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Old 08-06-2019, 12:52   #16
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

RV's are cheaper and better resale if you buy well. Faults in RV's are plain to see for the most part. Faults in boats are not so obvious. If your RV breaks down catastrophically you are left on the side of the road, not the ocean floor.

Buy yourself a multihull trailer-sailer, about thirty feet or so. Weighs about the same as a caravan, can sleep aboard on the road--can sail most places once you get there, fresh or salt...

But if it is cost, comfort and distance, an RV is pretty much unbeatable unless you wish to go to really remote places or to travel offshore--
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Old 08-06-2019, 20:39   #17
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

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Boat maintenance/repair/upgrades are my big budget killers really. For those that have done both how do the long term RV and Boat maintenance/repair costs compare?

I'm years away and just wondering.
Our boat is small & simple, our motorhome is RELATIVELY small & simple too.
But for us - and especially me when sailing alone - the sailboat is less expensive by quite a lot. Our diesel pusher pretty much drove us into poverty, and as with a yacht IMHO simple is better. The gas fueled A class coach we travel in now is far easier to maintain. But campgrounds (public or private) are getting expensive; $50 per night is not uncommon. Joining RV clubs (Passport America, etc.) can help, but if you're paying $30 per night to for a RV site with hook-ups, plus $100-$200 per day for fuel the Marriott starts to look pretty good! The key to RVing on the cheap is to get a decent solar system, stay out of RV parks and dry camp or boondock.
If you must have hook-ups, pay by the week or by the month and save a bundle. buy the simplest, smallest RV you can live in comfortably.
When cruising, the ONLY time I would stay in a marina is for repairs I couldn't manage while on the hook. I run the diesel on the boat maybe 20 hours a year.
No electronics other than a hand-held VHF and AIS receiver. No heat, no A/C. No TV or microwave or watermaker. If you must have it all, whether RVing or cruising on a sailboat, there will be a lot of expenses that seem burdensome to me. Notice I didn't say 'us'. When the Admiral is sailing with me, our expenses seem to be a wash.
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Old 08-06-2019, 21:19   #18
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

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Not really.
This is an 8 cu ft, which is pretty big, $1,100.
Most expensive I saw was still under $2K.
Now of course like anything else, if you pay someone to do it, and you have a high buck Diesel Pusher, which likely has some name brand other than Dometic etc, itís going to cost more, way more.
https://thervpartshouse.com/collecti...e-pricing-only

I bet the fridge in a new Nordhaven, whatever one they use, will cost over $5,000.
Never seen the inside of a Nordhaven, but bet whatever they use is high buck

OK, I see why cause his is a Norcold nearly double that size with both fridge and freezer being side by side. It also accepts the original wood panels on all the doors matching the interior. It is a Holiday Rambler Endevour, and yes he had it installed as that huge windshield had to be removed to install it.
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Old 08-06-2019, 22:04   #19
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

I have owned a 36' sailboat and a 37' power boat. I also own a 22' Pleasureway class B+ motorhome. The P-W was a very expensive RV for its size. On the other hand, maintenance and upgrades have been very modest in cost compared to any boat over 20' that I have ever owned. Mechanical maintenance is mostly done at anyplace which can do maintenance for a Ford truck. RV work is generally done at Camping World or I do it myself. Parts are much less expensive and accessibility for repairs is typically easier.
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Old 08-06-2019, 22:53   #20
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

I lived in a tiny RV (VW Bus ) for a year around the Mediterranean. Gas was pretty cheap but the biggie. I did all of my own mechanicals and refurbishments. Cooked and wild camped a lot. But it's easy with a VW, not so much with a comparable sized RV to a boat.

Now we live on a large sailboat. Winter here in the Med, the marina costs have racked up due to a refit and initial expense of the thing was of course a killer. Last few weeks since it finally warmed up we've been living for "free" hanging off the hook around sicily, and not planning to see another marina till november, so who knows.... I might almost say costs of a truly equivalent RV to a 40ft sailboat would be somewhat close in all departments?
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Old 08-06-2019, 23:00   #21
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

Except there is much less wear and tear on the rigging and sails of the R/V. And these are major expenses.
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Old 08-06-2019, 23:19   #22
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

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Except there is much less wear and tear on the rigging and sails of the R/V. And these are major expenses.
Wouldn't this be dependent on how you use either machine? When I parked the VW on a beach in north cyprus for six weeks, there was very little wear on my tires or engine or gas money fund..... when I'm sitting here off sicily just now on anchor for weeks on end, my sails are furled, only the UV cover is out, everything is washed with freshwater, and I'm not wearing anything out too much....
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:07   #23
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

I'm sure the topic has its' share of "it depends" just like most cruising questions.

The fuel thing keeps coming up and made me do a quick calculation. Assuming what I'm spend this year (8 months) on boat maintenance/repair/upgrades that 60% wouldn't have been spend on an RV, and that gas was $3/gal, and that RV gets 8mpg I could have driven 17,760 miles. That's a lot of travel and places seen.

The RV parks keep getting mentioned as being expensive, but $30-50/night is cheap compared to a marina.

I haven't really even begun to really dig into the whole RV thing other than curiosity, but it doesn't look more expensive than boating
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:43   #24
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

If you are talking about a high end diesel pusher...it's probably similar to a run of the mill 40ft sailboat of similar vintage and condition.

But maintenance on our 5th wheel and truck is significantly lower than the boat.

Operating costs (fuel, slip/campsite, etc)...pretty similar for similar usage.
- MPG on the boat was around 6mpg. On the RV it's around 10-13MPG (higher with diesel, lower with gas truck).
- Campsites tend to be cheaper than slips for similar appeal locations. There is the equivalent of anchoring out...boondocking.

The only danger with fuel usage, is it's easier to cover a lot more miles in an RV...many new liveaboards, kill themselves putting on thousands of miles the first year and get frustrated with fuel costs...if they just slow down, they can still cover a lot of places while keeping fuel reasonable.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:56   #25
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

I too am looking into the RV world as a way to compliment our pattern of 1/2-cruising here in Atlantic Canada. As with our boat, my sense is to get the smallest RV I (we) can live with, that will do the things we want to do. Just not sure what that is yet.

Iíve been looking at camper vans and smaller class C types. But Iím not sure how to balance small size with necessary tankage and storage to allow long-term boondocking.

It seems to me that just like with cruising, the key to keeping costs down are to go slow, and stay out of marinas/RV parks.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:40   #26
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

Everyone talks of boondocking, but I'm telling you that in the South East US and I suspect most of the US except for Nevada etc. where there is a lot of BLM land, Boondocking is hard to do.
On the ICW, except I guess for Ga now, there are many, many anchorages, just pull over and anchor.
you don't just pull over on I-75 and boondock.
Often the few times we did boondock it likely wasn't legal to do so, just we were out of sight, and didn't stay long at all, and no one called.

So depending on where you expect to RV, I'd say best plan on paying for an RV park, which most are pull through and as crowded as a parking lot, not all of course.

Operating costs of a van type are of course lower, as is the room. Ours was a 71 Westfalia, so I have done some of that too
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:18   #27
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

Places to stay free in a travel trailer/motor home are getting harder to find but there are still many available for a night or two. I now store my 30' pull behind camper in Gulf Shores, Al mainly because I was tired of pulling it back and forth. Nice area and only 50 bucks a month, very hard to beat that. The campground charges 30 dollars a night for full hook up. For those looking at RVing full time there is another option open to consider. That option is "Camp Host." Several of the Army Corps of Engineers camp grounds that I stay at have them. Mostly retired people, they watch over the place and stay for free. There is an application form to fill out. Several that I've spoken with really enjoy it.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:20   #28
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

Definitely considering a Westfalia. Just not sure if itís big enough to sustain say weeks off the grid. Whaddya think? How long could you boondock in a Westie? Two adults with modest needs?

Definitely seems true that boondocking (outside of Walmart parking lots) is very hard to find along the eastern US. Canada offers some areas up through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Heck, in Newfoundland Iím sure you could pull off anywhere outside the small urban areas. There are vast areas of Crown Land through Canada, although again, most of it is away from urban areas.

In the USA, there are free or pretty cheap (~$5-$10/day) boondocking areas in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. These are the ones I know of from my motorcycle trip. Thereís probably a lot more. Along the west coast I found areas to camp out on the beach (Oregon mainly). Same along the Texas Gulf coast.

Definitely not as easy as finding a free anchorage, but still seems possible if youíre willing to leave the eastern USA.
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:22   #29
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

Fixing your RV is easy, most parts available at Home Depot, Lowes, local hardware store or NAPA store,,,,,,,,,,and they let you park out front for free while you do the repair. Try that at most marinas, many of which no longer allow DIY repairs. '
'And if you think diesel is expensive on I-10, try buying it in Eleuthera!!
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Old 09-06-2019, 07:40   #30
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Re: Maintenance Costs Boat verses RV Cruising

Being a trailer-sailor, I've often wondered what it would be like to have a smallish van-type RV, towing a micro-cruiser like our 19' Sandpiper. So - RVing from place to place, then launching the boat and having a few nights out exploring the area.

Anyone here done something like that?
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