Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. Default economics of buying RV not renting for visiting Aussie

    G'day, I'm visiting from March to June 2015 and wish to buy a used small/class B RV to tour., largely by myself but with friends and family members joining me occasionally (I'm a semi-retired Uni teacher).

    I've read posts on this and other sites that suggest its uneconomical and too difficult with regulations to buy and they recommend renting. I have a son in NY and a mate in Wyoming who are residents and whose addresses I can use. I've previously hired a car with my son and toured the South for a month and wish to avoid motels and meet more Americans and experience the US, so want to stay in parks. I expect to cover about 4,000 miles travelling up the West coast from LA, down through the middle visiting the parks then back again to the South, ie New Orleans and up to Nashville then back to LA to sell the vehicle and fly home. I'm restricted to 3 months due to the visa and I'm also attending a wedding in the Caribbean in late May.

    Now the economics: it seems that renting a car (wouldn't hire a RV) and staying in cheaper motels would total about $170/day, so for 90 days that's about $15,000. I reckon the comparative mileage savings in a vehicle over an RV would be about $500 and food costs would be about the same either way. So, say $14,500.

    Buying an RV for about $15,000 plus park fees of about $35/day would total about $18,000. I would sell the RV on return, so even if I got only $10,000, that would mean this is around $4,000 - $5,000 cheaper. I'm guessing most other costs would balance each other out, not counting bad luck eg vehicle breakdowns etc.

    I'd appreciate comments and others' experiences and advice.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-20-2014 at 12:39 PM. Reason: added line breaks for easier reading

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default The price of peace of mind ?

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    You can get a decent Motel room for $70- $80 per night average, so $170 per day is well over what you could pay, $100/ $120 a day would be closer imo. As well as the problems and expense of finding a reliable vehicle you will have the costs of the paperwork and Insurance which I expect would be a lot for a non resident without driving history in the US. In the US you cant just put everything into a friends name as the laws are different and they could be held personally accountable for any accidents or injurys that you may cause. [These can result in huge lawsuits] Then of course [ as you mentioned] the possible breakdowns or even a terminal engine blow out could ruin your whole trip. If you can get around all the paperwork and insurance headaches and are willing to give up your holiday time to find and sell a vehicle [it might seem fun buying, but when it comes to selling ???? ] and it's a gamble you want to take, who are we to say different, but for a 30 day trip, with little [if any] money saved, personally I don't think it's worth the gamble.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Are you eligible for a visa?

    Is your son in NY a permanent resident? If he is, you should be able to apply for a B1/B2 visa, which will allow you to stay for six months per entry, without any stipulated time between entries, other than that you need to leave the North American continent.

    A trip starting on the West coast in March, then going through the middle 'to see the parks' could leave you too early for some of the more popular parks/sites, in particular Yellowstone. Spring comes late to the high country where parks are typically not open till late May early June.

    As for renting / buying... for three months, I would agree it will turn out uneconomical. However, if you are able to get a visa and visit for six months you could find it balances out more.


Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-31-2012, 04:07 AM
  2. Buying/renting vehicle for roadtrip
    By Ashlee in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-12-2011, 05:27 PM
  3. farm visiting
    By romerun in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-01-2006, 07:19 AM
  4. Renting or Buying
    By shrek_2226 in forum Gear-Up!
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-27-2005, 08:58 AM
  5. High school road trip economics
    By Thomas. in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-16-2004, 12:57 PM


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