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What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

Munich
Level Contributor
13,390 posts
7 reviews
8 helpful votes
What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

This question happens every few weeks, and everytime the opinions are different. So I did a summation, based on our last experience in USA.

I counted a smaller RV, 21 - 25 feet, taking off and giving back in LA, high season, 20 days, 2 person, booked via an european agency:

You can get such an RV for 20 days, includes all camping equipment, all insurances, 2000 miles (100 mile a day) for about 4000 Dollar. That makes 200 Dollar/Day.

For that 100 miles you'll need about 7 gallons, a gallon about 3 dollars, makes about 20 Dollar/day,

Campsites cost as average 30 Dollar/day

Since you are self-catering, you buy your food in a supermarket. That will be about 25 Dollar/Person/day, makes 50 Dollar

All in all that makes about 300 Dollar for 2 people in the very high season. Let's say in the low season RV are very less expensive. You can rent it for 50 Dollar/day.

So let's compare it with car/hotel, same high season, pick-up and drop off LA, 20 days:

One of the smaller and cheaper cars will cost about 50 Dollar/day, incl. all insurances.

For gas (the given 100 miles/day) you'll need only 10 Dollar.

Hotel will cost about 200 Dollar/night

A cheap lunch, bought in a supermarket will be 20 Dollar for 2 Person

Diner, without wine/bear cost at least 50 Dollar.

So it counts up to 330 Dollar per day for 2 people.

In the end, traveling via RV is slightly cheaper.

Beate

Edited: 1:26 pm, December 30, 2018
20 replies to this topic
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
12,983 posts
72 reviews
58 helpful votes
1. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

Beate....I think that $200 a night might be on the high side. It all depends on location. I just drove out to Colorado and back and paid less than $100 a night at really nice Best Westerns. I can also rent a car for way less than $1000 for 20 days.

Renton, Washington
Level Contributor
6,279 posts
2. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

I have never paid $200 a night for lodging. Of course, I do not opt for high-end and am satisfied with a clean, qiet place to sleep.

Renton, Washington
Level Contributor
6,279 posts
3. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

As a one-time RV owner (three, actually...I am a slow learner) my experience is that car/lodging is cheaper and far more flexible. Lots of places that are not RV-friendly, and if you do not have a tow car (and as a renter, you will not) you will find yourself parked far away from the attractions you traveled to see with no easy means of transportation to them.

Edited: 1:41 pm, December 30, 2018
Albany, NY
Level Contributor
1,451 posts
11 reviews
6 helpful votes
4. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

Also, you can stay in hotels with kitchens (like Residence Inn, Home 2 Suites, etc.) that will allow you to cook your own dinner and make the food costs comparable to the RV.

Penticton, Canada
Level Contributor
25,243 posts
28 reviews
11 helpful votes
5. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

RV is about lifestyle and countryside and not all RVs are created equal.

Traveling in a car is about a road trip where you put on the miles and one likes to wander about exploring when you get there.

Cost really does not make much difference when deciding between the 2 styles of transportation.

As for choice of hotels it is all about how much you have in the budget and if you need to have a bathrobe included in the amenities along with a choice of 4 different pillows . (-: but then you might be traveling in a Class A anyway if you needed 4 pillows and the cost benefit analysis in this post is out the window.

Munich
Level Contributor
13,390 posts
7 reviews
8 helpful votes
6. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

Ok, maybe you are right. But this are the prices we found for example for hotels in Jackson, Wyoming, Sure you can get cheaper hotels, but this are far away from any hot spots and not in the very high season.

We have been also in hotels with kitchen. But non of them did have the needed cook ware.

And in a car you don't have a cooler.

I did not vote for one ore the other. I just did a bit of calculation to make it easier for someone,

Beate

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
6,103 posts
1,122 reviews
304 helpful votes
7. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

Hi,

A car and hotels are cheaper, easier, and more flexible if you can stay at budget hotels.

A car, tents, and hotels could be cheapest.

We eat food from supermarkets such as Walmart.

Munich
Level Contributor
13,390 posts
7 reviews
8 helpful votes
8. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

"""A car, tents, and hotels could be cheapest."""

For sure!!! But in a certain age you don't want to sleep in a tent. lol

Beate

9. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

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Edited: 2:38 pm, December 30, 2018
 
Vancouver, Canada
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37,018 posts
63 reviews
53 helpful votes
10. Re: What is cheaper, RV or car/hotel

We've done that math before (on the Canadian Rockies forum) and also deduced that there really isn't much in it cost wise. The two modes are pretty comparable.

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