Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Thoughts on the Cost of RVing
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 > Thoughts on the Cost of RVing

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Joined: 08/20/2012

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Posted: 11/04/20 02:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK - I'll try - I found the article and can agree with some points. But the low cost of gas in the US has a lot to do with advances in technology in the past few years and also the onset of Covid. Less people are using it - I know I am as I can count on one hand the number of times I've filled up since March.

On the other hand, a democratic administration may put more regulations into place - but that's ok by me - as it saves our unspoiled wilderness and closes public lands to oil exploration. I'm willing to pay more for gas for that.

Also, as a realist, I can't see alternate sources of energy replacing internal combustion engines at least in my lifetime, but why can't America do what it is best at and explore new energy technology and build cool stuff - plus create jobs to boot? Don't worry about gas prices is my motto.

I think as another poster stated, that your biggest problem will be finding a spot. Good luck on your trip.

Experience without good judgment is worthless; good judgment without experience is still good judgment!

2018 RAM 3500 Big Horn CTD
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Broken Arrow OK

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Posted: 11/04/20 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The price of gas and diesel will be a fairly short term problem. I think the long term trend will be toward (complete) discontinuation of gas and diesel in favor of electric. As demand for electricity grows, will enough electric generating plants be built to keep up? If not, this could limit or even eliminate the ability to travel recreationally. The faster this change happens, the sooner RVing might become a thing of the past. Certain administrations take actions that delay this change, and certain other administrations take actions to accelerate it.

Mike G.
--for now, using a cargo trailer for camping--
Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. --Benjamin Franklin
photo: Yosemite Valley view from Taft Point


McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 11/04/20 02:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have never tried to justify the cost of my RVing. We enjoy it and can afford it, so we do it.

At the same time, pre covid, we also enjoyed air travel and destination hotel stays, and some times cabin stays. Especially if the distance to the destination was long. Didn’t try to justify that either. We simply traveled at a level within our budget.

Now, with covid, we have avoided the second method. But when covid settles out I will be fine with it again.


Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 11/04/20 02:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

RV travel costs....memories made.....experiences/adventures had


Airplane costs per person, car rentals/shuttles hotel/motel rooms (unknown elements...bed bugs, adult activities, dirty carpets/bed spreads, shower fungus etc)

I'll take the RV regardless.


That said, ExBF and I were out for 6 weeks in Arizona, New Mexico, and parts in between to Tennessee. We spent $4000 for 2 people. 4 weeks of that was staying in one place, which did reduce gas costs, and got us a monthly rate a RV park (decent but not high-end) in Tucson. That was the single biggest chunk of $$, followed by gas, food, restaurants, and entertainment.

Keep in mind that you will be buying groceries, using gas, and eating out at home if you stay there, too.

If you are willing to stay at less fancy places and without hookups, you can save a lot. Many national park and forest sites are really cheap, with a Golden Age pass.

We limited eating out to 1 meal a day, and certainly could have done less.

Gas is what it is.

If you look at your overall route, figure your MPG, and put in different numbers for gas prices, you will really see that even if gas prices double, that will not be a huge contribution to your trip cost. You can offset it in other ways if you need to.

I think that people who say they can't travel due to gas prices aren't doing the math, or are not willing to compromise on other aspects of the trip. I would rather travel cheap than be stuck at home because of gas prices.

Single empty-nester in Middle TN, sometimes with a friend or grandchild on board

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 11/04/20 02:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't spend $55/night on a campsite and If you cant afford $300-600 in additional fuel, you can't afford to RV.
In the meantime, we have all ben getting off so cheap on fuel, it's almost criminal...

(Can't wait to buy a cheap camper and truck if gas hits $5 again)

"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.


No paticular place.

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Posted: 11/04/20 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The price has little to do with politics. Demand is down, doubly so with the Rona. That's what's driving the low prices. Could we see a bump up next year...If the Rona is under control and the economy recovers possibly. But telecommuting is likely to take a longer term bite out of demand.

As it looks like now, the Federal Govt is likely to be in a stalemate for at least a couple years. If Biden takes the Presidency and the Republicans keep the Senate (as it appears now), expect a whole lot of nothing to happen. (sorry this is a close to a-political as you can get based on your political twist on the question).

Now let's say it's a worst case scenario and gas is $5/gal.
- 3800miles at 10mpg is 380 gallons or about $1900. Round it up to $2000 for some local site seeing.
- Even at $2.50/gal, that's only a $1000 difference. Since you are heading out west where boondocking is a lot easier, you can make most of that up with 10-15 boondocking nights. Plus $55/n not being cost conscious. We just ran southern Wyoming thru Utah to Vegas...and our worst price was $35/n with most nights in the $20-25/n range.

All this concern while buying $60,000 trucks and $30,000 trailers...

So nope, I'm not really worried about costs of gas and RV parks suddenly getting out of control.

Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er


Verde Valley

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Posted: 11/04/20 03:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2008 diesel fuel prices were $5 gallon........we and 1000's of others continued to RV

Don't see that changing regardless of possible fuel price increases IF that happens

Is it time for your medication or mine?

2007 DODGE 3500 QC SRW 5.9L CTD In-Bed 'quiet gen'
2007 HitchHiker II 32.5 UKTG 2000W Xantex Inverter
On the Road Debt Free April '07
Off the road still Debt Free Jan. '14



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Posted: 11/04/20 03:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

2008 diesel fuel prices were $5 gallon........we and 1000's of others continued to RV
I remember it well. At that time I put my limit at $8. Now, it's probably 10 to $12, but I wouldn't stop driving, just not as much driving.

The neat thing about higher fuel prices is the roads and campgrounds get less crowded.

Highest fuel prices I've ever seen are in Death Valley. This was 2012



South Louisiana

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Posted: 11/04/20 03:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I feel you are high by $3000 . But I will tell you where I stand. I just lost a good friend. We had been friends for 60 years. His wife died 6 months ago and then he died recently. His wife was also a childhood friend of my wife and I. That couple were multi millionaires. They had no children both had long careers with good benefits and pay. Neither had any serious illnesses in life. They lived a quiet frugal life.

Years ago we had just purchased a new mh and he visited us to see and talk about the RV life. I could tell he was considering getting into camping. After answering all of his questions I told him not to try camping in order to save money. We would have really enjoyed their company traveling. You could see a change in his thinking with that information.

Where is he and his wife today? I really hope they enjoyed looking at their assets. I'm not sure what memories bank statements can generate. Life is short and death lasts a long time.

K Charles


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Posted: 11/04/20 03:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't know what kind of math the OP is using but if he got 5 MPG and gas was $2.50 he would spend less then $2000 on gas. 30 nights at $50 is $1500. We spend the same on food and cloths when away as we do at home and our light bill at home is way less when we are away. Where does the $6000 number come from? I hope the OP gets better then 5 MPG.

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