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Roadtrip by car vs RV, a couple of thoughts...

Desert_Captain
Explorer II
Explorer II
We just returned from a 1,000+ mile 5 day trip from our home in Payson Arizona to San Diego. We combined an important business meeting with the opportunity to visit our daughter and SIL along with 8 of our best friends.

San Diego is one of the least friendly RV destination in the country. Parking restrictions and a expensive RV parks along with southern California traffic makes it less than ideal. Consequently we left the 24' Class C at home and enjoyed the 24 mpg of our Honda Ridgeline vs 9.5 of the coach. Full disclosure: I drive a bit faster in the Honda than our coach. :B

The first night we stayed with our friends in north county {Vista} ironically utilizing the master bedroom of their 40' DP as guest quarters. We enjoyed a great dinner with them and had a blast reconnecting as we had not gotten together in more than a year.

The next day we drove down to San Diego and checked into the Bay Club Hotel on Shelter Island. It is a very nice hotel and you can't beat the location overlooking the marina. Our room was $574 for 3 nights which with the fuel savings figured in and the cost of local RV parks enabled us to just about break even.

Food was a different story... Naturally we were eating out for nearly every meal and the costs added up quickly. We took the opportunity of being in our former home town to hit several of our old favorite restaurants. It's difficult to eat as healthy as we are accustomed in our coach when dining out but it was fun to just relax and enjoy. I was more than a little shocked at how high the cost of dining out had gotten as we don't do it often.

Bottom line... any fleeting/foolish thoughts about selling ther coach have disappeared into the spaceship along with Jimmy Hoffa's body {we get offers almost once a month as folks drive by and see the motorhome in the driveway}. I enjoy doing all of the cooking including when traveling in the RV where we do virtually all of our eating/imbibing in the coach saving serious dollars. While the hotel was awesome we really prefer to sleeping our own bed etc. and after 9+years and 74,000 miles have out pretty well gotten the coach dialed in.

Another factor for us is our habit of usually towing our 10' cargo trailer hauling either the Can Am Spyder or your Rzr SXS depending the destination and the nature of the fun we have planned. This drops the mileage to about 8.5 but we usually stay off the grid or in inexpensive CG's.

We had a great time in San Diego but it reinforced our enjoyment of taking the motorhome as we will continue to do. Coming up... Quartzite for the RV Show towing the Rzr {we'll camp out at Sadden Wash} followed in February by Payson to Pahrump NV towing the Can AM. From the Lakeside RV Park we will day ride the Can Am to explore Death Valley.

:C
52 REPLIES 52

pianotuna
Nomad II
Nomad II
At least you got to warm up during the spin cycle!
Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Vinman02
Explorer
Explorer
dedmiston wrote:
Vinman02 wrote:
We are planning a road-trip from Calgary, Alberta to Prince Edward Island in Aug this year.


When I was a kid, we took one of our family's infamous cross country trips with no RV and no camper. We had the family pickup truck, furniture pads, and sleeping bags. We set out from southern California and headed across the states and up into Nova Scotia aiming for Prince Edward Island and saw all the sights in between including the Bay of Fundy. Prince Edward Island turned out to be too much for us because of the bugs. A big spray wagon came by as we were trying to get to bed and couldn't do anything to cut down on the mosquitoes. We couldn't catch that morning ferry fast enough.

We slept on the ground every night. A few nights we slept in the laundromats because the rain destroyed our bedding and we had to clean it up.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

And those trips are the ones that make lasting memories.
2019 Ram 3500 6.7 HO Cummins
2016 Arctic Fox 25Y
Honda EU3000i

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
Vinman02 wrote:
We are planning a road-trip from Calgary, Alberta to Prince Edward Island in Aug this year.


When I was a kid, we took one of our family's infamous cross country trips with no RV and no camper. We had the family pickup truck, furniture pads, and sleeping bags. We set out from southern California and headed across the states and up into Nova Scotia aiming for Prince Edward Island and saw all the sights in between including the Bay of Fundy. Prince Edward Island turned out to be too much for us because of the bugs. A big spray wagon came by as we were trying to get to bed and couldn't do anything to cut down on the mosquitoes. We couldn't catch that morning ferry fast enough.

We slept on the ground every night. A few nights we slept in the laundromats because the rain destroyed our bedding and we had to clean it up.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230

Vinman02
Explorer
Explorer
We are planning a road-trip from Calgary, Alberta to Prince Edward Island in Aug this year.
We thought about leaving the travel trailer and hoteling it along the way but did the math.
The extra fuel it would cost us to bring the trailer is about a wash when compared to hotel costs. We also have the convenience of having our own place to sleep and we can prep meals for the trip out to eliminate eating out costs.
We also like the convenience of being able to stop anywhere along the way and have a place to relax for as long as we want.
We did the same trip in 2017 and stayed in truck-stops along the way with the exception of one night in a campground. We are planning to do the same this year.
We also have the added benefit of being able to park the trailer on my brothers property free of charge for the duration of time we spend at our destination saving us even more accommodation costs.
Even if we didn’t save money bringing the trailer we would still do it.
2019 Ram 3500 6.7 HO Cummins
2016 Arctic Fox 25Y
Honda EU3000i

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
Grit dog wrote:
^Hows that work for cost coverage or reimbursement though if she’s traveling for work?
Presume her company will cover the same “amount” as if she did a typical fly/rent/hotel/eat out scenario?


We did it a few times. Couldn't amortize the rig and only got the standard milage rate and campground cost but when tied in with a pleasure trip worked out nice.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

StirCrazy
Nomad III
Nomad III
dedmiston wrote:
StirCrazy wrote:
dedmiston wrote:
We're headed to a business conference for my wife in a few days. I really didn't want to go, but I didn't put up much of a fight.

We got a spot at an RV park for three nights, which cost about as much as a local hotel (maybe more, maybe less).



wow, must be nice to have hotels that cheep. we use to use our 5th for all the daughters hocky and basketball tournaments down on the coast. we could get a full hookup site with cable for 50ish a nigh, hotels were 180.00 and up, plus like you we could take the dog, make our own food and drinks and have our own bed. huge cost ssaver for use.

I also go to a big whisky fetival in Banff every fall and hotels at that time of the year are about 450/night. I get a 50amp power and water and sewer for 38 bucks a night so I usaly go up on a wensday and come home on monday for less money that one night in the hotel. free bus into town and 10 buck cab ride back if I miss the bus.

Steve


Hey Steve - LOL. Nope. Hotels aren't cheap. It's the other way around: The RV Parks are expensive. Nothing under a hundred bucks anywhere near the coast.


wow, when we used to do the daughters sports, 55 bucks gets you a full hook upand 35 bucks gets you a forest type site with no hookups. even banff 29.25 gets you unserviced, 34 gets you electric, and 40.75 gets you full hook ups, but there is also the prk fee of 20 bucks for a day, but I get a season family pass for 130ish as I am up there a lot and if your over 6 days it saves you money. if you go to fancy resorts you can spend upwards of 75 bucks a night.

Steve
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
StirCrazy wrote:
dedmiston wrote:
We're headed to a business conference for my wife in a few days. I really didn't want to go, but I didn't put up much of a fight.

We got a spot at an RV park for three nights, which cost about as much as a local hotel (maybe more, maybe less).



wow, must be nice to have hotels that cheep. we use to use our 5th for all the daughters hocky and basketball tournaments down on the coast. we could get a full hookup site with cable for 50ish a nigh, hotels were 180.00 and up, plus like you we could take the dog, make our own food and drinks and have our own bed. huge cost ssaver for use.

I also go to a big whisky fetival in Banff every fall and hotels at that time of the year are about 450/night. I get a 50amp power and water and sewer for 38 bucks a night so I usaly go up on a wensday and come home on monday for less money that one night in the hotel. free bus into town and 10 buck cab ride back if I miss the bus.

Steve


Hey Steve - LOL. Nope. Hotels aren't cheap. It's the other way around: The RV Parks are expensive. Nothing under a hundred bucks anywhere near the coast.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230

StirCrazy
Nomad III
Nomad III
Grit dog wrote:
dedmiston wrote:
Grit dog wrote:
^Hows that work for cost coverage or reimbursement though if she’s traveling for work?
Presume her company will cover the same “amount” as if she did a typical fly/rent/hotel/eat out scenario?


She booked the RV space on her corporate card and she'll use it to fill up the truck too. We're going to meet our son up there, so the business/pleasure lines are going to get blurry. We'll probably limit the expenses to just the nights at the RV park and the fuel. It all hits her office's P&L anyway, so we're motivated to keep it lean.


That’s sweet! Good that her company isn’t wiggy about that.


I used to use the rv for some things when I was in the millitary also, just had to submit the campground recipts instead of the hotel recipts, milage , food and daily alowancw were just given at a standard rate but had to have recipts for the hotels haha
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

StirCrazy
Nomad III
Nomad III
dedmiston wrote:
We're headed to a business conference for my wife in a few days. I really didn't want to go, but I didn't put up much of a fight.

We got a spot at an RV park for three nights, which cost about as much as a local hotel (maybe more, maybe less).



wow, must be nice to have hotels that cheep. we use to use our 5th for all the daughters hocky and basketball tournaments down on the coast. we could get a full hookup site with cable for 50ish a nigh, hotels were 180.00 and up, plus like you we could take the dog, make our own food and drinks and have our own bed. huge cost ssaver for use.

I also go to a big whisky fetival in Banff every fall and hotels at that time of the year are about 450/night. I get a 50amp power and water and sewer for 38 bucks a night so I usaly go up on a wensday and come home on monday for less money that one night in the hotel. free bus into town and 10 buck cab ride back if I miss the bus.

Steve
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
dedmiston wrote:
Grit dog wrote:
^Hows that work for cost coverage or reimbursement though if she’s traveling for work?
Presume her company will cover the same “amount” as if she did a typical fly/rent/hotel/eat out scenario?


She booked the RV space on her corporate card and she'll use it to fill up the truck too. We're going to meet our son up there, so the business/pleasure lines are going to get blurry. We'll probably limit the expenses to just the nights at the RV park and the fuel. It all hits her office's P&L anyway, so we're motivated to keep it lean.


That’s sweet! Good that her company isn’t wiggy about that.
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

1320Fastback
Explorer
Explorer
Hello OP from Vista, CA.
1992 D250 Cummins 5psd
2005 Forest River T26 Toy Hauler

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
Grit dog wrote:
^Hows that work for cost coverage or reimbursement though if she’s traveling for work?
Presume her company will cover the same “amount” as if she did a typical fly/rent/hotel/eat out scenario?


She booked the RV space on her corporate card and she'll use it to fill up the truck too. We're going to meet our son up there, so the business/pleasure lines are going to get blurry. We'll probably limit the expenses to just the nights at the RV park and the fuel. It all hits her office's P&L anyway, so we're motivated to keep it lean.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
^Hows that work for cost coverage or reimbursement though if she’s traveling for work?
Presume her company will cover the same “amount” as if she did a typical fly/rent/hotel/eat out scenario?
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

dedmiston
Moderator
Moderator
We're headed to a business conference for my wife in a few days. I really didn't want to go, but I didn't put up much of a fight.

We got a spot at an RV park for three nights, which cost about as much as a local hotel (maybe more, maybe less).

The cost/benefit analysis is pretty easy though:

1. Hotel vs RV Park: Call it a wash.
2. Meals: Cheaper in the RV (even more so for the drinks)
3. Fuel: Way more expensive to tow the fiver.
4. Pets: Way cheaper and more convenient to bring the dogs with us than to put them in a kennel or have someone dog-sit.

So cost-wise, we're probably just a little on the happy side of breaking even.

But then factoring in the conveniences: We'll be in our own beds with all of our comforts and living out of our closets instead of out of bags.

And on top of that, I've got my fast internet connection and a convenient office in the garage of our toy hauler, so I can work and bill my time while my wife is at her conferences, which tips the scales way in our favor for taking the RV and ends up paying for the trip.

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230