Choosing Between RV vs. Hotel: Pros & Cons


When stress starts to build, there’s nothing more rewarding than planning your next holiday adventure—other than the vacation itself, of course!

The vacation isn’t complete without the right amenities: a cozy place to sleep, good food, and exciting activities to do with the whole family.

However, one of the most important choices you’ll need to make is where you want to stay during your vacation. In other words, you’ll probably consider the benefits of staying in an RV vs. a hotel.

Both have their pros and cons! Knowing which to choose depends on a few factors, like your budget and what kind of vacation you’re planning.

So, keep reading to find out the pros and cons of choosing an RV vs. a hotel when planning your vacation.

Staying in an RV vs. Hotel: Which to Choose

Cruise-America-RV-vs-Hotel-kaylordastrup.jpgPhoto Credit: Instagam User @kaylordastrup

RV vs. Hotel Expense Breakdown 

One of the most significant that can sway you one way or another when planning a vacation is budget.  Knowing what needs to go into your budget can help you plan a great trip without overspending.  To help you calculate your vacation budget based on staying in an RV vs. hotel, we’ve put together some costs to consider below. 

RV Trip Costs

  • Fuel: This can vary depending on what kind of RV rental you choose, as different models have different sized gas tanks. Cruise America’s RV rentals use unleaded fuel. So, use this fuel’s cost per gallon when thinking about the overall cost of fuel on your trip. 
  • Cost per night/rental day: To calculate the cost of each day spent in your RV, you’ll use how many rental days you spend in the RV. Cruise America bases the number of rental days spent in an RV on how many nights the vehicle is used. 
  • Mileage: Typically, an RV company will charge you based on how many miles you travel. So, find out how many miles your trip will be through apps like Google Maps. Then, use the cost your rental company charges per mile multiplied by the number of miles you’ll travel to get the total cost of mileage. 
  • RV parking: Luckily, there are some great ways to find free overnight RV parking! If you stay at a campsite, though, you’ll likely need to pay a fee, which varies on where you stay. 
  • Food: When staying in an RV, you can enjoy the amenities of your RV’s kitchen, which include a fridge and a gas stove! So, you can grab groceries before your trip and cook delicious meals on the road. 
  • Other potential expenses: Some RV rental companies require a deposit up front when renting an RV. If you’re unsure, it always helps to check with your RV provider! Another cost comes from generator use. This can be a small fee but might get higher during hotter months, as the RV’s AC is used more. 

Hotel Trip Costs

  • Transportation: Are you driving your car, or are you using other transportation like a cab or ride-sharing service? Depending on what transportation you choose, you’ll calculate things like gas costs for your car or the cost of taking a cab to your destination as well as to other places during your trip. 
  • Nightly room charge: In 2019, the average rate for a hotel room in the U.S. was $131.21.
  • Food: There isn’t much cooking space in your typical hotel, so you’ll likely be eating out. Depending on how often you eat out and where this cost can pile up. 

RV vs. Hotel Costs: Pros and Cons

Cruise-America-RV-vs-Hotel-photos_dont_change-(1).jpgPhoto Credit: Instagram User @photos_dont_change

Now that we have a better idea of the general expenses of staying in an RV vs. hotel let’s talk about cost pros and cons!

When you compare the cost per day between a hotel and RV, an RV’s rental day charge is a big pro. However, it is important to remember that the prices for renting an RV vary, so there may be times when this changes.

Another pro for staying in an RV is food! When you eat out, especially in a popular tourist city, prices for food can get a little expensive. On the other hand, buying groceries to make your own food in an RV can be a cheaper solution!

A potential con for staying in an RV can be parking. After all, you don’t usually have to park your hotel room at night!

However, the only reason RV parking can be a con is because of potential campground fees. Thankfully, you can avoid those fees with free overnight RV parking instead, which can turn this con into a pro!

In the end, the right choice comes down to your preferences and budget. Plus, there are a lot of innovative and low-cost vacation options you can choose from!

Another great option that gives you the best of both worlds is staying at a luxury RV resort. Then, you can have a luxurious RV experience while also soaking in the adventure at an RV resort!

Cruise-America-RV-vs-Hotel-boundlesscreators.pngPhoto Credit: Instagam User @boundlesscreators
Are you looking for the perfect rental RV for your upcoming vacation? With Cruise America’s RV rentals, you’ll spend your vacation in style and comfort!