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There’s a certain allure to the RV life. Living on the road, being free from the shackles of rent payments, and enjoying nature. But with all the upsides, there are some downsides. So in terms of living in an RV, motorhome, or camper van, does the good outweigh the bad?

Line of RV camper trailers
Line of RV camper trailers | Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

RV camping costs to consider before diving into the RV life

Let’s make one thing very clear: living in an RV is still expensive. Yes, there are places you can park your RV for free, but those aren’t always the picturesque locations most travel bloggers flock to. Chances are, they’re staying at designated RV parks rather than boondocking.

If you assume the average cost of an RV campground is about $50 a night, that’s $1,520 a month or $18,250 a year. Not to mention, you have to buy an RV, and new motorhomes can cost over $100,000. Used motorhomes are certainly cheaper, but you’ll still need to maintain them (and maintain them more often).

So if you don’t have the money to blow, you’re probably better off camping with a tent. But even once you’ve bought an RV, there are a lot of moving parts to make sure it runs properly.

The RV life is a year-round endeavor, even when you’re not camping

RV camping at RV park
RV camping at RV park | MyLoupe/UIG Via Getty Images

It may sound counterintuitive, but the best way to keep your RV healthy is to use it often. Letting a motorhome sit for too long will cause it to deteriorate, and the next time you want to use it, it may not be in working condition. Checking your RV frequently to make sure it’d be ready for a camping trip if you decided to leave tomorrow is incredibly important.

On top of that, you should be using your RV often because you just spent a ton of money on it. RV camping costs might be high, but buying a motorhome and never using it is a complete waste. If you’re trying to convince yourself that you’ll go camping more often after you buy an RV, then you may not want to buy one. One needs to have a deep love of the great outdoors to really enjoy the RV life, rather than making it an occasional hobby.

But maybe you do have the passion, but don’t have the time. There are ways to work remotely while on the road, but if you can’t find a way to work at RV campgrounds, then you may not be ready to own an RV either.

Owning an RV is a big commitment. And if you’re not going to go RV camping, it might not be worth it. With that said, there are plenty of reasons it is.

Reasons why RV camping is absolutely worth it

RV driving through the mountains
RV driving through the mountains | Tim Graham/Getty Images

If you can shell out the weekends, RVs are a one-way ticket to adventure. You have all the excitement of exploring the country, without giving up creature comforts like a bathroom and a bed to sleep on. You can experience nature at its fullest in RV campgrounds but still come back to a comfortable living space, rather than sleeping on the cold dirt covered in bugs.

On top of that, RV adventures aren’t just good for one person. If you have a family, camping trips can be hard to manage. But with an RV, there’s room for everyone to come along.

If you’re passionate about exploring the country and know you have the time and money to do so, then the RV life is beyond worth it. Not only will you tick items off your bucket list, but you’ll create unforgettable memories that’ll last a lifetime. In other words, there is no logical reason to own an RV. The reasoning is purely sentimental.


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