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  1. Default Approximate Roadtrip cost?

    Hi there,

    I'm 22, from the UK planning a roadtrip in an RV (roughly $2000 for a month) for next June but while it's easy to work out costs such as flights and RV rental other costs are more difficult, can anyone help me?

    Our plan is to fly to Tennessee, then drive in a car to Denver, at which point we get the RV and do something along the lines of this route

    We're obviously saving on hotel rooms because we have a bed with us, but how about food? Being from the UK, I can't really judge how much food would cost us at say, a walmart for a month, and campsites per night? I could work out gas thanks to an online calculator and that seems to be around $700 or so.

    Any other costs I should take in to consideration?

    Thanks for any help,


    EDIT: Should have added, there'll just be two of us. Do campsites charge per night or by vehicle?
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 03-18-2010 at 05:12 AM. Reason: added map

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default estimates

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You should know that while you won't be paying for hotel rooms, going with an RV is usually a more expensive option than a car/hotel trip once you factor in extra rental cost, fuel, and camping fees. It can be a great way to travel, but it should be something you are doing for the lifestyle and experience, more than trying to keep a low budget.

    Also, make sure your rental quote includes the one way drop fee and underage driver and/or extra driver fees. In fact, once you factor those things in, it will quite likely be cheaper to keep one vehicle for the entire trip - picking it up in Tennessee and dropping it in Oregon. Whether that ends up being an RV or a car, eliminating one of those drop fees alone should be a significant savings.

    For your other costs, I'd estimate $20-30 a day for campground fees - you'll be on the higher side of that for sites with electric/water hookups, and lower for primative sites. For campsites, you typically pay for the site, although there may be limits on the number of people per site (which won't be an issue with just 2 people).

    Food, if you are really going to cook all of your own food, $20-30 per day for the two of you would be a rough estimate, but you might want to budget more if you plan to eat out at restaurants more than a couple of times.

    Your fuel cost is pretty close, although I'd factor in another $100 to cover miles for driving around towns, cities, and parks, plus the potential for fuel prices to rise well above the $3 mark again.

  3. Default

    I see thanks. Cost obviously wasn't the only issue in an RV, but if you take away hotels ($50-100 per night) plus the cost of eating 3 meals a day out just seemed to make the costs go up and up if we were just driving a car. At least with an RV, the costs are a bit more upfront.

    Apart from flights, would you imagine an overall budget of around $5000 for the two of us should suffice? I know it's difficult to say, but that is the price we have in mind.

    Thanks a lot.

  4. #4


    Cooking your own food is an option but you would have to buy supplies. Buying food may cost upwards of $40 a day depending on what meals you want to have. It can be $20 for some fast food choices. So multiply that by the amount of days on your trip. A lot of RV rentals (from what I have searched) charge for milage for anything over 200 miles per day. That adds up very very quickly. You won't be able to go too far each day. Gas is also going to be higher by the time June rolls around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default additional expenses

    Actually, I'd forgotten that its pretty typical for RV rentals to charge extra for outfitting supplies - like bedding and cooking equipment, so make sure you find out how much that will cost.

    Again, basically make sure you are very clear on what your $2000 rental quote includes and doesn't include.

    If that ends up being an accurate rental fee, and you can find a decent price for airfare, I think your $5000 total cost could be in the ballpark, but its hard to say without going through a more detailed budget.

  6. Default

    Thanks again.

    $2000 was actually the upper end of the scale, a lot of them were much cheaper than that but with the mileage and all the other extras, it'll be probably come just under $2000.

    I'm pretty sure food wise it'll be closer to $20-30 a day as we tend to eat pasta and chilli and other foods that are usually pretty cheap at home, so that should be fine.

    I've also read something about a national park pass? We'll be taking in quite a few over the weeks, and read it was around $100 per person, but does anyone know if that includes a vehicle or just entry?

    And, above all else, how does the route look? It's only a first draft and will no doubt be changed, but I think with that one we take in a lot of natural beauty whilst never being too far from major cities if we wish to visit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default $80

    The National Parks pass is $80, and covers the entry fee for everyone in your car. However, it does not include camping fees or any other extras. You can buy it when you arrive at the gate of your first National Park. If you plan to visit 4-5 or more National Parks, it is a great deal.

    Your route looks solid, although its hard to say what you are planning to visit in California at this point. There are lots of choices, and I suspect you'll want to check out at least some of the Coast Highway.

    A note about the RV rental, the reason why I keep bringing up the "extra" charges is that $2000 for a month long rental, that's both a one way trip with drivers under age 25 sounds almost too good to be true. For a trip like this I would expect that you will be paying at least $750 for the underage fee, and at least $250 for a one way drop off. $1000 as the base rate for a month long RV rental would be a very good price indeed.

  8. Default

    That's interesting as I've got a lot of quotes and quite a lot were under that cost. Many of them do specify that it is for foreigners only and rates aren't for American or Canadian citizens so maybe that's a factor?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Its hard to say.

    Yes, we often do see better deals that are available through foreign travel companies. However, there are also lots of cases there where there is fine print or other hidden charges -especially with special situations like an under 25 driver- that can cause the estimated price to be a fraction of the actual cost.

    That's not to say there aren't legit deals out there, you just need to shop very carefully and know exactly what you are getting before you start spending money, and before you get on a plane.

  10. Default

    Yeah I understand, thanks. I did a mock booking and it came out at $2500 all in, that's with mileage and all. I also checked the T&C's and it just said have to over 21. If I were to book though I'd be sure to email ahead just to check I wasn't going to be stung once I got there.

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