I'm very experienced with RV's and there are hidden costs but not any worse than a fixed structure. Imo, Jayco makes some of the most affordable and best quality trailers on the market but I'll list some of the expense for you along with perks.
*if you have a loan, you can write off a portion of the interest as a vacation home
*Lot rent for the summer (here in Pa) is anywhere from 800 to 2k, depending on the individual campground.
*year round can cost more and some places may have the water shut down if you do a "seasonal-winter" but you can still survive with jugs of water and coolers if you don't want to run the electric.
*make sure you have a tow vehicle or a dealership willing to go on-site for repairs during the warranty period, and after if applicable.
*unlike a cabin, you can pick up and take the fam to the beach for a week.
*hidden costs will include: electric, propane fills, cable or direct tv. Water usage is normally included with lot rent (sometimes electric)
*another cost is insurance. I have the Good Sam insurance so when I'm not traveling on the road, I can remove the collision aspect and save money. The comprehensive end will always be activated because it will either be onsite or in storage.
*things in an rv can break or leak but that's normal...its a matter of getting it fixed in a timely manner whether its you or the dealer. You can also find private companies that do on-site repairs or sometimes the campground has a "Mr. Fix-it" around.
I've never had any major problem with my Jayco (stay away from Keystone). There's been a few minor issues up front that were fixed quick by the dealer but normal things that happen with the "break-in" process of any new rv. Last year I had to reattach my slide out seals at a few spots which was no problem to do myself.
You will also have yearly inspections or whatever the timeframe is in your state but typically, if you're on site with a current plates and registration, you can not get nailed for taxes of a permanant structure (or address).
RV dealers are always good with making sure you have hoses, needed electrical adapters etc... Wheel & Deal em and you'll get that stuff free like they should do
Good hitch equipment is a must but after that, you can roll up, park, slide the slides out, roll the awning down (most are electric now) and go fish!
If you consider shopping for an rv, post them here and I'll tell you if its a POS
---------- Post added at 09:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:38 AM ----------
Michigan Dealer. They have both Jayco (jay flight and eagle) and Forest River Wildwood which are good trailers.
If you plan on sprin, summer and fall camping you can get away with an aluminum siding exterior. Anything for the winter or constant use, you may want the Eagle that has a fiberglass shell exterior with extra insulation.
---------- Post added at 10:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:50 AM ----------
In addition, you have to consider the size of the trailer. Nowadays, a large % of the bigger units are 50 amp and definately the ones with 2 air units. Most campgrounds are not newly equipped with upgraded service and you will generally pay more for 50 amp hookups. Many campgrounds frown upon trying to use a 30-50 adapter/surge protector.
Mine is 34 feet with 3 slides, 1 ac (ducted) and 30 amp electric and is well enough to power what I need but the same unit in todays build standards may be 50 amp. A lot of your travel trailers up to 33 feet with one slide are typically 30 amp.
Imo, at least one slideout is a must for additional room and resale.