Hello all,

I need some advice about trying to decide whether to buy another camper or just rent a cabin or motel room.


About two years ago, I wrecked our beautiful, but leaky and worn out, 1974 Shasta Stratoflyte.  I still miss it.  We always try to take a big trip to another state once a year and go on several smaller local weekend trips.


Here are some example costs of taking our travel trailer on a week end trip to Lake Texoma:


Cost of the EXTRA GAS it takes to pull the trailer 200 miles round trip (Gas mileage of the truck with the trailer minus the gas mileage of the car without a trailer equals EXTRA GAS): $16.50 

The cost of a camp ground spot for 1 night: $30.00


Total:  about $45.00 to $50.00


A cabin by the lake or a motel costs about $75.00 per night.


Savings:  $30.00


Additional costs of owning a trailer:

The cost of purchasing the trailer:  $800.00

Repair costs to make it road worthy and livable (campable?):  $500.00

Maintenance costs per year:  $130.00

Annual registration:  $50.00


Total Additional Costs $1480.00 divided by Savings of $30.00 equals 49 to 59 nights.


It would have taken us roughly 55 nights to realize any savings by staying in our old camper vs. a motel. 



We averaged about 18 nights per year, so it would take us about 4 years to realize any savings.



It's hard to put a dollar value on the old camper camping experience.  It is different than staying in a motel room.


I need some advice on how to make it cheaper to stay in an old camper.  Any advice?

Tags: cost, feasible, motel

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To reduce camping costs:

- Dry camp on public or private lands with permission.

- Stay in one place longer saving gas towing the trailer

- Use someone elses trailer

- Share the use of your trailer with a friend and split the trailer cost


You're right, Dan the cost of staying in your own vintage trailer is priceless.



The age old question of economically justifying RV travel versus motel and restaurants is more a question of lifestyle choice then number crunching in my opinion. True, fuel cost is muchhhhhhh higher hauling a trailer butttttttttttttt NOT having to eat at a restaurant three times a day and spening far less for a campsite then a motel offsets the extra fuel in many cases.

HOWEVER what I like about RV travel is having MY OWN CLEAN COMFY BED AND MY OWN BATHROOM and being at "home" wherever I park. I feel much cleaner and safer, sleep much better then in a strange bed, and nothing beats having your own food on board (or beer for the evening lol) woooooooo hooooooooooo

In line with what Pat noted, if you camp at a National Forest, State Forest, an Army Corps of Engineers or National Park (all 1/2 price if a Senior) or a State Park, or free on BLM lands and an occasional Wal Mart when in transit YOU SAVE A TON OVER STRICTLY PRIVATE RV PARKS...... Look at the Dry Camping and Boondocking links here and sites like Frugal RV for more info. Theres also Work Camping and part time work volunteer positions enabling you a free campsite in return for say 20 hours of weekly labor

I get a kick out of some of my NON RV friends who brag n boast they can rent a condo or a nice motel room instead of staying in a "camper" and actually Im glad they (old grouches) arent out there takin up RV sites lol

Its all a matter of choice and lifestyle and to each their own, Im glad all arent like me or the RV parks and Wal Marts would be over filled lol

Your life, your money your choice, but take a look at what Pat said and my thoughts and make a wise informed decision that suits YOUR OWN NEEDS

Ol John T in Indiana

2001 Four Winds 5000 29 Ft Chevy Vortec Class C, 4L80E Overdrive Tranny
Dry Camping Customized Special
110 Gallons Fresh Water Storage, 86 Gallons Gray Water Holding
460 Amp/Hrs (4 T 125 equivalent) 6 volt Golf Car Batteries) Energy Storage
Onan 4 KW Genset and Inverter, CFL or LED lighting
Yet to be added, 200 Watt Solar Panels

Well put John!

knowing who slept in the bed the night before is priceless.  I have found things in the beds of motels that I don't find in my vintage camper.  Having my own home away from home is also priceless.  But then I a partial to camping.   

I must say that I think you are thinking too much. Isn't it about the experience? I love my trailer and I've got a reasonable amount of money in it- but I own it too so...

Before my trailer though we used to kind of do a half and half with camping cabins and hotel rooms.

In my town there are a bunch of cats working on different long term projects here and a lot of these fellas have their own campers, they find a spot to park them and put skirting around and call them home.

I would do that if it was the situation I was in, but I still don't have a camper so I guess I am not a good one to ask.



We've been there/done that.  Even rented a propane tank for the 'big rig' one winter.  :)  You take your home where the work is! 

We haven't used a motel in many years, for all the obvious reasons.  And, when we visit friends or relatives, we take whatever camper we have.  It's nice, when visiting to have your own home to go to for a nap, a snack, a shower, a place for the little dogs to stay, etc.  We found that we can stay longer and enjoy the "visiting" part more.  On the road, a Walmart parking lot is very handy to find after a long day--no registration, no rules and regulations (except for the self-imposed, polite stuff) and a handy place to restock, if needed.  We've tried truck stops, but they're just too crowded and noisy.  That's why we pay the high fuel prices! 




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