All You Need To Know About RV Living Cost
The cost of RV living can become messy if you do not get your acts together from the onset. When I began my RV traveling experience, one major challenge that stared me in the face was creating a comprehensive budget. You need to have a clear idea of your basic needs and more to make the trip or RV living a hitch-free one.
No doubt, RVing offers a level of comfort and predictability in a personal way. Besides, it is more cost-effective and allows you to create the home you desire, unlike living in hotels and more. But the big question here is, how much does it cost to live in an RV part-time or full time?
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Is Full Time RVing Affordable?
Yes, it’s possible! However, it all depends on whether you can afford it. Your lifestyle and living standard will determine whether or not you can live full time on RV.
Living full time on RV means re-adjusting your activities to take your re-current and RV-related expenditure into consideration . However, the only good part of this is that living in an RV full time means cutting down on some spending you typically incur at home.
The extra funds will help cater for parts of the new expenditure you incur when RVing. For example, your regular monthly home expenses include rent, taxes, electricity, internet, and other utilities. Personal expenses include toiletries, consumables, and more. RV expense includes gasoline, insurance, RV parking, RV maintenance. All these, you need to work on your budget carefully.
The appealing aspect of planning a full-time budget for RVng is that a lot of expenses are within your control. Once you maintain a predictable lifestyle, your expenditure month after month can be within a manageable range. In a way, RVing on a full-time basis will force you to maintain a minimalist lifestyle and help keep your expenses under check.
How Much Does it Cost of RV Living?
Break down monthly expenses to effectively plan your expenditure. With that, you can calculate what your yearly expenditure sheet will look like.
Since I don’t like camping alone, I will use a budget for two people. It’s always lovely or more fun to have company when RVing for so many reasons. More so, Jane is still an exciting, adventurous, but understanding RV partner.
This inforgraphic quickly tell you how much cost on RV living.Don’t forget share this inforgraphic to your friends who want to start rv trip.
Fixed or Re-current Expenditure
These are necessary expenses that you will likely meet monthly. The good part with RV cost is that it doesn’t differ so much month after month.
Food - $500/m
If you are a minimalist or a bit miserly where eating is concerned, then you can run on a budget of $400 – $500 per month. However, because Jane and I love fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat, we spend anything from $800 – $1,000 per month. Occasionally we eat out just for a change. And eating out draws us back with about $250 extra bucks.
Motorhome Insurance - $100
On average, you can secure motorhome insurance for a fee of say $50 – $100. But RV insurance can be a lot cheaper, hovering around $20 to $50 per month for each person.
Besides securing insurance, you can make do with roadside assistance when the need arises. Registered roadside automobile assistance:
Propane Fees - $20 - $50/m
You definitely can’t shy away from propane expenses when RV living full time. Of course, there are alternatives to heat sources like heat pumps or electric heaters. However, you still require propane to heat water or prepare meals.
A 10lb tank refill costs about $20 around truck shops. If you can be miserly to some extent, your 10lb tank should serve the whole month. Use campground shower or cook outdoors using a grill to minimize cost occasionally.
Laundry - $50 - $70/m
You can minimize laundry expenses by using washing machines as well as dryers at RV parks. However, Jane and I make use of laundromats whenever we go across any city. You can get a combo price for about $4 for washing and drying.
RV Payments - $300 - $600
If you secured a loan to acquire the RV, then you need to factor your fixed monthly installment payments into your budget. All expenses relating to RV payments can cost a couple of dollars monthly, say $300 – $600 depending on the type of RV.
Don’t also forget to include towing services and insurance cover for your RV.
Mail Service - $25 - $50/m
There are specific RV mail service companies that receive mails for you and deliver to the current campsite. You can get your mail delivered to your new location at $25 to $50 every month.
Registration Costs- $50 - $135
You need to register your RV and trailer yearly. The registration process should also include towing services for cars at a total price of say $50 – $135 per year for each recreational vehicle.
RV Dumps - $200/m
You have to dispose of your refuse or waste the proper way, and this costs money. But you have to pay for RV dumps using sewers outlet at campgrounds.
Healthcare - $200 - $500/m
When making direct payment from your pocket, your health insurance can average $100 – $250 for each person. But if you hold a corporate job, then you can enjoy insurance cover for two or more.
There are primary and major health insurance programs to consider. But you can try out Stride Health in San Francisco.
Internet/ Cell Phone/ TV – General Communications - $100 - $250/m
Cell phone, TV, and Surfing the internet is a big deal for RVers because it allows you to keep in touch with the rest of the world. It’s best to settle for an unlimited plan that gives you broader coverage across the country. With such a package, you can enjoy TV, make calls while using the cellphone’s hot spot for your internet needs.
Verizon, T-Mobile, AT & T, Spectrum all have packages you can take advantage of for a comprehensive package.
However, please do not hope on RV Park WiFi as they could be pretty slow. Also, purchase a jet pack instead of relying solely on your cellphone WiFi if you can accommodate the cost. You can get WiFi boosters and other techie tools to improve your internet experience.
Your Motorhome - $5000 - $20000
There are two options to owning a Recreational Vehicle, either direct purchase or obtaining a loan. But, of course, your decision would depend on your financial strength. Direct purchase saves you from additional charges and interest on loans.
Taking a loan means fixed monthly installment payments. That means between $400 to about $1,000 per month for RV purchase. Other costs that might accrue include insurance and towing fees. If you have social security or an investment portfolio, then you can leverage it to cater to the overhead cost of the RV.
However, you could settle for an older model that’s towable at $5,000 or a motorized RV for approximately $15,000 – $20,000.
Quick Link: Get an Free RV
You can get tax cuts or enjoy business deduction for taxes. RV motor home can also qualify as a second home for mortgage interest deductions.Y
Utility Fee - $50/m
Your utility bill covers some of the items we mentioned already. However, propane, internet, and electric bills, and phone bills all add up to your utility bills. You can also classify them as part of your rental cost.
Fortunately, since you are an RVer full time, you can save up some cost on sewer, trash, and water bills. Sometimes your electricity and internet bill could form part of your rental fee when paying for a campground.
Variable expenses include all expenditures that you need to keep your Rv experience optimal. If you were operating from your home, you might not need these expenses. It might be cheaper if RV Living on a part-time basis.
RV Maintenance - $150 - $200/m
Things are bound to get ugly with the RV sometimes. Therefore you must have a budget of about $150 – $200 per month for repairs.
As you travel or engage in more activities, you will need to initiate repairs as things go wrong. You could experience a flat tire, brake pad wears out, propane leaks. At other times, you might need to change the oil, brakes, or tires. If you do not take care of minor repairs early enough, It could result in significant maintenance needs.
You also could get stranded in a location where help takes longer to reach. Now, I remember paying through my nose when I ignored a minor but unusual sound from the engine. We were heading south of Big Ben National Park. The brake pad gave way, and we ended up spending long hours on getting repairs done. It took paying $600 to put the VR back on the road.
What’s the one thing you love doing when on an RV trip? Then, it is time to count the cost. I usually like taking photos, swimming and some times, cycling. Mountain climbing is not my turf; if not, there are always opportunities for such sports.
However, Rving allows you to enjoy a variety of outdoor games at little cost. But you need to take that into your budget to get things organized.
There are cheaper and expensive ways to catch some fun or entertain yourselves. But I suppose you would go for more economical options.
You can see a movie in your Rv. But you could also visit the cinemas to see a movie when in a major town. It all depends on your budget for entertainment.
Free parks and museums can provide an excellent way to find entertainment. Therefore, you just need to be a bit more creative to find your sparks.
Gas/ Diesel - $1000/m
Gasoline expense depends mainly on how often you travel and the distance you cover. It can end up being one of the most expensive items in your life. However, it all depends on your budget. Living in campgrounds will reduce your costs significantly.
Whatever the situation, you did be spending a couple of hundreds of dollars monthly. On average, gasoline costs about $2.5 to $3 per gallon, with about 8 to 12 gallons per mile. So, you did be looking at about $500 to $1,000 per month, depending on the distance covered.
Your personal needs like a haircut, grooming, clothing, and more will add up to your eventual cost. The only thing is that your lifestyle will determine how much cost you end up with every month. Also, some months might result in lower or higher fees. It all depends on where you are and what’s happening around you.
RV Campground Fees - $25 - $80/m
Fees vary significantly at campsites ranging from about $25 to $80 per day. Boondock camping is an adventurous way to cut down costs, but staying at RV parks could increase your RV living costs considerably.
So, let’s say a budget of $500 to $800 per month if you have stayed in an RV Site. But cheap RV parks, frugal RV camping, or free RV parks can serve as a great way to reduce RV full-time costs. Simply check for Free Campsite, Walmart parking lot, or BLM land for RV parks. Alternatively, places like the National Parks can offer free RV spots.
7 Tips for Saving Money on an RV Campground
1. Make sure to stay in BLM lands closer to towns with a good population and access to a cellular network plus other RV required amenities.
2. There are free campsites to take advantage of like the National park and more.
3. If you can have a detailed cost for living full time in an RV, then you will have more control over your expenditure.
4. Build your lifestyle around your budget while looking for less expensive ways to get the best.
5. Reduce costs sometimes by using parks and RV camps.
6. Prepare your meals more often and eat less at restaurants to save costs.
7. The purpose of choosing RVing full time will determine how much charge you can incur at last.
What Influences Campsite Prices?
Campground fees fluctuate based on the different factors, and they include:
How Your Expenses May Change Overtime
The cost of running your RV does not remain the same all year round, as certain factors cause prices to fluctuate. RV parks are ridiculously cheaper in some areas than others.
Some states allow RVers to enjoy tax-free RV living, while in some states, you have a personal income tax, while others will spare you the stress. Tax-free states include:
The campground amenities you utilize will determine the amount you spend. Also, a bigger resort will charge more than RV parks in states. RV parks cost less during winter seasons that summer due to the influx of campers during the warm season.
You are likely to pay more if you intend to stay in an RV park overnight than if you take a weekly or monthly package. Traveling with pets or a partner means higher rates for the extras.
Will RV Living Always Cost Less Than House Living?
There are times of the year like summer where RV living expenses can increase. However, you still spend less than living in a house. Things you don’t have to pay when RV living instead of house living:
Can You Claim an RV as a Primary Residence?
Yes, your RV can serve as a primary residence; hence some people live full-time RVing. However, you still would have reasons to reside temporarily in RV parks, campsites, hotels, and in a friend’s place.
Is It Even Legal to Live in an RV?
Yes, it is legal to live in an RV full time. However, you cannot park the Motorhome just anywhere you want. There are local, state, and zoning laws against living in RV within city limits, even if the plot of land belongs to you. States that have friendly RV policies include South Dakota, Florida, and Texas. You can, however, acquire domicile status.
Also, you can obtain a building permit at about $1,000, and then you can RV living on an empty piece of land.
Can You Live in an RV Park Year/ Month Round
Yes, you can live in an RV park all month or year-round. But first, you need to do your homework to locate the right RV park with all the facilities you would need.
From personal experience, your home on wheels is the best RV moments you can enjoy. Knowing how much it cost to live in an RV full time will help you prepare for a memorable experience always.
More so, having a near accurate RVing budget puts you in charge of the situation.
When in doubt about anything, do asking! It could save you much stress when you call city offices to get leads on an RV parking.
The only significant difference is that Motorhomes does not have as much living space as your regular home. But you can still live in a neighborhood when in town. Happy RVing!