Running costs of an RV?

Feb 27, 2009
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Wiltshire
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A Class
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6 yrs
I know there are lots of factors and a wide range of answers depending on type of rv etc, but if anyone has had a euro motorhome and an rv could you give us an idea how much more they cost to run?
Fuel will be more depending on engine etc, but what about insurance, parts, servicing of engine and habitation parts etc?
 

pappajohn

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Aug 26, 2007
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Insurance is a big difference.
I pay the wrong side of £600....my kontiki was less than £300
Hab spares are relatively easy to source but its a lot cheaper to buy stateside and import yourself.
I bought a new electronic onboard charger to replace the old style anologue one the converter salvaged from noah's ark.
This country ....£265 +p&p. from Chicago......£130 inc postage and import dues.
Fuel....most are between 6.5 and 8ltrs so 10mpg is realist.
Engine service parts (spark plugs, filters etc) are readily available at most motorfactors at normal uk prices.
Chassis spares (brake parts etc) are easy to get from the various UK dealers and not unreasonably priced.
Electrical appliances are generally very reliable so not a real financial worry.

Tyres can be expensive.......mine are around £300 each....and there are 6 of em but they are proper truck tyres so last a long time

All in all....for the extra room and superior comfort an RV wins every time regardless of running costs
 
Feb 22, 2008
10,913
21,589
Norfolk
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1,575
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Hymer B544
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Since 2004
I am on my third RV and do not consider cost.
I enjoy all that an American RV offers in comfort space and reliability and am prepared to pay a little more for that.
If I were totally cost conscious I would buy a tent .
 

tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
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I fancied one years back as I've had many American muscle cars etc and thought it would be a good next move


But to be honest in today's climate the fuel economy put me off as did the fact that I like getting places most motorhomers won't go and an RV would have stopped me doing that.

Don't think you can beat them for space though ......just don't drive them anywhere unless you've money to burn.
 
OP
errpaul
Feb 27, 2009
513
60
Wiltshire
Funster No
5,757
MH
A Class
Exp
6 yrs
Am aware of running costs to a certain degree. Don't want to be afraid to use it or let the cost take the fun away, so weighing up the benefits of the extra space.
In the last 6 years we have only been a couple of places that we couldn't take an rv so that wouldn't be too much of an issue for us.
 
OP
errpaul
Feb 27, 2009
513
60
Wiltshire
Funster No
5,757
MH
A Class
Exp
6 yrs
Having said all that, mine is for sale.
Sips petrol through a pipette.
Tyres will last another 100,000 miles
Nothing will fail on the chassis so no hidden cost.

You know you want it.......:LOL:
Pretty big pipette though yeah?! :)
What have you got?
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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Had a 36ft RV, Georgieboy 6lt Cummins pusher, did about 12 mpg , ( see avatar, George in Sahara dessert)

Owned it for 5 years and lived in it for three.. the biggest drawback was the physical size.. at that length you have to research sites and routes, many are totally unsuitable either because of access and or space to maneuver .

That said we toured all over Europe and Morocco.. so it is possible.. but you are certainly limited where you can go .. that's just common sense. When we reached an unknown site I always walked in and checked before committing myself..

Also bear in mind, that they are wider than European vans.. some are over the legal width by several inches.. so country roads can be challenging...

As Dave mentioned.. depreciation is a killer.. in 5 years we lost almost 60% of the purchase price. It's a buyers market..

You haven't said what length.. if you have decided to buy I would suggest no longer than 28ft .. and even a bit shorter, it would still give you plenty of space with all the home comforts.. such as the C class with slides that Larry has. It will fit on most pitches and access shouldn't be to much of an issue.. It's also the CC max length on many of their sites.

Look for one that already has an LPG conversion. that will help reduce running costs a little.

Final word.. and don't let me put you off.. if you have to ask about running costs or it is a consideration.. like the Rolls Royce salesman said.. If you have to ask.. I'm afraid you can't afford it Sir ;)
 

eddievanbitz

Trader - Funster
Oct 4, 2007
5,482
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540
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Buy a petrol with an LPG conversion. With LPG. A about 70p. Litre we average equivalent to about 16-17 MPG

Our long wheel based Merc hi top mobile workshop averages 25 mpg and our Benimar Motorhome based exhibition support unit is about the same

So my 32' double slide out RV costs me about 8 miles per gallon which I think is well worth it for all the comforts, sadly lacking on many European Motorhomes :-(
 

Chris

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May 5, 2010
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My daughter wants an RV , she thinks they are wicked.

Her Dad doesn't though, he has enough trouble reversing an 8m van and doesn't like putting £100 in the tank, let alone £400.

I really can see the benefits though in comfort and space.
 

Geo

Trader - Funster
Jul 29, 2007
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35
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A class RV and Autotrail
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35 +years with breaks
Physical running costs ie fuel 20%-25% more at most
Service maintenance costs averages about the same
Purchase prices for similar size and equipped vehicles 30% less
Not lost any money to speak of as yet on 2 x RVs 1 x 28 foot European
I guess I buy em right and sell em good, there are folk who buy new and lose 20K on day 1 driving it home I dont subscribe to that group, There are those who pay over the odds or sell quick at a big loss I dont subscribe to that group either
Overall the RV is a far cheaper bigger bang for you buck option, leaving loads of extra dosh for fuel if you want it
I have to agree on them being restrictive though, I can only go where Dustbin Lorry's can get!!
Do you get those up your street? Well say no more:)
What I will say is, Its a good job our Professional drivers dont have the "cant get down there attitude", we'd all starve to death
Most RVers Dont ask such questions anyway, we see, we want, we get, now lets figure out where were gonna park it, how we gonna pay for it, Am I willing to do time? for the next plonker that says how many miles does that dooooooooooooooooooooooooooo:rolleyes: or how many Horses can you get in there
Go get and worry later, life is not a rehersal and so what if you cant afford your funeral, dont think theyv'e left many on top yet
Do you see a mind set grinning through here:cool:
Check out the pic says it all at a glance
G
 
Feb 22, 2008
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My 9m, 29' RV is narrower than the larger a class RVs and is the same width as most Eurovans , as a result I go everywhere I want with no more restriction than similar sized euro units .
That's where the likeness ends. I have twin slideouts for extra space, queen size bed, large holding tanks , aircon , genny , 32" TV , surround sound etc plus I run on Eco friendly LPG which equates to around 18 mpg and no LEZ restriction.
In four years and 22k miles we have travelled and pitched without problem throughout the UK and across the water.
RV rules OK for us (y)
 

tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
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But can you go here ? 14079678300380.jpg


Or here?
14099039018490.jpg

That's what put me off .......don't think there's enough petrol stations between those two places to feed one never mind the access roads


Depends where you plan to go and how you holiday I guess .....i tend to take my van anywhere , but if your going to use sites and perhaps use a car to get around sightseeing then the space can't be beaten ....its all about compromise somewhere
Space or practicality
 

eddievanbitz

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Oct 4, 2007
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I'm told all the time that you can't go anywhere with an RV. We toured Corsica with a 36' RV five or six years ago which was great. The same people that tell me that you can't go anywhere with an RV are the same ones that are amazed that Lyn my wife drives our RV as much as me, even with the 27' boat trailer on the back lol

So far, since 1998 when we bought our first motorhome, we've gone Highwayman (Euro) KonTiki (Euro) Gulf Stream (RV) Airex (RV) Georgie Boy (RV) Georgie Boy (RV) Georgie Boy (RV) Benimar (Euro) Benimar (Euro) Concord (Euro) Condor (RV) Winnebago (RV) and our current Gulf Stream (RV)

So I guess that having owned both, we tend to lean more towards what American motorhomes give us than European motorhomes
 

eddievanbitz

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Oct 4, 2007
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But can you go here ? View attachment 40908


Or here?
View attachment 40909

That's what put me off .......don't think there's enough petrol stations between those two places to feed one never mind the access roads


Depends where you plan to go and how you holiday I guess .....i tend to take my van anywhere , but if your going to use sites and perhaps use a car to get around sightseeing then the space can't be beaten ....its all about compromise somewhere
Space or practicality
Yes, absolutely no problem! But would I want to ;-) My RV is about as wide as your wing mirrors, so if you didn't smash your wind mirrors off getting there, I could drive there too!

But not every one wants to go to solitary beaches and idylls! I enjoy going to such places, in a car, with our dogs, for a couple of hours, before I get bored.

This weekend we are going to a site, on a beach, where they have super pitches, so we have city water, black and grey dump on the pitch, 16 amp electricity two, or three pubs with excellent ale and locally sourced food within walking distance, WiFi and a fantastic fish and chip shop down the road!

I own a campsite and if you saw what we see with motorhome drivers, you really would come to realise that size for some, isn't the limiting factor as to what they can, or cant do, or where they can or can't go: They are lol
 

tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
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Yes, absolutely no problem! But would I want to ;-) My RV is about as wide as your wing mirrors, so if you didn't smash your wind mirrors off getting there, I could drive there too!

But not every one wants to go to solitary beaches and idylls! I enjoy going to such places, in a car, with our dogs, for a couple of hours, before I get bored.

This weekend we are going to a site, on a beach, where they have super pitches, so we have city water, black and grey dump on the pitch, 16 amp electricity two, or three pubs with excellent ale and locally sourced food within walking distance, WiFi and a fantastic fish and chip shop down the road!

I own a campsite and if you saw what we see with motorhome drivers, you really would come to realise that size for some, isn't the limiting factor as to what they can, or cant do, or where they can or can't go: They are lol
It's not the width you'd have problems with its the hairpin bends and the steep inclines that first pic is a first/second gear climb all the way up and bends you have to do a 4 point turn at to get round


I did say not everyone wants to go those places but if the op does want remote places that he should consider that in his plans
 

tambo

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Hairpins and steep inclines, I'd take an RV over a Fiat every time.
I'd love to see an RV on the bealach na ba lol


The driver would be lynched

As i said above I'd love one .....I've eyed them up for years and the prices they can be bought for is great .......but constant wildcamping where I go it just wouldn't go.

When I get old and start staying on sites again (maybe) then I might get one or when I do route 66 for my 60th birthday
But till then il stick with my Fiat :)
 

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
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Ah Tambo, so you haven't driven an RV then? But you 'know' where they'll go and they wont. FYI Some 34ft RVs have better turning circles that most Fiats. You cannot just dismiss all RV's as unsuitable for the terrain you suggest because many are much more useable in that terrain than Europeans.
 

tambo

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Jun 21, 2014
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Ah Tambo, so you haven't driven an RV then? But you 'know' where they'll go and they wont. FYI Some 34ft RVs have better turning circles that most Fiats. You cannot just dismiss all RV's as unsuitable for the terrain you suggest because many are much more useable in that terrain than Europeans.
No but I've driven 26tonne trucks
And buses which are similar dimensions
Most of the roads I go on states unsuitable for hgv and the tour buses become sprinters and transits in those areas

Have you been up the remote north west coast?
 

Forestboy

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We've had both.
Owned 3 Rvs and done over 100'000 miles in the 3 all over UK Europe and even Morocco and USA and absolutely loved them. Apart from the fuel cost which we found prohibitive they were no more expensive to run than our current Hymer, servicing and parts were similar and they were very very reliable.
Wild camping wasn't really the issue so much as sites, we found ourselves being turned away from more and more sites. The number of sites that refused to take RVs was getting so bad we were becoming limited to where we could go and it was worse in France and Spain. We downsized to a nearly new 2008 29ft to overcome the problem but it was a petrol and only managed 7 mpg and the build quality was very poor compared to the older ones so we decided to give up on RVs and get an older Hymer for the better build quality and easier access and have to say after 4 years its been a great success.
Would we have another RV ? yes if we could find one that fitted our needs but as we're not looking to part with the Hymer very unlikely.
Good luck whatever you choose.(y)
 
Feb 22, 2008
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My avatar picture was taken on Skye, one of the many places we have toured, but to be realistic we prefer to site up and use small tow car , and that will go where no Motorhomes will .
 

eddievanbitz

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Oct 4, 2007
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It's not the width you'd have problems with its the hairpin bends and the steep inclines that first pic is a first/second gear climb all the way up and bends you have to do a 4 point turn at to get round


I did say not everyone wants to go those places but if the op does want remote places that he should consider that in his plans
You asked "Can you go here" I simply said "yes" and having been asked "If I could" I went on to say I wouldn't want to(y)

Perhaps the question would be better asked on RVOC

Just for the record, the turning circle on my RV is excellent, and I drive more motorhomes than most in my job

There not for everyone, but, you should over look them for the right reasons.
 

Snowbird

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I must add that size was never an issue when running RVs. I have toured above the Arctic circle and into the Sahara with an RV sometimes with a 30 ft boat in tow. The only problems I found were when a small problem like an injector pipe leak or a tyre blowout occurred which would never be much of a problem in a European motorhome became a major disaster in an RV. I once had a brake cylinder seize which took 2 weeks to sort in France. If I had been in the UK I could have had it sorted same day. I do like the space that an RV gives, so changed over to the larger German manufacturers which give me peace of mind on the rare occasions I do have a problem. Am still running a 7.5 ton motorhome which gives me the load capacity and comfort I need but with the added advantage of Mercedes backup anywhere in the world without the depreciation issues of an RV. One other consideration for me is that I am a bio burner which restricts which vehicle I can run. Only the older Cummins B series and Mercedes engines are really suitable for this. Am getting almost 20 MPG from a 7.5 ton motorhome,towing a trailer which would be neigh on impossible with an RV. If running costs are a major issue and you would be putting in excess of 5000 miles per year on a vehicle then an RV is not the ideal vehicle for you. If on the other hand you are happy to potter around in the UK occasionally going to Europe for a couple of weeks and keeping the mileage down, then an RV will take some beating for comfort and the wow factor.
 

Chris

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So far, since 1998 when we bought our first motorhome, we've gone Highwayman (Euro) KonTiki (Euro) Gulf Stream (RV) Airex (RV) Georgie Boy (RV) Georgie Boy (RV) Georgie Boy (RV) Benimar (Euro) Benimar (Euro) Concord (Euro) Condor (RV) Winnebago (RV) and our current Gulf Stream (RV)
I make that 13 in 16 years which isn't bad going Eddie.:D

Do you get bored easily - I do with cars
 

Geo

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I must add that size was never an issue when running RVs. I have toured above the Arctic circle and into the Sahara with an RV sometimes with a 30 ft boat in tow. The only problems I found were when a small problem like an injector pipe leak or a tyre blowout occurred which would never be much of a problem in a European motorhome became a major disaster in an RV. I once had a brake cylinder seize which took 2 weeks to sort in France. If I had been in the UK I could have had it sorted same day. I do like the space that an RV gives, so changed over to the larger German manufacturers which give me peace of mind on the rare occasions I do have a problem. Am still running a 7.5 ton motorhome which gives me the load capacity and comfort I need but with the added advantage of Mercedes backup anywhere in the world without the depreciation issues of an RV. One other consideration for me is that I am a bio burner which restricts which vehicle I can run. Only the older Cummins B series and Mercedes engines are really suitable for this. Am getting almost 20 MPG from a 7.5 ton motorhome,towing a trailer which would be neigh on impossible with an RV. If running costs are a major issue and you would be putting in excess of 5000 miles per year on a vehicle then an RV is not the ideal vehicle for you. If on the other hand you are happy to potter around in the UK occasionally going to Europe for a couple of weeks and keeping the mileage down, then an RV will take some beating for comfort and the wow factor.
That made I smile Dave, what were you selling Desert Cruises:LOL:
 

Snowbird

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That made I smile Dave, what were you selling Desert Cruises:LOL:
No mate, that should have said, I only took the boat on fishing trips to Norway. I used to take my buggy to Morocco. Even I had difficulty selling the Moroccans anything, not for the lack of trying I may add :)
 

Attachments

Feb 22, 2008
10,913
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The point being missed here is maybe not the cost of running an RV or a Eurovan but the difference in running cost between the two .
My RV on LPG equates to 18mpg against perhaps 25 mpg on a Fiat diesel, so the difference is minimal.
As far as spares are concerned , they are readily available in the UK and could be shipped into mainland EU within a couple of days.
 

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
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I think post #2 in this thread was the full answer. Clearly RVs suit some and they enjoy owning RVs and I wouldn't dream of knocking someone else's choice but high depreciation can only reflect low demand and/or oversupply of second hand RVs. If oversupply does this mean a significant number of folk are buying them then changing their mind?
A Funster here has written a couple of books and in the first he had an RV but in the second he had downsized significantly. It was never explained why but I couldn't help guessing.
 
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