Jump to content
Harleys

Cost of getting into RVing

Recommended Posts

The most comfortable way to see the country would be primarily staying in good hotels, resorts, and even motels.  Lots cheaper than a big rig and paying for RV parks with hook ups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JimK said:

The most comfortable way to see the country would be primarily staying in good hotels, resorts, and even motels.  Lots cheaper than a big rig and paying for RV parks with hook ups.

Not everyone enjoys sleeping in strange places where countless others have slept in the bed before you, with completely unknown cleaning standards. Given the choice, I strongly prefer my own bed and home. That, to me, is the beauty of this way of life. Jay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to agree with JimK although it is not as much fun. We did  a lot of travel all over the country when we were  working and stayed in countless Hotels and Motels across the country. Wife and I have taken several trips without the RV and used Hotels and Motels. They do change linens , towels, etc usually every  day  and the  standards of cleaning are not unknown.  Of course we are not full timers but long timers so we have a bed in both our S&B and the RV. So our perspective is the same as JimK. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JimK said:

The most comfortable way to see the country would be primarily staying in good hotels, resorts, and even motels.  Lots cheaper than a big rig and paying for RV parks with hook ups.

I also disagree. Having our own bed, bathroom and kitchen were worth more than any luxury hotel can provide. To say nothing of never having to live out of a suitcase.

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, JimK said:

The most comfortable way to see the country would be primarily staying in good hotels, resorts, and even motels.  Lots cheaper than a big rig and paying for RV parks with hook ups.

Buying all meals out, adds SIGNIFICANTLY to the expense.   You think you could 'fulltime' cheaper using hotels and restaurants than an RV?   Really?   For 13 years?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, JimK said:

The most comfortable way to see the country would be primarily staying in good hotels, resorts, and even motels.  Lots cheaper than a big rig and paying for RV parks with hook ups.

Enjoy!  It's great being able to do things they way you think is best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

Buying all meals out, adds SIGNIFICANTLY to the expense.   You think you could 'fulltime' cheaper using hotels and restaurants than an RV?   Really?   For 13 years?

 

Just before we purchased our first fiver and went full time we took an extended motorcycle trip.  We were gone a month.  I kept a record of our expenses.  We averaged around 37mpg, traveled between 300 and 350 miles a day, and used all State routes and U.S. Highways, no interstates.  Our motel choice was Best Western which averaged around $70 a night if you figured back in the reward points you could use for a free room about every 10 stay.  

Fast forward to the next year and we were full time traveling in our fiver.  Without any consideration for depreciation, it was almost even expense wise between traveling this way and how we traveled on the motorcycle.  Daily diesel fuel in the fiver normally was around $80 to $90 a day to go the same miles it cost around $20 on the Harley.  Campground fees were $30 to $35 whereas motel was twice that amount.  By the time you saved a little on food by being in the fiver it was almost a wash.

Now when you start figuring in depreciation it will obviously throw everything off.  We paid $27,000 cash for our first fiver from a private owner.  Not much depreciation on a 3 year old Montana.  There are some folks that pay $400,000 for a huge new DP and will suffer over $200 a day depreciation in the first couple of years.  Now those folks should have done their traveling in the family van and stayed in motels/resorts for sure.

The bottom line is this is how the DW and I want to live and travel.  Everyone should just do what suits them and makes them happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I travel light and inexpensively with the emphasis on travel.  I rarely stay in campgrounds or RV parks with hook ups and average well less than $10/night for camping.  I spend about $10/month on propane and about the same for generator gas.

By contrast lots of RVers want big rigs with all the comforts of home including a washer/dryer and even an onboard central vac.  A big rig can easily cost $100-500 K and can depreciate by $25-50 K/year or more.  Operating costs are often in the range of $1/mile or more for fuel, maintenance, tires, etc.  I typically travel about 30K miles/year so if II had a big rig that could easily add up to another $30K.  Then there are the campground fees.  Those have gotten to be considerable for any place that is really attractive for example near a national park.  In many places it is hard to find a campground with hook ups for under about $35/night.  $50/night is probably closer to the norm for popular locations.  Anyway fees could easily exceed $10-15 K/year.  So total costs for big rig RV living can easily exceed $50-75 K/year or $200/day.   That would be for a full timer.  For part time use, daily costs would be much higher. 

Edited by JimK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me going smaller and lighter and not needing hook ups opens up opportunities.  I spend a lot of time in the boondocks boondocking.  There are still a lot of beautiful areas that are not yet over run and covered with acres of campgrounds.

Going small can even be more enjoyable and more comfortable.  In the past I have used Yellowstone as an example.  It can be difficult to get a big rig into Yellowstone without reservations many months in advance.  If you need hook ups the choices are even more restricted.  The big campgrounds at Mammoth, Madison and Canyon do not have them.  Once visitors do find a place, either within the park or miles and miles away, there are still downsides to a big rig.  Everyone comes to see Lamar and Haydn Valleys and the major thermals.  That means a day trip, typically all day.  With my truck camper, I have my rig with me.  I can visit the Lamar, pull over for a hot lunch and a nap while watching the roadside scenery and wildlife.  I have my own rest room facilities.  The big riggers are in their toads with a sack lunch and at best a folding chair.  Even worse they are stuck with the outhouses you can smell for a mile downwind.  Late afternoon, I typically take it easy while all the toads head for the campgrounds at Fishing Bridge or maybe up the river towards Livingston.  I am napped, fed and rested.  I watch the sunset and the early evening wildlife crossing the roads.

Not exactly dumpster diving.  

Edited by JimK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you buy used, DEFINITELY hire an inspector. Our first rv looked great, no sign of any problems ( to our inexperienced eyes) inside or out. Later, when addressing a different problem we found significant wood rot in the wall framing in the bedroom slide and front corner of the 5th wheel.

Regardless of new or used I would recommend an EMS to protect against bad campground power. We didn't at first and it cost us over $2K in damaged electronics, ie: TV, stereo, converter, etc. We have a Progressive Dynamics hardwired unit, but there are other options. As others have said, it depends on what lifestyle you expect. For us, having TV and good cell signal are important. We have satellite TV and a signal booster for our cell service and MIFI through two different providers to be sure we, usually, have a good signal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, we are all different.  In two years of full  time travel and several months per year a half dozen more years, I have never even checked to see if the TV works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2019 at 8:54 AM, Barbaraok said:

And so another thread heads towards the "I can live cheaper than you" competition.

Good one. They'll be more along this line after my post. Stand by.

Moving crisply along . . .

Remember that question real estate brokers always ask you from the get-go . . . and that you really hate . . . and that you want to answer with "As little as possible" . . . 

OP, what's your budget? What can you spend on an RV?

This really really matters. Because if "hefty price tag" (which you mentioned in your post) means $10,000, then that will limit your choices. If that number is $100,000, then you have more options, and on and on.

So before you start worrying about lithium battery options . . . what do you want to spend?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, JimK said:

Yup, we are all different.  In two years of full  time travel and several months per year a half dozen more years, I have never even checked to see if the TV works.

I don't understand why some folks would go to the expense of purchasing a rig, hauling it to a vacation camp spot, setting it up and maintaining just so they could watch TV at a different location. 

Edited by Matthew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching TV is a step better than what I frequently see.  There seem to be plenty of RVers who are content to "camp" a few feet from other big rigs, who love to play their music on outdoor speakers while sitting under an awning covered with Christmas tree lights.  That is the nature of RV living for lots of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Matthew said:

I don't understand why some folks would go to the expense of purchasing a rig, hauling it to a vacation camp spot, setting it up and maintaining just so they could watch TV at a different location. 

I kinda agree with you.  If someone is living full time in their RV, then it's just a movable home, I could see those addicted to TV doing so.  If someone is using an RV for a vacation trip, then sitting in front of a TV, why go?  When a spot/area no longer excites you, you've seen all you want, move on to another spot and continue to explore.  Saying that, we do flip on the tube at night as I'm addicted to the news and a couple shows (which I can do without).  Other than that, it remains off.  We prefer to sit outside and watch nature, talk to each other, cook outside, play games outside, walk, etc which is also why we hate staying in a camp-ground (sometimes a necessary evil). 

Directly in answer to your comment, it gets me too!  They *need* the outside TV/Stereo system to be glued to.

Yea, with my average lately, I'm sure someone will hate my answer.  All I can say is, Don't worry, BE happy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2019 at 12:45 PM, JimK said:

For me going smaller and lighter and not needing hook ups opens up opportunities.  I spend a lot of time in the boondocks boondocking.  There are still a lot of beautiful areas that are not yet over run and covered with acres of campgrounds.

Going small can even be more enjoyable and more comfortable.  In the past I have used Yellowstone as an example.  It can be difficult to get a big rig into Yellowstone without reservations many months in advance.  If you need hook ups the choices are even more restricted.  The big campgrounds at Mammoth, Madison and Canyon do not have them.  Once visitors do find a place, either within the park or miles and miles away, there are still downsides to a big rig.  Everyone comes to see Lamar and Haydn Valleys and the major thermals.  That means a day trip, typically all day.  With my truck camper, I have my rig with me.  I can visit the Lamar, pull over for a hot lunch and a nap while watching the roadside scenery and wildlife.  I have my own rest room facilities.  The big riggers are in their toads with a sack lunch and at best a folding chair.  Even worse they are stuck with the outhouses you can smell for a mile downwind.  Late afternoon, I typically take it easy while all the toads head for the campgrounds at Fishing Bridge or maybe up the river towards Livingston.  I am napped, fed and rested.  I watch the sunset and the early evening wildlife crossing the roads.

Not exactly dumpster diving.  

Everyone has a different idea of what their full timing "dream" should look like.  The truck camper route certainly seems to be working for you.  Staying off the beaten path where the bigger RVs can't get into.  I would be bored out of my mind but if it works for you then you are very fortunate to be doing exactly what you want.

We prefer to have a few more comforts.  We really don't live much different than we did when we were in the sticknbrick in many ways.   Our toads are a Harley motorcycle and a Mini Cooper Clubman.  

We are conservative where we park the "house" and set up camp, usually getting a weekly or monthly rate.  We mostly are on the Harley for all of our exploring/sightseeing but the car is there if needed.  While it is true we sometimes are gone exploring all day and have to grab a lunch, most of the time we will eat a late breakfast and be gone only 3 or 4 hours so the only expense is a couple of gallons of gas.   

While we are gone we might be recording a Cubs game or Bears game on DirecTV (same as when we were in sticknbrick).  When we are hanging out at night I might fire up the grill or we will cook something creative inside.  Some evenings we do a couple loads of laundry while we are just hanging out.  If we want to take 30 minute showers that if okay because we are in a FHU camp site and they water is always great due to our water softener and 2 filter system.  

This is how we like to travel and explore, it works for us.  Everyone starting out just has to decide for themselves and find their own style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Matthew said:

I don't understand why some folks would go to the expense of purchasing a rig, hauling it to a vacation camp spot, setting it up and maintaining just so they could watch TV at a different location. 

Because we've been out all day and want to watch a ballgame (even when the Rangers are losing) or Masterpiece Theater, or a science program or just listen to smooth jazz on DirectTV station 851.    And we aren't on vacation - we are living in our RV every day.   We didn't do that when we only had a 2 week vacation.   

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Matthew said:

I don't understand why some folks would go to the expense of purchasing a rig, hauling it to a vacation camp spot, setting it up and maintaining just so they could watch TV at a different location. 

Barb hit it on the head with her answer.

The key here is like she said, we ARE NOT ON VACATION.   Many of my days are not much different that when we had the sticknbrick.

Here is an example Matt.  Yesterday, after spending time on a couple forums and 6 cups of coffee, I went out and did my 5k walk.  Service on my Harley was due so I spent a couple hours inside my enclosed trailer changing fluids on it.  Late afternoon found us taking a short ride through the country.  During the evening we watched a Cubs game that we recorded earlier.

Now if we were in a truck camper and no toad and no DirecTV my day would have been a little different.  I would have spent time on a couple forums and 2 cups of coffee (smaller coffee maker I'm guessing), went out and did my 5k walk.  Came back and sat in a lawn chair all afternoon and evening staring at some trees before going in and retiring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Matthew said:

I don't understand why some folks would go to the expense of purchasing a rig, hauling it to a vacation camp spot, setting it up and maintaining just so they could watch TV at a different location. 

I don't understand why some people think everyone should do exactly what they do with their time.  

If any group of people march to the beat of their own drummer it's fulltime RVers.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our first rig we didn't have a TV. We watched movies/shows on Dave's computer instead. :)

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...