The Full-time RV lifestyle can cost a lot less than traditional living if one is mindful and budgets accordingly. To be truly frugal, one would have to keep traveling at a minimum, as RV’s are not known for fuel efficiency. This is one of the reasons we volunteer and stay stationary for 1-3 months at a time. It allows us to be of service and trade time and labor for our campsite. Since we own our motor home, we essentially have no housing expenses during our volunteer stints. Given our set expenses, ideally our monthly total is less than $2000 per month, not including taxes.
Stationary Monthly Budget:
|Car Payment||$ 132.00|
Travel Budget (in addition to the expenses above)
|Grand Total||$ 2,914.00|
When in travel mode, as we will be early next year, gas becomes the greatest expense. Our trip to California will cost us over $2000 in gas alone. We are good at finding inexpensive places to camp on the road. We prefer to stay at the less expensive and usually more scenic state and county parks, Federal land, and from time to time overnight at Wal-Mart, rest areas or casinos. On average it costs us about $15-20 per night.
No matter how careful one is, the unexpected happens. This month we blew our budget with a couple of emergency veterinarian visits, and a bad converter that ended up also frying our house battery. All of this was very expensive, but necessary to do or replace. Fortunately we have a cushion, and being the holiday season, was given a gift to help cover these.
Before hitting the road, we thought it was going to be less expensive than it actually is. For us, this will mean finding other income sources or working paid seasonal jobs at some point. We still view this as a lifestyle experiment and remain open to opportunities as presented.