Sunday, June 03, 2007

RVs? WTF?


I still don’t understand RVs. They just don’t make any sense to me unless you need all the comforts of home in the wilderness. Let’s do a comparison. Let’s say you conservatively spend $50,000 on an RV, which is now worth 30,000 as soon as you drive it off the lot. You could spend close to two years in a motel for $80 a day for 50k.

Then you are using it to travel and getting maybe 7 miles per gallon when the average highway mileage on a car is about 23mpg on the highway, so it cost you three times as much to travel the same distance.

Then you also have to pay for parking and hook-ups.

Am I missing some benefit here? It seems to me that RVs make time shares look like a good investment.

14 Comments:

Blogger Auntie said...

Besides, by owning an RV you run the risk of Walter or some other person putting birdseed on the top of it for your early morning 'bird pecking' wakeup call. Or some nut will hide a spongebob alarm clock in it somewhere.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

The only benefit I see is for winter Texans who live in them six months out of the year. My sister and her husband started out like that (with a used RV). Once they realized they were going to be going there every winter, they bought a nice mobile home in a park in Texas and sold the RV.

7:35 AM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

Benefits:

1) Many hotels don't allow pets. If you want to take your pet with you, you need some sort of RV. I'd like to get a little RV (camper or trailer) just for this, myself.

2) You don't have to worry about finding a hotel at popular tourist areas.

3) Campground? Who needs one, if there's a handy "box store" parking lot nearby. Especially if it's just for one night.

4) You know "who slept here" before, and don't have to worry if the room was cleaned.

5) Cooking in a "real" (though mini) kitchen, as opposed to over a campstove.

6) Not having to sleep on the ground. Though there are very comfortable air mattresses now.

7) Security. It's kinda hard to secure a tent so you don't have to worry about anyone stealing your stuff. We live in a different society from even 20 years ago. People target campgrounds for the ease of stealing stuff.

8) Air Conditioning. Yep, sometimes it's a lot nicer camping in an air conditioned RV than in a hot, stuffy tent.

In other words, a lot of it has to do with comfort. My family's annual campout/reunion started with nearly everybody in tents. Now nearly everyone is in RVs. Most of them don't even use those RVs the rest of the year. I don't know why we don't just "rent" an entire hotel that weekend. Actually, I do. Because "it's tradition" to stay at a campground.

Cue Tevia.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

For some, an RV is wonderful.
For me, it would be the vacation from (and to) hell.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous TH said...

When ever I read something about RV's I think of Eddie in Christmas Vacation. He points at pile of metal in the driveway and says "Now that there is an RV!"

I just think RV's are for old people who have too much money.

7:11 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

More money than brains. So they feel good about wasting three times the amount of fuel just so they don't have to shit like cats in the sand. The outlay of money for one of these things could book an exclusive lodge in a natural setting, have toilets, pets, and have room service. I'm not buying the waste and the consumerism of owning one and the irresponsibility of driving one of those things. KOA (Kamp On Asphault) isn't a vacation, unless you call going to a trailer park a vacation.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

What Guy said.
In addition, I have unfortunatly witnessed a number of retired couples, jumping at the IMPULSE of selling everything they own, buy one of those pieces of junk, to "See the World" in their RV.
18 months later they are renting an apartment, working at Wal$Fart trying to peice back together the fragments of a life that they squandered.
My folks went down this road.
All wide eyed and excited about their life, "On the Road".
One year later they were RENTING a single-wide trailer in southern Oregon.
They were furious with me because I would not get excited about their "adventure".
I remember asking, "Where is home? Where do your children and your grandchildren go for Christmas and Thanksgiving? Where do you go when you get sick?"
UNBELEIVABLE to me that mant choose to volantarily impoverish them selves with junk and broken dreams.
RVs, Boats, timeshares, cruises, the lottery, etc....
No trade for having a life.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Amaya said...

I have friends that bought an RV right out of college so they could tailgate in it every season. I can't imagine spending $50K just to be the life of the party.

10:21 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

For that kind of scratch they could have bought a sky box for several years.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

I think there are a few reasons people do it.

1. They get to take a larger comfort zone with them. They also get to pack more of their "stuff" with them. As goes crowded homes, rented storage lockers and the like, so goes the amount of stuff people feel they "need" to take on trips. You can fit a lot more stuff into an RV than a sedan.

2. Conversely, you can also cart even more stuff home. I am constantly reminded of the Lucy/Desi vehicle, "The Long, Long Trailer," in which she picked up a huge rock from every place they'd been. Of course, we all know how that venture ended.

3. People like toys. People like new toys. And, people are notoriously easy marks for salesmen. All of these ATVs and RVs and Jet Skis are great big toys.

4. Poor financial management. You can rent RVs for that one week a year, and then you can also buy the ones that people are trying so hard to unload for a fraction of their original price.

5. All that being said, I have always wanted one of those tiny Airstreams. I don't know what it is about the old Airstreams. I think it's called a Bambi or something.

Anyone have any data on RV sales during the recent gas price hike?

1:51 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

I could go on for a long time on how much RVs disgust me. I went a a 20k mile road trip with my car and a tent and RVs were one of the biggest (no pun intended) pains along the way. Not only are they colossally large, they're also terribly noisy. There's nothing like being woken up in a peaceful campground by the sound of generators being cranked up at first light.

I finally got to the point on my trip where I would seek out more remote areas with unpaved roads so I could have a bit of peace and quiet, as well as better scenery.

One of the advantages I found with tent camping was that I could pull into a busy campground late in the day and still find an available site--the RVs couldn't park at the smaller spaces so they were turned away. ;-)

For Mo3, I found some RV sales stats. They're disheartening: RV sales

11:56 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Here are some highlights of Rich's link. So sad...

# In 2006, national RV wholesale shipments totaled 390,500 units-the best annual total in the past 30 years.
# Total RV shipments in 2006 were 1.6 percent higher than 2005-the fifth consecutive year shipments grew.
# The $14 billion-a-year industry earned near record revenues in 2006.
# Nearly one in 12 U.S. vehicle-owning households now own an RV. That's nearly 8 million households-a 15 percent increase over the past four years and a 58 percent gain since 1980.
# There are approximately 8.2 million RVs on the nation's roads. By 2010, RVs will be owned by 8.5 million households-an 8 percent increase.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Desert Diva said...

OK, you must be talking about the big, huge, "sell your home," I'm King (or Queen) or the Road," luxury, RV.

I have an older mini motorhome and am getting ready to travel up "your way." (Pacific Northwest) Last year when I went on my trip (two months) I only paid for a couple of nights of camping.

I love my little RV!

5:55 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Yes, those are what I'm talking about. Mini's are pretty cool and not wasteful with fuel either.

Hope you enjoy your trip up here.

7:56 PM  

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