Last Updated on November 2, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine
Is owning an RV worth it? Many people would say yes, and 72% of those people say they own an RV so they can take more mini-vacations and spend time with their families.
You’re not the only one that’s asked if owning an RV is worth it. Owning an RV is an added expense and requires time and attention, so it’s understandable if you’re on the fence about the purchase.
Keep in mind there are RVs of all sizes, and for all budgets, so you don’t have to break the bank to hit the road and enjoy camping fun.
Continue reading through, and I’ll answer the question, “Is owning an RV worth it?”
Is Owning an RV Worth It? – Costs of Owning an RV
One of the biggest roadblocks for many people that want to buy an RV is the cost of owning an RV.
Keep in mind that there could be more expenses than you’re thinking about right now. Let’s look at some of those now.
- Purchase price
- Vehicle registration
- Campground fees
- Unexpected repairs
That list might look a little scary—and it can be. However, if you budget for it, it doesn’t have to ruin your dream of RV ownership.
The newer and nicer your RV is, the pricier your upfront cost will be, but it will also increase the amount of money you pay for insurance.
The older and less nice your RV is, the sooner you’ll have to do repairs and upgrades.
Savings from Owning an RV
Now that I’ve terrified you with the list of costs coming from owning an RV, let’s talk about some of the savings you can get from owning an RV.
Flying our family of 6 anywhere isn’t cheap, and I don’t love to fly, so having an RV allows you to have an enjoyable trip while cutting out the expensive flights.
Having an RV instead of just road tripping in the car makes it a lot easier—especially having a bathroom with you.
Renting a car isn’t cheap these days, and if you like vacationing a lot, it can really cut into your entertainment budget. With an RV, you can either drag a car along with you or tow your RV with your vehicle and unhook it when you get there.
If you want to stay away from creepy hotels, you have to pay the price. Why spend all of your money on a hotel when you can sleep somewhere you’re used to and know doesn’t have creepy crawling or other people’s DNA all over?
Eating Out Every Meal
Food can be super expensive when you eat out every meal. Having an RV allows you to do a lot of your own cooking—if you want to.
For me, it can be super stressful to take all the kids out to eat, and my husband is a chef, so it just makes sense for us.
Is Owning an RV Worth It? – Benefits of Having an RV
We already talked about the cost-saving benefits of owning an RV. But are there more benefits of being an RV owner? You bet there are.
If you change your mind and want to go somewhere else, it’s much easier to make that happen if you’re RVing. If you’re flying, it can be a nightmare.
There are usually RV spots to stay in most places, so you don’t have to worry too much about whether there will “be a room” at the new place you want to go.
If you have a kid like mine that does not like changing where they sleep, owning an RV makes a big difference. They feel safe there, and it’s not a big ordeal trying to get them to chill for the evening.
Get Out Into Nature
It’s a beautiful thing when you can see different creatures hanging out and enjoying themselves. Kids really learn a lot, and for me, I think it’s very relaxing.
One of the places we went had a lot of deer and even more turkeys running around. The kids thought it was neat and woke up every morning looking for them.
Build Relationships & Create New Memories
When you’re in new environments, it’s more likely you’ll take time to slow down and talk to each other. You’ll be able to create new memories and have things to talk about for years to come.
Some of our favorite memories as a family were when we were on the road full-time.
Tips for Potential New RV Owners asking “Is Owning an RV Worth It?”
I didn’t want you to just hear from me about this topic. While we did enjoy 2.5 years of full-time RVing, I wanted to let you hear another perspective.
My friend, April, had some life events take place in 2017 that made her family want an RV, and I’ll share her experience and some tips from her now.
Here’s what April shared with me, “In 2017, my husband was really feeling the stress and strain of his job. With our lifestyle of living in the country on over 10 acres, there is always a list of honey-do projects which is not much of a stress reliever.
We aren’t the leaving on a jet plane kind of family, so buying an RV to travel was not only the best option but also the best decision EVER! Owning an RV means we get to enjoy the luxuries of home while on the road, we save money from VRBO options or renting a cabin, we are able to take our family dog with us, explore hidden gems in our home state, make memories as a family and close friends we love to camp with.
Camping has allowed us to slow down and enjoy the simplicity of campfires, fishing, napping in a hammock, and connecting with nature. We’ve hand-fed deer, watched wild roadrunners and turkeys, explore waterfalls, early morning kayak adventures, and learned so many fun facts about the history of our state.
Some of our best memories have been camping, as evidence by hearing our children frequently talk about our past camping trips.”
Here are some of April’s top tips for people asking, “Is owning an RV worth it?”
Smooth Camping Tips from an Avid Camper
Here are some great tips for making your camping trip go smoothly.
Check Your Tow Vehicle
You might think you’ve found the perfect RV for you, but if you don’t have the right tow vehicle—you’ll have to buy one. And a new tow vehicle could mean putting out big bucks for a fancy new truck that can handle the load.
Put Your Research Cap On
Even if you find an amazing floor plan you like, don’t buy it right away. Take time to research the different makes and models available.
Many RV manufacturers don’t focus on building a quality product. Look through similar floor plans from different manufacturers to find one you like and one that is going to last for the long haul.
One of the things you should look out for is how the camper is made, and that includes everything from the fame to the fiberglass. There is nothing worse than being out on a camping trip in your RV just to find out you have a leak.
Don’t Skimp on Tires
Investing in good tires with extra ply can make all the difference. If you get stuck on the road changing a tie, you’ll understand very quickly why this is important.
Take a Dry Run Before Taking It Out
I can’t tell you how many times we have been camping and witnessed a very frustrated family who spent their entire camping trip trying to learn their new RV.
I don’t know about you, but this is not my idea of a vacation. When you buy a camper, set it up in your yard and camp out in it so you can make sure everything works, nothing leaks, and you know how to do simple things like turn on the propane, light the hot water heater, etc.
Don’t try to learn your camper on your first camping trip. If you are new to pulling and backing in a trailer, practice at home so you can feel comfortable, as some spots at campsites can be tight to get into.
Those are some great tips from April and can save you a lot of headaches and heartache.
RV Ownership Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some RV ownership frequently asked questions that can help you.
Who finances RV loans?
Almost any bank will give you a loan for an RV if you qualify. Contact the bank you currently work with to find out if they offer RV loans.
Which RV is easiest to drive?
It really depends on the type of vehicle you’re comfortable with. Usually, the smaller, the better, but sometimes it’s more difficult to back the small tow-behind RVs into the spaces, so make sure to look out for that.
Which RV Should I Buy?
Before buying an RV, make a list of all of the things that are important to you, and try to find an RV that has at least 80% of those things on your list.
When Will RV Prices Drop?
You can often find better RV pricing when you purchase in the winter.
Taking the First Steps to Own Your Own RV
If you’re as excited about creating new memories are we are, you’re probably ready to start looking into your next RV purchase.
On the other hand, if you think you’re ready to go, it’s time to start the research phase and figure out which type of RV is right for you.