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What’s More Economical: A Road Trip With an RV or an SUV?

By April 1, 2022April 20th, 2022One Comment

Are you planning a big road trip with friends or family? You probably have a lot of questions, such as which car you should rent or borrow to help get you there. There are many factors to consider with this question, including:

  • Miles per gallon of the vehicle
  • The distance you are driving
  • The type of terrain you are driving on
  • Weather conditions
  • How many people are on the trip with you
  • The types of activities you will be participating in

An SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) is a car similar to a minivan or station wagon designed with a tough exterior to withstand more challenging road conditions and off-roading. An RV (Recreational Vehicle) is a vehicle or trailer designed to house people with accommodations within. They can range from campers, to caravans, to fifth wheel trailers.

The factors listed above will determine whether an RV or SUV is more economical to road trip with. The answer is that either could be more economical, depending on the type of road trip you are embarking on. In today’s blog, we’re going over the pros and cons of both so you can determine which is the best fit for you.

Why Extended Car Warranties Are Important

What is an extended car warranty? Also known as a vehicle service contract, these warranties are optional plans you can purchase that will help you pay for vehicle repairs. This is usually added on in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty, meaning it begins after that warranty has expired (usually a year after purchase).

If you are considering buying an SUV or RV for your road trip, you are probably planning to travel a lot with your vehicle. Do your research on the best car warranty programs available, such as a Honda vehicle service contracts from Olive.

Why SUVs Are More Economical

three people with an suv and mountains

When it comes to SUVs, you pay less up front, making it the perfect option for those looking to travel only a few times per year. If you are planning to hit rough terrains such as snow, mountains, sand, or dessert, an SUV may be more reliable.

SUVs are also made to withstand more extreme conditions and elements. But any car, no matter how tough, can always benefit from extra protection. 

Consider investing in covers for your dashboard or sunshades for your windshield. Dashboards are usually made from plastic, so they can be prone to cracking or discoloration when exposed to heat and sunlight at length. You can get covers made to fit your specific SUV’s dashboard to ensure they stay in place and provide complete coverage. 

In addition, they can even protect your eyes from glare, which can be dangerous and distracting while driving. Less heat in your car means cooler temperatures, more efficient air-conditioning performance, and reduced fuel consumption.

In addition, SUVs tend to spend less gasoline per mile compared to an RV. This is because they are smaller and less heavy. This is another reason why SUVs are more economical than RVs.

What are the cons of road tripping with an SUV? You will have to pay additional cost for lodging, as you will find it uncomfortable and borderline impossible to sleep and live out of an SUV. RVs are built to act as a place to travel and a place to stay while you do so. In addition, you cannot fit as many people into an SUV, meaning you will have less individuals contributing to the costs of the road trip, splitting things like gas. This may make your road trip more expensive.

Why RVs Are More Economical

couple with vintage RV

Recreational vehicles are best suited for groups planning to go on lengthy road trips across the country using highways. They are larger and can accommodate more people, making them more economic compared to SUVs because the road trip can be divided between more people, reducing the costs for road trip expenses such as gasoline. In addition, you do not have to pay for a hotel if you are traveling in an RV. An RV features essential living elements such as a bathroom, kitchen, and bed. Depending on the size, there may be multiple beds in the RV.

The cons about RVs include that they spend more on gasoline due to their size compared to SUVs. They also typically require more expensive premium gasoline types. In addition, RVs cannot withstand complicated terrains such as desserts or snow compared to SUVs. They are best suited for highways and not off-roading.

The Bottom Line

Both RVs and SUVs are great options for road trips. They are large vehicles with plenty of space. You would need to consider the size of your party and the distance of your road trip to help you make the decision. Remember that when it comes to saving money, you should conduct extensive research on the areas you plan to travel to and make sure you’re aware of anything to take into consideration when deciding on a vehicle, including lodging accommodations and the road conditions. You’re bound to have a great time regardless of which RV or SUV you decide on, but be sure to take into account the factors mentioned above to get the most bang for your buck!

Pure Wander Contributor

Author Pure Wander Contributor

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