Honest Answers Only: Is RV Living Cheaper Than Renting a House?

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Over the last several years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of people choosing to live in an RV. Many assume they’ll save a ton of money by embracing RV life.

So, is it cheaper than renting a house? This is a question that many are asking, and it deserves an answer.

Today, we’re sharing some important things to consider before deciding that RV life suits you and your financial situation.

Let’s get to it!

Users Question Whether RVing is Cheaper Than Renting

One Redditor recently created a post in the RV Living sub-Reddit titled “Be honest, do you think RV living is cheaper or more expensive than renting a house?” They were hoping those who had embraced the lifestyle would share some insights.

Thankfully, the post attracted a lot of attention from some individuals who have enjoyed the lifestyle for different lengths of time. You could find posts from those who had been RVing for decades and some who just started.

A fifth wheel parked in an RV site that overlooks the ocean.

Redditors Give Their Honest Answers

The Redditor got some insightful responses from the RV Living community. It demonstrated that costs vary considerably depending on your specific situation.

The consensus was that the easiest way to keep expenses low is by staying put.

In addition, if you can secure a piece of land where you can legally park your RV, you can avoid expensive campground and RV park reservations.

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Everyone’s financial situation and expectations of the lifestyle are very different.

Some who want to move constantly or expect luxury accommodations could spend more than it would cost to rent a house.

However, it’s possible also to pinch your pennies and save a tremendous amount of money.

Pro Tip: If you’re concerned about your spending, read RVers Share Their Favorite Cost Savings Tips for Travel!

Expenses to Consider When RVing

While RVing can be cheaper, there are some expenses that you must consider. Keeping these expenses in check can help ensure you stay on budget and that it’s cheaper than renting a house.

A Class C motorhome parked in a parking lot with tall grass in the foreground.

Campground Reservations

Unless you own a piece of land, you’ll need a place to park your RV while living in it. Campground reservations can add up very quickly.

Spending $25 to $35 per night for a cheap campsite can quickly turn into $750 to over $1000 monthly.

While campground reservations often include amenities like water, sewer, and electricity, they can still be costly. Reservations can vary geographically and cost $50 to $100 or more in some parts of the country.

You can expect to pay a premium if you want to stay in a popular tourist area.


One costly mistake that RVers make is underestimating their fuel consumption. Hauling a large camper from one campground to the next can get expensive.

Depending on how far you’re traveling and how often you’re moving, you can easily spend several hundred dollars monthly on fuel.

Sure, there are fuel discount programs that you can join. However, while these can help you reduce your expenses, you’ll still have a pretty hefty bill in some situations.

This is one of the primary reasons many RVers will stay at least a week or two before moving on to their next spot. The longer you stay in each location, the less fuel you’ll likely need.

A Class A RV pulling into a gas station to fill up.

RV and Truck Payments

You’ll likely have a monthly payment unless you’re paying cash for your RV and tow vehicle. Prices for these vehicles have drastically increased in recent years.

At the same time, interest rates have added another difficulty to financing these large purchases.

Depending on the RV and tow vehicle you purchase, you could pay $1200 to $1500 per month between the two.

Combining these costs with campground reservations and fuel, you’re looking at well over $2000 a month. This would be enough in many places to rent or purchase a home.


One of the great things about RV life is that you often travel to new areas. Unfortunately, it’ll cost you a pretty penny to enjoy some of the entertainment options in the area.

This is incredibly challenging for those who are new to RV life. The temptation is to try and do every possible thing.

However, that first monthly credit card statement will wake you up to the realities of RV life. Unless you have a fat stack of cash in the bank, you’ll likely have to be picky regarding entertainment. You can’t afford to do everything.

A truck towing a small Airstream travel trailer down the freeway.


One expense that’s easy to overlook in RV life is maintenance on your rig. Unfortunately, things will break no matter how careful you are with your camper.

You must be setting aside money to handle maintenance and repairs. If not, you could find yourself in a financial disaster.

We’ve heard of several adventurous people selling everything to hit the road. However, they quickly drained their bank account while traveling.

When they experienced an emergency, they didn’t have the funds to fix them immediately. Keeping your rig running correctly can be costly. Ignoring maintenance tasks can be much more expensive in the long term.

Pro Tip: If you need to work on your RV, here are The Best Places to Get RV Parts and Supplies for Cheap!

A truck towing an RV parked in a Walmart parking lot.

Standard Bills

Remember that you’ll also still have many of the standard budget items. Items like health and automobile insurance.

In addition, you’ll need to pay to stay connected to those around you. They can be costly, whether an internet connection or a cell phone plan.

Additionally, you’ll need to purchase and prepare food while traveling. Food costs vary considerably across the country. Depending on where you’re staying, you may have to pay premium prices for bread, milk, and other essentials.

Pro Tip: Read about 13 of the Worst Things About Full-Time RV Living before embarking on your RV journey.

Can You Save Money RVing?

While saving money while RVing is possible, spending more than you would otherwise is typically what happens. This is especially true if you enjoy moving often and staying in fancy RV parks or resorts.

However, it’s also relatively easy if you want to try to live cheaply. You can upgrade your rig and boondock on public lands and avoid expensive reservation fees.

However, make sure you take the time to be aware of your finances and ensure the lifestyle works financially before committing.

1 comment
  1. Thanks for the shoutout! We agree that most ducted a/c’s are very inefficient and we strive to improve them with our A/C Connect. Stay Kool!

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