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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Roadtrip by car vs RV, a couple of thoughts...

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Desert Captain

Payson

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Posted: 01/13/23 01:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just returned from a 1,000+ mile 5 day trip from our home in Payson Arizona to San Diego. We combined an important business meeting with the opportunity to visit our daughter and SIL along with 8 of our best friends.

San Diego is one of the least friendly RV destination in the country. Parking restrictions and a expensive RV parks along with southern California traffic makes it less than ideal. Consequently we left the 24' Class C at home and enjoyed the 24 mpg of our Honda Ridgeline vs 9.5 of the coach. Full disclosure: I drive a bit faster in the Honda than our coach. [emoticon]

The first night we stayed with our friends in north county {Vista} ironically utilizing the master bedroom of their 40' DP as guest quarters. We enjoyed a great dinner with them and had a blast reconnecting as we had not gotten together in more than a year.

The next day we drove down to San Diego and checked into the Bay Club Hotel on Shelter Island. It is a very nice hotel and you can't beat the location overlooking the marina. Our room was $574 for 3 nights which with the fuel savings figured in and the cost of local RV parks enabled us to just about break even.

Food was a different story... Naturally we were eating out for nearly every meal and the costs added up quickly. We took the opportunity of being in our former home town to hit several of our old favorite restaurants. It's difficult to eat as healthy as we are accustomed in our coach when dining out but it was fun to just relax and enjoy. I was more than a little shocked at how high the cost of dining out had gotten as we don't do it often.

Bottom line... any fleeting/foolish thoughts about selling ther coach have disappeared into the spaceship along with Jimmy Hoffa's body {we get offers almost once a month as folks drive by and see the motorhome in the driveway}. I enjoy doing all of the cooking including when traveling in the RV where we do virtually all of our eating/imbibing in the coach saving serious dollars. While the hotel was awesome we really prefer to sleeping our own bed etc. and after 9+years and 74,000 miles have out pretty well gotten the coach dialed in.

Another factor for us is our habit of usually towing our 10' cargo trailer hauling either the Can Am Spyder or your Rzr SXS depending the destination and the nature of the fun we have planned. This drops the mileage to about 8.5 but we usually stay off the grid or in inexpensive CG's.

We had a great time in San Diego but it reinforced our enjoyment of taking the motorhome as we will continue to do. Coming up... Quartzite for the RV Show towing the Rzr {we'll camp out at Sadden Wash} followed in February by Payson to Pahrump NV towing the Can AM. From the Lakeside RV Park we will day ride the Can Am to explore Death Valley.

[emoticon]





shelbyfv

TN

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Posted: 01/13/23 02:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Definitely good to re-evaluate this periodically. I prefer to eat my own food in a clean environment and sleep in my own clean bed. On the other hand, 60+ mpg in the Prius puts a dent in the $ difference between a campsite and a hotel room. Plus it's much more difficult to get sites where we'd like to go than it was 20 years ago.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/13/23 02:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the trip report!

I flew south this year due to fuel prices.

I think it was a mistake.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

2oldman

NM

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Posted: 01/13/23 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's always the eating out that gets me. I sometimes curse the fuel prices, the work of driving and bad weather and rude drivers, but having a meal at home is almost worth all of it.

LMHS

NM

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Posted: 01/13/23 03:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The dog is happier in "her" camper than in a hotel/motel room.

wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 01/13/23 03:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do admit I liked RV travel over Hotel/Motel travel.

And I like eating my own cooking more than eating out (Even if I do a lot of the latter) Cheaper and Healthier. (And sometimes better I'm a rather good special occasion cook).

But now days...
Parking is getting to be a itch Type B. and other issues.

Plus since my wife passed (Traffic accident.> Car only not RV) I'm happier perma-parked (The RV got totaled by a nice semi driver who did not like where I was parked.. Turns out it was about to Ding me thousands in repair costs for leaky seals and such and he saved me all that and got ne a nice new car to replace my falling apart towed.. Rent is about what I paid per month on the RV loan)


Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
Kenwood TS-2000, ICOM ID-5100, ID-51A+2, ID-880 REF030C most times


ken56

Tennessee

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Posted: 01/13/23 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My brother in law has the mindset of fly there and rent a car to see the area and stay in a hotel. I have had discussions about how you have more freedom when you have an RV. His way you are held to the plane tickets you bought as to when you go home. I get to decide when I want to go home. I've told him I get to Stay at any RV park I choose and for how long I choose. I like to take my time and see the attractions and not be rushed around because I only have 3 days. I CHOOSE.

My trailer is MY trailer and MY toilet and shower and MY food and kitchen and I don't have to wonder how well its been cleaned .... AND I get to take my cats along with me. IT IS MINE to do as I please. That is what I like about it. I still use hotels at times but if I can't take my trailer somewhere then I usually don't go.

In my analysis of costs I fine my trailer to be cheaper in spite of the cost of gas. Hotels, the ones we like anyway, are in the 130 dollar a night range or more. No Super 8's for the wifey. The cost of a campground is in the 40 to 50 dollar range most times with higher cost for higher end destinations. The cost of eating out is off the charts today...and the grocery store is bad enough as it is today but I like to cook so in the long run we save money.

For us its no question.

* This post was edited 01/13/23 04:07pm by ken56 *

spoon059

Just north of D.C.

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Posted: 01/13/23 04:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Valid points. Its more comfortable and we get much better mileage in my wife's van, but we enjoy our mattresses, our kitchen, our bathroom, our couch in the camper. With a family of 5 plus a dog, hotels would be crowded and expensive. Eating out 3 meals a day for a family of 5 would be prohibitively expensive. We do eat out more often when we camp, but we still have at least 2 meals a day at home. That adds up REAL quick!

Its definetely a tradeoff between how you do it, but we enjoy the RV lifestyle and hope to continue to enjoy it for many more years. Maybe when its just the wife and I we may consider flying to some islands occasionally...


2015 Ram CTD
2015 Jayco 29QBS

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 01/13/23 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For short trips with lots of miles, leaving the RV behind often makes sense.
- You can travel faster.
- You buy less fuel.
- You are paying premium short stay rates for campgrounds.
- You are probably going to go out to eat several times anyway.

Reduce the miles or longer duration trips and it starts tilting back toward RV.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
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Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 01/13/23 08:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For those retired or unlimited time available, RVs certainly are generally preferable for trips short and long. For those still working, then RVs are great for shorter trips, or longer trips if available vacation days allow. But for those on limited days available and a desire to visit distant areas, then air and hotel makes more sense. Or maybe car and hotel if reachable in 2 long days. 3-4 days to reach a destination by RV and 3-4 days to return when you only have 10 days to 2 weeks open leaves little time to enjoy that destination. We always based our travel method on distance and available time before retirement, and many times afterward. And always enjoyed both. Never tried to justify costs of one over the other for any given trip.

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