Many people assume RVing is expensive. It can be, but it can also be very inexpensive. On the high end of the scale you have million dollar motorhomes and extravagant RV resorts complete with butler service and private hot tubs. On the low end of the scale you have very inexpensive trailers that can be towed by the family SUV to a free campsite in the woods not far from home allowing a family to have a weekend of fun for less than the cost of going to the movies for a few hours. Of course there are infinite options between the two examples given above. In other words, RVing is what you make it and in all cases, is more economical than it’s comparable conventional travel counterpart. Even for the luxurious example above, a recent study found that “Trips in type A motorhomes – typically the largest and most luxurious of RVs – were compared to other upscale vacation travel options. The study found that Type A motorhome vacations were 45 percent less expensive than upscale air/hotel vacations.” In addition, “The study, prepared for Recreation Vehicle Industry Association by PKF Consulting USA, a member of an international travel and tourism consulting group, found that RV travel is 23-to-59 percent less expensive than other types of vacations, for a family of four that owns an RV. For an “empty-nester” couple traveling by RV, savings were 11-to-46 percent.
Even after accounting for factors such as RV ownership costs and fuel prices, the study confirms that RV vacations offer greater savings than those taken using a personal car or airline, staying in a hotel, rental house or condominium, and eating in restaurants.
“The study puts numbers to what RV owners have known for years – if you want to save money on travel, go RVing,” said RVIA president Richard Coon. “With the opportunity for frequent getaways to spend quality time outdoors with family and friends, RV ownership is a great value.”
Click here to read the entire study.
Bottom line, RVing is one of the most economical forms of travel. Let’s take a look at some additional economic benefits of owning a RV:
Financing: Current rates and terms are very attractive and affordable for purchasing a RV. For a monthly payment of between one hundred and one hundred fifty dollars per month you can purchase an entry level RV. A family of four using the RV just a couple of weekends a month (4 days) can drive the cost of purchasing a RV well under $10 per person per day! (Example: $128 monthly payment ÷ 4 people ÷ 4 days / month = $8 per month per person) You can’t buy a ticket to the movies or much else these days for $8! If you have an active family, the cost effectiveness of RV ownership compared to conventional lodging is huge. Plus, you are building equity in the RV rather than spending it on a hotel stay which offers no return for your money.
Interest Deduction: If your RV contains sleeping, bathroom and kitchen facilities, it meets the IRS definition of a second home. Interest paid on a loan for the purchase of a recreational vehicle is therefore tax deductible as valid home interest on a second home. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes two booklets that contain helpful information regarding tax deductibility of RV loan interest. Copies of “Publication 936-Home Interest Deduction” and “Publication 523 -Selling Your Home” are available online or by calling the IRS at (800) 829-3676. Be sure to consult your tax advisor to make certain you qualify.
Volunteering Deduction: Do you perform volunteer work when you travel? If so, you may be entitled to deduct some of your expenses. When volunteering for a qualified organization, the IRS allows volunteers to claim fuel and lodging expenses. The following generally applies; “Volunteers may deduct certain unreimbursed expenses incurred in connection with their volunteer service from their reported income on Federal income tax returns. Examples of expenses that can be deducted include mileage to the project, gas, lodging (campground fees) and meals while on the project. Information on this subject is available from Internal Revenue Service taxpayer assistance offices”. Be sure to consult your tax advisor to make certain you qualify. Learn more by clicking here.
Dining: Another great benefit by traveling with a RV is having your own kitchen. One of the biggest expenses while traveling is eating out at restaurants every meal. Not only do you save money by cooking your own meals you will eat healthier too which will save on trips to the doctor later on.
Guest Room: RVs make a great spare bedroom for visiting guests saving the cost of commercial lodging or adding onto your home.
Emergency Shelter: RVs provide a warm, safe shelter when your home has been compromised by storm damage, power outages or other natural disasters. This can add up to big savings over the cost of renting a hotel room and eating out until repairs are completed. You can also use the refrigerator in your RV to keep food cold / frozen during extended power outages in your home saving hundreds of dollars in spoiled food.
These are just a few of the many economical advantages of owning a RV which may help you decide whether RVing is right for you, but remember you cannot put a price on the family memories you will make while RVing and many of them will be priceless.