With the current surge in fuel prices, higher campground fees and the cost of new RVs on the rise, many questioning if the RV lifestyle is right for them are asking online, “What does RVing cost?” or “Is RVing worth it?”
Some reading this might be asking what is the difference?
There are two meanings to the word “worth”.
The first is: “If you say how much something is worth, you state its value in money. How much do you think the house is worth?”
The second is “used for saying that there is a good enough reason for doing something, because it is important, enjoyable, useful, etc., or [is] worth doing/having/seeing, etc.: The book is definitely worth reading.”
Now, we can see the first two questions deal with the monetary costs of RVing, while the third deals with value/usefulness, best defined as “intrinsic value”.
Intrinsic value is defined as “The real value of something within itself, which may not take into account its market value or face value.”
What is RVing worth? Let’s look at the tangible and intangible
Tangible – definition: “important and noticeable”
- The ability to sleep in your own bed every night regardless of location
- Having your own bathroom and toiletries with you wherever you go
- A spare bedroom when friends and family come to visit or when you go to visit them
- The ability to travel with your pets
- It can be more affordable than other types of travel/vacation
- Being able to camp at or very near the places and/or activities you want to enjoy. As real estate agents say, it’s all about “Location, location, location!”
- More enjoyable/convenient than a hotel
- The ability to cook your own meals when, where and how you like them
- Avoiding unpacking every night
- Connecting with nature
Intangible – definition: “not able to be touched or measured, and difficult to describe or explain.” Following are several benefits of RVing that I cannot measure in monetary terms:
- Watching my grandchildren grow up camping in the same campground my now-adult children and wife enjoyed as children
- Waking up to a brilliant sunrise in the middle of nowhere with no man-made objects or noises around me—just my RV and my spouse
- Camping lakeside and teaching my grandchildren how to fish where I learned from my grandfather
- Being dazzled by innumerable stars in the night sky far from city lights
- Freedom and flexibility to spontaneously go when and where I want
- Spending quality time around the campfire with loved ones
In closing, let’s review the three questions asked at the beginning of this article:
What does RVing cost? It is highly variable. Owning, operating, and maintaining a large Class A diesel pusher, traveling cross-country, and staying in luxury RV parks can cost plenty—probably more than most of us can afford. On the other end of the spectrum, owning a small folding trailer, towed behind the family SUV just out of town to a nearby free boondocking spot in the forest can cost less than a family trip to the ballpark for a weekend. Both can provide the tangible and intangible benefits listed above to the owner.
Is RVing worth it? From a strictly monetary standpoint, probably not. When you factor in fuel, cost of the RV, storage, insurance, campground fees, etc., it may not seem worth it to you. When you get right down to it, owning most any vehicle is not a sound financial decision. Only the owner/user can determine if it is financially worth it or not.
What is RVing worth? For me—and I suspect many reading this, too—it is an integral part of my life physically, mentally, and spiritually. It is worth far more than can be measured in monetary terms. Yes, fuel costs are up right now, but costs can be mitigated and camping dollars stretched by camping closer to home, staying in one spot longer, camping in no-cost/low-cost places on public land, etc.
Rather than look at just the costs, I encourage people to ask themselves what is RVing worth to them? I believe that most, when they look at what RVing is worth to them in the tangible and intangible benefits, will quickly put the costs into perspective.
What is RVing worth? To me it is priceless.
What is RVing worth to you? Please share using the comment box below.