Why RVs are a Waste of Money

Why RVs are a Waste of Money in 2024

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Last Updated on March 31, 2024 by Jessica Lauren Vine

When you’re trying to decide whether to get an RV, you might be asking why RVs are a waste of money. You want to make sure that you don’t spend money on something that isn’t going to bring you enough value. I totally get that. I am pretty thrifty myself and only want to buy stuff that I will use and that makes sense with my lifestyle and life goals.

While RVs have a lot of benefits, there are some drawbacks, and before you buy something at this price point, I think it is important that you should know the pros and the cons.

Why Buying a Recreational Vehicle Is a Bad Idea

Keep in mind that I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy an RV, but I am saying that you should take a close look at why RVs are a waste of money and then decide if you still want to buy one.

The High Cost of RVs & the RV Lifestyle

RVs cost a pretty penny. Some of the RVs I’ve toured have payments the size or mortgages. I mean, it makes sense because they are beautiful—but still. It’s a little wild when you think about it.

Why RVs are a Waste of Money

The most expensive RV I’ve been inside is a two-million-dollar RV. I didn’t want to touch anything because I was afraid I would break something. It was beautiful, but I would never be able to sit down if I owned it. lol

Besides the purchase price, you also have to think about maintenance costs. If you get an older RV so you can save money, it might not turn out how you’d planned. Older models, especially if they weren’t well-maintained, can take so much money to repair and keep running.

Another thing to think about when it comes to why is an RV a waste of money is the financing part of it. I touched on this above that some RV payments can be the same as a mortgage. One thing to think about with loans is that RV loans can be a lot higher interest because it isn’t as secure as a home.

If you secure a loan with a home, you’re looking at about the lowest interest rate you can get. However, if you want a loan on an RV, you are looking at one of the higher interest rates available. The rates are usually better than if you just got a personal loan, but they can still put an unnecessary financial burden on you and your family.

Limited Use

Depending on where you live and plan on using your RV, there may only be certain seasons you can use your RV. If you plan on putting it up for half the year, that might give you RV purchase regrets. There are owning a travel trailer pros and cons, and the limited use is a big one.

You might consider using an RV as a primary residence, but they are so small that most people can’t do it. A lot of people find themselves feeling closed in without the ability to feel joy about their decision.

Keep in mind that you also can’t take any RV everywhere. There are some roads that don’t allow vehicles over a certain weight. So, even if you do get an RV that would be big enough to live in, you might not be able to take it everywhere you want to take it.


I like buying appreciating assets, and let’s be honest, an RV is not an appreciating asset. It is a depreciating liability.

RVs are like cars and other vehicles, they lose their value pretty quickly. If you buy a brand new RV, it can lose 20% of its value in just the first year.

Most RVs last around 10 to 20 years, depending on how well they are made and how well taken care of they are. Their value continues to drop, but some people don’t care because they are just enjoying their lives in the RV.

Maintenance and Repair Costs

Why RVs are a Waste of Money

When looking at why RVs are a waste of money, maintenance is a big glaring part of the reason not to buy an RV. If you don’t maintain your RV, it will cause more money problems in the long run.

Some of the common maintenance and repair costs you might come upon are:

  • Flat or blown tire
  • Plumbing issues
  • Holding tank issues
  • Replacing batteries
  • Latch issues on windows and doors
  • Slide out issues
  • Roof leaks

You might find yourself running into other problems as well, but these are some big ones that can set you back in the bank account.

The older your RV, the more repairs you’ll need to do. RVs start breaking down after a while, so be prepared for it. If you aren’t prepared, you might find yourself trying to get rid of the RV before you thought you would because you don’t have the money to pay for repairs and maintenance.

Storage and Parking

Whether you have a used RV or a brand new RV, you need to think about where you are going to store it or park it when it’s not in use. If you put it in your driveway, that will take up a lot of space. Some homeowners associations won’t even allow you to park an RV or a boat in your RV, so that’s something to consider.

Depending on the size of your RV and your location, storing your RV can be pretty pricey. And it’s not very convenient to have to go pick it up before you go on your camping trip.

You might consider leaving it at an RV park. Some people keep their RV stationary and just come to hang out on the weekends. That can be a lot of fun, but those monthly rents can grow each year if the park decides to raise the rents.

Are RVs Worth It?

Why RVs are a Waste of Money

I’ve gone more in-depth about RVs being worth it or not, but let me give you my quick take on things here.

If you will use your RV a lot and it will bring your family together, I think RVs are great. If you will likely let it sit most of the year and not get much worth about it, this is why RVs are a waste of money. There isn’t any reason to get an RV for the sake of having one.

Wasting Money on an RV Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions you might come across when figuring out why RVs are a waste of money.

Is it worth living in an RV to save money?

No. Most people will not save money when living in an RV. In fact, RVing can be a very expensive way to live.

What does Dave Ramsey say about buying an RV?

Dave Ramsey advises against living in an RV full time because RVs depreciate vs. living in a home will allow you to build equity. He thinks you should only pay cash for an RV you buy, even if it is just for fun.

Is it smart to pay cash for an RV?

Yes. If you can pay cash for an RV, it is usually the best idea if you want to save money long-term. However, if you can get a low interest rate loan, that may be a good option depending on your situation.

How do you justify buying an RV?

You can justify buying an RV by the money you would save going on vacation and renting a hotel. You can also think about all of the extra time you would be able to spend with your family.

Why RVs are a Waste of Money – Conclusion

Now you know a bit more about why RVs are a waste of money. You can make your own decision on whether or not you think you should put your hard-earned money into one or not.

The high cost, limited use, depreciation, maintenance, and repair costs might scare you off. Or you might decide that you don’t care about all of that stuff, and you still want to have fun being an RV owner.

Keep in mind that if you don’t want to buy an RV, there are plenty of places where you can rent an RV. Outdoorsy is a good option.


Whether you want a smooth RV rental experience so you can travel in an RV or you want to be able to rent your RV out to make extra money, Outdoorsy is a great option.

Rent an RV with Outdoorsy Rent Out Your RV with Outdoorsy
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