Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RV travel debate

Dear R.V. Shrink:
Every time I get the urge to do a road trip my wife throws cold water on the idea by asking me how much it will cost in fuel. I tell her it is all relative. With our motorhome the biggest expense is getting there. After we arrive we spend virtually nothing. She tells me about people that travel cheaper with smaller rigs, do not tow a car, or have diesel. I'm tired of defending my position. I really think we are as economical as the next RVer when you compare apples to apples. Can you please give me some backup? --Up Late to Debate in Des Moines 

Dear Des: 
Don't fall for the bait in the debate. I agree, compare assets to assets. I debated with a guy who wanted to compare his traveling in a Prius to my motorhome. When I nailed him down to what he spent on a three month winter trip, I was miles ahead and dollars behind him. When you compare the cost of running an RV at 8 to 10 miles per gallon, you have to look at all the expenses of taking the same trip in some other fashion.

If you decide not to tow a car you can add a mile per gallon, just don't forget to subtract all the miles you accumulate going to the store in the RV for a gallon of milk. I often talk to people who think it is terrible I would spend $1,500 in gas to take a 3,600 mile road trip. But the same people think nothing about giving Amtrak twice that to reach the same destination When I get there I still have my berth, theirs' is heading down the rails.

You can look at this expense a hundred ways. It all boils down to what it's worth to you to travel the RV lifestyle, with your own belongings, in a comfortable setting, being fully self-contained, and staying in areas you could often not enjoy any other way. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for squeezing every penny in the travel budget. Once you and your wife decide on what and where makes you happy, I would ease out of the driveway with a big smile on my face and "Move It on Down the Road." --Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink



KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Of course this is preaching to the choir:

1. wasted vacation days of the day of flight out and day of flight back being at airport 2 hours early, then delays, sometimes even to the next day, wasting another day of vacation or work pay, and another night of hotel fees.

2. healthier eating in your own rig, not only cheaper, but you know how the food was prepared. Plus, you can eat what and when you wish, rather than having to choose from a menu and wait for the food to be delivered to your table.

3. your own bed and bedding (minus bedbugs hopping in your luggage at hotels)

4. taking along your pet to share the trip as opposed to kennel fees.

5. having everything along with you in case you want it! If you were hotelling it and driving a car, what if you want to set by a shore of a lake in a lawn chair? grab a fishing pole? make a pitcher of margaritas? grab your camera tripod for some spontaneous sunset shots?

I can do all of those and much more in my RV than in a hotel room with one suitcase. LOL

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Anonymous said...

Leave your wife at home and go yourself. Some people just don't want to have fun and isn't that why you bought the RV?

Bob Horn said...

Experience of 2 winter trips south with a travel traier, except for fuel, living costs as the same as at home, cutting cable and utilities etc. Fuel vs paying motel or air fare, we come out ahead.

Bob said...

I get upset with those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. I get some of that at home. I usually bite my tongue, but what I really want to say is "OK, let's just go sit on the front porch and wait to die"

c-r&mrb said...

Amen To That!
One night at the hotel near the RV park in Brookings on the Oregon Coast was $179.00 per night. Our RV site was $180.00 per week. Same view on the same beach. Add in the home cooking and home comforts we were way ahead. Keep having fun...we are!:);)

Dan said...

Also don't for get wrestling the bags up to the room, tips at restaurants, luggage handling tips as required, and over priced sodas and snacks from vending machines.

Unpacking, repacking, etc. etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

You can't just look at the fuels costs. You have to look at the overall costs of the vacation. Fuel costs are offset by savings in other areas. That's not taking into the convenience factors. said...

If you stay in even the cheapest motel rooms or paid campsites, you offset the fuel expense very quickly. Plus you have the load in and out time lost for the motels. While others are up and checking out of a room you are already under way and seeing this beautiful country.

Typically you would have at least half the same fuel expenses even with a "cheaper" vehicle that might get 20 mpg.

And a diesel pusher will out last 3-5 conventional RVs if cared for.

There are so many free or almost free campsites. It is very reasonable to go in an RV versus other modes.

Karen is correct. On several occasions we were stranded in airports for 8-24 hours. My nice RV beats the heck out of losing a day and sleeping in airport chairs. Air travel snafus are becoming more common.

Moderator, SafariCoaches, Yahoo group

WorldApostolicNet said...

Also consider what you pay for electric and other utilities per month while at home. You can add this to your travel budget.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I just could not be bothered with arguing with someone that keeps harping on costs of everything. We RV because we like the people we meet (RVers are the nicest bunch of people on earth), the places we would not normally see if going by conventional means (plane, train, car) and oh, just about everything about RVing. We are not by any stretch of the imagination rich, but we still RV and have fun.