The Real Costs after Buying an RV or Fifth Wheel

Most people think the big expense is over after purchasing their first RV or fifth wheel. But after we bought our Grand Design Momentum 328M, we realized there were a TON of items we were unaware we needed in order to operate and live on the rig that ended up adding up to some major mula. The expenses continued to build once we got the rig mobile. Travel and parked are two very different “rig ready”. If we had attended an RV course, or opted to learn pretty much anything about operating an RV before we bought one, we probably would have been in a better situation, but being the complete newbies we were, we honestly had no idea all that was needed.

So today we’re talking to you about the real costs after buying an RV or fifth wheel, exactly what items we needed (that we hadn’t thought of), what we bought to make our fifth wheel comfortable to live on & organized, and what we needed to make it mobile. Hope you enjoy!

That’s a long list isn’t it…. Here is an itemized list of the real costs of buying an RV or Fifth Wheel.

Extra items needed to Live in the RV

Total: $359.50

Extra Items Needed To Make an rv Mobile


Total: $1,490 (Your cost will be less if you have a Class A, Class C, or Class B Motorhome without a Tow Package)

Items we wanted to Make it our own


Total: $2,508

Grand Total: $4,358.00

I know it may seem like a lot, we were really surprised at the grand total as well. We hope this post helps shine some light on some of the real costs after you buy your RV or Fifth Wheel so you can better prepare or save (unlike us)! *Remember these are our costs, it could be more or less for you depending on your RV, how you want it to be organized, feel, or want/need to achieve that goal, but for us the real costs after buying an RV or fifth wheel were huge!

We’ll continue to add more posts in the about the other items we ended up purchasing for our RV, show you around on an RV tour, and the reason why we installed a composting toilet on our rig. I’d love to hear if you had a similar experience and what the real cost after buying an RV or fifth wheel was for you.


  1. Wanda Chambers

    When you bought did you have to pay additional for battery? Also propane it has one tank but are charging me to fill it…they also wanted to charge me 600.00 for a walk thru and show me how things work….I’m a newbie for sure but I certainly don’t think I need to pay them to walk thru with me…I’m very frustrated and ready to give up on living in an rv although it’s my dream

    • EatSeeRV

      No we did not have to buy an additional battery from them, but it is a good idea. Our battery was crap. Our propane tank was delivered full, and we didn’t get to do a walk around because of the delivery timeline, but I don’t think you would normally get charged for that. Call around and see what other dealers include/charge and see if you’re getting taken advantage of or if that’s normal in your area.


  1. What it Cost to RV Full Time | Year 2 RV Budget - Eat See RV! - […] in your new space, you will likely purchase new items that better fit your needs in your new home.…
Liz & Dennis

Liz & Dennis


We’re two travel-loving, real estate investing, foodies exploring North America as full-time RV’ers. This blog is where we share our lessons learned, tips and tricks, and favorite places to eat, see, and RV across North America! We hope it helps you find your wanderlust, plan and prepare for RV life, and get out on the road!


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