VRBO Vs RV: Should You Buy an RV or Stay in VRBOs or Hotels?

It may just be preferences. When you are considering buying an RV vs. Staying in a hotel or VRBO rental situation, your decision may boil down to if you want to sleep in your own bed or not. There are a lot of categories to compare but this is a big one that overwhelms a lot of positives for hotels and VRBOs.

If you think that an RV gives you a lot more freedom in scheduling, that may not be the case anymore. There are more RVers on the road now which means many campsites, etc., for RVs need reservations. You can’t just drop in anymore as those sites fill up quickly.

To help you decide between VRBOS, hotels, and RV life, just continue to read our article. It explores this issue to give you enough food for thought to help you make the right decision for you.



The biggest issue here will be the expense. You are only renting the VRBO for a short time. This means your outlay of cash is going to be minimal. There may be a security deposit but that is not going to be as high as a down payment on an RV no matter its Class or model year.

While you get clean rooms, beds, and other amenities at the VRBO or hotel, that is not always the case. We have come across many horror stories about the opposite being true and the long list of rules VRBO owners have.

You will be able to make your own rules with your RV for the most part. Most campgrounds have rules and the owners can be as bad as VRBO owners. With an RV you can take your time driving to get where you are going but with a VRBO if you arrive too late, you can lose your reservation.

While you need to keep your VRBO rental neat and clean, you do not have to do all the work. And when we say VRBO, we are talking about hotels, Airbnb, and similar lodging options.

Then with VRBO options, you can be constantly packing and unpacking if you are only staying a short time. The RV lets you remain unpacked all the time. Plus, you get to camp in some beautiful areas where hotels, etc., are not found.

This is a toss up as the benefits of both are long and sometimes similar.

The Drawbacks Of Owning an RV


There are a lot of drawbacks to living in an RV. The first one will be depreciation. If you buy new, the moment you drive off the lot, you lose between 10 and 20% of the RV’s value.

You can buy used and avoid that problem but then you are inheriting the previous owner’s issues. That can be expensive as well. Not to mention the high cost of repairs and accessories as mechanics and RV outlets figure you can afford the higher costs even if they are unrealistically elevated.

Then you have to figure on gas, oil, coolant as well as propane, batteries, and other power sources. These are not as expensive as a car will require and you won’t need to worry about them if you stay in a hotel.

Hotel, etc., costs can be pricey unless you find a budget hotel that is comfortable. But even some of the more luxurious hotel rooms do not cost as much as repairs to RV systems that run your appliances, electricity, and other devices you have in your RV.

Then, RVs are not generally accepted in bigger cities. You will have a tough time finding a place to park and may have to park well out of town. Hotels, etc., are right in town and near many attractions, you may want to see.

You may be able to go anywhere you want at any time in an RV but it is not always as simple as some RV people make it out to be.

Lodging Issues


Where RVs have it over hotels or VRBOs, etc., is the number of people who can sleep together in one area. Often, hotels, etc., limit the occupancy in their rooms to four people and raise the room rates if there are more in your family.

With RVs, you do not have the worry nor the high room costs. You can sleep as many as you want inside if the RV is large enough. Plus, you do not have to pay extra for a roll-away bed that hotels often charge extra for.

Let’s include here food. If you do not mind eating out all the time, then restaurant and hotel food is sufficient. Of course, with VRBOs, Airbnb, etc., you can make your own meals like you would in an RV.

This is a wash with the latter two, but with motels and hotels, you may get tired of eating out, especially when you have to leave a tip at every meal.

License, Insurance, And Hidden Costs


You will have to pay taxes on your stays at hotels, etc., but not to the extent you have to pay when owning an RV. In some states, you have to register your RV every year, go through a safety check at your expense, and get licenses along with expensive insurance.

These costs need to be factored into your comparison. They are not cheap and you have to pay them every year you own the RV whether you use it or not.

Some Final Words

Hotels and VRBOs are nice to stay at but not full-time. There is just something about RV life that has people buying an RV and avoiding those other rental options.

It may have to do with the fact that you get to use your own bed and bathroom and you know who has been in both. That peace of mind is hard to beat.

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