El Monte blog 2.21

Can I afford an RV? The True Costs of RV Ownership

You have decided now to own your own RV! Great! So how do you know what you can afford? Is it better to buy new or used? How used? How much can you save with an RV Warrantee? Do you want to buy a Class A Motorhome? A Class C? Gas or Diesel for fuel?

There are many issues and questions that are important to answer so you understand what the real costs of owning an RV are.

We’ve done our best to outline below some of the true costs of RV ownership. Note, we won’t include the costs of campgrounds and gas as those are variable depending on where you will camp and how far you’ll travel.

RV ownership includes costs beyond the purchase of your travel trailer or home on wheels.

Here are the top 7 expenses of owning an RV so you can choose a motorhome or camper that fits your budget! From vehicles to insurance and even storage options, we have all your RV expenses covered.

RV’s are great for camping, long-distance trips, and more. Whether you’re diving headfirst into full-time RV living or just looking for a seasonal camper for vacationing, it’s important to know what you’re going to be paying.

The Top Expenses of RV Ownership

There are seven major expenses you need to consider once you decide you’re ready to hit the open road. Like any big purchase, RV ownership is an investment, and there are added costs, especially when it comes to owning one of these 2,000-10,000+ pound rigs. Here are the seven main expenses you need to plan for if you want to own an RV:

  1. The cost to buy the RV.
  2. Insurance
  3. Maintenance
  4. Utilities
  5. Storage

And we won’t go into too much detail on these next two since they are extremely variable depending on your usage, but of course, they must be considered in the overall budgeting and planning.

  1. Gas
  2. RV Parks and Campsites

You see, there is plenty to think about when it comes to owning an RV in addition to the initial cost of the vehicle. If you do your research and ask questions, you can find what you’re looking for and stay within your budget. By understanding the costs of ownership up front, you can spend less time worrying about your wallet and more time enjoying the open road. Let’s take a closer look at each of these expenses so you know approximately what it costs to own an RV.

1. The cost to buy the RV.

RV’s cost different amounts. The initial investment is up to you – you can choose an average RV for about $55,000 or a used one will run about $35,000. Of course, you can buy one for $200,000 or find a used one for about $20,000 too. This will be adjudicated by you to fit your budget.

2. Insurance

Your RV must have insurance, the average cost for this item is anywhere from $500 to $1000 per year for a motor home and about $250 a year for a trailer. Shop for your insurance, starting with whomever insures your car, as they may give you a break for adding another vehicle.

3. RV Maintenance

Maintenance expenses, including oil changes, propane, tires, toilet, amenities, painting, floor repairs and roof repairs, water damage, windshield replacements can run a lot. Set aside at least $100 per month to cover expenses related to maintaining your RV in excellent condition.

4. RV Utilities

With a reasonable sized RV in a mild climate, you can expect to spend between $100 to $300 per month for your utilities. This would include electric, water and any other utilities that are not covered by your campground fees.

5. RV Storage

When you are not driving your RV, where are you going to keep it? Storage units, both indoor and outdoor exist, and will cost anywhere between $30 and $100 per month. Of course, if you have room in your own yard and can store it there, you will save that, but check local ordinances, as you may have to construct a proper gate or fence to be able to store it there.

6. Gas

As we stated above, gas will vary depending on how far you plan to travel in your RV. Many manufacturers claim mileage from 10 to 20 mpg. However, closer to 10-12 is often more realistic. Depending on the price of fuel and how far you go, your gas bill will vary. Gas can cost anywhere from $60 to $500 per fill up. The total cost depends on your RV, its size, how far you are going and how it performs. The average mileage per year is about 5,000 miles for RV’s.

7. Campground fees and costs

Again, this is hard to predict since your own family camping patterns will vary. RV parks range in price depending on location, size, and the hookups that are included. National and State parks often have very reasonable prices for campgrounds with excellent amenities. Many parks with power and water will run about $35 per $50 per night and some of the more upscale, with exceptional locations, such as beachfront or mountain views are more like $100 per night. There are also many places you can camp without all the conveniences, but you must prepare your RV and make sure you are ready to go boondocking if you will be off the grid!

When you have decided you want to move forward with your RV purchase, visit El Monte RV Sales and see many of our gently used RV’s.

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