So How Much Does it Cost?

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:

Expense              Amount
Car Payment           $   132.00
Car Insurance                133.00
RV Insurance                  84.00
Student Loan                200.00
Health Insurance                125.00
Cell Phones                180.00
Gas                  60.00
Cats                100.00
Food                400.00
Entertainment/Eating out                200.00
Misc.                200.00
Total          $ 1,814.00

Travel Budget (in addition to the expenses above)

Expense              Amount
Gas           $   500.00
Campgrounds                500.00
Food                100.00
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.

Miso has left the building!! #catsofinstagram #rvkitty #fluffballs #furbaby
Miso – the expensive kitty.

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.

3 thoughts on “So How Much Does it Cost?

  1. Uncle Jay and Aunt Pat

    Wow, one does not really think about all of that monetary detail. Nonetheless, you illustrate the price of “freedom” versus what some of us slightly older types call “crossing the river to safety”. That is, retiring with enough to enjoy life. So, we say, “Good for you.”

  2. Tammy Wase

    I want to know how your health insurance is so low! Ours currently is $570/mo with a huge deductible (I think it’s $9000 for the 2 of us). I know we are a bit ‘older’ than you but that is still a huge difference. And the new costs for insurance will be even higher for us with even higher deductibles.
    I think it’s great that you are getting to see so much of the country and enjoy yourselves along the way!

    1. rvnomads1 Post author

      I don’t know how we lucked out with this insurance. Alayne did a lot of looking around and located it through United Health. It is Catastrophic insurance, but perfect for us. However, we have already had signals that the Affordable Health Care Act is going to push off this plan on to something much more expensive.


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