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So, you’re considering the RV lifestyle. Welcome to the club!
Many are contemplating this wonderful hobby, activity, or perhaps, full-blown lifestyle!
Two major components always come into question: to RENT or to OWN?
If you’re debating which is the best route in regards to renting or owning a rig, it’s important to analyze the pros and cons and determine what works best for your lifestyle, personal preferences, and checkbook!
Renting RVs vs. Buying RVs | Let’s Look at the Pros & Cons
RENTING | PROS
Lower Cost RV rentals are generally much cheaper than owning– unless you find yourself renting very frequently– then these costs could exceed long term ownership costs. However, many find that renting not only is a more financial-friendly route, but it also offers more control over finances. For instance, rentals allow us to pay that one-time rental fee while basing future RV rentals on how the “vacation jar fund” is looking.
No Payments Of course you’re bound to the rental fee and perhaps rental insurance through the company. However, that’s all that’s on your plate. There are no monthly RV payments, insurance fees, or recurring charges that pop up on statements; like satellite TV, lot rent, or service charges. Like mentioned above, renting allows more leeway when it comes to finances. It does not require a financial commitment for years.
No Commitment When it comes to renting a RV, the only commitment you have is to bring the marshmallows! There’s no commitment, time, or stress wrapped up into owning an RV. It’s a great way to test the waters and see if the RVing lifestyle is for you or not. As a matter of fact, if the lifestyle doesn’t work for you– you get to walk away with only a few S’more kits and marshmallow roasters on your hands.
No Upkeep/Maintenance Speaking about commitment, RVs require a lot of maintenance. Many fail to factor in the time and costs when purchasing an RV. And let me tell you, there’s way more to it than a good wash and wax job… Renting allows you to enjoy the amazing aspects of RVing while leaving the not-so-fun-things to the owner!
No Storage Guess who’s not going to have a ginormous eyesore using every inch of their driveway? Not you! Like I said, leave the responsibilities to the owner. Renters don’t have to worry about a place to park it when not in use or finding storage throughout the winter months.
No Tow Vehicle Needed The biggest worry on your mind is going to be how to cram all of your camping gear into the rental– NOT worrying about if your truck can haul the load… An amazing thing about renting is that some platforms allow owners to DELIVER ON SITE for you! All you have to do is show up to the camper already at the campsite!
May Help Decision Making Wondering if the RV lifestyle is even for you? Renting is the perfect way to try out what could be a lifelong journey full of amazing adventures. Get a feel for things; check out different rigs, layouts, and setups; and ease into the experience without being completely in the dark. Have amazing vacations while learning about RVing and decide if you are better off continuing to rent or if owning should be your next move.
It’s Easy Did you know that certain rentals include add-ons that are basically the icing on the cake? For example, through RVshare, you can choose to have the unit delivered and set-up right at your final destination. This is great for vacationers who don’t have a tow vehicle capable or are nervous about towing a trailer. Accordingly, some owners will offer tank emptying services while others go all out and include everything you need– camping accessories, gadgets, and gear. Simply bring your personal items! Want to bring your pet along? Pet-friendly rigs are available for the furry adventurers in your family! The easy rental process and convenient options offered can make for a smooth and worry-free camp experience!
RENTING | CONS
Rental Fees Add Up As we mentioned on the pro side, rentals are significantly cheaper short term than owning. Still, considering rentals are around a hundred dollars a night– that money adds up! A week’s vacation can be a handful of money! In fact, some may argue that throwing a couple hundred dollars down to rent for a short weekend can be around the same price as a payment to own an RV! If you find yourself frequently renting out RVs– it may be in your favor, financially, to consider purchasing your own.
Not Yours Although some people favor renting any day over owning– some may desire their own, exclusive, vacation haven. Although an RV rental offers a fun and comfortable place to relax while exploring an area, they can still lack that special feeling you get when something is ALL YOURS. Unfortunately, there’s no personalizing or customizing a rental. In fact, you’re bound by a rental contract with a few rules in place when using someone else’s RV.
Load & Unload Each Rental Without ownership of a RV, you’ll find yourself moving a good amount of supplies to and from rentals. While some units come stocked with the basics (all units differ), personal belongings and fun camping gear must be loaded and unloaded every vacation rental. Depending on how often you camp and your way of packing, this could get old very quickly…
Subject to Availability Have you ever tried to rent an RV over a holiday? It’s hard enough getting into a campground in the first place, let alone reserve a camper along with it! RV rentals are a hot commodity. It can be extremely difficult to find a motorhome or trailer near you that not only fits your schedule, but your family as well.
May Not Be The Ideal RV RVs come in all shapes and sizes. While renting an RV is reasonable compared to purchasing, there’s no guarantee you’ll always be able to find your “dream rental” for the money spent. In fact, you’ve probably seen some cool RV set-ups by now around the campground to know what you like and what works best for the family. Unless you’re shopping for a rig to call your own, you had better ease up on the picky preferences when it comes to renting.
Condition of Rig is Unknown Although you (as the renter) are not responsible for upkeep and maintaining a rental — which is a huge plus by the way– how do you know the rig you are renting has been correctly maintained over the years? With dozens of people renting it out a year, it’s extremely important that it is well maintained, routinely serviced, and safe for renters to use. Has the rental been serviced routinely? Do smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors work? Are the tires inflated correctly? Unfortunately, these unknowns are definitely cons of renting. It’s important to use a reputable rental company and ask questions!
Driving On Eggshells Driving or towing a RV can be nerve wracking–especially when the rig isn’t your own! Depending on where you rent an RV from, sometimes it includes renter’s insurance if anything unfortunate is to happen. Nonetheless, no one wants to damage any rig, but the thought of something not belonging to you can make one a little more on edge during their “relaxing” vacation.
Used By Others Whether hotel, vacation house, cabin, or recreational vehicle some people just don’t like the fact that the beds, bathrooms, and living quarters have been used by others.
OWNING | PROS
It’s Yours Nothing feels better than to have something your hard-earned money paid for and to call it YOUR OWN!
Your Style Although renting can be helpful, after a while– you’ll get to know exactly what you want. There’s nothing better than getting to purchase the perfect RV for you. You get to decide the ideal layout, interior design, colors, features and more.
Customizable Feel free to personalize and customize your very own vacation haven the way you want! Turn it into that cozy, home-like dwelling you’ve always dreamed of.
Cost Effective Those who avidly camp could find that owning an RV is less money in the long run. Consider the frequency of renting out a unit. That’s a few hundred to possibly a thousand each vacation! A few rentals a year can add up quickly! Consider RV payments in place of rental fees and have something more to show for that money spent– and most importantly, to call it yours!
Promotes Camping If you have it, you’re more apt to use it! There’s no doubt that purchasing a motorhome or trailer is a big expense, however, having it can make you more adamant to get your money’s worth out of it!
Unlimited Availability No more trying to find a rental available for popular weekends or holidays. Owning an RV means it’s available anytime and ALL THE TIME!
Loaded & Ready To Go No more packing and unpacking! Your RV will be loaded and ready to go!
Side Money It’s hard to justify the cost of a brand new RV especially if it’s not used as much as expected. Don’t forget that YOU can earn income from your camper by renting it out! Rather than sitting and collecting dust while not in use– make some money on the side! RVshare is free to join and claims that you could earn up to $40,000 in additional income per year! Likewise, RVshare lets you determine rental prices and how many nights a renter can use your rig. Start making some extra money!
OWNING | CONS
Expensive Purchasing an RV is nothing to take lightly. It’s a chunk of change… and I mean a BIG chunk. A lot of thought and research needs go into it and this decision should never be made impulsively.
Other Expenses Did I mention it’s expensive? Besides the monthly payments, costs to factor in include: Insurance, fuel, propane, storage, supplies, gear, groceries, camping reservations, maintenance, unexpected repairs, and more. Many fail to realize that owning an RV costs a lot more than the dollar amount listed on that big, shiny price tag.
Big Decision & Commitment Unfortunately, few individuals who have never spent one day of their lives in a camper, purchase a brand new rig, sign a seasonal contract, and start splurging on cool, new camping gear. In other words, they go all in, and fast. Come to find out, the RV lifestyle is simply not for them. Next thing you know, they are hanging up signs and passing out flyers trying to sell an “all-in-one bundle.” The problem is, RV’s may not be that easy to turn around and sell, let alone ever see the money wrapped up into it come back in return. Then, it’s on you to continue to maintain, store, or pay on the rig until the right buyer comes along. While the lifestyle seems amazing, it’s important to understand there’s a much bigger commitment when it comes to owning.
Lacks Anticipated Use It is sad to see an RV sit for a long time knowing how much money has gone into it. Unfortunately, this is the case for a handful of owners out there. They buy an RV with the intent of using it all the time, but then– things come up and the summer flies by while the unit sits depreciating away.
Warranty Work & Maintenance Realistically, you will never get into an RV and drive it off the lot without issues popping up. Generally, within that first month of ownership you’ll have a lovely list of warranty fixes. In spite of common issues arising, that’s why warranties are put in place. Despite the minor repairs, it’s important to realize that warranty work is not always the quickest… Accordingly, recreational vehicles can be a lot of work. Routine maintenance, service appointments, and frequent upkeep is crucial for your safety and to keep the rig in mint condition.
Storage Let’s say you just bought a brand new 40-footer. This 40-foot unit of greatness will take you on the most amazing journeys! You’ll go across the states, to wonderful campgrounds, and then… back home? Where is this 40-foot box of luxury going to reside between camping reservations? In your driveway? In your beautifully manicured yard? What about during the winter months? You may be able to get away with storing a rig in your driveway for short term durations, but for six months?! Storage is a huge factor in the RV lifestyle and really must be considered before gaining ownership. Unless you have access to a pole barn, a large area to park it, or can work a deal out with a family member’s property– storage can be expensive– not to mention very difficult to find in some areas.
Need A Tow Vehicle If leaning towards a travel trailer, 5th wheel, or toy hauler, you are going to need a tow vehicle capable of hauling it. Typically owning a truck/SUV significantly influences the type of RV chosen. For example, if you already own the tow vehicle you may be more apt to choose a travel trailer or 5th wheel. On the other hand, if you really desire a toy hauler but do not own a truck capable of hauling– that’s a whole other big purchase required!
Carrying Out RVing Duties We often think about the amazing times and dream destinations an RV can offer us. Yet many fail to consider actually hauling or driving their RV. And let’s be brutally honest… Some people out there SHOULDN’T DRIVE OR TOW AN RV… (let alone be allowed on the road in anything…) Nonetheless, driving or hauling an RV can be extremely difficult and stressful to a person. To others, they may find the road time boring and simply not for them. That’s when a rental service who offers delivery and pick up is ideal. Likewise, it’s important to remember that those extra duties the rental company so generously carried out for your convenience, are all on your shoulders when you own an RV. In other words, you’re on doody duty now! Carrying out daily ownership tasks can be a bit more time consuming, let alone the detailed procedures upon arrival and departure!
It’s important to take your time and weigh the pros and cons against your lifestyle and preferences. There’s no right or wrong in owning or renting an RV. It’s all about doing what’s best for YOU!
Still debating? You may like: New to RVing? Why You Should Rent First Before Owning.
RVING IS BEING in an RV you love!
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