RV COST OF OWNERSHIP CALCULATOR
The RV Cost Calculator below will give you an accurate picture of what it will cost to own and travel in an RV.
The Hidden RV Cost!It's not really a hidden cost, but it's amazing how many RV owners and "experts" will leave out a VERY important item when it comes to the daily cost of operating an RV. The purchase and financing cost. Often, when comparing staying in a hotel versus staying in an RV, this cost is left out. THe following RV expenses calculator includes it.
How Much Does It Cost To Travel In An RV?
Cost of RV Ownership Explanation
R1 If you're financing your RV, make sure you include any interest you'll have to pay, as well as the principal. You can find loan calculators on line that will do this for you, or you can ask your loan provider.
R2 If you plan to keep the RV as long as you can, estimate how many healthy, active years you have left. We don't like to be depressing, but there are some physical requirements to owning and maintaining an RV.
R3 At the end of your RV ownership, the money you get back needs to be subtracted from your overall cost. Be aware, that you'll probably get less than you think for a used RV and fill in this field accordingly. If you're buying a brand new RV, remember that the depreciation will be huge the moment you drive it away. You can look at current brand new RV costs and compare them to the same models, but a couple of years older, to get an accurate picture.
R4 Contact your local storage lots and let them know the size of the unit you're storing -- they'll let you know the monthly cost. Different RV storage facilities have different options (indoor, security, 24-hour accessibility) and the price will vary based on what you want (or can get in your area).
R5 This will vary widely based on whether you're talking about a motorhome with an engine and six or more wheels, or a travel trailer. Depending on exposure to the elements, you'll need to change your tires every 5 to 10 years -- regardless of the mileage. Maintenance estimates should also include things like plumbing repairs, A/C replacement, etc. As soon as you take possession, you should open a separate bank account and start budgeting monthly money for maintenance. It's far easier to pay for a repair up front, then scramble to make ends meet later.
R6 Check with your local insurance agent or the current owner of the RV if it's used. If you'll only use the RV seasonally, the storage insurance is often much cheaper than what's needed while on the road.
R7 *** This field will calculate automatically for you. This is what it will cost you per year just to own the RV.
R8 Trip lengths may vary from year to year, and you may take three one-week trips or two two-week trips or whatever. For this calculator, enter the average number of nights you'll be in the RV every year.
R9 You may choose to spend as few nights as possible in campgrounds and sleep for free on Walmart parking lots or BLM sites, or you may want neighbours and resort amenities for your whole trip. This field is for the nights you'll spend at paid sites.
R10 If you're not familiar with RV campground/resort costs. the best thing to do is go online and find out the rates for sites that have the amenities you want. The fancier places will cost more. To get the most accurate picture, plan a possible route and check the prices at the places you'd stop -- then take an average.
R11 *** This field will calculate automatically for you. See R9. If you're showering and cooking, a good rule of thumb is you can go about three nights/days without having to dump your tanks and refill your freshwater. This will depend on tank size and personal habits though.
R12 This is how much you're "paying to park" -- on average -- every night of your trip.
R13 This is how much every night is costing you -- including your site costs (R12) and your ownership costs (R7).
R14 Enter the current cost per gallon per fuel.
R15 Enter your known or estimated mileage. This can vary base on whether it's a motor home, the size of the motorhome, a trailer, the size of the trailer, and the size of the towing vehicle. If you have a towed vehicle that you use when your RV is parked, you'll have to calculate the cost yourself. if we have time, we'll add that to the RV Cost Of Ownership Calculator at a later date.
R16 Enter the total number of miles you'll average per year.
R17 *** This field will calculate automatically for you. This how much you're paying per mile for fuel. This might help you decide whether to head for the local RV campground or hit the road and see as much as possible.
R18 *** This field will calculate automatically for you. The total cost of fuel for an average year's trip.
R19 *** This field will calculate automatically for you. The average cost of fuel per day. Obviously, if you drive 800 miles in one day and then park for a few days, the actual daily costs will be different. This is the total cost of fuel divided by the number of days you'll be traveling.
R20 *** This field will calculate automatically for you.This is your total cost per night, not including meals. Total cost including food is R22
R21 This is your estimated cost for food. Many people have RV's but still eat most of their meals in restaurants. Others only eat and cook in their RV. Most do something in between.
R22 *** This field will calculate automatically for you. Your total cost per night when travelling.