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Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesOther - United States · 1 decade ago

Cheaper to take a road trip from NY to Los Angeles, by renting an RV or staying at Motels?

Is it cheaper to take a road trip from NY to Los Angeles, by renting an RV or staying at Motels? We plan for the trip to take 2 weeks so that we can go to different places in each state.

We dont know if we are better off at staying at a motel all the time or renting an RV and stocking it up with food.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Renting an RV will cost you a lot more.

    If you averaged traveling 300 miles a day in an RV averaging 8 mpg (plus whatever propane you use). At $3.25/gallon you would spend $1,706 just in fuel. Two weeks rental on an RV could easily run you $2,000 a really nice one can cost you that much per day. Two weeks worth of food will push your total easily over $4,000.

    Traveling by car at 20 mpg you will spend less than $700 in fuel. 14 nights in a motel at $60/night will only cost $840. (Shop around, you can spend less than this, & join a traveling club). You can spend $100 day eating out and you will still save over $1000 vs renting an RV.

    Other benefits of the motel vs. RV:

    You'll have much more comfortable showers & you don't have to clean up after yourself in an motel.

    You can drive a lot more places, a lot easier in car, especially without experience, how much more is RV parking wherever you go? (Some places (ie. Glacier National Park) won't let RV's over 21' access)

    Most motels/hotels have free breakfast/coffee.


    Don't spend your vacation looking for a place that sells propane, or learning how to use a dump station to dump your bodily waste.

    If the adventure is 'camping' get an RV. If the adventure is seeing the country - stay at the hotels/motels!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Lots of variables here. What type of RV - how many people are sharing costs - what type of car would you drive - what type of motels preferred - types of meals you would eat out versus 'stocking up', etc.

    Suggestions - is there a barter service in your area where you could trade some service for the RV rental fees?

    Could you buy a used RV and then sell upon your return?

    Safety can also be an issue here as RV's are very different than cars from a driving perspective. If no one in your group has RV or large vehicle driving experience - could pose a problem.

    You can map out your route for fuel on to find the best fuel prices on your way. Also, several motel chains have loyalty programs that could affect costs. Choice Hotels has a promotion where if you stay 3 separate places you will receive a $50 gas card. They also have promotions where you earn points for overnight stays. It's possible to stay 10 nights and have four free, depending on points earned in the program. Other chains have similar programs. Frequent flier miles can be used for car rentals and overnight stays as well.

    Good luck and happy traveling!

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  • 4 years ago

    Definitely Cambria and San Simeon. It's about a 3 hour drive. Hearst Castle is fun just for the history. Been there a few times. Cambria is fantastic. Moving there next year. I've visited there 4 times a year for the past 5 years or so. Much slower pace, good food, very nice people. If you go, Cambria Pines Lodge has a great dinner. Accommodations, Cambria Pines Lodge, more of a more mountain feel. Cambria Shores is on the water, both dog friendly if that matters. This will sound kind of funny but, check out Boni's taco truck next to Bank of America on the weekends. Best carne asada tacos ever. Also, driving on the 1 is the greatest thing. Go north and you'll get in to Big Sur. It will blow you away. You say short road trip, yours might be different than mine, don't rule out Carmel and Monterrey.

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