What does it cost to full time in
an RV for one year?
We get this question all the time.
We’ve tracked our expenses since we
started this adventure over a year ago.
Today I am going to break
those costs down for you.
Now for us we are two adults,
we have one dog and we’re in a
Class A gas RV.
So your expenses are going to differ
depending on how many people you have.
What kind of RV you’re in.
What kind of lifestyle you like to lead
and what you do for fun
entertainment and food.
This is all going to change.
But this will give you a great idea
if you’re planning on full time RVing.
I’ve got our expenses right here.
The first thing I’m going to touch on
are our fixed annual costs.
These are things like our RV payment, medical insurance,
RV insurance, the insurance on our tow car
which is a Jeep Wrangler, and memberships, etc…
For the entire year we spent $15,755
which breaks down to an average
of $1,313 per month.
Next are our average variable costs per month.
These are things like groceries, going out to eat
gas, cell phone bill, things that will
change month over month.
On average, we spent $1,619 on these items.
Combined, our fixed and variable costs came out to an average of $2,932 per month.
Now this average monthly cost includes
things like our RV payment.
We had a $600 per month RV payment.
For the RV and the tow car, average per month
we drove 2,128 miles.
Now, this accounted for close to $400 in spending every single month.
That’s a lot of money on gas,
but we were moving and
going and seeing a lot of different places
wherever we went.
If you’d like a more detailed breakdown
go to weretherussos.com and at the top
we have a section called RVing.
In a submenu there we have a Cost of RVing.
Just click on that and you’ll see the post
with all the details.
Here are some of the lessons learned over
the course of a year
that either helped us save money
or were tips and tricks we found along the way.
We can look up gas prices along our
and figure out which place has the cheapest gas.
The Allstays Camp & RV app.
We use it to find places like a BLM land,
places we can camp for free.
The app costs $9.99 and it is more
than paid for itself.
For all the free parking and camping
we found with this thing.
Plus we can look up where Costcos are,
Walmart and all sorts of other services
that we need.
We’re giving away a free download of the Allstays Camp & RV app
For Android or iPhone.
If you’re interested in entering,
leave a comment below and let us know.
Free camping is not always available.
We were in a lot of places where they had
city ordinances or just areas where you
weren’t allowed to park your RV overnight
This becomes especially true
when you get to the east coast.
It’s something we had to learn to work around
That leads me into, full hookups are worth the splurge.
It’s really nice to get free parking on BLM
or forest service land.
However, it is even nicer sometimes to go
to a campground, plug-in, have abundant hot water,
electricity, run the AC or the heat
especially when it’s hot and humid outside.
So we definitely try to hit up a campground
every once in a while just to recharge
not only the coach but ourselves.
Drive slower and shed some weight.
We noticed when we start putting the
cruise control down at a slower speed
we increased our MPG.
Same thing we didn’t carry as much
weight in the RV
and didn’t travel with a full tank of water
Stocking up at Costco.
Buying in bulk and buying certain items from there
has definitely helped us save money.
Including getting most of our gas
and even our propane at Costco locations.
If you’re wondering whether or not
a Costco membership can save you money
we’ll link to a video we did all about that.
Research tax rates.
If we don’t need something right away
we’ll check to see if the next state over
has a lower tax.
In some cases we’ve saved up to 3.5%
when we go on our Costco runs.
Cracker Barrel is better than Walmart for
This doesn’t really have to do with our expenses,
but we found that free parking is not equal.
We’ve called a lot of Walmart’s ahead of time
that say they allow parking
but when we get there
the manager in store tells us
we’re not allowed to park there anymore.
That can throw real wrench into our plans.
Cracker Barrels are consistent.
They’re really friendly and many of them have
designated RV parking spots in their back lot.
Once the Cracker Barrel closes for the night
the parking lot is dead quiet.
That’s a huge difference compared to
a 24 hour Walmart.
The best part is, when you wake up
you can have a delicious breakfast inside
and just relax.
A 10 GB data plan for us wasn’t enough.
We work from the RV and
most RV parks don’t really have decent wi-fi.
If they do it’s enough to maybe check your email.
We end up tethering and using the data
on our phones quite a bit.
What we found is we had to go from
10 up to 20 and even then we have to be
conservative with how we use our data.
If we need really good Wi-Fi
we end up spending our time at coffee shops
or places like that to get our work done.
Expect the unexpected.
For me, this is the big one.
We gotta rock chip on our window
and had to pay for that.
We’ve found nails and our tires and had
to have them replaced.
There are all sorts of things that can
crop up along the way and just make sure
you have a safety fund on the side to
cover things that you’re not expecting.
Save on propane with an electric cooker.
When we’re at an RV park plugged into
we try to use it as much as we can
and save our propane for times when we’re boondocking.
We’ll use things like a Crock Pot or
to make our meals and save on that
Street camping for an extended amount
of time is not ideal.
Although free street camping may sound great
when you’re trying to keep your expenses down.
We found we can only do it for so long
because we can’t put our slides out.
And honestly with all the traffic,
the buses, the trash trucks
things like that going by
it’s really difficult to live out in front of
someone’s house for more than a few days.
Buy the National Park pass.
If you like to see the national parks,
The national park pass is well worth its
weight in gold.
$80 for a year.
You can take one vehicle in or
an RV with your tow car.
Into all the national parks that you
see along the way.
And it allows you to park on a lot of
and BLM land that’s out there.
And the best part is, if your senior it’s only $10
That is an awesome deal.
In enclosing, the biggest lesson we’ve learned
is to just slow down, relax.
Enjoy not only the destination, but
the journey to get there.
You don’t need to see it all at once.
Just relax and have fun.
Thank you very much guys for watching.
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give it a thumbs up and leave us some comments to let us know what you thought.
Thanks guys! We’ll see you next time.