The Best Money Saving Holiday Tips on the Internet: RV Camping Vs Hotel Cost

By Jake Maynard

If you're reading this, it means you need a good vacation!

Vacations are great, however they can be a big drain on the bank account! Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make your vacation more affordable. The number one way to save is by choosing an affordable accommodation option.


So, Tent Camping?

Hold the phone.

Sure, tent camping can be dirt cheap (i.e. you will be sleeping on the dirt), but guess what you get with a tent? Absolutely nothing! While hotels, apartments, and (drum roll).....Recreation Vehicles (campervans, motorhomes, travel trailers....whatever you prefer), provide a full swing home away from home. That means much less to worry about, directly resulting in more rest, relaxation and adventure.

Now which one do you choose....

An RV camping roadtrip or a hotel/apartment based holiday?


That's Where We Can Help!

In terms of cost and experience, there is a clear winner: RV roadtrips, every day of the week!

We'll break down the differences between RV roadtrips vs. hotel or apartment based trips. Feast your holiday hungry eyes on this!

Plus, we explain what we think is the best tip on the internet for saving money on holidays, while making the adventure!

rv road trip planning

Camping Vs. Hotel: Cost Analysis 

Although on face value, it seems like all you need to do to find out which is your most affordable option is check the rental price of each. However, there is more to it than that! Here is how to break down the costs of each option.

  1. Food
  2. Travel
  3. Rental

Now, let's look at how these costs are affected by each option, to show how and why an RV roadtrip is more wallet friendly.


Food: RV Camping Vs. Hotel Cost 

RV food costs:

Basically, food costs will vary depending on what facilities you get in the RV or the hotel room. In general, RVs come with kitchen facilities, so you can minimize costs by cooking as many of your own meals as possible!

The advantage of doing this on an RV roadtrip is you'll benefit from fresh home cooked meals! Here's a list of 20 healthy meal ideas for RV travel to help out.


Hotel Food Costs: 

With a hotel or apartment, getting accomodations with cooking facilities are hard to come by and are cost prohibitive. 

On the flip side, if you get a room without cooking facilities your food costs are going to increase. You will be best friends with the pizza shop next door to the hotel. That is a lose / lose scenario.

The location of the hotel also plays an important part in determining the price point of your food expenses. If the hotel is close to the airport or the downtown core of the city, you can expect the price of food to go up significantly.


So what's the most affordable option for food costs?

RV roadtrips! Picking an RV with great kitchen facilities can be a very easy way to save on food costs! RV sharing websites offer the most variety (e.g.


 Travel: Motorhome, Travel, Trailot or Campervan Vs. Hotel Cost

camping vs hotel essayThe real 'travel specific' cost to RVing is just the fuel.

Meanwhile, the travel costs for your hotel may involve a flight, bus, train, rent a car, or take your own. Maybe even a combination of each!


RV travel (fuel) costs:

A good RV roadtrip doesn't need to be from one side of Canada to the other. A few hundred kilometers of travel will take you through a huge variety of beautiful landscapes, communities and campsites.

Driving a motorhome, campervan or towing a travel trailer will consume around 12 to 30 liters of gas per 100 kilometers. Using the current gas prices in Canada of around $1.20, here's the potential costs:

  • 500 km round trip = $72 to $180 in fuel
  • 1000 km round trip = $144 to $360 in fuel
  • 2000 km round trip = $288 to $720 in fuel (but now we are talking about an epic RV routes across America or Canada!)

You don't need to worry about insurance costs because take care of the insurance for you


Hotel or apartment travel costs:

This depends on where you are traveling from of course, and your travel method. Even if it's only a few hundred kilometers away, your costs will include one (or more) of the following:

  1. car rental (unless you drive your own car) = $50 - $150 per day
  2. family car fuel costs (your own car, or a rental car) = around half that of the more thirsty RV fuel costs
  3. plane, train or bus travel and luggage tickets (for each member of the family!) = too much $$$!

It could really stack up! Not to mention flights in Canada are one of the most expensive flights in the world. You can expect to pay around $200, for a one way flight of 1500 km, per person!


What is your most affordable travel option?

RV roadtrips, or driving your own car to the hotel (but you are still paying for fuel costs, so you may as well just be touring in an RV anyway!!).

To further save on fuel costs, here are a few juicy RV renter tips:

  1. Aim for more modern, fuel efficient RV models.
  2. Book an RV sized to your family. If it's overkill, it will be heavier and consume more fuel than needed.
  3. Talk to the RV owner from whom you're renting. They will give you a heads up about how much fuel it uses and give you driving tips that may help you conserve fuel. That is a great benefit of the RV sharing economy; you have access to hints and tips only an owner of the vehicle could know! RVezy provides an explanation of the RV sharing economy on their website.


Accomodation: RV Camping Vs Hotel Cost

camping vs hotel cost

This Section of The RV Camping Vs Hotel Head to Head is based around the rental price of each.


RV Camping Accommodation Costs:

These costs will vary depending on; (1) what kind of RV you need, and (2) whether you want power and water hook ups at campsites. Many frugal travellers can also locate free RV campsites. So here is the RV camping accommodation breakdown:

  • RV rental = Around $70 - $150 per night, or more if your looking for luxury!
  • Camping fees = $0 - $70 per night

Adding that together, your total average price range is $70 - $220 per night, even for large families!


Hotel or Apartment costs:

As with an RV, it varies depending on how many beds you need and what facilities you want. For a basic hotel or apartment to fit four people, you can expect to pay between $100 and $400 per night.


What is the most affordable accommodation option?

It's is plain to see:

  • RV roadtrip accommodation = $70 - $220 per night
  • Hotel or apartment = $100 and $400 per night

It doesn't even have to be the least expensive RV in the world, you're still in front!


Overall Expenses 

Let's bring it all together. An RV road trip is the most cost effective vacation option for the following reasons:

  1. you can save money on food.
  2. you can save money on travel.
  3. you can save money on accommodation.

For larger families in particular, you could save hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars depending on how long you are vacationing for and your desired levels of luxury.


Other Roadtrip Vs. Hotel Advantages 

Not only will an RV roadtrip provide the best budget holiday option, it also has some hidden benefits:

  1. You're not locked into a location booking, you can re-route your itinerary whenever, and where-ever you want.
  2. You're exposed to beautiful landscapes, nature and environments 99% of the time.
  3. You have the flexibility to do all sorts of day trips where-ever you are staying!


ARV Camping Vs. Hotel Conclusions

RV roadtrips are the cheaper, better holiday experience! Now, as promised, the real key to reducing your holiday costs as much as possible is by finding the most cost effective RV rental.

 And here is how to do that.


RV Road Trip Rentals: RV Sharing

buying rv vs renting apartmentThis image represents exactly what RV sharing is all about.

Linking RVs sitting idle, gathering dust, with someone who wants a wonderful affordable RV vacation. If that's you, why not check out some RV rental prices before paying big dollars for a stuffy, immobile room somewhere.

RVezy is a Private RV Rental service which actually saves money for everyone, aspiring vacationers and RV owners alike.


RV Road Trip Planning

The next step to an affordable RV roadtrip is affordable RV road trip planning. But this is a topic for another post ;).


The Cheapest RV In The World

And if that's not enough and all you have to spend is the smell of an oily rag, you still always have RV options.....

buying rv vs renting apartment(image source:

RV rental from RVezy
List RV on RVezy


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