Buying a Property vs. Living in an RV: Things to consider

a man moving boxes into or out of a house


Many an adventurous person has dreamt of owning an RV.

With such a rolling home, you have the freedom of movement, meeting new people, and seeing new sights. Fishermen, hunters, sportsmen, and tourists often prefer to live in an RV because the price per square foot can’t be beat.

But is it reasonable to live in an RV as opposed to buying a home?

Editor’s Note: This is an unpaid article written by a moving company. While we don’t agree with everything in this article, there are valid points for those of you looking to weigh your options when it comes to living in an RV vs. buying a home. Enjoy!

Living in an RV means you will avoid huge apartment fees and you can go to all the places you want. However, there are many things you need to consider before taking that home on the road plunge. For instance, campground fees, utility bills, repairs and maintenance.

To help you make an informed decision, here are the key factors that will help you determine whether to buy a house or live in an RV. 

1. RV Parking Fees vs. Rent

The cost of the house varies depending on its size and the state. The average cost of staying in a house is $900 per month. However, the cost can even be higher than $2000 a month. 

With an RV, you need to consider the type of RV you want, the size, and the features available. The price ranges between $8,000 and $350,000. A big RV with good features can cost up to $200,000. 

For a $300,000 property, you might be required to pay $1,000 every month for the mortgage or rent. On the other hand, a standard RV costs $400 per month if you are paying through installments. 

a young couple sits outside of an RV
When camping, always have a surfboard or two propped against the RV. Even if you’re not at the beach…

Thus, comparing the monthly mortgage fee and the cost of an RV, it is cheaper to live in a standard RV than buy a property.

Nevertheless, you need to consider the parking fees if you decide to live in an RV. An RV park makes sure you are safe and offers a secure area to sleep in.

On average, RV Park rent costs between $250 and $1000 based on the area. Therefore, you should expect to pay $400 to $800 every month for the long term. There are also RV parks that allow people to purchase deeded lots for those who want something permanent. This might be a good option if you need an address for your mails. 

If you want to move around and enjoy the freedom that comes with owning an RV, you will have to pay $10 to $100 every night based on the area. 

Bottom-line: The price of buying a property is almost similar to that of living in an RV. However, RV comes with more freedom and you can save a few coins. 

2. Utility Bills

Whether you are planning to buy a property or to live in an RV, there are utility bills to pay. With an RV, fuel cost is the biggest expense. To fill up the fuel tank, you need $50 to $500 for you to run several miles. 

But if you are living in a house, you should expect bills costing $200 to $500 every month. The utility bills include water bills, cable, electricity, internet, and many others. You may also need to hire commercial movers if you want to relocate to a new place. 

Living in an RV means you will not have many utility bills to pay. But you may consider a phone and internet service for you to stay online. In some RV Parks, you may find Wi-Fi access for an extra fee.

Bottom line: when it comes to utility bills, it is cheaper for someone living in an RV. The biggest expense for RV is the fuel cost. 

3. Insurance Expenses

Living in an RV means you will need RV insurance and health insurance. Keep in mind that RV serves as a home and as a car. Hence, you must make sure the insurance covers both. 

With an RV, expect to pay between $1000 and $3000 every year, or $100 every month on average. But most insurance companies provide auto insurance that does not cover damage to your house equipment.  

Therefore, make sure your insurance cover is designed for RVs, especially if you plan to live on the RV full-time. 

If you are planning to purchase a house, you need to consider house insurance. The cover depends on the size and the condition of the house. In most cases, the cover is similar to that of RV. 

However, home insurance comes with property tax and other taxes. This makes it higher compared to RV insurance. 

Bottom line: Whether you are buying a home or living in an RV, you will have to pay an insurance cover. However, home insurance is pricier than RV cover because it attracts some taxes. 

4. Repair and Maintenance

There are repair and maintenance costs for both RV and a house. If you buy a house, you should expect to spend 4 percent of the property value on repairs and maintenance. 

a class C RV parked in a clearing in the forest, camp chairs and surfboards abound

But if you are living in an RV, expect to send around $150 every mount on maintenance. In addition, you need to know about RV repairs and maintenance. 

Bottom-line: Repairs and maintenance costs of an RV are considerably less compared to having a house. However, the costs depend on the house you are living in and the size of the RV. 

5. Size Matters

With an RV, there is no room for being disorganized. Even if you decide to get the biggest RV, the space will always be limited. In addition, a large RV makes traveling a challenge.

But living in a house is very comfortable. You can relax in your living room, bedroom, and have enough space in the kitchen. Also, if you are living in a small house, you can contact professional movers to move you to a bigger house. 

Bottom line: Living in an RV means less space. If you want to be comfortable in an RV, you can get a large one. However, you will have issues traveling and additional repair and maintenance costs. 

6. Weather

Living in an RV is like living in a can. If it is hot outside, it is going to be hot inside. Most RVs have been designed according to the local weather conditions. Even if you turn the heat on, if it is cold outside, it is going to be very cold inside.

But houses are well made to handle all weather conditions. Moreover, you can turn the AC on, light a fire, and do much to handle the cold or warm weather.

a typical house in the suburbs
Man, that driveway is wet. Good thing campsites never get that way. :)

Bottom line: If you are planning to live in an RV, you will have weather problems. However, you can plan ahead by checking the weather forecasts to be prepared in case of bad weather. 

Is it more economical to live in an RV than buy a house?

Based on the above factors, living in an RV is cheaper than buying a home. Nevertheless, you need to know how to maintain your RV, know where to park, and have the required insurance. 

But if you love space and you mind issues such as mold and mildew, then the best option is to invest in a property. 

If you are not sure whether getting an RV is the right option, you can rent an RV for a few weeks or months. Also, try different RVs to see what you like best.

But if you love the flexibility, love the idea of seeing new sights and meeting new people, then you can purchase an RV. 


When choosing between buying a property and having an RV, you need to consider all the above factors. However, buying an RV might not be the best option.

Although it might be cheaper, there are so many things involved. For instance, you need to know how to take care of the RV, park in less expensive areas, and keep checking the weather.