RV ownership can be a rewarding experience, but it does come with a few hidden costs. While some of these are not difficult to predict, others may surprise you. Like everything else in your financial life, you need to be prepared to handle these costs, otherwise you could find yourself in a bit of a financial jam or with some regrets.
The Average Monthly Cost Of Owning An RV
The average cost of owning an RV is around 1000 dollars per month, although yours could be higher or slightly lower, depending on the RV in question. This includes the purchase price, depreciation, maintenance and other costs.Here are some of the expenses that you will face as an RV owner.
The Cost Of The Loan
If you are like most people, getting an RV means taking out a loan. If you have good credit, you can likely get a decent rate, but RV loans are usually much higher than home loans and even vehicle loans. This is due to the greater risk to the lender. so be prepared for an interest rate that is a few points higher than you expected.
Storing Your RV
Your RV loan is just the start of your expenses, you also have to store your RV. If you have land, you are in good shape but most people live in HOA neighborhoods that will not allow for RV storage.
The cost of storing an RV can be high. There are many factors that contribute to the overall cost. Storage facilities and the type of unit you are storing are just a few. The average storage facility fee is approximately 100 dollars a month for a small RV, and this is for outside storage. If you have a larger RV and/or want it stored in a garage, your costs could be 200 to 300 dollars a month. That is over 2500 dollars a year, just for a place to park your RV.
RV Maintenance Costs
Yes, your RV will need continuous maintenance, just like your regular vehicle. That engine will need oil changes and there will be other needs such as transmission fluid changes, differential oil changes, lube service, etc.
Should your RV be equipped with slide outs, you will have additional preventative care that will need to be done at your RV dealer. You can choose to skimp on some of these things, but you should not if you want your RV to last. Performing regular maintenance is easier and cheaper than major repairs.
Depending on the size of your RV, expect to spend anywhere from 1000 to 1500 dollars a year.
Insuring Your RV
Like all of the other expenses, the cost of RV insurance varies depending on the size and the features of your RV. You should always compare quotes from different companies to find the best price for your vehicle.
In general, expect to pay roughly 100 dollars a month to insure your RV. If your RV is particularly large, expensive or you put a lot of driving miles on it, expect to pay more.
Your RV will be big and the bigger it is, the more gas that it will use. Your RV could a gas mileage rating as low as 7 miles per gallon and that can make for an expensive trip. At that rate, a 1000 mile round trip would use up almost 150 gallons of fuel. At 4 dollars a gallon, that is 600 dollars just for fuel.
How Much Does it Cost For A Campsite?
Camping is a great way to get away from the daily grind. However, with the rising cost and popularity of camping, it is getting more and more difficult to find a reasonably priced place to stay.
The price for a camping spot suitable for an RV is still much cheaper than a hotel room, but the rates can not be ignored when calculating your cost of ownership. Expect to pay anywhere from 30 to 40 dollars a night for spaces with full RV connections.
Finding Camping Spots
Ever since the pandemic began camping spots have become even harder to find. Gone are the days where you could travel wherever you want on a whim. Now, you have to plan out your trip months or even a full year in advance.
The best camping sites are now booked up well in advance, especially picturesque or ocean side locations. While this extra planning does not add to the cost of ownership, it is worth mentioning that lengthy planning is now part of the RV experience.
We’ve all seen the ads, heard the stories, and read the articles about how easy it is to travel the country in an RV. It is a picture of the American dream, especially for the retired. But what we don’t know is that there are a number of hidden costs associated with owning and operating an RV that can really add up over time.
The hidden costs of RV ownership are higher than you think. You can easily end up spending thousands of dollars more than you planned. The cost of the loan, just scratches the surface of what you will pay in the end. Once you add up storage, maintenance, fuel, lot fees and insurance, the true costs can be staggering.
So, before you commit to purchasing an RV, do the math so that you can make an informed decision.