Owning an RV sounds like fun, but it really is not for everyone. There are plenty of good reasons why you should never buy an RV.

RV camping sounds like a dream for anyone who likes spending time in the great outdoors, but make the wrong decision and it could turn into a nightmare.

RVs themselves are extremely expensive and even their maintenance can cost a great deal. They are also not easy to drive, no matter how excellent a driver you are, and unless you’re on the road for a large portion of your time, they will be sitting idle anyway.

No matter how much you love the idea of heading on a trip in a motor home, there are some clear downsides to buying an RV. When there are other options like rent available, buying an RV could possibly be the worst decision you can make.

Based on our experience with RVs and our research around why those who own RVs regret their decision, we’ve compiled all the information we gathered in one place.



Why Buying an RV is a Bad Idea

RVs are Extremely Expensive

One of the biggest reasons you shouldn’t buy an RV is the finances. RVs are insanely expensive – possibly one of the biggest expenses in your life. While pop-up trailers are generally more affordable, RVs will make anyone who considers buying them stop and think twice.

Financing an RV is Also Expensive

Not only is it an expensive purchase, but most likely, you wouldn’t have the money you need to buy the RV upfront anyway. If this isn’t enough to deter you, you’d be financing a portion of your purchase, which means that on top of the purchase price of the vehicle, you’d have to consider the interest rates as well. Just the interest you pay over the loan’s life would be much, much higher than if you had just got yourself a hotel room every time you went out on a trip.

Maintenance and Repair

Besides the big things, there are also the small things. Besides just the cost of buying and financing the RV, you also have to handle all the maintenance and repair costs. If you want your vacation to go smoothly, you’ll have to make sure all of these are done on time. And even then, you might still find yourself doing some of the repair work yourself while you’re on vacation.

On top of the maintenance and repair costs being really high, and the task itself taking time, it’s not enough to simply get those done, you have to do a lot of extra work yourself. Let’s not forget the possibility of your RV breaking down while you’re away from civilization and leave you stranded.

Besides the costs, it is also quite irritating to handle all the maintenance yourself, especially since there are so many accessories and different parts to keep an eye on. From water tanks and tires to motor issues and sewage, there is always something or the other to manage.

If you don’t like doing basic house chores, you’re definitely not going to like managing an RV.

Down Time

Unless you have a lot of time on your hands and spend most of that time camping, your RV will probably be idle for a large part of the year. You won’t really be using your RV for anything, but you’d still have the loan, interest and insurance payments to make on it. The RV itself will do nothing by sit there and depreciate.

Many sellers will tell you that an RV is a great investment, but this is untrue. Unlike homes, which appreciate, RVs depreciate, so the money you put into it will eventually lose all its value and you will be left with an RV that doesn’t even get used very often. In fact, even if you rent, you’d have to be renting it out the entire time you’re not using it to get back even a portion of the money you spent on it.


Besides just depreciation, you also have to worry about storage. Most likely, you won’t have space in your garage to fit an RV, which means that you’ll have to find an actual place to store it. In most cases, you’d have to pay rent for the storage space, which will add on to the already high cost of owning an RV.

Besides rent, you also have to make sure there isn’t a rodent problem in whatever storage space you find. Mice and critters can chew up the wires in the RV and cause severe damage.

You could also choose the cheaper option, which is to just leave it outside. This will leave your expensive RV susceptible to sun damage, or wear and tear from rain, snow and other kinds of extreme weather.


Whether you’re driving a car or an RV, if you’re on the road, you need fuel. For an RV, which is significantly bigger and heavier, you’d need a lot more fuel than you would with a car.

Fuel is also expensive, which boosts up your RV ownership costs. Being offroad means that you’d have to either stock up on cheaper fuel from home, or push costs up even further by stopping at fuel stops along the highway, which are undoubtedly more expensive.

On top of that, RVs are extremely inefficient on fuel, and can reduce the fuel economy by about 50%. Not only is that bad for your bank account, but also terrible for the environment.


The selling point of RVs is that they let you get some time away from the city without having to give up on all the comforts of staying at home. But if you head out to a campground during peak camping season, you’ll find big crowds and a lot of noise. Parking the RV here is already a hassle, but if you get stuck in a bad spot, your trip will be ruined.


Even a few days on the road is enough to warrant a very complex cleanup. Ideally, you’d be cleaning up regularly anyway, but even then, a major cleaning job will be necessary. This means that you’d have to wash all the bathrooms, floors and make sure no crumbs or food items are left there.

If rodents make your RV their new home, you can say goodbye to all the money you put into it.


One major consideration to make is that an RV is not a car. Driving a car is easy, and you probably do it every day when going to and from work. An RV is much bigger and heavier than a car, so when you take the RV out on the road, you’d have a lot of trouble driving it.

Not only is it difficult to maneuver, but it causes a lot of traffic problems for you and for others around you. The constant stop-and-go of regular traffic is not the best for an RV, and nobody will let an RV cut in front of them in the fast lane either.

Renting is an Option

With all the downsides of owning an RV, the biggest reason to not buy one is that renting is an option. You can easily get all the benefits of an RV and avoid all the disadvantages if you choose to rent one instead. Not only does it cost less, since you only have to pay for the rent and fuel, it also frees you of all the hassle of handling the RV.

Renting will not free you of driving and cleaning concerns though, so if you’re not ready to take those on, maybe consider booking a nice hotel room for your next trip instead.


Anthony Day

Anthony Day

Hi, my name is Anthony, and RVs are what I'm passionate about. I bought my first RV when I was 21, and I've been hooked ever since. I'll guide you on how they work, how they can be used in different environments, and how they fit into our everyday lives.

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