RV vs. Apartment: Which is Cheaper? [2023]

plates on table in an RV

Are you tired of paying high rent prices for your apartment? Are you looking for a cheaper alternative to living? One option to explore is living in an RV. But, is living in an RV cheaper than living in an apartment? Our team of expert RV enthusiasts at RV Brands™ have done our research and have come up with this extensive guide to help answer all your questions and provide you with all the information you need to decide which option is the best for you.

Cost of Living In An RV

Living in an RV is typically much cheaper than living in an apartment. The cost of living in an RV varies widely depending on several different factors such as the size of the RV, the type of RV, and how often you travel.

The Cost of Buying an RV

The cost of buying an RV can vary greatly depending on the size, type, and age of the RV. On average, a new RV can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $300,000, while a used RV can range from $5,000 to $150,000. However, the initial cost is just the beginning. You’ll need to consider ongoing expenses such as maintenance, insurance, and fuel costs.

Monthly Costs of RV Living

Monthly costs of RV living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle. If you’re a full-time RV’er, your monthly expenses may include:

  • Campsite fees [$50 to $1000 depending on amenities offered]
  • Gas [$100 to $500 a month]
  • Propane [$20 to $50 a month]
  • Insurance [$100 to $300 a month]
  • RV maintenance [$50 to $500 a month]

However, if you’re a part-time RV’er and only use your RV a few times a year, your monthly expenses may be significantly less.

RV Living Pro Tips

  • To save money on campsite fees, try boondocking on public land or use RV membership clubs.
  • Consider using solar panels to save on propane and generator costs.
  • Plan your trips carefully to save on gas costs.

Average Rental Costs

The cost of renting in apartments varies widely depending on the location and the size of the apartment. According to surveys, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the US is around $1200 per month, while a two-bedroom apartment costs around $1500 per month.

Monthly Costs of Apartment Renting

Monthly costs of apartment renting may include:

  • Rent
  • Utilities [$200 to $300 a month]
  • Internet & Cable [$100 to $150 a month]
  • Renter’s Insurance [$15 to $40 a month]

Apartment Renting Pro Tips

  • Look for apartments with included utilities to save on monthly costs.
  • Consider sharing an apartment with a roommate to split costs.

Buying RV vs Renting Apartment: Cost Comparison

One of the biggest questions when deciding between RV living and apartment renting is whether to buy an RV or rent an apartment. Here’s a cost comparison:

Buying an RV

  • Higher initial cost
  • Ownership and ability to customize
  • Monthly expenses [Campsite fees, gas, propane, insurance, RV maintenance]

Renting an Apartment

  • Lower upfront cost
  • Fewer expenses [Rent, utilities, internet/cable, renter’s insurance]
  • Limited customization and landlord approval needed

Our team’s verdict: While buying an RV may have a higher initial cost, it provides more ownership and customization options, and may ultimately save you money in the long term, especially if you’re considering full-time RV living.

Pros & Cons of RV Living


  • Freedom and mobility to travel anywhere
  • Lower monthly expenses
  • Ability to live off-grid
  • Closer to nature
  • Minimalism and simplicity


  • Limited living space and amenities
  • Maintenance and repair costs
  • RV park limitations and fees

Our team’s verdict: RV living offers many pros, but it’s not for everyone. It’s important to evaluate your lifestyle and needs before deciding to make the leap to full-time RV living.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • While RV living may be more affordable, it’s important to consider the lifestyle changes that come with living in an RV, such as limited living space and lack of privacy.
  • Depending on the state you reside in, living in an RV may be subject to zoning and legal requirements.
  • While living in an RV, it’s important to keep in mind that issues such as leaks and mechanical failures may occur and need to be promptly addressed.


Is owning an RV cheaper than renting?

Owning an RV may not necessarily be cheaper than renting an apartment, especially if you’re only using the RV a few times a year. However, if you’re planning on living full-time in an RV, owning an RV may potentially save you money in the long run.

Is living in an RV cheaper than a house?

Living in an RV can definitely be cheaper than living in a house. Not only can the initial cost of an RV be much less than a house, but the monthly expenses can also be lower.

How much does it cost monthly to live in an RV full-time?

As previously mentioned, monthly expenses of RV living can vary greatly depending on several different factors, such as your lifestyle and the size of your RV. On average, full-time RV living can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per month.

What is the best size for an RV to live in full-time?

The best size for an RV to live in full-time depends on personal preferences and needs. Some may prefer a smaller RV for easier travel, while others may prefer a larger RV for more living space. It’s important to consider your lifestyle and needs when choosing the size of your RV.

The Bottom Line

Overall, living in an RV can be a great money-saving alternative to renting an apartment. While there are pros and cons to both, it’s clear that RV living offers more freedom and mobility, and can ultimately save you money in the long run. If you’re considering making the leap to full-time RV living, it’s important to do your research and evaluate your lifestyle and needs.


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