RV as a Vacation Investment For Disney and General Vacations

thatonemickey

New Member
Original Poster
The short questions are at the end of this post, thanks for reading!

Hello everyone! I have always been reading the posts on the forms here and finally have a question that I don’t think has been asked before (or at least maybe one that I haven’t found on this site). I have always been grateful for all the advice, and fun comments people have written here (and on other sites) and there is a concern my family has along with an opportunity that is time sensitive, and for that purpose if you are like me and browse multiple different sites, you will probably see this posted on there. We need lots of help and need to act fast. Moving forward I hope to be a contributing member of this forum and thanks for your help!

Just a bit of background:
Our family of four (three different generations) have gone to Disney about 15 times. We have gone to Aulani two times. We are also DVC members for about the same number of years, and have used the points in every possible way imaginable (RCI FTW!) and honestly love getting the value of what we actually pay for on a vacation even if it is mind-numbingly expensive. Almost all of us work in fields that give us no heads up as to when we are off or we just don’t know until that week. So flights were always last minute, the earliest we ever booked for a Disney vacation was two months in advance.
We have always used flights to get to where we need to go. At first we thought that going on multiple flights would allow us the benefit of miles or discounts using our cards that are associated with airlines. To be honest, those cards are great for many other reasons, but not for accruing enough points to be able to even get one flight to one location.
However in recent years we began to drive to other airports to be able to get cheaper flights on short notice. Our max was 7 hour drives to the next airport to get really cheap flights on relatively short notice. That was 7 hours of anxiety about reaching to that airport in time and everything that no doubt many of you understand.

With COVID, we were unable to go anywhere at all for many months. Now this is where the question is:
We are not campers, we do not like to camping, however our family has dealt with very terrible vacations that have gone wrong, so being in a small RV will not affect us. We are not interested in the RV lifestyle. However, we are considering buying an RV to just drive to Disney World, for multiple shorter visits per year rather than one long one. We are also considering the RV to drive to airports much farther away from us to get cheaper flights to Hawaii. We also want to use the RV to possibly drive into Canada and visit areas that we were not able to do before. In general, the RV would potentially allow us to explore many areas and go to many different events much farther than our state than we ever could before.
There are hidden fees with the RV, not just the RV itself but also insurance, along with where to store it. To be honest these costs are also adding up as well (not sure if there are other costs, we’d be glad if others can bring them up). Even with the price of gas, the cost savings of not going on a flight multiple times a year and being able to go places we never could afford to go before may be worth it. I repeat, we just want a mobile hotel to stay while we drive to our destinations. Even if our family grows, what we are searching for will give us enough space for that moving forward. We found an RV we like but are hesitant to buy it now that we have found one, ha! (its used so we aren’t buying something that will instantly depreciate in value and we regret later on, plus it will allow us to break even with he investment sooner than never if we buy new).

So the Major Questions are as follows (apart from the minor ones above):

1. Can we drive to Disney World/Disneyland and park the RV for free (using the free parking DVC perk) while we use the resort and stay there for the entirety of our trip?
2. Is this even a good idea?
3. For Hawaii (and other Disney resorts outside of the US) can we park the RV in the airports while we go on our trip? We would be looking at a 25ft long 8ft tall RV.
4. RV we crazy?


Thanks!
T.O.M.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
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Unfortunately I don't have the answer to 1 and 3.
As far as 2 and 4 goes...
No I don't think this is a good idea. ESPECIALLY because it seems like a spur of the moment opportunity came up and you don't have time to really think things through.
It just doesn't make sense to me.
Its a lot of money to invest to just use as a vehicle.
Drive a car, Stop at rest areas, depending on how far of a drive it is grab a motel along the way.
As for driving 7 hours to an airport just to get cheaper flights consider the money, time, and stress in order to do that.
Is it REALLY worth it?
As for driving in it to Canada... how would it help you to explore new places if you do not want to use it for camping and don't like the thought of RV life?
 
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icc2515

Well-Known Member
I am going to be brutally honest in responding to this 10 day old thread and say that this sounds like a horrible idea. Anything thing you buy that is reasonable in price is going to break down at the worst possible time. Rvs are money pits just like that gently used boat I want. I do think you should save money by driving, just stay at a hotel. How many nites can you stay at a hotel at say $150 per nite for the initial cost of th RV? I know when you have to replace the transmission because the last owner didn't know how to drive it right you can get at least 25 nites. Plus a 25' RV is going to suck gas like you would not believe.
 

NeverEnufDisney

Active Member
I own an RV, a travel trailer, and it is not cheap. Most places do not allow you to park for free. Some Walmarts, do some don't for example. You buy an RV because you enjoy camping period. I do take my trailer to Ft. Wilderness because I enjoy the campground more than the other resorts. Do not buy an RV for any reason except you enjoy camping and exploring the neighboring region.
 

aliceismad

Well-Known Member
Maintenance on RVs is significant. Not only oil changes and regular vehicle maintenance but also the mechanicals associated with the living space (heat, A/C, kitchen appliances, toilet/water dumping, etc.) You might want to check out some RV blogs or forums online to check into average annual costs. Here's one as an example: https://rvlove.com/2016/06/17/2-yea...sF0QH5rn3fP7fQRQPF4Qr6N7fttqlf6qWrH2Q7q4l3NM6

I know I have friends who have talked about the costs to letting their RV sit unused as well, if you'd be using it infrequently. Not to mention having the RV winterized (if you live in a cold-weather location), etc.

Parking at airports is questionable. I believe many have size and height restrictions, especially for any long-term parking situation. So you might have to look at places to park the RV near the airport and then shuttles/taxis to the airport.

If you drive it to Disney, would you stay at the campground? Or would you be looking at an RV park, which again would lead to additional transportation costs to get to and from?
 

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