RV or hotel? It’s a debate as old as time, or at least as old as the first instance of somebody sleeping in their vehicle. Which is preferable? The answer depends on where you’re going, what you’re doing and who you are. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
A Question of Surroundings
The crackle of a campfire, the sight of youngsters tossing the ball around, the smell of food on the open grill. There are many reasons to love campgrounds and RV facilities. On the other hand, if you’re looking to enjoy a martini on your way to a downtown concert, you may be better suited staying at a hotel. Yes, there are ‘in town’ opportunities for parking your RV, but they are often inconvenient and sub-optimal. When choosing between an RV or a hotel, a major factor will be the type of vacation you are looking to have. Skyscrapers are nice, but RV facilities are more connected to nature and often offer beautiful scenery.
Verdict: RV for country life, hotel for puttin’ on the ritz.
RVs offer the opportunity to smell the flowers, or the ocean, not typical of the hotel experience.
Photo Credit: @outdoorsy
Another core concern is expense. The question: Which is more affordable?The answer? Again, it depends.
It’s certainly not free to stay at an RV facility, but it’s usually a lot cheaper than a hotel. This saving, of course, is offset by the expense of fueling your RV. Those renting RVs will incur that additional expense as well.
If you’re staying somewhere for a considerable amount of time, the savings add up, making RVing the easy winner, particularly if the destination is in your own region. On the other hand, for those driving 10 hours for a one or two-night stay, the math becomes a lot tighter, and may in fact tilt in favor of the hotel.
Verdict: Mostly driving? A hotel makes sense. Mostly chilling? RV all the way.
The Culinary Debate
One of the most expensive aspects of travel is the constant eating out. Restaurant bills add up in a hurry, particularly on family trips. Finding a suitable eatery can also be a hassle. Off ramps, parking, line-ups -- none of these are helpful when you’re trying to have good time. A well-stocked RV alleviates these problems. Food is always on hand, and for a fraction of the price.
But for some, sampling a diversity of restaurants is one of the highlights of travel, and dishes on vacation? Forget about it! Of course, many RV enthusiasts still choose to frequent restaurants during their travels, the difference being they have the option of going to the fridge when the mood strikes. Options are good!
Verdict: RVs, as they offer you a choice between restaurants and home cooking.
The scenery is remarkable, but good luck getting a pizza delivered.
Photo Credit: @lessjunkmoremoney
Workin’ for the Weekend?
RVs require driving, hook-ups, septic drainage, upkeep, etc. Nobody’s going to do your dishes, and nobody’s going to make your bed, either. For some, that’s a buzz-kill, for others, it’s a labor of love.
While hotels offer certain conveniences, they do require you to constantly unpack and repack your luggage, something that’s not necessary for RV travelers.
Verdict: RVs do come with some additional tasks, but ‘work’ is in the eye of the beholder.
A Matter of Freedom
While it is certainly advisable to plan ahead with regards to RV reservations at certain busy times of the year, it is a mode of travel that lends itself to more freedom and spontaneity. ‘Let’s change course’ or ‘let’s stay an extra day’ are refrains that are generally better suited to the RV traveler.
Verdict: RVs and the spirit of the open road.
Want someone to clean your bathroom for you? Hotel it is.
Want to go to the bathroom at this very moment, even while traveling down the highway? Travel by RV.
Want to sleep in your own bed? RV all the way.
Prefer a bigger mattress and a mint on your pillow? Book the luxury hotel.
Oh, and your pet called. She prefers the RV.
Pets definitely prefer the RV!
Photo Credit: @campingwithdogs
As we’ve discussed, hotels offer certain conveniences, and in some cases just make sense. For our money, however, you just can’t beat the allure of an RV and the open road. You can enjoy a drink and a bag of peanuts at midnight without having to fork over a 20-dollar bill, and you get to experience the smell of nature, while still sleeping in a bed. It’s home and away, all in one fantastic feat of modern engineering. Life’s a trip, and a destination, so why not experience it in style?
To make that RV sleep extra comfortable, you best make sure it’s level.