What’s the Cost of RV Maintenance?

Keizer, Oregon RV park

Owning an RV offers the freedom to travel wherever and whenever you want. One night you could spend at a Keizer, Oregon RV park and then the next at the coast or the Painted Hills. Cost becomes the biggest hurdle for many people interested in buying an RV. Questions about affordability extend beyond the purchase price of a Class A or B RV. The cost of maintenance, gas, and insurance can all add up to prevent them from living their dream of owning an RV and spending nights under the stars at a Keizer, Oregon RV park.

Let’s look at some of the maintenance costs associated with owning an RV so you get a better idea of what the financial future may look like if you decide to start traveling in style. While the costs you incur will vary depending on where you live, the type of motorhome you purchase, and how often you travel, this guide should give you a solid understanding of what you should expect when owning an RV.

RV Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs will vary depending on the RV you purchase and how often you use the vehicle. Long-term maintenance can also fluctuate depending on how well you care for your RV. Scheduling regular oil changes and tune-ups over the years will reduce wear and enable your vehicle to avoid more expensive issues due to neglect.

The type of RV you purchase will also influence your maintenance costs. Pop-up trailers don’t require the same type of annual maintenance as a diesel pusher. RVs only used during summer vacations will experience less wear when compared to one used for everyday living. But an RV that sits in the driveway for nine months of the year can also wear down from lack of use.

Motorhomes that require tow vehicles will double some of your maintenance costs. Two sets of wheels that need rotating and replacing and two diesel engines that need regular tune-ups mean spending more annually when compared to pop-up campers you can tow with your regular vehicle and runs on a generator.

The more amenities your RV features, the more you’ll need to spend to keep them working correctly. Water lines can clog, dishwashers leak, and microwaves can break, just like at home. When determining your RV budget, you should consider factoring in these additional costs when deciding how luxury an RV to purchase.

Preparing for Unexpected Costs

With so many variables in play, planning just in case your RV requires more than just a tune-up makes sense. Here are a few ways you can better prepare for when the unexpected strikes:

Talk with other RV owners. The RV community is full of passionate people who happily talk about their vehicles. Before purchasing an RV, visit discussion boards, Reddit threads, and owner forums to ask what you can expect regarding maintenance costs and wear and tear.

Start a maintenance fund. Putting away a small amount of money monthly will provide you with a cushion should an unexpected maintenance or emergency repair issue arise.

Overestimate your monthly maintenance expenses. It’s better to anticipate paying too much rather than too little. Bank the money into your maintenance fund in good years when your maintenance costs are low. Then it will be there during the “bad” years when tires need replacing, an air conditioner needs replacing, and you want to purchase some needed upgrades.

Consider an RV warranty. Just as you can buy a home warranty, you can purchase one that covers common RV-related expenses. Not all warranties are worth the money, so do your due diligence before purchasing one.