How Expensive Is It to Own an RV?

Have you always dreamed of owning an RV but assumed it was too expensive for your budget? While RV ownership isn’t necessarily cheap, it might not be as expensive as you think. Before you write off the prospect of owning your own rig, it would be worth your time to learn a little more about the various costs associated with this kind of purchase. In the end, you might find that buying an RV is a little more realistic than you expected.

Can You Afford an RV? You Might Be Surprised
Can You Afford an RV? You Might Be Surprised

The Upfront Cost

Not surprisingly, the biggest expense you are going to incur in RV ownership is the purchase of the rig itself. The cost of an RV can vary wildly depending on if you are buying new or used, the size of the rig, the features it includes, and more. You could get into a small, used trailer for somewhere around $10,000, and you could spend well over $100,000 on a brand new motorhome with all the bells and whistles. Obviously, the rig you choose to purchase will depend on your budget and your needs. If you have a large family that will be accompanying you on each trip, a large RV is going to be a necessity.

Most people, when purchasing an RV, will take out a loan similar to an auto loan. To figure out how much RV you can afford, calculate the monthly payment of a potential loan and compare that to your current household budget. If the RV fits comfortably within your budget, it might be a feasible purchase.

Storage Costs

Unless you have somewhere on your property where you can park your RV safely (and legally), you will need to pay for ongoing storage of the rig. Fortunately, most cities have at least one or two RV storage facilities. They are often paired with storage unit businesses, so check around your area to see what the options are near you. Monthly storage rates will vary based on where you live, but expect to spend anywhere from $75 up to $200 to park your RV. This monthly expense should be considered when you are planning out how much RV you can afford to buy.

Travel Costs

While traveling in an RV is generally more affordable than staying in a hotel, you will still need to spend money while on the road. The two major expenses that you will incur while traveling in your RV are gas and lodging. You should already know that RV’s burn a lot of gas while out on the road, so expect gas purchases to be a significant portion of your operating costs. Nightly rates are RV parks will vary wildly depending on your destination, from around $10 per night up to $40 or more.

The three categories above will make up the majority of your RV expenses, but you also need to factor in things like insurance and maintenance. All in all, buying an RV is a significant financial commitment – and one that should not be taken lightly. In order to have your RV experience be a good one, you need to take the time to do your homework and only make a purchase when you are sure it is the right move for you and your family.

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