Cost of RV Living

You’ve seen it before, people living out of their RV (like us!) or the #vanlife. It looks awesome but what does it really cost to live this way?

Here’s are some basic costs related to the RV/Travel Trailer living based on our experience so far. There are many ways to reduce these cost which I will go over slightly as we go. Essentially, there are the main expenses and the ‘fluff’ which is your day-to-day expenses.

1. When we are stationary:

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Stationary RV park spot. Range between $400-700 per month • full-hookups • lots of amenities

Campground/RV Parks
$400-$700 a month includes Water, Electricity, Sewer Hookups.
This depends on the amenities and location of the campground or RV Park. (It could be a lot pricier/cheaper too!)
Cheaper Alternative: Boondocking (no hookups) on free BLM land= FREE!

Fuel Cost
$150 a month
For running errands and weekly exploring trips

Electricity
About $20-40 a month
Depending on your location you may run your AC more or less
Cheaper Alternative: Go Solar!! Be self-sufficient!

Propane
Less $10 a month
If you don’t use propane to heat your house, the cost of propane just for cooking/water heating is pretty minimal.

Gray/Sewer Dumping
Free! Typically included in your Campground/RV park stay.
If you’re boondocking; there are many dump station across the country. Price range between $0-15 per dump.

2. When we’re on the move.
Typically only 2-5 days between location for us

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1st campsite while transitioning. Cost: $27/night full hookups. • no amenities beyond hookups

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2nd campsite while transitioning. Dry camp: Free!

Campground/RV Parks
Around $15-100+ per night at campgrounds
Getting a RV membership could save you up to 50% per night.
Cheaper Alternative: Free On BLM land/Dry camp (No hookups)

Fuel Cost
Depends on mileage covered and type of vehicle.

Electricity
Free a campground with electricity hookup
Alternative: No Electricity hookup on BLM land or free with Solar Panels!

Propane
Less than $10 a month

Sewer Dumping
Always Free as we typically dump our tanks before leaving the park and when arriving to our new park.

Other Cost to Keep in Mind

RV Maintenance
Maintenance is huge if you want to avoid big costly repairs.

Insurance
Varies Per person/car
Car insurance and RV insurance are a must!

Groceries
$200 a month
Varies per location

Phone & Internet bill
$120 a month

Healthcare
Varies per person

Laundry
$25 per month at laundromat (around 3 loads a week)
Laundromat typically on site at RV parks

Virtual Membership
$50 per month for Adobe Creative Cloud Membership

Eating Out
Varies per location

Gym Membership
$10-20 a month
Many budget gym offers nationwide access which includes showers if ever needed.

Misc.
Clothes, tools, entrance fees, parking fees, activity fees …

These numbers are solely based on what we have experienced thus far. We choose to remain at one location for many months at a time, while not being as exciting, it allows me to work on-site for a local company. Once I land a remote job, we will take this show on the road and we’ll explore a whole lot more!

As you’ve noticed, there are cost savings opportunities so this can be done for even cheaper. This lifestyle is exciting and addictive. You’ll want to explore more everyday. Got questions? We have answers! Don’t hesitate to ask, we’d love to help. 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Cost of RV Living

  1. Zeke Weeks says:

    Nice, thanks for sharing! Can I ask what kind of sites are working best for you overnight when taking a few days to drive between locations? I’m still trying to learn the right balance for covering distance with a trailer and not stressing out about where I can get a decent night’s sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Melanie Levesque says:

      We use a few sites to decide where we’ll camp. I like to plan ahead so I do a google search around the area we’ll be for a paid site and use this free campsite website for free spots: https://freecampsites.net/ This strategy has worked well for us. We look at our overall mileage and every 300-400 miles of our trip, do the google search about RV campgrounds or this free camping link above to find a spot to park overnight. We prefer to not drive more than 400miles a day. Free is better but not always a good spot for us as our clearance is so low we can’t do too many dirt roads.

      We also do a lot of SUV car camping too when we don’t take our trailer with us and always find a free campsite that is fairly close to where we want to be. Never had an issue with neighbors (if any!) or getting a decent night’s sleep. Hope this helps. 🙂

      Like

      • Zeke Weeks says:

        Thanks so much – been drowning in campsite directories and this one looks great!! 🙂
        I’ve only been on one trip with my trailer so far and once I’m full-timing and know my rig better, I’ll probably aim for a similar limit on travel time to err on the side of sanity.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Melanie Levesque says:

    No problem! We really like that free campsite website as we don’t need hookups typically when traveling so that’s saves a few $$$. When are you planning on going full-time? One website that helped so immensely is technomadia.com They have a ton of resource about RV’ing and we followed a lot of their rules. Check ’em out! 🙂

    Like

    • Zeke Weeks says:

      I’m going full-time in January. Got a couple of months left on my apartment lease, so I’m now in the phase of getting rid of most of my stuff and hopefully taking care of some RV service stuff before going on the road. I spent about a year planning and trying to figure out if I’m really up for RV life, and a lot of that was binging on YouTube channels for other full-timers (including Technomadia) to look for stuff more informative than the initial glamorous ideas!

      Like

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