.
You said you have a year to do your homework, well it looks like you started. I wish you Good Luck, but I really don't think you will find 1 year long enough to see this wonderful and beautiful Country.
EX: Stopped in San Antonio area for 2 weeks still here after 7 weeks, why, just too much to see in the area. Parked the MH as base and been north to Austin and west to Laredo, East to College Station all day trips. Heading north to Dallas area on the 28th.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:19 PM   #14
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Think of it this way, do you want to pack and unpack every day? How about sleeping in a bed that may or may not be very comfortable? IN an RV you have your own bed, bathroom, shower, kitchen to fix meals. I have traveled on the road for the last 20+ years on business, and believe me I for one would not recommend staying in the so called budget motels! Depending on the size of the truck and trailer you choose fuel economy is not that bad at all. Some of the newer 1/2 ton offerings can get as good as 18 to MPG empty and towing a reasonably sized TT will return 12-14 MPG. Carrying the extra weight of a motorcycle can and will likely reduce those numbers a bit. Campgrounds, again depending on the type of "camping" you choose to do can run from free to 50 dollars a night. Personally even with my 35 foot fifth wheel I prefer to stay in National Forest campgrounds and with a Golden Age Passport that is half price. You need to decide if packing and unpacking every day and eating three meals out is your cup of tea. Personally, like I said earlier that is not where I want to be. But that is just me, and most of the RVers on the road feel the same I am sure.
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