An RV parked under the stars at a campsite

RV vs Hotel for Your Next Vacation: Which Is Better for Your Wallet?

From weekend trips to extended vacations, traveling is a freedom that helps clear your mind, restore your energy, and let you get rid of loads of stress. But few trips come without expenses – and the less you spend, the more often you can take trips! A common question you may have is which is better for your next tip: RV versus hotels? 

Read on to learn the benefits of an RV for your next vacation, and whether or not it’s the best option for you and your family! 

Lodging Expenses 

Of course, the ultimate comparison of RV versus hotels comes to the actual cost of your lodging. And unless you’re cashing in on free hotel points, it’s impossible to beat the cost of staying in your RV compared to a hotel room. 

Even the cheapest hotel rooms will cost you around 75 dollars a night assuming you only need one bed. Average costs are closer to 200 dollars per night. If you’re bringing the family, that cost can quickly shoot up. Even with multi-night discounts, and if you’re staying in a popular travel area, the reality is that your hotel could cost you up to a thousand dollars or more for just a few nights stay. 

On the other hand, an RV campsite ranges from the high end of around 50 dollars to the low end of free. Average costs are generally closer to around 10-15 dollars for a campsite. These costs vary based on whether you stay at a private campground or a public one and if you’re willing to camp off the grid or want a campsite with hook-ups and other camp amenities. 

Full-time RVers often find campgrounds they can stay at for a month for the same cost you might pay at a nice hotel for a 3-day weekend. The difference is staggering and, depending on how many vacations you intend to take in a year, the savings of an RV quickly add up to potentially pay off your initial investment into the RV itself. 

It’s important to note that there are a lot of variables in RV stays versus hotels. A hotel’s cost is all-inclusive. That means water, heating or cooling plus the amenities offered at the hotel. Staying in your RV will include some other costs for things like propane or even a reliable data plan since you won’t have access to hotel Wi-Fi. Despite this, it’s still hard to imagine a scenario where all these costs bring you even close to the fees associated with staying at a nice hotel, especially for a big family trip! 

Travel Expenses 

The first thing most people think of when planning a trip is how much the travel is going to cost. Unless you plan to walk, there are bound to be costs associated with simply getting from your home to wherever you’re staying. Whether it’s the gas you spend in your car or the cost of airfare to fly, few vacations come without this expense. 

Modern technology makes it a lot easier to calculate your travel expenses. If you’re going by car, you can map out your trip and estimate the gas you’ll use based on your average gas mileage. If you drive a car to stay at a hotel, or tow your RV, you’ll be using gas either way.  

Of course, towing an RV will be a bit more expensive when it comes to gas mileage, but it’s almost certainly going to be better than flying, which can cost thousands for a family of four even in the off seasons. Take proper care of your RV and you can make big strides to improving your RV’s gas mileage, too!  

Motorhomes typically ranges from as low as 10 miles per gallon to around 20 miles per gallon. Depending on the car you drive without an RV, this can be anywhere from a quarter of the fuel efficiency to close to even! If you’re towing, it all depends on your tow vehicle and RV, but the reality is that the difference may not be as big as you think! 

Cost of Food 

Calculating the cost of a trip includes knowing what you’ll be spending on food. On the way to a hotel and while you’re staying there, options are limited. You can often discount the cost of breakfast if your hotel offers a complimentary breakfast (and you can stomach what they provide!) Beyond that, in a hotel you’ll be limited to eating out or getting gauged on room service fees. 

On the other hand, staying in your RV means you have the full benefit of your RV kitchen. Ovens, stovetops, and an RV fridge can provide you with meal options for days or weeks depending on what you pack. In addition to eating healthier, you’ll keep your wallet full by avoiding the often-exorbitant costs of restaurants in tourist areas. 

Even if you aren’t an expert cook, an RV lets you get the most out of cooking appliances like slow cookers that your hotel won’t have (and probably wouldn’t allow.) 

That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy the local flavors! But there’s an enormous difference between spending 100 dollars or more on every meal for a few days or a week versus indulging in the local diners a few times while you’re there. 

The Best Reason to Choose an RV vs Hotels: Freedom 

Over years of vacations and weekend trips, it’s easy to see that an RV provides a lot of opportunities for you to save money while still enjoying the best locations our country has to offer. But there’s one more important consideration when it comes to choosing an RV versus a hotel: the freedom that an RV brings to your trip. 

Traveling by RV lets you take control of your trip in a way that traveling to a hotel simply doesn’t offer. Need to cancel your RV trip? It’s a lot easier than canceling a hotel stay – many have cancellation rules that aren’t in your favor! Need the perfect conditions to fall asleep? No worries of noisy upstairs hotel neighbors stomping around at all hours of the night! 

Choosing an RV versus a hotel gives you the opportunity to make adjustments to your trip on the fly. Not every trip goes exactly as planned – but if you’re lodged in a hotel, you’re anchored to your general area. Many of the most memorable RV trips happen as a spontaneous decision when you find out your first idea wasn’t quite what you expected! 

In addition to saving money, an RV trip just lets you experience your vacation on your own terms. It’s hard to put a value on this freedom, but it’s easy to appreciate the benefits when you’re relaxing in your own RV at some of the most beautiful parks across the United States! 

We Can Help You Find the Right RV – Contact Us Today! 

The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871 

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