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RV or Motel: Which One is Cheaper?


Motorhome parked beside entrance to Burrill Lake, Burrill Lake, New South Wales, Australia
Auscape/UIG/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Can you see yourself behind the wheel of a 35-foot recreation vehicle (RV)? Until a few years ago, many people found out they could fit nicely behind that wheel.

Back in about 2003, there was a huge RV boom that resulted in more construction and a lowering of the median age of RV drivers from 60+ to 49.

Soaring gasoline prices at times since 2003 make the question more difficult to answer. But as prices at the pump have increased, so too have airfares and hotel rates.

The RV lifestyle allows people to spend more personal time with spouse and child. The baby-boomers' love of nature is hitting the road.

For purposes of simplicity, I'll sometimes use the term "RV" to describe a variety of choices: motor coaches, trailers, pop-up campers, and fifth-wheels among them.

With each option, you are buying a list of advantages and disadvantages. Consider how those fit into your preferences as you look at your budget. Key questions: Will the benefits of renting or buying an RV become outweighed by the drawbacks, ruining your precious vacation time?

Click "next" and look at the potential savings and benefits.

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