As a retired CPA I can assure you it can not be economically justified with a spreadsheet. On the other hand, a lot of people have expensive hobbies. How can you value put a value on happiness? PRICELESS!
BUT - If this is your first experience camping, and you are not absolutely positive you will like it, why start with such a nice and expensive rig? Most people start cheaper with a used rig to minimize risk. If you don't like it you can get most of your money back (if you buy wisely) and only lose a few thousand. If you really like it then upgrade and most of your money will come back when you sell or trade. Expect to lose at least 25-35% when you buy a new nice fiver, even if you only keep it a few weeks. If that's something you can afford and live with, then go ahead and buy new.
If you have to justify RV'ing by breaking it down to a $/nt cost. Don't bother. You will not enjoy it AT ALL. If you think the trailer is expensive, just wait til you add up the fuel bills. Not to mention the CG costs, I've spent anywhere from $15-68/nt. And I know there are more expensive places.
Get a smaller used trailer for your first one. That way you are not upside down ($wise) if you (or your family) hates RVing. Hell, even rent one a couple times for one season.
Majority of people like the "idea" of camping, but don't realize the amount of $ and work that is involved. Start small, everybody upgrades once they realize what they want in a RV.
If you are starting to think like this you will always think like this. It is very very expensive and there is no way you can justify the costs. Even with just a pop up the costs are crazy but I love camping so much that I would never sell my trailer even if I only got 1 night a season.
Again, welcome to the forum , not to be mean but I honestly do not think you should spend that kind of money because you will keep thinking of the costs and not use it then take a huge loss trying to sell it
how much camping experience do you have. a mighty big step$$$$ for your first camper. what if you don't like it? you will be out $20,000 or so for your learning experience.
In general, you will buy 3 RVs, assuming that this first one isn't quite as perfect as you think.
Is your tow vehicle adequate for this much weight?
I agree with the posts above. If you are already wondering if you will spend enough time camping to justify it, and it isn't exactly a cheap rig you are looking at buying, I think that you are always goign to wonder if you spent to much and if you are getting yoru money's worth out of it.
I spend around 35 to 50 nights in my TT per year, but I paid less than half the price of the one you quoted in your OP. When I bought it in 2006 it was around $13,500. I felt that was a decent price for a unit that I knew I would use 35 to 40 nights a year. Now you might not think the rig you are looking at is costly at all, it all depends like you said on individual factors. For me, I went into it knowing how much I camp and also had set myself up with a limit of $15k for a travel trailer. My kids are grown, no pets currently, so I knew that a modest 26 footer with no slides would work well for us and that I could get one for under $15K. Your criteria might be very different from mine so this might not be a helpful response to you at all.
What I can tell you that might be helpful is that the majority of us look at RV'ing as our hobby and we are not really getting into it as a cost savings over hotels. We do it as we enjoy it. I probably don't save a dime RV'ing vs if I was going to hotels, but that isn't the sticking point for me. I love the RV experience. iF you are going into it thinking that it will be a longterm savings from going to hotels, don't even think about it.
* This post was
edited 08/20/12 02:36pm by JayWalker2009 *
Conventional wisdom sez probably at least 300 (fulltiming to be exact).
We bought our motorhome (ordered it special) because we wanted to own, and enjoy, a nice big motorhome. Justifying it is something we really didn't want to think about. But maybe we should have,.....SURE now that we have experienced it. We'll probably keep it for another 8 years. It's the only way to travel, even if it's only a few trips per year.
Willie & Betty Sue
Miko & Sparky
2003 41 ft Dutch Star Diesel Pusher/Spartan
Blazer toad & Ranger bassboat