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Is Owning an RV Cost Effective?

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Last Updated on November 23, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine

If you’re asking, “Is owning an RV cost effective?” there could be two different reasons you’re looking into RV ownership.

One of those reasons could be that you want to have a fun way to get away from your home and the other reason might be that you want to have an alternative way to live.

Whatever the case, it is important to understand RV costs so you can decide whether owning an RV or living the RV lifestyle and RV travel is the right fit for you.

Financial Pros of RV Ownership

There are plenty of financial pros of RV ownership but one of the biggest is:

Vacation Just Got Less Expensive

When you have and RV, you can go on some super fun vacations much cheaper than if you had to rent a hotel room or go to a resort without an RV.

RVers have the luxury of pulling up in their RVs to their favorite campgrounds and not having to worry about pitching a tent. You also don’t have to worry about bringing all of your things into a hotel room.

The thought that you can hop in your truck and you’re already at your “house” can make the thought of an RV purchase very attractive. You’re basically paying monthly to have access to your vacation spot which does make it more likely you’ll go on vacation more often.

Pay off Your Vacation

It is true that you won’t ever get a truly free vacation. You have to pay for the campground when you go on a trip, but many campgrounds are very inexpensive. In fact, you might even find some that are free or next to free which can make it almost like you’re vacationing for free.

Financial Cons of RV Ownership

It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to buying an RV. There are some financial cons to RV ownership.

Purchasing an RV Costs

RV costs are likely to increase over time, so the sooner you buy a motorhome, trailer or other RV, the better. Whether you’re getting a loan or not, it doesn’t make sense to pay more for the same experience if you’re on a budget.

Purchasing an RV used to be pretty inexpensive but now it’s become quite a bit of a cost. It can be paid monthly but when you add that to your other bills, you have to make sure your normal living situation won’t be impacted.

If you’re thinking about living the full time RV lifestyle then you need to consider whether you can afford the RV you want or if it’s going to put you over your budget with the monthly payment and the other expenses.

Maintenance Costs

Just like with any other vehicle, you will have to pay for maintenance and repairs on your RV. This is especially true if you go off-roading or do a lot of traveling in rough terrain.

Even if you don’t consider yourself an adventurous type, it is important to remember that RVs are vehicles and as such, things can and do go wrong.

Sure, you might be able to fix some of the things yourself but if it is too complicated for your skill sets, then you will have to hire someone to come help. This can tack on more costs that you have to consider when deciding whether or not owning an RV is cost effective.

Even if you don’t have a driveable RV, there are maintenance costs like:

  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Bearings
  • Sealant
  • General wear and tear

It can really add up but if you take good care of your rig, you don’t have to worry about it too much.

RV Insurance Costs

Just like with a car, you have to have insurance on your RV. It is important to understand that RV insurance is a bit different from car insurance and you will have to pay more for it.

Not only is the cost of RV insurance higher, but so is the deductible in most cases. So, if something happens you might have to pay quite a bit out of pocket before your insurer will cover any costs.

Is Owning an RV Cost Effective? – Wrapping It Up

The verdict is that owning an RV can be cost effective if you’re careful and budget-minded. Do your research ahead of time so you understand the costs associated with owning an RV, then make sure you factor in things like maintenance fees and any campground fees. That way, when it comes time to decide whether or not to buy an RV, you can make an informed decision.

So, is owning a RV cost effective? The answer is yes—it can be! But you have to do your research and make sure that the financial costs are something you can handle. If so, an RV is one of the most awesome ways to travel and explore.

Before you head off, make sure to check out these other RV articles.

Do I Have to Shut Off My Generator at Night in an RV Park?

How Long Will an RV Battery Last Without Being Plugged In?

What Does RV Ready Generator Mean?

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