RVing is one of North America’s most popular vacation/lifestyle options, with millions of RVers enjoying adventures every year. If you’ve ever dreamt of heading into the great outdoors or traveling wherever the road takes you, you might also have wondered if RVing is right for you. There are many benefits to RVing, like traveling in a portable home, and easily being able to adjust your schedule or destination if needed. There are also some challenges that come with RVing, like the initial outlay for an RV and ongoing maintenance. To help you decide if you should get into RVing, RVT is taking a look at some of the benefits and challenges of this popular lifestyle.

Benefits

RVing Can Be Less Expensive Than Other Forms of Travel

The cost of everything is rising, including meals, airfare, and hotels. According to a recent travel index, the average hotel costs over $200 per night in the US, up over 50% from 2022. And average restaurant costs can be over $100 per person per day. For a family of four, vacations can quickly become expensive. In comparison, budget RV campgrounds average about $15-$40 per night, while luxury campgrounds tend to sit in the $60-$100 per night range. Luxury campgrounds often have a resort feel, with amenities like swimming pools, hot tubs, pickleball courts, and mini golf. Meals in your RV can be as inexpensive as you want them to be. Keep in mind, prices are often lower and campgrounds are typically less busy in the shoulder or off-seasons, so traveling at off-peak times can help reduce costs. Boondocking is another option, allowing you to camp for free without amenities.

RV Travel Offers More Flexibility

If you like the flexibility of changing plans at the last minute or adjusting the length of your trip on the fly, RVing may be right for you. Other forms of vacationing can be more restrictive. In an RV, you can go wherever you want at the pace that works for you. Class A, Class B or B+, and Class C motorhomes are self-contained, meaning you can typically access your kitchen and bathroom while on the road, without needing to stop.  

You Can Work Remotely From Your RV

If you’d like a change of scenery while you work, RVing could be a good fit. Many RVers live in their RV full time and work from the road. Improvements in satellite internet have made working on the road simpler. For instance, Starlink now offers a Flat High Performance high speed, low latency variant that allows passengers to work while the RV is in motion. Many families also choose ‘roadschooling’—homeschooling their kids while on the road.

A Home On Wheels 

RV travel is like having a home on wheels. It allows you to bring more creature comforts along for the ride. Specialized RVs like toy haulers have garages built in, so you can bring your ATVs, dirt bikes, kayaks or other toys with you and store them in the garage. Larger RVs, like Class A motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheels typically have more amenities. Features such as separate bedrooms, dry baths, full-sized appliances, TVs, entertainment systems, indoor and outdoor kitchens, and extra storage space are most often found in the larger units.

Plenty of Options for Adventures 

RVing allows you to experience a variety of adventures as you travel. Whether you enjoy fishing, biking, and hiking, or theme parks, landmarks, scenic tours and beachside camping, there are plenty of options available. If you want to get away from the crowds, boondocking is a great option—remember to leave no trace. Whatever your favorite adventure is, make sure your RV can handle it before you go. Not all RVs are well-suited to backcountry adventures, or your rig could be too large for some campgrounds or national parks. Check before you go.

You Can Bring Your Pets 

RVing is a pet-friendly way to travel. Fido and Fifi don’t have to be placed into a cargo hold or separated from you or your group. Some RV models even have pet windows, built-in feeding drawers, built-in kennels, and leash latches. While many RV campgrounds welcome furry family members, remember to check with your campground when you book. 

RVing is a Memory Maker 

Whether you’re a full-timer or a weekend camper, making memories is part of the joy of RVing. Nights around the campfire, daytime adventures, and spending time together are all part of the fun. Many RVers say their favorite part is all the memories they made while traveling. 

Challenges:

High Initial Investment

RVs can be pricey. While financing is available, the initial investment is high, especially for larger RVs with lots of bells and whistles. A new Class A motorhome can range from $150,000 to over one million dollars. Less expensive options with fewer features include teardrop trailers, tent trailers, and smaller travel trailers. Keep in mind, choosing a towable RV means having the right type of vehicle and a hitch to tow it. For instance, fifth wheels can only be towed by a truck. Some smaller trailers can be pulled by an SUV or van. If your vehicle doesn’t have the appropriate towing capacity, you will need to purchase one that does, adding to your initial outlay.   

Close Quarters Can Be Difficult

Sometimes limited space and constant contact with your traveling companions can feel stifling. If you prefer alone time with plenty of space, the close quarters of RVing might not be for you.

You May Need to Take A Vehicle with You

If you have a large RV, like a Class A or Class C motorhome, you may want to tow a regular vehicle to make sightseeing simpler. You may also have difficulty parking a large RV at a mall or theme park, and you typically can’t take them through a drive-thru. Large RVs may also be unwelcome in some state and national parks.

Limited Storage Space

If you’re traveling long-term in your RV or have a smaller RV, the limited storage space in the vehicle could be a challenge. There may not be enough room for you to bring everything you’d like with you. 

Ongoing Maintenance

RVs need regular, ongoing maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape. Regular inspections and  maintenance need to be part of your routine, particularly before going on the road or storing for the winter. You don’t want to break down or deal with a leak far from home! Repairs often need to be done at a specialized RV service center and may take a little while to be completed, so plan for extra time. Class B motorhomes are the exception and can often be serviced at a regular auto service center. 

RV Storage Could Be Necessary

If you don’t have adequate parking space, or if bylaws or HOAs don’t permit you to store your rig on your property, you may need to pay for RV storage. This is typically a monthly fee, though some may offer annual pricing. Fees could be over $100 per month. You will need to retrieve your RV and take it back to storage every time you go traveling.  

We hope this list of benefits and challenges helps you as you decide whether you should get into RVing. 

Pro Tip: Consider renting an RV before committing to a purchase to see if you enjoy the lifestyle. 

Do plenty of research before purchasing – this may help you decide which type, features, and layout could work best for you. Visit dealerships and look at some models in person. Read blogs by full-timers and newbie RVers. Many have posts that provide tips, hints, and even the pitfalls of RVing. Check consumer RV review sites like RVInsider before you buy to see how real owners feel about particular RVs. Most of all, have fun as you decide whether RVing is the right fit for you.

If you’ve decided to invest in an RV, check out the latest new and used RV listings on RVT.com.

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