Saturday, February 2, 2013

Is RVing cost-effective?

I just read an article in today's paper saying that the RV industry is experiencing a comeback. The show we attended a couple of weeks ago attracted about 55,000 people. Jacksonville will have its own "mega" show next weekend, when it is expected to draw about 8,000 visitors.

What's the lure?

As you know, I am a Reluctant RoVer. The "RV lifestyle" is not for me...that is, living in an RV for extended periods of time. I consider our motorhome a traveling hotel. So, is it worth the money?

Generally the longer the trip you take, the more cost-effective it becomes, aside from the initial cost of purchasing and licensing the RV.

For example: Last year, when we were on the road for 64 nights, our diesel and RV park fees totaled about $2600, for an average of about $40 a day. We also saved a lot of money by doing our own cooking--something that can't be done if you are traveling by car and staying in a hotel.

Our three-night trip to Tampa, on the other hand, cost us approximately $250 (about $82/night) for diesel and camping fees. Had we driven our car and stayed three nights in a hotel, the cost would have been about the same--assuming we could find a hotel for $75 a night during high season.

We will be going back to Tampa in two weeks for my Peru reunion. Our diesel and RV costs will be about $217. The Hampton Inn's rates are $119 a night, so you can see that for a two-night stay, traveling in our RV is more cost-effective.

Perhaps more important, though, is the comfort we experience: We sleep in our own bed, shower in our own bathroom, and have our own food available if we want to cook, or even make coffee.

RVs are cheap, but they make an excellent hotel-on-wheels--especially if you don't have to drive! (And I don't do that.)

Until next time,

Your Reluctant RoVer,

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