Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. Default Planning a 3 month long trip around the county, Will it be best to rent or buy an RV?

    Hello,

    In April I am planning on embarking on a solo 3 month trip around the US starting in Florida. I will be visiting many popular national parks, monuments, and interesting destinations. I figure this trip will be anywhere between 10-15K miles when its over. I have decided that the most effective means means of travel will be with a small RV in the 19-22 ft range. That way I am not spending a fortune on hotels and having to hunt them down.

    I am probably going to spend around 35K on a good RV. Now I can afford to buy it in full but my goal here is that I will probably sell the RV as soon as I get back. I really just want it for the trip and have no future plans to keep it. So what would be most effective here? Buying a used RV in cash or finance it? How about renting one? I got a quote from cruise America for 3 months would be around $13,000. I am thinking that I can put 13K down and own my own and finance it. I know after depreciation, insurance, maintainance, etc that I will probably not come out ahead compared to renting. I am just not sure what the best path here is. Any advice would be appreciated. I have never made any kind of trip like this before. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The big question for how to go about the RV really depends upon how much you can afford to lose. Anything you buy is going to result in you taking a bath in terms of resale. It really is a matter of how quickly you're looking to get rid of it when you're done and/or how patient you can be to get a price you are comfortable with.

    If you've got the cash, I can't see much any reason to finance, since it means you'll be making payments all the way until you can sell it - which means you'll likely sell it for a lower price just to be rid of the payment so that will cost you more, not to mention the interest you'll pay.

    I guess I'd also mention that your idea that an RV will be the most effective way to travel might not be accurate either. Going the RV route will almost certainly cost you a fair bit more than going with motels, and your idea of not having to pay for or "hunt down" hotels is very much offset by the cost of campgrounds which can cost nearly as much. Throw in the extra fuel and the simple cost of obtaining an RV, it will most certainly cost significantly more to go that route. Of course, there are a lot of advantages to RV travel too, and having your home with your at all times for a trip of this scale is a nice thing, but it will come at a cost.

  3. Default

    Hi there, thanks for your reply. I suppose that I did not consider campground costs as well. The main issue is that I do not own any vehicles currently worthy of such a trip. So I would have to buy or rent a vehicle anyway. Or I could do a lease takeover. So that is a factor.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    Yes, but when comparing renting costs, a car and Motels would work out cheaper than an RV for a solo or a couple travelling. The other thing to consider is that as you don't own any vehicles capable of such a trip, would a car that you can use everyday on your return be a better long term investment ? RV's are a great Lifestyle choice if that's what you want to do, although perhaps a mix of tent camping and Motels would be a possibility.

    You don't have a whole lot of time to find and organise such a big purchase, but if you can buy at the right price and afford to hold out for the sale of it at the end of your trip, it could end up costing you very little.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Even if you bought a car it would likely end up being cheaper for a number of reasons. First, the drop-off between the purchase price and resale price for a regular car is going to be much less than a specialty vehicle like an RV, where you've got a much more limited number of potential buyers. Also with a car, presumably that is something that you could continue to use, perhaps for years, after the end of your trip. That's going to dramatically spread out the depreciation cost, compared to trying to buy and sell over just a couple of months.

    Of course the better shopper you are, the more you can reduce that impact, and if you can find a very good deal on an RV from a private seller who is fairly desperate to get rid of it, and then have the patience to simply sit on the RV until you get the right price when you are done, it could be relatively cheap to buy the RV. Even there, there are still a lot of other costs that would make the trip itself likely more expensive than going with a car, but it would at least help control your expenses. And as Dave mentioned, since this trip is less than a month away, its going to be increasingly difficult to find a great deal on the purchase end.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Another possibility might be to buy a conversion van. That's something that can be used as a daily driver - not really efficient, but quite doable.

  7. Default

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks so much for all the advice. After much consideration and cost calculations I've decided to drop the RV altogether. I will be buying a relatively inexpensive road worthy used vehicle with good fuel efficiency. I will probably just sell it when I get back from the best price I can. I did some research on the average costs of the cheapest motels I could find near national parks and the best I could get was round $50-$100 per night. I was a little surprised at that. Especially near the Grand Canyon where some of the rooms were over $200 per night. I guess I have to work on that.

    Thanks again

    Norman

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    $50 a night is pretty standard for a low end room. Sometimes you'll find a little less, and certainly you'll pay more if you want to stay downtown in a major city or in the heart of a popular tourist area like the Grand Canyon. However, if you move out toward the suburbs - or in the case of the Grand Canyon out to I-40 at Williams or Flagstaff - finding the cheaper rooms is usually pretty easy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Even in Tusayan, you can do better than $200 a night. What approximate dates will you be at the GC?

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Even in Tusayan, you can do better than $200 a night. What approximate dates will you be at the GC?
    Probably early June

Similar Threads

  1. A month Long Road Trip
    By SamanthaLee in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-15-2008, 09:10 PM
  2. Some advice for my month-long, circle-the-USA trip?
    By pbarney in forum Off the Beaten Path
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-12-2008, 02:56 PM
  3. Month-long cross country trip: WA to DC: Help!
    By cz2007 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-06-2007, 04:48 PM
  4. Month long road trip
    By fatso89 in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-26-2006, 06:08 AM
  5. Month-long trip west with 3 kids
    By Patty Barry in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-19-2004, 02:09 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES