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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Rule of thumb? How many nights a year to justify a camper?

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belfert

Shoreview, MN, USA

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Posted: 08/20/12 01:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some people rent an RV to save money over owning, but I think it stops folks from doing RV vacations. The cost of renting an RV is a big chunk of money to spend at once so many don't do it.

If you buy an RV you either pay up front, or you pay every month. If you pay up front there is a lot less cost every time you use the RV.

morgj

VA

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Posted: 08/20/12 02:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

if you like camping, 1 night justifies it. Not everything in life needs to have a cost/benefit ratio done. Life is way too short. If you like the outdoors and seeing a variety of places, buy and go. If you are not sure, rent a unit for a trip or two and decide then.

Gunship Guy

Destin, FL

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Posted: 08/20/12 02:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have been recreational campers for 20+ years. We've never tried to justify our purchases by looking at the number of days we camp. RV'ing is something we're passionate about and will continue with for many more years.

We've spent so much money on various types of rv's and tow vehicles. More than we would have ever spent on hotel vacations. We have no regrets.


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Merrykalia

Appalachian (apple at chun) Mountains in SW VA

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Posted: 08/20/12 02:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have currently spent 62 nights in our TT so far this camping season. Is it worth the cost? YES - definitely. We would have done more, but we have to work around school.

Ohiojude

Westmoreland County

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Posted: 08/20/12 02:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We camp year round and every other weekend. Plus 2-3 whole weeks vacationing to visit family. We started with a tent and worked are way up to a truck camper to a 5th wheel. I think whatever you do is justifable (sp?) only by you. I know some who spend only one week a year in their RV. I love camping and traveling too much good luck to you and your decision.


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Irelands child

Upstate New York

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Posted: 08/20/12 03:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My truck and 5th wheel were considerably more then what the OP has posted - but quite frankly, we have never considered that cost for the enjoyment that both my wife and I (and even the dog)get from the 20 to 50 days we use it for our 'down time'

Now, if that $47K is going to bother you, then camping might not be something you will enjoy. It does take considerably more yearly dollar outlay for incidentals like insurance, license plates. supplies, maintenance, upgrades, tow vehicle fuel mileage decrease hits, campground fees, extra toll road costs, cost of money (interest and fees) and so on.

If you have never done trailer camping, I encourage the OP to either rent for at least a week and if it's what you want for a hobby, consider starting a bit smaller and possibly even considering a used unit and work up to something bigger and fancier. Drive around your area - take a look at the trailers that haven't moved in years. In my neighborhood of 150 homes, we have 6 trailers/MH's that I can recall. Of that 6, only two of us are using ours. The others - who knows why they sit. And sit. Next, drive by some campgrounds - how many are units seasonals - RV's that were brought in by the dealer, never ever to move except to go to that 'trailer heaven' once it has gotten in such poor shape as to be unroadworthy (and this is NOT an indictment against all seasonals, just those that have buried their rotted tires in place).

If indeed you find you enjoy RV camping, do it!!!

jassrnj

Bath, PA

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Posted: 08/20/12 03:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some years we use our MH 45 nights ... other years only 5 or 10. Once you make the investment the only way to "get your moneys worth" it to keep is long term and use it when you can. It comes down to how much you like the RV experience. For some (like me) I will use it every chance I can get and go to places that I might not visit if I was using motels. I have family experiences that could not be duplicated if we did not travel in a RV. Most people either love it or hate it. I love being able to take my second home with me.

fastpete

Somewhere in West Texas

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Posted: 08/20/12 03:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hunter_rv wrote:

Asking such a generic question is destined to get a lot of "it depends" answer.

Looking to buy first camper and our preferences are leaning towards a large 5th wheel. We think that we may spend 25-30 nights per year camping, the 5th wheel we like is around 47k. (I know we can go less expensive, but we like the size and floorplan) If we assume a 10 year lifespan of this 5th wheel, then we are estimating $157-$188 per night of camping, not including EVERYTHING else, such as food, fuel, maintenance, fees etc.. One could see where camping could truly cost around $250 per night.

You guys are experts. Is camping worth it? For people who aren't full time campers, how many nights do you spend camping and have you ever calculated your true cost per night?

It's probably like eating at McDonalds. Don't look at the calories!

Thanks so much!
if you buy a nice home for 200,000, figure the interest, insurance and maintenance with a 30 year loan, what does that cost per day?

monkey44

Cape Cod, MA and JAX, Fla

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Posted: 08/20/12 04:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You work to make money, you spend money to have fun.

If you can have fun making money, you're in a unique situation.

Spend your fun money camping and just enjoy it ... if you try to justify the cost, you're starting out with the wrong mindset.


Monkey44
Cape Cod Ma & JAX Fla
GMC 2500 4x4 Sierra X-Cab
2008 Lance 845
2002 Angler 8B
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rexlion

Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 08/20/12 04:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What value can I place on the fresh scents of the outdoors, like pine and cedar and wildflowers? What value the sound of the surf? The sunsets over the water? The view of snowy peaks out the RV window? The cool breezes, when it's baking back home? Walking out the door and stepping onto the beach or the woodland trail?

If those things don't matter to you, you might not like camping. If you love those things, the trailer is an investment in your health and happiness.


Mike & Sherry
2000 Mercury Mountaineer
2008 Toyota Highlander
2011 KZ Spree Escape E14RB



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