Are you considering buying an RV? If so, considering the operating costs of owning an RV is critical. Most people are aware of apparent expenses like gasoline and insurance but forget about the hidden fees of RVs. This blog outlines several factors that will help you determine how much you may spend to enjoy the RVing lifestyle.

Do You Want a New or Used RV?

There’s no getting around the fact that new RVs are expensive. Keep in mind that an RV loses around one-quarter of its value when you leave the dealer’s lot and slowly depreciates each year. If you want to buy new, don’t be afraid to bargain with the seller for a lower price. After all, the initial purchase is the highest cost of owning an RV.

Fuel Costs

RVs are less fuel efficient than personal vehicles. Since your RV requires gas to move, look for smartphone applications that compare gas prices in the local area when you travel. You can also find coupons or join a gas savings club to stretch your fuel budget.


The Canadian government requires drivers to obtain insurance for all vehicles, including RVs. With an Explorer RV Club membership, you can save up to 10% on your RV insurance with Wayfarer Insurance Group.

RV Maintenance

Investing in preventive maintenance is the easiest way to avoid the cost of unexpected and more significant RV repair bills. You should set aside several hundred dollars each year to cover maintenance and repairs, which all RVs need eventually. Even so, regular maintenance can make the repair bills less expensive.

Campground Fees

RV parks charge guests for hookups that allow them to operate electrical units like the stove. We recommend finding out the per-night cost of each site ahead of time so you can include it in your budget. Many campgrounds offer discounts to RVers who stay parked for several consecutive nights. Members of Explorer RV Club have access to a list of campgrounds that offer exclusive discounts to members.


Most RV parks have laundromats on site, but they’re not free to use. Be sure to visit the bank and get several rolls of coins to use in the washing machine and dryer. You will also want to include laundry soap, dryer sheets, and clothes baskets in the overall laundry budget.

Propane Gas

To work correctly, you must purchase and haul propane gas for your refrigerator, water heater, and stove. Make sure to budget enough for a tank and the propane.

What Are Some of the Hidden Costs of RVs?

Besides the typical costs of owning and operating an RV already discussed, we recommend making room in your budget for hidden or unexpected expenses. For example, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and Quebec all have toll roads. These are the major toll facilities in Canada:

  • Cobequid Pass
  • Confederation Bridge
  • Ontario Highways 407 and 412
  • Quebec Autoroute 30

If you plan to head to any of these destinations, find out the toll in advance and how you must pay it. The provinces with toll roads allow drivers to purchase a monthly pass to cover them, which might be worthwhile if you often travel in one of these areas. As you make your budget, remember that the tolls for RVs are often significantly higher than those for private vehicles.

Towing equipment is another expense that new RVers often overlook. You’ll need towing equipment if you haul a fifth wheel camper or a travel trailer.

People often must remember to include RV storage fees in their budget when not using the vehicle. Your neighbours aren’t likely to appreciate you parking your RV in the street if you lack the space in your garage or driveway. That means you’ll need to pay for off-site storage whenever you are home and the RV isn’t in use.

The RV lifestyle can be expensive, but with the proper planning, you can find ways to save and make it more affordable.

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