Costs of Ownership
The difference in purchase price of a pull behind (pop-up, travel trailer, toy hauler, or fifth wheel) vs. a motorhome can be significant—or not. If you already have a tow vehicle that can handle your new pull behind and you are only purchasing an RV, then you can spend anywhere between $6,000 for a small pop-up to around $100,000 for a luxury fifth wheel. However if your purchase also includes a new truck that can tow the trailer, toy hauler, or fifth wheel, then you can plan on forking over a hefty amount for a heavy duty truck as well. Motorhomes typically range in price from around $75,000 to well over $200,000. So it's hard to say if one option is always cheaper than the other. You can spend almost as much on a truck/RV combo purchase as a motorhome purchase. Of course there are a lot of variables in this equation (RV size, brand, amenities), so not everyone's situation will be the same. Owning and maintaining RVs has costs associated with it, including insurance, gas mileage, and maintenance. With RVs, typically the bigger they are, the more expensive they are to own (makes sense, right!). With pull behinds, you will unfortunately see your normal MPGs go WAAY down to an almost depressing number. Depending on the size and weight of your RV, you could be getting anywhere from 7-12 MPGs when pulling your rig. All you can do is hope for a tailwind or lots of downhill routes. Motorhomes are even worse in the gas-chugging department. A normal MPG range for big rigs is 6-8 MPG. Diesel motorhomes offer better fuel efficiency, even though diesel is more expensive at the pump than gas. As far as insurance and maintenance go, bigger isn't always better! Large models are more expensive to insure, and they typically yield higher maintenance fees than smaller RVs. Just like with a car, the more bells and whistles an RV has, the more that can go wrong with it! Modest, more simple travel trailers, like this Bullet 243BHS travel trailer, are easier to care for and easier to fix yourself if something happens to go wrong. All you need are some basic tools, a little handy-man know-how, and your trailer will be good as new in no time! But on bigger, fancier rigs, you'll likely have to make an appointment at a local RV service center and let the pros handle it. And with a motorhome, if the transmission goes into the shop, so does your home. Hampton Inn, anyone?