Justifying the Expense of an RV

It probably goes without saying that cost is the big hang up for most people who are considering the purchase of an RV. While taking trips to great destinations with your family and friends surely sounds like fun, the reality of the cost of purchasing an RV might just be too much to get past. Therefore, many people who would have otherwise loved to own an RV will end up sitting on the sidelines for years – and they may never buy one at all.

RV's Are Expensive - But That Doesn't Mean You Should Rule One Out
RV’s Are Expensive – But That Doesn’t Mean You Should Rule One Out

If you find yourself in the process of trying to justify the purchase of an RV, consider the following points. Of course, you will have to make the best financial decision for your own family, but these thoughts just might help you appreciate everything that an RV has to offer.

You Can Sell It Later

When you take a trip and stay in a hotel room, the money you spend on that room is gone as soon as it is taken from your bank account. You don’t get anything back from your hotel room rental, so the expense is just that – and expense. Buying an RV, on the other hand, is a little bit different. Sure, you have to spend thousands of dollars to purchase the RV, but you can always sell it later on down the line to get some of your investment back. Granted, it is highly unlikely that you will sell it for as much as you paid originally, but you can still recoup some of your money – something that will never happen when you stay in hotels or cabins when you travel. As you are shopping around for an RV, remember to consider resale value as part of your buying decision.

Opening Up Possibilities

Another issue with staying in hotels while you travel is there simply aren’t hotels available everywhere you might want to go. This is especially true if you are interested in seeing the natural world. Hotels rarely exist in locations that are convenient to allow you to access nature, while campgrounds are readily available. Think about where you would like to travel with your family and friends – you might find that an RV is one of the best ways to see those destinations.

Price Out Other Options

Even ignoring the long-term prospect of reselling your RV, you will find that RV travel compares quite nicely to other forms of vacations when you compare the associated costs. Take the time to price out a couple of potential non-RV trips that your family could take and see just how much they would cost you in total. Once you get a picture for how expensive travel can be, you might come to realize that owning an RV is not as costly as you might have believed.

RV ownership is not for everyone, but don’t write it off too quickly without considering it from all angles. Yes, buying an RV is expensive upfront, but there are plenty of benefits to be enjoyed along the way that may justify fitting an RV into your budget.

  • This is an excellent article. My husband and I tent camped for years before we decided to purchase our first bumper pull trailer. Because we love to experience the outdoors. We found that it was cheaper for us to buy our trailer, make our own food, bring our own drinks and either dry camp or camp in state or federal parks. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed our Holiday Inn Expresses with breakfast and our Hilton Garden Inns but we were on a budget and lunches and dinners became pricey. We found that having our trailer allowed us to spend more quality family time together, to hike, bike, fish, unhook the trailer and explore, and then be able to come back to the comforts of our own place. My 4 year old daughter loves sleeping in her own space no matter where we park, our Labrador is in the comforts of her own bed and we don’t have to pay a pet deposit, and we love sleeping in our own bed with our own sheets and pillows. I also made a outdoor kitchen using one of our outdoor compartments with all my cooking supplies and we have a quick connect for my grill. All the conveniences and we chose this vacation lifestyle because I didn’t want a vacation home in the same place in the same town. We want adventure in different places and different towns. We recently upgraded to a 5er because we love these trips so much. We are weekend warriors and camp at least 6 times a year. Upgrading to our 5th wheel worked better for our family. RV ownership is not for everyone but works perfect for us 🙂

  • My husband and I struggled for quite a while with the cost of a RV and then we decided to go for it. So happy we did. We are now retired and some days we just get up and say “lets go”, Might be gone for 2 days or a week. It depends on where we end up. We love the RV lifestyle and have stayed anywhere from Provincial campgrounds, RV Campgrounds, Casino parking lots, Walmart Parking lots, Hunt Camps in the back 40, Farmers fields etc… We have gone and seen places with our RV that we never would have gone in a car. It has been worth every penny that we paid for our RV. Cannot wait until this summer for further adventures.

  • We’ve travelled both ways over the years, but we prefer our RV. We started out with a tall canopy on an old pickup 35 years ago and now tow a 35ft fifth wheel. As far as expenses go the RV wins hands down once the overall cost of ownership is determined when the rig is sold. Fuel and camping fees vs hotels and better mileage with a car are a wash. Where the savings comes in is food. Meals in the RV are a fraction of the cost of eating out, and aren’t really an expense at all as one has to eat whether at home or on the road. Then there is the perks such as your own beds, a bathroom that meets your standards of cleanliness anytime anywhere, midnight snacks, no pet problems or added fees, and a camaraderie that you’ll never have with the folks in the room down the hall in a motel.