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Old 06-19-2019, 05:21 AM   #1
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Default Is it cheaper to rent or own your own Class B?

Someone I know posed the question of whether it's actually less expensive to just rent an RV whenever you need one vs. buying one and paying for the insurance, maintenance, financing and depreciation.....

I guess it really depends on how much you actually use the RV and whether you want immediate access to the unit and want to personalize your vehicle...

I haven't been able to figure out the break even point on this, but, it's an interesting question....

Your thoughts?
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:03 PM   #2
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You do realize you're posting this to a forum of mostly owners, right?

You're right, the frequency of use is key. Between the purchase price, the carrying costs and time time investment in upkeep, they ain't cheap.

If you're only going to use it for a 2-3-4 week road trip every year and you know the dates months in advance, rent. Ownership is expensive and maintenance is not very sexy.

If you want to spontaneously take off for a weekend in July though, good luck finding one.

Once you believe you'll use it enough to justify the buy-in, you also end up using it for things like:
A cabana on beach days
A waiting area in between your kids' dance recitals.
Driveway surfing at a friends house instead of using their pullout couch
A warming shack on ski days

Some also have to use them as:
Mobile kitchens for those with special dietary needs
A dark place to go hide while your migraine meds kick in.
An ever-present toilet
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:10 PM   #3
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Define "need one." I think that the answer lies in that.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anachr0n View Post
You do realize you're posting this to a forum of mostly owners, right?

You're right, the frequency of use is key. Between the purchase price, the carrying costs and time time investment in upkeep, they ain't cheap.

If you're only going to use it for a 2-3-4 week road trip every year and you know the dates months in advance, rent. Ownership is expensive and maintenance is not very sexy.

If you want to spontaneously take off for a weekend in July though, good luck finding one.

Once you believe you'll use it enough to justify the buy-in, you also end up using it for things like:
A cabana on beach days
A waiting area in between your kids' dance recitals.
Driveway surfing at a friends house instead of using their pullout couch
A warming shack on ski days

Some also have to use them as:
Mobile kitchens for those with special dietary needs
A dark place to go hide while your migraine meds kick in.
An ever-present toilet
Add... extra bedroom for guests, bug-out shelter for evacuations, shelter-in-place for power or water outage, hideaway office....

Still, many of those needs can be met in other ways much more cheaply.

The only way to justify the high cost of owning a class B is to travel and camp... a lot, as in more than 30-45 nights and/or 10-15K miles a year. Otherwise, you could rent and/or stay in some pretty nice hotels for what you’re giving up in depreciation and other fixed costs.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:38 PM   #5
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If you rent at least you don't have the angst of constant and unexpected repairs, that some folks don't seem to handle well.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:35 PM   #6
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It is a want and not a need. Same with fancy expensive cars, boats, vacation homes and on and on.
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:14 AM   #7
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Default Yes, I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anachr0n View Post
You do realize you're posting this to a forum of mostly owners, right?

You're right, the frequency of use is key. Between the purchase price, the carrying costs and time time investment in upkeep, they ain't cheap.

If you're only going to use it for a 2-3-4 week road trip every year and you know the dates months in advance, rent. Ownership is expensive and maintenance is not very sexy.

If you want to spontaneously take off for a weekend in July though, good luck finding one.

Once you believe you'll use it enough to justify the buy-in, you also end up using it for things like:
A cabana on beach days
A waiting area in between your kids' dance recitals.
Driveway surfing at a friends house instead of using their pullout couch
A warming shack on ski days

Some also have to use them as:
Mobile kitchens for those with special dietary needs
A dark place to go hide while your migraine meds kick in.
An ever-present toilet
I own a 2012 Roadtrek RS Adventurous. A friend who seemed interested in looking for an RV asked me about this question.

I read the answers below and agree; its definitely a luxury item.
I appreciate the flexibility of having the RV. We do use it for long trips and day trips occasionally...

My friend decided to skip it.
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
It is a want and not a need. Same with fancy expensive cars, boats, vacation homes and on and on.
Indeed, and it is personal. Some can justify spending megabucks on Hasselblad some on top quality RV and some for a new generator. For us justification to own is instant availability, how about today not after getting a rental unit.
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Old 06-23-2019, 12:27 PM   #9
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Do they even rent Class B’s? I see lots of Cruise America Class C’s and a few of the Jucy micro-B’s (Dodge Caravans), but no Class B’s (that are recognizably rentals, anyway).

Thinking there may be a few units on the owner rental site- forgot the name, like AirBnB for RV’s... but very limited.

So rent vs. own is not really apples-to-apples if your preferred style involves a Class B.

Still, renting, even if it’s a different style of RV, makes a lot of sense if you’re jumping in for the first time.
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:43 PM   #10
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I agree with Jon. In the central parts of the country finding a B to rent is next to impossible.

For us it is the unique experience, not a matter of being the cheapest way to travel or stay.
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:54 PM   #11
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Advanced RV Rentals in CA & OH
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:52 PM   #12
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I would think that if you only use a few weeks a year it may very well may be cheaper to rent.
I'm working and use our B+/C- 6-7 weeks a year.
When retired I may find it hard to go home.

Having my RV in the driveway where I can play any moment I want to is priceless.

Moved from a pop-up we used for 31 years to a MH was quite the sticker shock.
Interesting that after the first month trip the wife said "This is the best financial investment we have ever made".
I thinks she likes it.

Recommend renting first to assure you like the lifestyle.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:04 PM   #13
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Default A little "exaggerated'"; don't you think?

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I would think that if you only use a few weeks a year it may very well may be cheaper to rent.
I'm working and use our B+/C- 6-7 weeks a year.
When retired I may find it hard to go home.

Having my RV in the driveway where I can play any moment I want to is priceless.

Moved from a pop-up we used for 31 years to a MH was quite the sticker shock.
Interesting that after the first month trip the wife said "This is the best financial investment we have ever made".
I thinks she likes it.

Recommend renting first to assure you like the lifestyle.
"This is the best financial investment we have ever made".

Priceless, from an emotional statement.... absolutely YES!

Best financial investment.... sorry... I can't agree with that.

We had a tent, small teardrop trailer and we decided to take the leap to the Class B......

As for "liking the lifestyle"..... when I hear that.....it makes me think that people are actually living in their RV's.. you more commonly hear that from Class A folks all the time..

I'm sure that there's some people who actually do "live" out of Class B... We don't do that.. however, it's certainly a choice.

I'm not sure you're going to save any money living out of a Class B...? And, it's pretty small.... it's mainly for travel and touring...at least for us.

So, we use it whenever we can for day trips and longer. Optimum time...is about 10 to 12 days. After that it's cabin fever.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:16 PM   #14
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I think it's worth mentioning the flip side of renting. That is owning your own rig and renting it out on occasion to offset the cost of ownership. There is added work involved no doubt, and more maintenance and repairs not to mention all of the strangers groping your beloved rig, but on the plus side you get to modify it exactly how you like it, it's available for spur of the moment trips most of the time (depending on how aggressively you market it), and it's not necessarily a money sink anymore. It's definitely not for everyone, but I have both a class C and a travel trailer that I rent and have had great success with renters. I am planning on replacing the class C with a class B sometime in the next year since there's definitely an underserved market there. Check out rvshare and outdoorsy and I think you'll find a few more class B options.

Cheers!
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:23 PM   #15
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Plus if the power goes out at home, or can use the B as a second house...with generator! But, as has been said, it's really the freedom, ease of use, parking, and the fact that you can camp anyplace. We volunteerer at a popular Florida state park where even the smallest site could accommodate a class B. And once it's yours, you can tweak whatever you want.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
Someone I know posed the question of whether it's actually less expensive to just rent an RV whenever you need one vs. buying one and paying for the insurance, maintenance, financing and depreciation.....

I guess it really depends on how much you actually use the RV and whether you want immediate access to the unit and want to personalize your vehicle...

I haven't been able to figure out the break even point on this, but, it's an interesting question....

Your thoughts?
Iíve read all the posts in response to your question. Didnít see one very important factor, at least for my wife and me. We keep our Roadtrek fully stocked with everything needed for a four day weekend (except for perishable food). Makes every weekend or short notice trip so easy, and if the trip unexpectedly turns out to be longer, it is usually easy to buy more food and/or do laundry along the way. Canít do that with a rental.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:01 PM   #17
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We rented a B for a test prior to purchase decision. We rented from RV Share, which is a company that handles all the details of the rental between you and a private owner.
The cost was about $525 per day all in. That’s the rental fee of about $250 a day, insurance, gas, campsites, etc.
So as others have said, it will depend on your amount of use to justify the ownership vs. rental question.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:48 PM   #18
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Add to that list you can use a class B as a second car. Being retired, we seldom have both our cars on the road at the same time.
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:12 PM   #19
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Default It depends ...

I'll throw in a few other considerations.
  1. Whether your Class B is purchased as such new from a manufacturer or custom builder, or if it is a DIY home build, makes a huge difference regarding cost structure.
  2. Whether the RV was a new or used purchase.
  3. Also whether your Class B is your every day driver or if you have another vehicle for that purpose. Fuel costs will be higher as a daily driver, but obviously subject to how much driving is actually done in that role.
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:42 PM   #20
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I was actually going to wait a few years until the kids were out of the house (it would just be me and my fiancť) to get a Class B. A class B can also act as your primary vehicle. The way I see it, you can spend $400 a month on a luxury vehicle, or you can spend $600 a month on an affordable class B (those figures assume the same down payment in my particular financial scenario). Personally, I would rather give up the leather seats, seat warmers, tech that I don’t even know how to work, etc. to have a permanent hotel in the back of my vehicle. I do have to tell you though, that I work from home as a college professor since I teach online. I also get done with my work on Thursday, so I can often take advantage of a 3 day travel weekend. I think my decision would vary greatly if I had a long commute to work. The way I see it, I’m spending an extra $200 for that convenience. That means I only need to spend the night in it one day a month in order to save the money I would have spent at a hotel, plus I don’t have to worry about packing, unpacking and rushing out before a 10 o’clock check out. I also was planning on Boondocking every other day so I was not going to spend a lot of money at campgrounds. After my mandated one night a month, any additional nights I spent in it would essentially be free except for money spent on gas/propane. If you are a couple with a two vehicle household, you may want to take that into consideration since you certainly do not need three vehicles. For me, the idea of giving up my personal vehicle that I drive once a week is a no brainer.

Of course, I am now in a situation where I can afford to go ahead and get the class B sooner than expected, but that no longer works for my living situation since I will be bringing the kids along every other weekend. Now that I am starting to look at a class C, it does not seem viable as a substitute for a passenger vehicle. For the limited amount of driving I do (10-20 miles a week), I am starting to wonder if I should get a small Class C and a moped. Either way, I refuse to have two motorized vehicles since I live alone. *** The kids I am referring to are my fiancť’s and when they are here, his truck is also here*** Everyone’s situation is unique and we all have different goals, so budget and think about what you are willing to give up to make it happen.
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