We feel that the cost is about even by the time you pay for hotels and eating all meals out. We will always take the MH regardless of the cost of gas.
We also like being able to sleep in our own CLEAN bed every night!
2006 Georgie Boy Pursuit 3500 DS
2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara
Stowmaster tow gear
FMCA Member # F405266
It depends on how frugal you are in either mode of travel.
Traveling by motorhome I have to save enough money on hotels and meals to pay for the extra fuel used. Even that varies, a motorhome that gets 7.5 mpg will cost twice as much to move around as a SUV that gets 15 mpg, four times as much as a mid-size or compact that gets 30 mpg or better.
In the motorhome I might spend less than $10 a night for a spot in a campground or more than $50 a night for facilities of a RV park. That depends on location, because some really special destination parks at premium tourist destinations or in urban areas with high land values might ask more than $100 a night and have people desperately trying to get reservations to get in.
How much for the hotels depends on how many people and how nice and how close to locations most in demand. I've paid from $30 a night for one person to $150-200 for a nice suite for the family. There are hotels where that might go up to $500-2000 a night, except when you get into cities where that is the cost of a hotel room you will not find a RV parking place at any price.
You can feed yourself in restaurants for $3 per person per meal, or spend well over $50 a meal. You can prepare your own food in a motorhome for less the a dollar a person per meal if you eat plainly or cheaply, or you can push it to $3-$8 with convenience foods, or well over $10.
If you eat all your meals in restaurants while traveling by motorhome there is no savings on food.
You have to figure it out based on how you spend while you travel.
AS tatest just described and as I mentioned, its just too many variables...
I can say this....based on my family (wife, daughter and I), it would be cheaper to drive a car than a class A MH...we wouldn't eat every meal in the camper. Half the fun to us is eating in places we never have before and in areas for what they are famous for. For example, everytime we go to the beach, we will eat out for seafood.
Also, we would more than likely stay in RV parks with more ammenities. Since we have a yound daughter, things like pools and playgrounds are an important factor. We wouldn't boondock more than likely unless we had too...
You could always take the car, a tent, sleeping bag, camp stove and cooler and make it uber less expensive...
I"m not into campfires, but we are driving to California this winter, even at 7 mile to the gal we crunched the numbers for an airflight, hotels, rental car and meals for the Rose Parade and decided to drive, I like my own bed and didn't want to live out of a suitcase for 2 weeks. If you take the RV, use Passport America, boondock some and use the car to sight see, you will see more that way. The small motels run around 50 a night, get books at the visitors center and check them online, figure what you would spend on meals and then decide what you are going to do.
Well, I've read through all everyone has had to say about your trip. Since Kathy & I have driven about 70,000 miles back and forth across America I we want to add to this mix.
First off, I can assure you, you will not get there as fast. If speed is important drive your car. Keep in mind patience is also an action.
Next, it will cost about the same with a car or MH when you figure in your hotels and eating out. We have done all these calculations, lived out of a suitcase and our Suburban, and dealt with carrying in your things (everything!!!), then carry everything out and repacking it night after night.
If you get in late you will not feel like being a pack animal as you need to make at least two trips up two (or three) flights of stairs at midnight or later. At some point (early on) you'll wish you had taken less. Eventually you'll decide one night you don't need to (or are too tired to) take everything in. It won't take long before you hear a noise outside and begin to worry if you'll have a broken window in the morning. You won't sleep.
Life becomes less fun when you're worn out trying to have some fun.
Here's the contrast; In a motorhome you can stop when you feel the need to. You can go to the bathroom, brew a pot of coffee (the kind you like!) You can fix a bite to eat.
Feeling tired? It's simple... go to the bed and rest... Slept in late?? No biggie. It isn't a hotel room so no early check-out, even though you wanted to sleep in because you drove all night looking for a place to STOP!!! We've done that... 2am, middle of nowhere (Iowa) and no hotels in sight. Two more hours driving and we're in Lincoln, Ne (4am). Check-out is at 11am ($70 each night really add's up when your night is only 7 hours long).
Finally, sleeping your own bed each night is WAY better than sleeping where the last 200+ people slept the nights before your arrival... ugh! An added bonus is you will not likely have any experiences with obtuse viruses left behind on shower floors, doorknobs, or pillows (i.e. warts, foot fungus, the flu, etc), mold or dust in the room, and no bed bugs (or flea's since some rooms allow pets) crawling around in the sheets (or into your clothes) once you finally drift off to sleep (and the road buzz fades enough).
Our comments, added to what others have said, should be enough for you to make a decision. Knowing what we now know, we suggest the motorhome. You'll be a lot more comfortable and have a blast!!
What is funny is that everyone is telling him the way they do things (or would do them) and the way they feel about it. The OP needs to figure it out on his own. Only he will know how he will do things, what he can sacrifice, what bothers him, what he likes, how fast he wants to go, where he wants to eat, what he would carry into a hotel room, blah, blah, blah... If this was a travel forum and not based on RV's, then everyone would tell him by far it would cost more to take the RV and more of a burden.
We’ve done many trips in everything from a Toyota to Class A. For us there is no better way to go than to be at home in the RV while enjoying our beautiful country. Cost wise I think it’s a wash, all things considered. One big plus for us is being able to eat healthy while traveling. We are able to maintain our weight, and we don’t have to hit the health club and the diets when we get home.