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Old 04-09-2010, 01:56 PM   #1
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Little Calculator I made

Those of you who like to plan a trip like my wife and I do, I've made a little calculator that compares the cost of of a trip in your RV (or camper/TT) with staying in hotels on the same trip.

http://www.theholmesnetwork.com/stuff/RVvsHotel.xls

Instructions:
It's just an Excel sheet, but I added some drop-down menus and such to make it a little easier to use.

You can change any of the values in the GREEN cells. Everything else is automatically calculated.

In the upper left, enter in the MPG you get in each of your vehicles. We have a car, a truck and an RV. So that's what I put in there. Enter the number of nights your trip will take. Then enter the average camping cost, then the average hotel cost for the area you are traveling. Last enter the average gas price.

You can look at the graphs below and see how much money (gas and lodging) you can expect to pay for each of the travel options. If your mileage range isn't shown there, click in the "range int(erval)" box and select a range that best represents your trip.

It's pretty basic and is an estimate, but it seems to be a fairly accurate tool for my wife and I. However, regardless of the results of this calculator, we end up taking the RV anyway.

Feel free message me with any questions.

Thanks,
brian
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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Brian,
Not sure if you would need to add the number of people that are in the party. If you have, say 8 people, you might need 2 cars or trucks vs 1 rv and 2 rooms vs 1 campsite.
Just a thought, otherwise it looks pretty helpful..
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
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yeah, I would typically just add that mentally. We just did a long trip with my in-laws. So double the hotel cost. We would have taken my "truck" (land rover) so an additional car wouldn't have been necessary.

It's a nice little estimator, my wife and I drove from Las Vegas, NV to the northwoods of wisconsin last summer. My calculator estimated $20 high. not bad. If the point of the trip is to use the RV, I don't really look at the other vehicle calculations, but if the point of the trip is to visit an area or for work or something, then we take in to consideration other options. However, we more often then not, take the RV regardless. We just love it.

Brian
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prepilot_3ck View Post
yeah, I would typically just add that mentally. We just did a long trip with my in-laws. So double the hotel cost. We would have taken my "truck" (land rover) so an additional car wouldn't have been necessary.

It's a nice little estimator, my wife and I drove from Las Vegas, NV to the northwoods of wisconsin last summer. My calculator estimated $20 high. not bad. If the point of the trip is to use the RV, I don't really look at the other vehicle calculations, but if the point of the trip is to visit an area or for work or something, then we take in to consideration other options. However, we more often then not, take the RV regardless. We just love it.

Brian
I found this little calculator quite informative. Now I can brag to the wife that taking the trailer is actually cheaper than going the motel way. You don't have to convince me, I would take the trailer every time!
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:24 PM   #5
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I like this calculator and to further boost the cost benefits of RVing instead of moteling, eating is a lot cheaper in a RV then at restaurants 3 times a day.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:59 AM   #6
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Old 04-10-2010, 11:19 AM   #7
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Yes, I agree with Snivek...is there any way you can include some entries for food costs? Eating "at home" is a lot cheaper than in restaurants!
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:46 AM   #8
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I don't like your little calculator. Using it, anything over 205 miles for my MH/Toad is going to cost me more then car/truck hotel. There should also be the cost of food that would help some to make it to 240 miles before it starts costing me. Thanks
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:42 AM   #9
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I'm glad you all liked it. Sure. I can probably add food cost, but my wife and I never know what we're going to spend on food when we are out. We bring some staples, but we typically try to hit a local farmers market or something like that. For SURE it's cheaper then eating out all the time and WAY more healthy.

JAXFL: What kind of setup do you have? I pulled a HTT with my Land Rover (Small V8) and even at 6 MPG my break-even point was around 800 miles (round trip, assuming no wind and the mountains were reasonable). Are hotels pretty cheap where you like to go? Most of the places we go hotels are WELL over $150/night and in many of those places $200+ is the norm. At those prices my DP's cost effective range is 2000 miles (round trip).

As I'm sure we all feel here, RVing isn't necessarily about the cost savings, although sometimes it does save us money and hassle for sure. It's about the life-style and what we all like to do.

Brian
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prepilot_3ck View Post
I'm glad you all liked it. Sure. I can probably add food cost, but my wife and I never know what we're going to spend on food when we are out. We bring some staples, but we typically try to hit a local farmers market or something like that. For SURE it's cheaper then eating out all the time and WAY more healthy.

JAXFL: What kind of setup do you have? I pulled a HTT with my Land Rover (Small V8) and even at 6 MPG my break-even point was around 800 miles (round trip, assuming no wind and the mountains were reasonable). Are hotels pretty cheap where you like to go? Most of the places we go hotels are WELL over $150/night and in many of those places $200+ is the norm. At those prices my DP's cost effective range is 2000 miles (round trip).

As I'm sure we all feel here, RVing isn't necessarily about the cost savings, although sometimes it does save us money and hassle for sure. It's about the life-style and what we all like to do.

Brian

I used your great little calculator and got somewhere around 3000 miles before it started to be the same cost as the motel way. But, this did not account for the cost difference of food. I have four in my family and the cheapest meals seem to be at least $25 each ( for the four of us ). This of course is fast food usually also. Not to mention, you always have a washroom with you no matter where you are. Little kids can't wait!
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