Owning an RV: A Guide for Beginners

Are you ready to buy an RV and hit the open road? When researching new RVS for sale near me in MD, it’s important to research not just models and prices but the true cost of owning an RV. At Economy RVs, we want to help you get the most out of your purchase, which includes helping you learn as much as you can about what it’s like to own an RV, so you can make the best choice for you and your family. 

Whether you’re looking for family RVs to take memorable road trips or retirement RVs to live out your cross-country dreams, this guide will help you understand the ins and outs of RV ownership. 

How Much Does It Cost to Own an RV? 

 When people think about the cost of an RV, they’re usually thinking about acquisition. New and used RVs for sale can help you find the right model for your budget, but what about after the RV is yours? You have to consider how much it will cost to maintain and operate your RV. 

Average RV Maintenance Costs

The cost of owning an RV will depend on a few factors: 

  • The type of RV you have — Class A, B, or C
  • Whether you plan to live in the RV full-time or travel 
  • How many people will be in the RV
  • If you plan to cook in the RV
  • Whether you need storage for outdoor gear like bikes or ATVs 

Let’s talk about RV classes first.

Class A RVs are the most expensive. These are luxury motorhomes that look like a bus.

Class B RVs are often called camper vans, which tend to be the most affordable type of motorhome.  

Class C RVs are a nice middle ground between the luxury of Class A and the practical affordability of Class B. They are more like a camper van on the outside but have more spacious interiors.  

There are also many smaller options, such as toy trailers, pop-up haulers, fifth wheels, and expandable trailers.

The more spacious and large an RV is, the more it will cost to operate. You have to consider factors such as:

  • Gas mileage 
  • Electricity 
  • Water consumption
  • RV insurance premiums
  • Oil changes
  • Annual tune-ups
  • Weatherizing your RV when it’s not in use
  • Tires
  • Any repairs that arise
  • Purchasing RV toilet paper to avoid blockages
  • RV storage  

All of these factors can cause you to spend between $2,000 to over $20,000 a year owning an RV. There are many practical solutions that can reduce costs, but if you plan on driving often or even living in your RV most of the year, then the maintenance needs will also increase. 

Average RV Operating Costs 

Operating costs refer exclusively to fuel, electrical, and water hookups, as well as food if you plan to cook in your RV. These costs also vary by mileage, motorhome or trailer size, the number of people, and the amenities within the RV.

You should allocate at least several thousand dollars per year to operate your RV to ensure you have enough money to cover all your needs. 

When researching RVs for sale, it’s important to discuss the estimated cost of ownership with a reputable company. Here at Economy RVs, we are always happy to offer guidance to help you make the best investment for your finances.

Campground Fees & Amenities 

Part of the beauty of owning an RV is that you can travel freely without paying for expensive accommodations. You can camp directly on beautiful grounds and even in some national parks for under $100 per night.

There are often amenities like electric and water hookups for an added fee, though some are included in the nightly rate. 

How Much Does It Cost Per Year to Own an RV?

Depending on the type of motorhome you have, expect to spend between $8,000 and over $30,000 a year operating your RV. Gas, maintenance, insurance premiums, interest, and utilities are all important considerations. Luckily, you can influence many of these decisions by managing your travel expenses and planning your adventures before hitting the road. Even just taking a different route can save you mileage and money, so it pays to plan ahead.

Skills You’ll Need to Own an RV

Although they’re as comfortable as a home on wheels, RVs are still vehicles that require unique skills to maintain. Some things you’ll need to master include sewage maintenance, electrical hookups, hitching and unhitching, campsite setup and cleanup, basic RV maintenance, driving, and maneuvering the road with a towable RV if you buy a pop-up or trailer.

The skills that go into living and traveling in an RV can help you save money and stay safer on your adventures. 

Is an RV Cheaper Than a House? 

Living in an RV full-time can be cheaper than traditional home ownership, but you will need to consider the cost of full-time living, the impact it will have on gas and maintenance needs, and the practicality of living in an RV on a permanent basis.

For those who pride themselves on minimalist living and total freedom, an RV life can open the door to their ideal lifestyle. However, it is important to try living in an RV temporarily before you sell your home and commit to living on the road all the time. 

Is Owning an RV Worth It? 

For those who dream of being able to travel freely in comfort, set their own rules, and see the state and country, an RV is a great investment. Owning one can expand your horizons, make you more active, encourage you to explore, and bring new experiences into your life.

Success in owning an RV lies in ensuring you pick a model that suits your lifestyle and budget. 

New Campers for Sale Near Me MD

We sell new and used campers, RVs, and motorhomes in Maryland. Explore your options today, and contact us if you have any questions. We’d be happy to make personalized recommendations based on your budget and travel goals. Reach out to Economy RVS in Mechanicsville, MD, at (301) 900-6582 for more information.