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RVing message boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: B737doc on October 10, 2017, 02:55:08 PM

Title: RV Expenses
Post by: B737doc on October 10, 2017, 02:55:08 PM
   I'm just now realizing how expensive this "other life" is now that we've had our motorhome a couple of months, so all of you that are "on the fence" about buying a used Motorhome, here's my experience thus far. 
After what I thought was a thorough inspection, I get a good look at the inside rear tires, they are beyond serviceable.  The front tires are new, but all 4 rear will need replacing.  Quoted price...$1100.   The ad valorem tax we had to pay to get a tag was $475, Previous owner says he got 10-12 mpg. After our first trip of 60 miles one way, we got 5.1 mpg, but we were pulling a trailer with 2 motorcycles. 
   The State parks here in Georgia are beautiful, but will cost you $32 per night IF you can find a spot.  This to me is price gouging, and think a fair price should be no more than $20 per night.  My propane tank reads just above 1/4, and I'm not sure how much it holds, but was quoted 3-4 dollars per pound.  We live quite close to Atlanta raceway and Talladega raceway, but their prices are well over $300 per weekend. Whether we love this hobby enough to keep paying thru the nose is yet to be determined,  The motorhome is very nice, and I love working on it, so we'll see! 
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Oldgator73 on October 10, 2017, 04:26:32 PM
We have never owned a MH but we did fulltime in a 37' triple slide 5th wheel. That was from 1998-2004. We were destination campers. In other words, when on the road we never stayed the night in a CG. We stayed at rest stops, truck stops or Walmart. Diesel back then was about $.90 gallon and propane was much cheaper than today. But we also made less money too. Fast forward to today. We now own a very small TT that we tow with a small p/u. We are still destination campers staying at the aforementioned places while on the road. Campgrounds are getting a bit expensive. We paid $75 per night at Ft Wilderness inside Disney World. We thought it was worth it since we had our own bed, cooking facilities, etc. We took our grandkids to Six Flags in MD and stayed at Ft Meade in a military Fam Camp. $50 a night. A few weeks ago we went a State park in the Catskills in New York. $20 a night but no hookups. But we look at like this; average per night for a hotel is probably $100-$200 per night, eating 2 meals a day at restaurants is at least $50-$60 a day for two folks (and I guarantee the meals we cook at our campsite are much better), we don't have to lug bags in and out of a hotel every day. If you just started RVing and are this disappointed, maybe you should look for a new hobby.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: beaverfever on October 10, 2017, 04:48:50 PM
it is only going to get more expensive. if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen now.
your first loss is the smallest,sorry may not like what i am saying but camping will never get cheaper and a 25 year old rig will continue to nickel and dime you.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: HappyWanderer on October 10, 2017, 04:50:52 PM
We could fly anywhere in the country and stay in 5 star hotels, and it would be cheaper than owning a motorhome. However, we have no desire to do so.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: ChasA on October 10, 2017, 07:11:09 PM
B737doc, propane costs $3-$4 a GALLON. A gallon of propane weighs about 4.5 pounds.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: RVRAC on October 10, 2017, 07:17:40 PM
You don't do this because is cheap, as it is not, but you want it and choose it.  I spend as much camping in my MH as I do pay for my condo and related expenses.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on October 10, 2017, 07:40:59 PM
Good feedback. Many people think RVing is a cheap way to travel or live, no doubt due to the propaganda circulated by the RVIA.

Quote
This to me is price gouging, and think a fair price should be no more than $20 per night.

Why is it fair for the rest of the state's taxpayers to subsidize your stay in a luxurious RV? Sorry, but even $32/night is inexpensive for a full-hook-up campsite at todays prices. Similar private campgrounds will exceed $40.

The 4 rear tires on my [former] coach cost about $2100 for a set. Sounds like yours are a bargain.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: McKannick on October 10, 2017, 07:57:03 PM
Doc, you picked a doozy to get your 'RV expenses' learning curve started! If you like to travel around and have your bikes handy, a "toy hauler" camping trailer would have been the way I would have suggested to explore the RV life. Most of those rigs would be towable by a 3/4 ton pickup and could be found pretty cheap used and in good condition. But, you may get used to it.
By the way, state parks, no matter what state, are going to be 'basic' in commodities (power and water, with a dump station) and about as low a fee per night as you'll ever find. Some fancy 'resort' campgrounds will come close to motel nightly fees, but you get a lot more as well. 
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on October 10, 2017, 08:06:45 PM
Georgia has a lovely park system and many sites are easily as luxurious as an upscale campground. Some GA parks even have upscale resort hotels, golf courses, etc.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: scottydl on October 10, 2017, 08:25:46 PM
Everything you mentioned does indeed sound pretty standard as far as RV expenses go.  ;)  Always make sure you shop around on repair items and fuel costs.  And, the previous owner NEVER got 10-12 mpg's in that Class A (unless that was coasting downhill).  I guarantee you that!  7-8 is more typical for a large gas rig, and 5-6 for towing heavy loads and/or big hills as you experienced.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: SargeW on October 10, 2017, 08:48:23 PM
There are folks here that span the whole range of RV camping. Everything from BLM land and Walmarts,  to 5 star Class  A resorts. Most of us fall somewhere in between.  You get to choose where your nitch is. It's tough finding many places with $20 a night fees. Often they are dry camping, or maybe  30 amp electric. If your lifestyle is tht you  don't need hookups, you can find those more inexpensive places to stay. As soon as you start adding amenities, the costs go up for the campground operators. And many folks also want free Wifi on top of the usual utilities. All that has to be paid by someone, as well as wages for whomever keeps the place clean and serviceable. 

As already mentioned, it's not a cheap way of life, but it is always an adventure.   
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Graycat on October 10, 2017, 09:11:42 PM
Where are you finding $20 per night sites?  That's on the low end of parks we have visited, usually Army corps of engineers parks.  State parks are a few dollars more.  The nicer parks are $30+
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Isaac-1 on October 10, 2017, 11:18:53 PM
$20 or less per night with any hookups is hard to find, but not impossible, just generally don't expect nice scenery for that price, though if you go up to $25 you are likely to start finding COE campgrounds with water and electric hookups, state park camp grounds, etc.  Some of which have various discount passes available, that may be worth buying into.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Pugapooh on October 11, 2017, 12:29:42 AM
$20 a night?  I assume these spots have some type of hook-ups. No doubt the roads are maintained.  Probably some employees.  Perhaps some amenities and activities.  Should taxpayers subsidize all that?

Nope,it's not cheaper to RV.  It's about taking the pets,not sleeping on the ground or some bed bugged mattress.  Sitting around a campfire.  Not relying on restaurants.

Sorry it's not going as you hoped.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: BinaryBob on October 11, 2017, 12:39:54 AM
We could fly anywhere in the country and stay in 5 star hotels, and it would be cheaper than owning a motorhome. However, we have no desire to do so.

"5 Star" might be a stretch, but the point is well taken.  :)
We learned early on, that the RV lifestyle is not a money saver. $30-$40 buck a night is a bargain.
We've been to places that didn't work out. Pull in the slides and roll. For us, the versatility and comfort of your own home are worth it.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: camperAL on October 11, 2017, 01:21:35 AM
Greetings B737doc,

I guess it is all how you look at things. Four tires at $1100 will (should) go for 6 or 7 years, that is a cost of $39.29 per tire per year.
I purchased LP for my tank 12 gallons when it was half full for $16 ( roughly 26 pounds ) I am sure they tend to over charge a bit for RV'ers in certain places. Our average campground costs were $24.54 per night BUT we stayed for a month in one place and got discounts with FMCA and other clubs we are in. Cheapest stay was $12 per night and highest was $46. Some areas are just more expensive due to demand, and I think that is true of your area. Head out west and you can boondock for free. Stay in a spot for a week or month and cost goes down quite a bit.

Part of the cost is keeping your home on wheels serviced. The 6 plus week trip I took cost an average of $58.38 per day and that included eating. Divide that cost by two people and it comes down to $29.19 per day. I think that cost is reasonable. I haven't factored in maintenance costs but think $5 to $8 per day would be a reasonable cost.

I'd shop around for CG's, LP and other items you need to RV. I'd also look at it as a vacation you take that will cost you while on the road. There are so many advantages by being in your own home away from home. Places to see, people to meet and the enjoyment of your motorhome.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: JudyJB on October 11, 2017, 02:12:48 AM
Wait until you have to replace your refrigerator if you think tires are expensive!  My last set of 6 tires cost $1,300, by the way.  And I recently spent $1,800 on brakes for front and back. 

If you are over 62, you can get a senior pass and stay half-price at a lot of COE campgrounds.  One of my favorites is Old Federal on Lake Lanier, which is not too far from where you are.  You will get water and electric, but no sewer for $15 per night there if you have a pass, but will have a gorgeous view right on the lake.  There are quite a few other COE campgrounds in Georgia--just check recreation.gov.  And shop around for propane.  I have paid as little as $1.99 per gallon and only have to refill mine about every 6-8 weeks depending on how cold it is.

Most of us travel in RVs because we like the lifestyle of having your own bed, bathroom, and furniture, and because we like not having to pack and unpack a suitcase or fly on cramped planes--not because it is cheaper than hotels and restaurants.  It is nice to pull over somewhere and be able to fix a meal without having to find a restaurant with decent food that you like.  Need a nap in the middle of the day? Your bed is right there.  And you will never forget anything because it is all with you--extra change of clothes, shoes, heavier jacket, boots, etc.

It certainly is NOT a cheap way to travel when you add repairs and maintenance costs, but the luxuries make up for it.  And as the others have said, sorry you did not research travel and camping costs better before you bought so you weren't so surprised. 
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: John Beard on October 11, 2017, 06:32:18 AM
I am at best an occasional RVer, but what I have learned is that when traveling everything is an expense. Cheap travel, I don't think so. Convenient, no. But, I am in my own place, and I have my own bed, toilet and a handy shower. I don't stand in lines at airports, but I do get to wait through traffic and road construction delays. I don't have to mess with airport security but I do get to endure careless, thoughtless, and dangerous drivers.

With the expenses and other downsides of RVing compared to other forms of traveling...RVing wins hands down.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: decaturbob on October 11, 2017, 06:57:54 AM
   I'm just now realizing how expensive this "other life" is now that we've had our motorhome a couple of months, so all of you that are "on the fence" about buying a used Motorhome, here's my experience thus far. 

If you were expecting to "save money" owning and operating an RV, especially for very short periods, not sure what you were expecting.  Now I bought one 16 months ago, a 2008 Class with 32,000 miles on it at the time. I did a thorough inspection myself and found no issues as the tires (all 6) were 2 years and newer.  My out of pocket expenses have been for a new radiator which I bought and installed,  a complete transmission drain and refill which my truck mechanic did and I added cell booster system, a wifi booster system and TPMS system.  We took the RV to Arizona for 2 months in March and April (high season) which included renting a house for 28 days,  The total cost (of 70 days out) which included 2 months of car rental, the house rental, tickets to spring training games, other tickets for attractions, RV spots while traveling, all food, all gas, the 30 days at a RV park outside of Phoenix was approx $90/day.  I dare say, it would be tough to go to Arizona and find hotels, meals for 2 people and their pets for $90/day in March and April.  So when my friend asked me of RV'ing save us money, I gave him the numbers....
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: FunSteak on October 11, 2017, 07:24:33 AM
As first season RVers, we have been pleasantly surprised that the costs aren't quite as bad as we expected.  We've had good luck finding places around $30 per night or less, and since our rig is new, maintenance hasn't been much so far.  I usually cruise around 65-68 on the interstate, and we've managed an overall average, including genny time, of around 8.5 mpg. 

While we have seen a bit less overall costs compared to nightly hotels and meals out, we didn't necessarily get into this as a cost saving venture.  For us, it has been more about comfort, convenience and adventure, and I'm here to tell you that in each of those categories our expectations have been far exceeded!   We have quickly come to love the lifestyle and the somewhat decadent comfort of having our home with us.  After tent camping my whole life, it's a real treat to have the amenities and ease of a motorhome.  Perhaps that's tougher to quantify. 

For us, it really came home the first couple of mornings we woke to cold temps and pouring rain, and we were warm, dry and happy, with the kettle on the stove and no need to "suit up" to head to the restroom or have breakfast.  The Admiral and I looked at each other and both said "worth it!" 

Half tank of gas, $60.  Campsite, $28.  Groceries and a bottle of nice wine, $50.  All of the above comfort and happiness, PRICELESS!

Safe travels and downhill grades to you.   :D
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: QZ on October 11, 2017, 10:46:53 AM
I would have to ask why you bought an RV and especially a MH. When I was working an older co worker said he was going to retire and pull his 16' TT to Arizona for the winter. Some of the others laughed and sort of considered him a dirt bag. As I got about 5 years from retirement and started researching I visualized hitting the road from Wisconsin and mapped a days travel and searched fro an RV park in that area. To my surprise it was about $30 a night. At that rate it is obviously about $900 per month to pay by the night. At that point I concluded that anybody who can retire and do that and pay for everything else probably isn't a dirt bag.

I also explored mobile and modular homes in retiree parks down south and out west and figured it would run about $500 to $600 a month even when we are not there and that did not include the purchase price. That would solve our winter snow problem but we were still 1000 and 2000 miles from our kids so back to the RV scenario and the discovery of boondocking and dry camping. For us that solved three problems, it got us out of the snow, let us visit our kids and cut the costs substantially.  Two of our kids have a couple acres more in the country so we are able to spend a good deal of time with them. We also spend a few months on BLM and other free land.

If I average out a 7 month season that includes BLM, city parks, COE and RV parks such as $45 a night places in Moab I probably spend $5 or so per night. If we add in dump fees and propane I might be closer to $10. I have never tracked it closely and it varies with the weather and the availability of free spots and the areas we pass through.

With a MH and using it at by the night prices you are probably doing it as expensively as possible. I assume you have street bikes so you are probably not into dirt roads and camping areas. I would guess that a cheaper option would have been to own a pickup which could be used as a daily driver and a toy hauler. To keep the TH from being huge you do compromise on space and comfort but it is also cheaper and easier to store and maintain. A tow behind RV does much better when stored for long periods too. At this point about the only thing you can do is try to cut your nightly cost and you may be able to do it by checking out boondocking options or renting a seasonal site. 

You cant just go on sites like freecampsites.net or Campendium and pick a spot and expect to drive in there with a MH and trailer. Some of the reviews that people leave tell you how wonderful the flowers are and not what size rigs can access it so you have to use things like Google Earth and street view to plan it out. On the other hand you may be able to come up with a few places that will work for you and maybe end up enjoying it more than RV parks. A good point that you made is that you love to work on it and that can be not only a huge savings but also much less hassle from incompetent and lying dealers.  Good luck to you, maybe you will be back here asking about solar options :)

https://freecampsites.net/#!Georgia&query=region (https://freecampsites.net/#!Georgia&query=region)    https://www.campendium.com/georgia (https://www.campendium.com/georgia)
 


Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: OLDRACER on October 11, 2017, 11:48:47 AM
Unfortunately, many people still take the leap into RVing first,and do the research later. This does not work any better than it would in any other area of endeavor.

If you spend years working up from small RVs or even tents, as many people do, you already know the answers you need. But there are still those who sell their house, put the money into their first RV and hit the road.

Good luck to them!

Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: garyb1st on October 11, 2017, 12:20:11 PM
Wonder if the OP hasn't listed his RV at this point.  Hopefully not.  But as is evident by the various responses, the cost of RVing is highly variable.  For example, a Long Term Visitor pass at a Bureau of Land Management location is maybe a bit more $1.00 a day.  $180 for about 7 months.  But then there are propane and fuel costs which are dependent on location.  Too cold = lots of propane to heat the RV.  Too warm = run a generator to power the AC.  That takes gas. 

I like privacy and prefer not to watch my neighbors TV while camping.  Therefore, I avoid RV parks if/when possible.  That reduces RVing cost since the places we visit are less costly than RV parks.  Think Walmart, rest areas and many other free or very low cost places to spend a night.  If I had to spend $40.00 a night to camp, I'd very likely quit RVing.  At least until my wife got her $.02 in.  Then we'd pay the $40.00.  But I'm cheap and I don't like to spend money.  At least not when I can accomplish the same thing for less or sometimes nothing. 

I'm a senior and have all the various discount cards.  So National Park entrance fees, $.00.  BLM, Corp of Engineer Parks, National Forests, Bureau of Land Management and more are half price.  Example on last trip.  BLM land along hi way 395 in California.  Senior rate, $2.50 a night.  It's gone up to $4.00 since our last trip. On that same trip, we paid $46.90 for two nights to park at an RV park in Mendocino, CA., on the coast.  It was hands down, one of the worst RV parks we stayed at.  A year ago, we camped at a County park on Lake Superior in Minnesota.  $50.34 a night.  We'll do that one again.  But just like real estate, Location Location Location.  And more importantly, that's where the wife wanted to stay. 

I like tracking expense.  Here are the actual expense dollars from a 103 day trip we took last year.  Camping, average paid per night, $22.43.  Fuel, average paid per day, $27.03.  Here's another.  Note it's much shorter which can impact fuel costs.  Camping, average paid per night, $17.36.  Fuel same trip $56.05 (per day).  Both trips were since we purchased the motorhome in April.  We like driving and usually don't stay at one spot long.  That causes the cost of fuel per day to increase.  So if you plan on driving a lot, think the cost of fuel not campgrounds.  You'll never get free fuel or even half price.   ;)

Other variables, amount of time we run the generator.  On our last trip we encountered both high temperatures and lots of smoke from area fires.  Consequently we used the generator quite a bit.  That increases the daily fuel costs. 
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Sun2Retire on October 11, 2017, 01:17:16 PM
Gary, which park in Mendocino?
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Gods Country on October 11, 2017, 01:45:38 PM
If you get into RV'ing because you think it's affordable, you better find another hobby.  Of course it can be very affordable if you dry camp. 

Oh and 10-12 mpg with a motorhome?  Come on did you even do a tad bit of research?  I'm happy with 10mpg avg with my PU pulling a mid size trailer.

Rving is a choice.....a lifestyle......a preference.   I could hitch hike and travel super cheap, but that come with different risks. 
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Isaac-1 on October 11, 2017, 04:18:09 PM
I think another factor here is amount of expected use per year, for people with 2 weeks of vacation time per year cost of ownership (insurance, storage, etc.) will be a much higher burden, than for retirees, snow birds, and full timers.     Personally I am somewhere in the middle of that specturm, semi-retired, but my wife still works full time, but gets a good many vacation days per year (over 30 days per year, and growing by a bit over 1 day per year).     In my first year of  motorhome ownership I have spent about 50 nights in my motorhome, about 1/3 solo, about 1/3 with my wife, and about 1/3 on weekend trips with my college age son.

In my first year of ownership of a 15+ year old coach, I have spent something over $6,000 on maintenance and upgrades, plus about $1,200 on insurance, and road side assistance plans, and group memberships (good sams, america the beautiful pass, FMCA), thankfully I have free storage in a shed on the family farm about 15 miles from my house.   Of the $6,000+ I would categorize only about $1,800 as absolutely necessary  (brake repair, dash air conditioner repair, fluid change, new spark plug wires, marker lights ...)  The rest I would consider optional upgrades of varying levels of importance, TPMS system, new shocks, sumo-springs, SeeLevel 709 Tank Monitor, LED headlights, spare tire and hitch carrier...    I am hopeful that year 2 will be cheaper, as I now have most of the major upgrades I want to do done, though I will likely need new house batteries before long, and new tires in 2 or 3 years, so there is always some ongoing expense.     As to daily expense on the road, it will of course vary, but so far I am averaging somewhere between $25 - $30 per night, with $10 (well $0 for a few nights in truck stops, or on private land) being the lower end and $125 per night being the highest, but that was for the big solar eclipse, otherwise $55 is about the most I have spent for a single night in tourist areas.

Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: gwcowgill on October 11, 2017, 04:45:15 PM
I loved camping as a kid growing up in WV, I love the outdoors and I am fortunate or should I say blessed with enough retirement to be able to continue my love of the outdoors even though at my age I don't believe I could tent camp anymore, I will continue to pay the  price as long as I am able. It is all about what you hold dear to your heart.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: garyb1st on October 11, 2017, 05:02:12 PM
Gary, which park in Mendocino?

Casper Beach RV Park.  The beach location is the biggest plus.  Another plus is the management and their store.  Great people and good selection of stuff.  Unfortunately, the park is old and has not been updated.  The electric utility for our site was a disaster. 
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: garyb1st on October 11, 2017, 05:06:35 PM
One minor correction.  The park in Mendocino was $46.90 per night. 
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: RedT on October 11, 2017, 05:08:20 PM
We've been part-time RVing since 1998. The last long trip we took, our average daily expense was $100. That included food, which we would have purchased anyway. When you add the licensing, insurance, maintenance costs, your per-month expenses tend to get large.

In March 2016 we sold the motorhome, thinking that, at age 80 it was time to hang up the keys. Problem is, we discovered we were RVaholics, and bought it back! Seriously. Yesterday I paid the bill for a transmission overhaul. $6440  So, sometimes it seems like RVing ain't too cheap!   :-[ 

Are we continuing?  YEP! 
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Wi1dBill on October 11, 2017, 09:24:28 PM
Living in general isn't cheap.   Figure out what your sticks and brick cost you. What you pay in real-estate taxes alone can cover campground rentals, figuring weekly/monthly rates.  Frankly, I've noticed that we spend less money snow birding, then when we stayed home.   4 months, water and sewer, 1st part of Jan through end of April in AZ, $1,500.00 plus electric (averages $60.00 a month) CableTV/Internet/Phone pkg. ($95.00 a month).  Under $20.00 a day and this is in a pretty decent park.

Wi1dBi11
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: KandT on October 13, 2017, 07:45:45 PM
I would have to ask why you bought an RV and especially a MH. When I was working an older co worker said he was going to retire and pull his 16' TT to Arizona for the winter. Some of the others laughed and sort of considered him a dirt bag. As I got about 5 years from retirement and started researching I visualized hitting the road from Wisconsin and mapped a days travel and searched fro an RV park in that area. To my surprise it was about $30 a night. At that rate it is obviously about $900 per month to pay by the night. At that point I concluded that anybody who can retire and do that and pay for everything else probably isn't a dirt bag.

https://freecampsites.net/#!Georgia&query=region (https://freecampsites.net/#!Georgia&query=region)    https://www.campendium.com/georgia (https://www.campendium.com/georgia)

There definitely are "dirtbags" out there but I infrequently find it is due to the amount of money they have.  It does seem to be related to the amount of work they do and their integrity!
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Hammster on October 14, 2017, 06:31:58 AM
We also tend to look at the cost of buying your own food and cooking it in the rig vs going out to eat. We think, on average, you'll save money by eating in instead of having to eat all your meals out. A bowl of cereal in the morning, for example, costs next to nothing. Plus, no wasted gas to go and find a restaurant somewhere. Regarding lodging. We have estimated our lodging costs for this 7 week long trip at around $1200. Note that we actually only paid for about 4.5 weeks of actual lodging with the remaining 2.5 weeks free. So, 4.5 weeks at $1200. Yeah, I know, boondocking can save even more. I dare anyone to beat that at a decent hotel. And, then restaurant costs on top of that.
I think our biggest cost will be fuel. Anywhere from $50 to $85 per fillup depending on how far we drove that day. But, there were days where we didn't drive anywhere so no fuel was used or purchased. We'll have to figure that one out once we get home and look at all the receipts.
A few repairs to the trailer are awaiting us for when we get home, but I look at that the same as a house. Things break, or age, and need to get fixed. We've put this rig over some seriously bad stretches of road. Memphis, TN highways for example. Yikes was that ever a washboard of a road and we've come out fairly unscathed. Still a few more days on the road, though, so I hope I didn't just jinx it. LOL
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on October 14, 2017, 08:43:46 AM
b737doc didn't get much sympathy here, but his expense report should be instructive to others considering the "RV good life".  Thanks for providing your real life expereinces!
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Bill N on October 14, 2017, 10:26:19 AM
After reading all of the responses it would appear the OP is not getting much sympathy.  I knew that buying a 12 year old Class A motorhome would result in what some call a Money Pit but it was what we could afford without monthly payments and it was in outstanding condition and had been well maintained as evidenced by its service records. 

My money pit forecast has come true in the past 3 years.  New tranny, ac compressor, side awning, new set of tires, water heater repair, towing equipment, etc, etc have not come cheap.  In fact they are approaching the initial cost of the coach itself but every time we step in it we fall in love with it all over.

  Every time we pull into an interstate rest stop and know that we don't have to use a filthy restroom and can have a nice meal or snack right out of our own refrigerator we remember why we bought it.

 Every time I look at our two cats and one dog who travel everywhere with us I know why I bought it.

  Every time I hear the wife say how much she enjoys not having a ton of housework to do every day I know why I bought it.

 Every time I park it in a campground near one of my sons or daughters homes across the country I know I will have a decent bed to sleep in and a safe place to stay at a very reasonable price.  Again, another reason why I bought it. 

As I age and develop more and more medical issues like COPD and arthritis I know it will be a challenge to keep it another year - then I step inside of it and instantly know why I bought it.  It is truly our home away from home and that is really another benefit.  It can be used as a second residence if something should happen to our primary home via weather, fire or any other disaster.  It is an expense but one we have learned to accept as the price of the enjoyment it provides.

Bill
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on October 14, 2017, 04:40:15 PM
Sometimes buying an older "bargain" is a false economy, but it does have the advantage of allowing the cost of ownership to be spread out. At a loss of convenience, of course, since everybody hates roadside breakdowns and interrupted trips.

The biggest concern is for a newbie to buy an older rig and get surprised that repairs are both frequent and expensive. Especially at RV dealer prices.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Heli_av8tor on October 14, 2017, 05:50:26 PM
Bill N:  Your post pretty well describes us with our coach. Though it is hard not to get discouraged at times.

The failures have been coming faster than I anticipated but thankfully I've been able to deal with them at home and do all of the labor.

It's certainly been a learning experience and tuition is never free. 

Tom
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Willandgiselarv on October 14, 2017, 06:16:38 PM
Yes, owning and maintaining an RV can be expensive..this year ran me 4500.00 and haven't used it yet. It is a second home on wheels in my case it's in front of my house ready to go as I'm in evacuation mode where I live.
I have 2 dogs and a wife that cannot get around and most of the shelters do not really want to see pets and finding a hotel is all booked.
My RV value just went up saving me the grief of where I can get to safety .
I have my valuables loaded and when it's time I have my wife, pets and valuables in a safe and cozy structure.
Thank God I have an RV, I have another home in SF but unfortunately I have people staying in it because they have lost their home.
Yes expenses may be high or normal to some the cheapest campground I have rented is 40.00
A night and I continue to look for those nice campgrounds.
Good luck and you know you only have one life so enjoy it.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: SargeW on October 14, 2017, 09:53:37 PM
every time we step in it we fall in love with it all over.

Every time we pull into an interstate rest stop
 Every time I look at our dog who travel everywhere with us I know why I bought it.

  Every time I hear the wife say how much she enjoys not having a ton of housework to do every day I know why I bought it.

 Every time I park it in a campground near one of my sons another reason why I bought it. 

It can be used as a second residence  It is an expense but one we have learned to accept as the price of the enjoyment it provides.

Bill

Well said Bill!!
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Isaac-1 on October 14, 2017, 10:32:06 PM
I think the important lesson to take from this thread is when we have people asking about the cost of older motorhomes, it is important to point out the costs in owning any coach of any age, both the fixed cost of insurance, storage, age related maintenance (tires, batteries, etc.) as well as cost to travel, fuel, camping, etc.

As to older coaches being money pits, I am sure some are, and am sure there will be maintenance with all of them, I paid just over $20,000 for a 15 year old class A coach last year, and in the first year of ownership I have spent around $6,500 on maintenance, updates, and upgrades, of which I would say $1,500 or so was mandatory and another $1,000-$1,500 was good idea for preventive maintenance.  The coach I bought had an original MSRP of $109,000 in 2001, inflation adjusted that is about $151,000 today, assuming 30% discount off MSRP for a new coach and we get about $106,000 in todays money, taking a difference from what I paid, we get $86,000 financed at 4% over 15 years, that is roughly $650 per month or $7,800 per year in value depreciation evened out over 15 year.  So as long as I can continue to operate the coach with an annual maintenance of under about $7,800 per year I see it as the better option than having bought new, though one must factor in something for general wear and tear, continued residual value, ....
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Bill N on October 15, 2017, 06:58:28 AM
Bill N:  Your post pretty well describes us with our coach. Though it is hard not to get discouraged at times.

The failures have been coming faster than I anticipated but thankfully I've been able to deal with them at home and do all of the labor.

It's certainly been a learning experience and tuition is never free. 

Tom

Good post Tom and consider yourself lucky you can do all the labor.  That will save you a bunch.  I also consider that if I had bought a new or newer coach with monthly payments I would still not be free of maintenance and storage charges and of a lot of other maintenance expenses.  I just returned from a short camping  trip to a local campground where I  sat in a row of 5 coaches and the other four were all units that sold for a million dollars or more.  We all talked during the time we were there and we were all enjoying our coaches but several of the million dollar coach owners were also telling me  of big expenses they had too so that made me feel a lot better.  In actuality it is how much you can afford and don't trick yourself into believing that any RV will be expense free for any set amount of time.  By the way Tom, I cannot do most of my labor requirements so that $115 to $139 per hour adds up fast. 

Bill
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Bagelboy on October 20, 2017, 09:24:15 PM
I RV because I travel back and forth to my homes in Florida and NY. I don't like neighbors in hotels making noises, I really don't like the sound of hotel doors slamming at all ours of the night, I don't like sleeping in a bed that I'm sure has stories to tell, and my wife and I like to bring our Doberman with us. I also like travelling and seeing different areas and taking in the history. I never, ever thought it would save me money or be cheaper.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: thomasamski on October 31, 2017, 08:31:47 PM
Owning and maintaining a motor home is not cheap, but the benefits far outweigh the faults. There are ways to save money. I learned how to do my own preventative maintenance. That saves about $1500 annually. This year ... at age 76 ... I stopped doing oil changes and lube jobs. I now have it waxed every two years ... mainly because it's stored indoors when not in use. In Florida a good waxing and cleaning runs between $400 and $600. I get it done at the Arizona RV park we visit for $225. RVING is a lifestyle. That alone makes it all worthwhile.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: B737doc on November 07, 2017, 03:45:36 PM
    Well I certainly appreciate the feedback from everyone.  We have taken Ol Blue (aka the "Meth Lab") out now a couple of times and have really enjoyed it.  The tires are really not THAT bad.  We reverted back to the original antenna and get awesome reception, and the 35" flatscreen. I have learned EVERYTHING works and has been very well taken care of. The Ol' 454 responds like new with no leaks anywhere.  I would trust it to go anywhere!  Since then, I have been scouting COE parks and calculating how much these would cost in total for a week would be around $500 for a prime campsite 70 miles away.
   Prepping for winter now.   Will remove batteries, drain all tanks and lines, place tarp on roof. Tires have been priced and located and will be replaced prior to next trip.  No regrets at all, excited about next year!
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: Isaac-1 on November 07, 2017, 09:09:02 PM
Just remember when it comes to tires on motorhomes that a blow out often does thousands of dollars worth of body damage.
Title: Re: RV Expenses
Post by: B737doc on November 10, 2017, 02:57:45 PM
I can imagine!  We have both agreed that the tires on the rear will need replacement before we take it back out again. I've already located a shop near the house that will do it for around $1100.  We're just waiting for a few things.  We have been without a contract here at work for 5+ years and the Union has placed some conditions on a TA that would give members a high percentage of retro pay and a significant bump in pay.  I think this is mainly the reason we are still without a contract.  Our mediator walked out on negotiations in August saying there was no progress being made.   We are all hopeful on both sides.