Traveling in an RV can be one of the most rewarding experiences for a family. RV’s let parents travel in comfort and style. On top of that, there are many strategies to save money on RV trips. The idea of driving a vehicle large enough to live in has several advantages. A prospective RV owner may even think an RV can save them money while traveling. However, when figuring out the cost of a RV though, you might overlook the considerable maintenance costs. These costs could affect whether an RV is a smart investment for travel. Below are the most important maintenance costs to owning an RV vehicle.
Wear and tear on tires are very important since an RV can weigh as much as a semi-truck. These tires are larger and heavier than their automotive equivalents. Tires for a Class A RV, the largest class, average out at $300 each. These tires will also have to be maintained more carefully then car tires in order to last as long. With the weight and size of most RV’s, tires can wear out fast and cost a lot. Especially if you plan on taking a lot of long distance road trips, you could end up putting a lot of miles on your tires and increasing your maintenance costs dramatically.
RV sidewalls often crack and need to be repaired. The fiberglass shells of many RV’s aren’t sufficiently reinforced and can crack under high wind or even if you lean on it. A crack in your RV’s sidewall can weaken your RV’s structural integrity. Fortunately, these repairs are covered by many warranties. Or, you can protect yourself with a Good Sam Extended Service Plan. If not, you’ll have to find a repair shop and have the crack repaired and repainted. Certainly, this type of repair would drive up the costs to keep your RV in proper driving condition.
Day To Day Utilities
In order for your RV to work as a home away from home, you’ll still have to pay for utilities. Whether parking at a campsite or your own property, you’ll have to pay for you electricity. When traveling for several days or weeks, you will need a proper road trip checklist that can cover all your necessities. The costs of keeping the lights on and performing day-to-day activities should be accounted for. Specifically, your RV may also use propane to run its stove and heat. You need to plan for all these costs that come with RV ownership. It’s important to make sure your RV is energy efficient so that utility costs will be practical.
The appliances on your RV will also need maintenance and possibly repair. Your RV may include a refrigerator, stove, and toilet. These appliances are some of the best parts of having your own RV. However, they can acquire a lot of regular wear and tear. Over time, you can expect that they may encounter issues specific to being in an RV. Replacements, particularly for big appliances can also be more expensive, since they can’t be replaced by anything. If you intend to keep your RV for a long time, remember the appliances will wear out before the RV does. These repairs and replacements add up over the life of the vehicle.
RV Gas Usage
One of the biggest RV maintenance costs is gas. RV’s consume an awful lot of gas because of their size and weight. In fact, many RV’s will do as little as 7 or 8 miles to the gallon. However, there are ways to change your driving to maximize gas mileage. The best solution is to try to average about 55 mph. Despite that, you should be ready to spend as much as $10,000 for fuel in a given year. You should carefully consider the ongoing cost of fuel that comes with owning an RV. Depending on how much you travel, your gas costs could skyrocket.
An RV can save you money on long trips, but only if you plan for all its costs. RV’s have a lot of hidden maintenance costs that can run unchecked if you don’t anticipate them. RV tires are more expensive and can wear out faster when traveling long distances. The fiberglass sidewalls can crack and need repairs. RV’s use utilities like ordinary houses. The appliances in the RV will need repair and replacement too. Finally, an RV will use far more gas then an ordinary car. Naturally, you need to consider these maintenance costs before you buy an RV.