For entertainment, I might spend $100 to $200 per month here, but obviously this differs a lot by person. Whether you pay monthly or yearly, average the amount over 12 months to include in the monthly budget. Spending the night in a rest stop or pulled over at a trailhead also counts as boondocking. Initially, we budgeted $25 per night for camping fees. This adds up fast and can become unsustainable if you are taking a long trip or planning on living in your RV long-term. Fixed Annual RV Living Costs: $15,755 ($1,313 Per Month) RV Payment: $7,200 Medical Insurance: $5,832 Plan for two adults RV Insurance: $1,200 Full Time RV Policy Tow Car Insurance: $1,008 Auto Policy Club Memberships: $215 – Costco Executive, Escapees RV Club, Harvest Hosts, and Boondockers Welcome Vehicle Registration: $205 – Class A RV $132, Tow Car $73 eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'calledtowander_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_11',111,'0','0'])); If you combine these three methods you will certainly accelerate your savings by camping on a budget. When you combine this expense with the cost of daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonal lot or site rentals, this expense will in all likelihood become your costliest. Often time you will travel for miles down bumpy dirt roads. Naturally, eating out at restaurants everyday will be more expensive than preparing your own meals and that is not something I would do or even recommend. This also varies by RVer and depends on such things as their preferred diets and whether they cook in their own rig or eat out. RVing on a Budget: RV Camping for Free or Cheap. The Fixed Cost of Living in an RV The fixed cost of living in an RV does not differ much from month to month. Now we diligently work, save and budget in order to remain on the road indefinitely. In the end, we decided that this information is important to a lot of our followers and it could help someone take their own leap. This is an app that is starting to really grow in it’s functionality. We encourage you to take some steps, however small or big those steps might be, to do something hard, new and abnormal. We rely on it to help us find propane refills, dump stations and fresh water fill-ups. Maria My apologies if I misunderstood. Here is a budget showing just how little money you need to live and travel full time. And take a moment to flip through your social media and give a shout out to see who you know that lives in the area you are visiting. For us, RV living was worth it. Here are some tips for free fun and cheap entertainment practiced by budget-minded RVers: Where to Find Cheap Entertainment: Make the Visitor’s Center or Chamber of Commerce Your First Stop. We love the places we see, the solitude we find and the general peace we experience when we’re away from everyone. For a lack of any other information, the cost of the rv was based on your HGTV segment. Okay. Full-time RV living is a wonderful way to spend more time with your family, travel the country and explore places you’ve never seen. In nearly two years of living in our RV across North America, we have learned to be very frugal with our expenses. Alternatively, jJust search the Internet for the name of your RV along with “Owners Group” and you’ll almost certainly find a club to help with your full time RV living research. There are other costs associated with the cost of RVing such as toiletries or cleaning supplies, internet, and cell phone costs, so you will find that your expenditures will include other things that I have not mentioned here. It could fluctuate a bit, but the average monthly expenses are virtually the same. Some sites offer shower, dumping, and pot water facilities with no extra charge. Total Monthly RV Living Costs: Ranges from $1,400 to $3,000 per month. Sometimes one person has a better prescription plan yet the other has a lower overall deductible than their partner’s policy. For a breakdown of van life costs watch the video below or check out the monthly reports. You won’t have any hookups. If you are traveling from site-to-site on a nearly daily basis, your cost of accommodations is going to be higher that those paying on a weekly or monthly basis at many of the same campgrounds. I did this to represent what a month of boondocking yet driving long distances may cost you. As a full-time RVer, you need to understand that the more you travel, the more likely you will need to make repairs based upon that constant movement of your home and you should budget for that accordingly. Chances are you can always strengthen that relationship and you never know when you’ll have another chance to see them again! This helps us keep what we call ‘ticketed events’ to a minimum. How to Budget for RV Travel: Activities. All in for lodging and lot rentals, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500-$600 per month. Although we did once or twice (only after we think we became friends through several hours of conversation!). If that means I have to pay $3 to get into a small local museum in Iowa to witness the history of harvesting corn, or pay $15 to take a tour of a shipyard in New Hampshire that supplied the original colonists with wooden pegs to repair their ships to fight the British…then I’m all for that cost. How much does it really cost to live the RV lifestyle? Every dollar you save on one expense is another dollar that you can use to extend your adventure. My colleague Lindsey wrote a great article on the best free campsites near national parks that you can check out. And it can also be obnoxious yet practical. Other times it can be taking an airboat ride in the Everglades or just seeing a movie in some old town theatre in a place like McCook, Nebraska. This 30-something couple is living—and running a business—from their RV. I love local cuisine and I cherish eating locally grown foods. For me, boondocking is usually the way I travel and since I have a solar energy system in my RV, I spend very little on campsites or utilities. Some campgrounds may also charge you a fee for TV or internet access, so these are all things you should research before staying at a campground. This could be a personal friend or relative. Not all circumstances are the same so yours may vary, but this some give you an idea of how best to layout a budget while RVing. Then try to break it. As it turns out… whether you are actually traveling in your RV or staying in an RV resort, the cost of day-to-day life is about the same. This is another area with how much living in an RV cost that you can be drastically changed by your travel style. Probably one of the most important costs for an RVer is having a savings account that is a dedicated emergency fund. We did something hard and new and abnormal. That is one of the joys of life on the road – making time for friends. Regular maintenance will prevent major problems and reduce costs overall. And every so often we will find ourselves exhausted from boondocking or otherwise not being plugged in and cleaned up. And not just because we’re becoming experts at camping on a budget. This helps to keep their accommodation costs to a minimum because most campground owners prefer to discount a site price than take the chance that they may not make the revenue renting it as a transient site. Camping on a budget is normal and necessary – especially if you live in your RV full-time. We went against the flow. But some other ancillary benefits as well. We use them in the order presented because we like to start with FREE camping before moving into discounted camping. Many have spent $10,000-$20,000 or less on preowned RVs and used their remaining money to live and enjoy retirement. Rates for a luxury resort typically start at around $70 to $100 a night. You can also sort through the results to show you BLM land and Army Corps of Engineers land – both free or very low fee. eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'calledtowander_com-box-4','ezslot_9',107,'0','0'])); The most well known clubs include Passport America, Good Sam Club and Harvest Hosts. We currently travel full time in a camper van. There are our go-to when we are deciding on where to stay. Camping Styles. READ OUR REVIEW OF RV CLUBS AND MEMBERSHIPS, SAVE 15% OFF YOUR HARVEST HOSTS MEMBERSHIP, Harvest Hosts Review: The most affordable RV Camping in America. This is an important thing to do if you are a full-time RVer because you never know when you may experience a costly breakdown that could mean a lengthy repair where you may be forced to temporarily find other accommodations such as a motel or a rental unit to stay while your RV is being repaired. When we started living full time in our RV we were naive to the options we had for camping on a budget. As you can see, using the figures in this sample budget, the RVer usually comes out ahead, but in the month of March you will see a spike in fuel costs but a drop in the cost of lot rent. After my divorce, I kept working at my job and living in my van. For this reason iOverlander is a great way to find beautiful, or practical, places to boondock when you are camping on a budget. Photo by Stephanie Henkel. We enjoy a lot of free activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking. Stephanie, her hubby, and their two cats enjoy living and traveling full-time in their RV, often camping off-grid to stretch their budget. RV Budget Worksheets. The products are always better and, in most cases, less expensive than those sold by high end grocery or discount retail chain stores. If you happen to know Everybody and be driving through Somewhere then there’s a decent chance Somebody will let you stay with them for a night or two! Van Life Costs: May 2017 . We have found that the best way to find the best camping spots is to take advantage of the great mobile apps available. However, keep in mind that the more you travel day-to-day the more you are likely to incur additional maintenance costs on your RV’s chassis and suspension system, the drive vehicles engine, oil changes, and any mechanical components such as slide-outs, hitch system, plumbing and electrical parts. Just as you would if you were living in a traditional home, you’re probably going to want to establish a budget and understand how much you could expect to spend based upon such circumstances as accommodations or RV payments, RV insurance, travel miles, utilities, food, beverages, and entertainment. Now that we’ve been on the road for nearly two years I’d love to have those other $24 back! These include insurance, roadside assistance and discounted retail purchases at places like Camping World, Gander Mountain and Flying J. Another major expense to consider is healthcare. Therefore, we are going to use this article to help break down the real cost of RV living for you. Which program will best work for you as a couple? Entertainment doesn’t have to be about paying for activities, sometimes the best entertainment can be walking through the woods and collecting morel and oyster mushrooms to sauté with a bit of butter and a breast of duck raised and harvested by a local farmer. The idea of an RV club is similar to that of any club or member-based organization. It is a game to us now, to see how many days we can go without paying for camping. We LOVE boondocking. Let me prove to you right off the bat that you can live the free life. Obviously, that’s a big gap. You may find that some of these expenditures apply to your situation while others may not. The first way to save money when RV camping on a budget is to join any number of RV clubs and memberships. We don’t recommend you stay with strangers. Since purchasing the Hymer Aktiv, it's much easier now to stealth camp in places and not need to incur that fee since I'm entirely self-contained. Add in food costs and gas, and you’ve got a hefty chunk … Step #3 Now that your current budget is complete, it is time to create a RV living budget. There is no easy answer to this question, and the truth of the matter is, you can make RV life as expensive or as affordable as you see fit. For example, you may choose to finance a top of the line class A motorhome or trailer and your monthly payment may be $500. A budget is a tool and a guide, and we don’t alwa… Everybody knows Somebody Somewhere. But even if you are just starting out, or only camp for a few weekends or weeks per year, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to pay full price for camping. We list our general costs of living, not the cost of our RV (all costs are variable per person, especially RV’s). Another entertainment cost is the occasional dinners or meals at local restaurants or sites. And you should now feel confident about your ability to go camping on a budget!eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'calledtowander_com-leader-4','ezslot_19',117,'0','0'])); Have ideas on how to go camping on a budget that we didn’t mention? There’s nothing wrong with this of course and I too have stayed in places for only one or two nights and paid a more premium price for that. They also consider such things as security and if you are willing to pay for a seasonal or longer term site then they are usually willing to lower their site fees based upon the assumption that you will be more likely to maintain the sites aesthetics and light maintenance such as proper garbage removal or occasional fire pit upkeep. And you closest camping neighbor will likely be deer or bears. Then we look into our discounted options. Think of campsites like your mortgage or rent. This is the first way you can quickly save money when you are camping on a budget. Many full-time RVers prefer to travel from place-to-place as part of their experience, while others prefer to rent a site seasonally or even rent a few sites at various places and at certain times of the year. You should never have to pay full price for camping again. If you look at our $25/night budget, we were essentially planning to pay $750 per month in rent to various campgrounds. However, I sometimes will stay at a campground seasonally if I am work camping. Here’s a breakdown of the costs of living in an RV year round: Campsite Budget. Another option when RVing full-time is to pay seasonally for your site, and for many, this is a good alternative. Set a goal for yourself in your camping budget. I’m drawing a pension right now. But, to help you to make informed guesses, we are providing our actual fulltime RVing numbers for you to use. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck and need to pay for a night or two. Since we are always looking for ways to save money, we always start with trying to find FREE camping first. Until next time, safe travels to you and I hope to see you out there sometime during your journey on the open roads of America. Personally, I never recommend financing an RV unless you have the income to support it as a full-time RVer or even a part-time camper. Just how much does it cost to RV? In my travels, I have met all these types of RVers and have formed several nice friendships along the way. Now we are well under that because we really don’t pay for camping unless we absolutely WANT to. Some can be inexpensive, but others can run in the hundreds and even thousands of dollars. So as we travel we try to spend at least 3-4 nights per month moochdocking. So you are on your own if you need to tweak things for debt payments. Simply put, if your home is in motion almost daily, you are going to experience some maintenance issues. Yes depreciation is a factor when purchasing an RV, as with anything. The most well known clubs include Passport America, Good Sam Club and Harvest Hosts. The range, depending on variables like size of RV, number of meals eaten in restaurants and whether or not the RV is towing a vehicle, was between $1250-$5,000. So whether you are intentionally heading off-grid for a few days or find yourself swinging into the next rest stop, make sure you have plenty of fresh water and room in your tanks! I recommend that any couple traveling full-time that find themselves in a situation such as this consult a financial advisor or an insurance specialist to best determine what works for them. It is a basic math formula: your new RV lifestyle costs will be equal to your current household budget, minus the expenses of living in your house, plus the costs of living in your recreational vehicle. The goal is to provide resources that benefit the RV traveler. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'calledtowander_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_16',112,'0','0'])); If you are a member of Harvest Hosts you will have access to their 1,200+ camping hosts across North America. I have met many folks that stay in the northern states during the summer then travel south during the winter. It can be as much as $150K or less than $10K a year. 1. This is a great way to save a few dollars when you are camping on a budget. Our biggest monthly expense is our land lease, which is $4000 per year, equaling out to about $333 per month. Hit the Road Full Time RV Living. So, that Thrifty budget is really, really, really tight. Of course, at $500 per month this is a sparse life, but I am just showing you that it can be done. Free camping on public lands. If you don’t know where your money is going, you CANNOT live on a budget. 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