projected year 2 costs
So as you can see, an RV budget of $3,609 is a much more affordable monthly cost to full time RV. We realize everyone has a different budget, income, and full time RV lifestyle, so the actual cost to RV full time will vary from individual to individual. There are so many different set ups, ways to travel, and full time RV that you can’t consider any one way “right or wrong”, it just is. There are people who can live for $2,000 a month total as they full time RV, and people who live for $8,000 or more per month full time RVing. So while we are sharing our budget with you, please remember this is our budget; it reflects us, our income, how we like to spend our money, and our style of RVing. We’re simply sharing this information with you hoping it helps you gauge, or better estimate what it may cost to RV full time.
While the budget I’m sharing below is our projected year 2 budget. This means these numbers are what we are budgeting for each month, it does not reflect how much we actually spend. We will update this post at the end of year 2 so we can compare our budgeted amount to the actual amount spent (hopefully we spend less if anything). Either way, it will be a great way to see expectations vs. reality of what it cost to RV full time for us at the end of year 2.
Year 2 Projected rv Budget Total Monthly Average: $3,609
|Item||Monthly Cost||Annual Cost|
|RV, Truck, or Motorcyle Repairs||$150.00||$1,800.00|
|Insurance (RV, Truck, Business, Motorcyle)||$275.00||$3,330.00|
|Fuel, Gas, Propane||$650.00||$7,800.00|
|Camping (Actual RV sites/State Parks)||$350.00||$4,200.00|
|Health Insurance (Premiums & Visits)||$250.00||$3,000.00|
|Play (breweries, wineries, excursions, tours)||$325.00||$3,900.00|
|Miscellanious Household Items & Upgrades||$150.00||$1,800.00|
|Pets (Food, Litter, Vet Visits)||$50.00||$600.00|
|Parking Car & Uber/Lyft||$30.00||$360.00|
|Total Projected Cost||$3,609.00||$43,308.00|
Comparing year 1 to year 2
Full Time RV Budget | What it cost to full time rv for us
We suggest budgeting….
- $100 – $200 if you’re trying to be conservative with your budget, although you will miss out on a lot of opportunities or activities as you travel.
- $225 – $350 if you’re in a moderate budget, trying to save and be on the lower end while still enjoying some activities and outings.
- $375 – $650 if you’re able to spend a bit more per month and not as conscious of keeping a lower budget. You will get to do a lot with this budget
- $100 – $200 if you’re trying to be conservative with your budget, although this may or may not cover all of your needed expenses monthly.
- $200 – $350 if you’re in a moderate budget. This should cover your bases but may have a few repairs that cost more than this.
- $350 – $500 if you’re trying to cover all your bases and never be tight on RV repairs that are needed.
to estimate your fuel budget needed….
- Determine your “route” more or less on google and get an idea of the miles you will travel that month or year.
- Assuming your already know your vehicles average mile per gallon you can use the following formula…
- (Total miles of trip ➗ Average vehicle MPG) ✖️ Average Fuel Cost at Time of Travel (per gallon) = Rough Estimate of Cost $ for Fuel
- RV Parks: $30 – $60 a night with hookups (can be more if you’re in a big city). Paying by the week often brings the rate down slightly. Paying by the month brings it down greatly, but you do pay for your electric usage when it’s by the month.
- State Parks: $15 – $45 depending on the state if you’re in a moderate budget, this won’t cover big one time upgrades though! Most states offer a discount card for in state residents or seniors which lowers your camping fees by nearly half!
- National Parks: $15 – 45 often with no hookups and typically has a fee to enter the park (not included in camping fee). If you have a senior pass this lowers your camping fees by nearly half!
- Boondocking: Free – $15/$20 depending on if it’s true public lands, national forests, or paid public lands (it varies).
We suggest budgeting….
- Mostly boondocking, $200 – $350 is a good estimate for a budget.
- Half and half, closer to the $350 – $500 mark is a safe estimate for your camping budget.
- Mostly or all RV parks, $800 – $1,000 a month is likely (if your traveling, less if your in one spot the whole month).
We spent a lot of money in our first year upgrading our RV to meet our needs as we full time RV. Think of it like buying a house or moving into a new apartment. While some of your old items work in your new space, you will likely purchase new items that better fit your needs in your new home. We have a video that talks about the items we needed immediately after buying our RV to be comfortable (or in general – use it). That alone was a lot of money. As we traveled more, we realized there were items we wanted to upgrade to give us a more comfortable lifestyle on the road. Luckily our first year is done and most of the upgrades we wanted to do have been completed. Our budget in year 2 is FAR less than year 1 because we’ve spent the money already, now we get to enjoy the benefits of our upgrades! Important to note, this area of our budget also includes random things for your home like pillows, brooms, kitchen items, books, movies, etc. Anything random you’re buying for your RV as if it were a house is put here! If you want to see what we upgraded in Year 1, take a look at our post here.
We suggest budgeting….
- $50 – $75 if you’re trying to be conservative with your budget, although this may or may not cover getting items you want or need.
- $75 – $150 if you’re in a moderate budget, this won’t cover big one time upgrades though!
- $150 – $200 if you’re trying to cover all your bases and never be tight on items you want in your home or upgrades.
Since we operate a real estate investing business from our RV it’s imperative that we have good connectivity. We have AT&T for our cell phones which currently has 12 shared gigs of data. We also have a Verizon Mifi Jetpack that has 200 gigs of data per month. The plan we have for the verizon jetpack is no longer offered (we found out after trying to refer a friend), so this cost could change for you based on the current offerings of the service providers – which changes all the time. As far as we’ve seen our budget seems to fall pretty smack dab in the middle and sees to be comparative to other’s plans and budgets for this category.
Like many of the other categories here this will change dramatically based on your rig and set up. We need insurance for the truck, motorcycle, and RV so our insurance is higher. We also didn’t do a ton of shopping when we got our insurance and could probably get this lowered if we shopped around more.
We suggest budgeting….
- $100 – $200 for one to two newer (10 years or newer) vehicles.
- $200 – $300 for two or more vehicles.
Health insurance is it’s own topic and is why we’re dedicating a separate post and video to this very subject. We still wanted to share with you our costs for this category to give you an idea. We’re both very healthy and almost never go to the doctor. The coverage we currently have is for out of pocket medicine for Liz that she was getting monthly for about 8 months of this 1 year budget, and Dennis’s Health Insurance. We also had Liz’s previous employees coverage for 3 months out of our budget so we didn’t have to add this cost up until later on in our trip. We are budget $250 per month for this moving forward.
Memberships are a totally optional category of full time RV’ing. That means it’s not a bare-essential or requirement for this style of living. We have several memberships now that we feel are essential for us on the road. Here are the following programs, or memberships we pay for each month. If you’re interested in joining any of them please click the links below to help us out! We do receive affiliate commission from some of these programs although we are referring them because we are members and believe in them, our opinions of them are our own.
“Cable” Memberships/TV Membership….
- Hulu (stream cable TV, get access to movies, & stay up to date with your favorite shows without commercials) $11.99 per month
- Netflix (stream TV and movies – this is a must for us since we don’t have cable or satellite) $7.99 per month
- Prime TV (a part of Amazon Prime’s membership)
- Mailbox Forwarding (scans our mail for us to view online, forwards to an address we request, and/or shreds unwanted mail. Join with code: for 40868 for 1 month free)
- Thrive Market (healthy, sustainable, organic, non-gmo food delivered to you wherever you are. Discounts on products on average of 25% – 50% stores). Read more about this membership & watch the video of our product haul!
- Amazon Prime (free 2 day shipping is a must when you’re traveling often)
General RV memberships
- Escapees (we joined our first month but are no longer members since trying to keep costs down). Has a great network for RVer’s to meet up and learn!
- Harvest Hosts (camp at farms, breweries, vineyards, and historical places throughout Canada and the United States. There’s nothing like a free spot to camp with wine!) Mention “Eat See RV” when you sign up!
- Boondockers Welcome (camp in backyards of fellow RV’ers and make new friends. Beautiful locations, wonderful people, and best of all free camping!)
- National Park’s Pass ($80 one for 1 year).
Obviously this category would only be applicable to you if you have pets. We feel our budget of $50 a month is on the low end. We don’t have many vet visits, so this really covers litter and food for a month with a bit left over just in case. If your pet may require additional attention or higher food costs, then budget a bit more in this area. It’s better to budget slightly more and not have a big surprising bill (that you don’t have the money for) after an unexpected vet visit!
This is another part of our budget that falls into the non-essential category of full time RVing hard cost. We added it in because we spent money on it in year 1 and imagine we will again spend money on this in year 2. We almost exclusively used this category when we visit big cities. This is definitely a luxury cost to add to your budget and we’ve enjoyed having the treat of either Ubering a few places, or having the opportunity to drive into town and see the sights parking our car somewhere close. Join Uber (Xergu) Join Lyft (Use Code LIZ663987)
We suggest budgeting….
- $5 – $10 if you rarely visit cities (where you’ll need to pay to park) or Uber/Lyft on a super rare occasion.
- $10 – $20 if you plan on visiting a few cities in your trips, even 1 a month will eat up this budget.
- $30 – $50 if you want to Uber/Lyft when you’re in cities and plan on visiting several bigger cities during your travels.
We are Dennis and Liz! We’re two travel loving, real estate investing, foodies exploring North America full time in a Grand Design fifth wheel toy hauler. We share our lessons learned as full time RV’ers, travel tips and tricks, and the best places to eat and see in the US with you!
Wonder what options there are for affordable health insurance for RV’ers? We go over 5 different nationwide PPO plans, what they cost, and what they cover.
After two years of full time RVing, we decided it was time to downsize and simplify. So we made it official, and sold our Grand Design Momentum 328M Toy Hauler Fifth Wheel to an amazing couple that will be making it their home!
The holidays are here and that means coming up with a gift for your full time or part time RV friend or family member. To make gift giving easier this holiday season, we put together an RV gift guide to help give you gift ideas for RVers. Take a look at our top 12 gifts all under $100!