5 Costs of RV Ownership You May Not Know About

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A woman excitedly holds the keys to her new RV but is she aware of the RV ownership costs she has ahead of her?

Buying an RV is an exciting experience. However, the excitement doesn’t end when you roll off the dealership lot with your new RV. RVing does come with expenses, but the memories you create when RVing are priceless. Before you commit, take a good look at five costs of RV ownership you may not know about. Let’s dive in!

1. Taxes and Fees

When considering the cost of your RV, don’t forget about taxes and registration. These RV ownership costs depend on your state.

While some recommend that you pay for these fees outright, some owners choose to roll these costs into their loan.

Keep in mind, financing taxes and other fees will add to your loan, which may raise the total beyond the actual value of your RV.

Don’t forget about some recurring fees. Check with your state about yearly license plates and registration renewals.

Additionally, you may have regular insurance costs. 

2. Repair Costs

Whether you purchase new or used, things break. It’s a good idea to have a repair budget before hitting the road.

If you’re lucky, a warranty may cover some repairs. But sometimes using the warranty means your RV sits at the dealer for months on end

Others may choose to eat this RV ownership cost or fix things themselves. Having a repair fund allows you to deal with simple problems yourself and continue your journey. 

Unexpected repairs can be a very expensive RV ownership cost. A man fixes something in the ceiling and inspects the parts.

3. Storage Fees

Unless you travel full time, you’ll need to store your RV when not in use. RV storage costs can vary widely based on location and needs.

If you don’t own a property with RV space, you’ll need to pay for storage. These costs can range anywhere from $30-$500 a month. 

Even those with sufficient space might deal with homeowners association (HOA) restrictions.

Research the price in your area and have a spot reserved before making your purchase. 

4. Fuel and Toll Costs

Hitting the open road is exciting! Watching the numbers shoot up in record speed at the fuel pump is a little less exciting.

With fuel prices constantly fluctuating, it’s hard to budget accurately (but there are ways to save). Ultimately, it’s better to over budget than under budget in this category.

When planning your trip, consider tolls. Google Maps will often tell you if there will be a toll on your route, as will many GPS systems.

This RV ownership cost blindsides many if they live in an area without tolls. 

Look at your route ahead of time. Otherwise, you may be surprised when facing a $95 fee to cross the George Washington Bridge with your RV!

A man fills his RV gas tank which can be a very expensive RV ownership cost!

5. Important Extras

When preparing for RV ownership, it’s easy to throw all the extra into your Amazon cart.

As you search, you’ll find more and more items to enhance your camping experience. There are non-negotiables such as your hitch, a surge protector, and your sewer hoses.

There are others that are nice to have like an outdoor rug, string lights, or fancy camping chairs. Be sure you purchase the necessities before getting carried away with the non-essentials.

Is Owning an RV Cost-Effective?

Some consider RV ownership a luxury, and you’re most likely not buying an RV with the idea that it’ll be cheap. Maintenance and supplies for a successful RV trip can be pricey. 

With that said, there are some cost benefits as well. Flying to a vacation destination, paying for an expensive hotel, and eating out for every meal can easily cost more than experiencing a location via your RV. 

Is Buying an RV Worth It?

RV ownership allows you to travel in your own space rather than staying in hotels. If you care about the journey as much as the destination, experiencing your adventures with an RV may be worth it.

However, if you only want to vacation once a year, the cost of owning an RV may exceed expectations.

Despite these costs, RV ownership is a great way to get yourself out there exploring. Being aware of these expenses doesn’t have to dampen the excitement. What RV ownership costs surprised you?

1 comment
  1. Taxes? Yeah, that was a $15,000 surprise!
    I have our coach in a nice, totally enclosed storage unit with power at $300/mt. Best money I could spend next to the absolute essentials (electrical management system, sewer hoses, and TPMS) as she is out of the weather and totally secure.

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