RV or AirBnB – A Pros and Cons List

RV or AirBnB – A Pros and Cons List

A common dream of retirees is traveling around in an RV.  It’s a great way to have all of the comforts of home and the flexibility of travel and until recently it was the only to travel that way.  But today, websites like AirBnB, HomeAway or VRBO are offering another option for inexpensive travel with all of the comforts of home. We’re exploring the pros and cons of travel in an RV or AirBnB or other vacation rental.


Red RV

“White on Red”by Steve Walser is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


RV or Camper Pros:


Get You Close To the Action

If you like traveling to national parks or visiting festivals, an RV will get you right next to the action. You can likely drive right into the park or enjoy a spot directly on the festival grounds.  This can be great if you want to rest between hikes or head in out of the sun at a festival.


If you don’t like your location, it is relatively easy to switch plans in an RB and go elsewhere without losing money.  You can also take it with you when staying with family or friends out of town. You’ll have your own place and your friends and family will appreciate not having to host you 24/7.


Experience Little Know Places

Although you can get a vacation rental most places these days, there are a few places rentals are harder to get.  For those places a vacation rental may be out of the question. An RV may allow you to stay in or close to places with little availability.

Vacation Rental Pros:


Go Anywhere

RVs will only get you as far as you can drive or may require you to drive long distances.  Vacation Rental properties are available worldwide and you can reach them by plane, boat, car – however you travel.

Everything You Need

Vacation rentals leave you with little to prepare and pack for your stay. They are usually equipped with all the essentials including linens, appliances, and Wi-Fi.

Pro Rental – Size

Clearly RVs are limited by their size. The nice thing about vacation rentals is that you can find something with the room you need. Unlike with an RV, if you wanted to bring friends along or double the size of your travel party you can do so with little adjustment.


As with anything, both options also have downsides:

RV Cons:


Gas, License and insurance

All of the things that make your car a hassle can also make traveling in an RV a hassle.  You’ll have to figure the cost of gas into your trip. If you’re traveling to another country you may have special license or insurance issues to consider.


Unlike with Vacation Rentals that have everything you need.  RV’s still require a lot of packing up. You’ll need a set of dishes, and linens or towels – all the comforts of home packed in the RV.



Vehicles and homes both require maintenance.  Traveling in an RV can mean both home and vehicle maintenance. This is something to consider and prepare for.


Vacation Rental Cons: 


With an RV it can be relatively easy to reserve a campsite or area.  In areas with a lot of tourists or in areas that are busy, making a reservation at the house you want can be difficult.


Don’t Know Exactly what you’ll get

If you own an RV or camper you are familiar with it and know exactly what you’re getting.  Since you can only see the property online, you might not know exactly what you’re getting. Vacation rentals could be less than you expected and you could feel like you’re stuck in a place you don’t love.


Security Deposits

Most vacation rentals require security deposits and although they are refundable, if you’re planning a long trip with several stops, these deposits can add up.


Just a few things to think about when you weigh the possibility of traveling in an RV vs a Vacation rental.  Comment below if there are other things we’ve missed in our research that you want to share.


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