Is traveling in an RV cheaper than owning your own home? This all comes down to a couple of factors. First and foremost is how much you spend in your normal lifestyle, what your monthly home payments are and how expensive of an area you live in, and the second important factor is how you plan to travel. There are ways to travel on a budget and save money over a regular lifestyle. But there are also ways to spend much more than an at home lifestyle if you want to. For us, we have concluded that the months when we are traveling in our motorhome, overall, we spend about the same on total monthly costs as we did we did owning our townhome. When we are home now, we pay rent and spend less than when we traveled or owned our own home, but if you figure in what it takes for us to get home, it usually just about evens out once again.
I have talked before about how much our Thousand Trails Zone Pass has saved us as we travel, but honestly, we wouldn’t be able to travel like we do if it wasn’t for the savings that this has provided for us. We spend as much in a month around ($70 a month) for our multi-zone pass and Trails Collection add-on. However, there aren’t Thousand Trails in every state, so we also have a rig that is set up for boondocking, or dry camping, which is usually free or close to it. We have a water tank, waste water tanks, propane tank, full kitchen, and a good generator that give us all of our essentials for about a weeks worth of pretty comfortable living, 4 days worth of comfortable living, or 2 weeks of conservative living (refraining from using much water). Some of the boondocking sites can be a little hard to get to, have rough roads, and are also usually some of the most beautiful sites we have stayed at. Learn more about boondocking and how to find spots in this post and video.
We also pay $45 a year to use Harvest Hosts to stay for a next to free night here or there where we just buy something we would by anyway from the local business that let us stay on their land for the night. These have been some of our favorite stand-out, unexpected experiences as well.
These are some of the ways that we save money on our nightly stay cost, and a big way that we are able to travel on a budget.
If we had an affordable home, but bought an extravagant, new rig, ate out everyday, and stayed at normal priced RV resorts every night. We could easily spend much more than we did when owning our own home.
If we owned an expensive home, and bought an affordable rig, mostly cooked at home, and save money on lodging, we could spend a lot less. So the answer to this question all depends on the way you choose to live, travel, and spend or save your money when traveling vs. when owning a home.
Another option for owning a home is to keep it while traveling, and rent it out or AirBnB it to help fund your travels. Then you can likely still be building equity in your home, and come back to it whenever you like. That is a great way that we know some people who travel get the best of both worlds!