What’s the Monthly Cost of RVing Full Time?

  • SumoMe
rv full time kids alex and eli with the lincoln family

Alex and Eli full time RVing in Springfield, IL...spending money at museums instead of camp!

Its been just over a month since we started RVing full time. I can’t believe how fast that first month has gone…

I can’t believe how fast the money has gone as well…

In our first month, we have spent time and money in 10 U.S. states, dozens of small towns and cities, as well as one Canadian Province. In that month, we have spent our fair share of American dollars and Canadian loonies.

To be fair, we have splurged a bit in our first month. We’ve spent a lot of time with old friends, seen historical sites and museums we have always wanted to go to, bought perhaps a few too many rally monkeys, been to multiple baseball games in ball parks we always wanted to go to and most of all….ate at some really fabulous restaurants!

And all this full time RVing fun does come with a cost of course.

So the question is:

How much does it cost to RV full time?

So in this first edition of “Eli’s Ledger” we attempt to answer that question.

Bear in mind, this is also our first time doing something like this, divulging this kind of somewhat personal information and I we have said before, we are not experts at this by any stretch.

So we really appreciate your feedback. So please give it below!

If there is something you want to see more detail on or maybe a kind of expense that is we may have left out, then please let us know and we will be sure to include it in next month’s ledger.

A little background

Our resident accountant, Eli has been keeping a daily ledger of expenses ever since the start of the trip to not only help us adults know what it costs to live in an RV full time, but also to help him and his brother really understand how expensive it is not only to live in an RV full time…but just to live!

eli working his RV ledger

Our diligent little accountant compiling "Eli's Ledger" (usually done in the car as Mom and Dad bark out expenses from the previous day)

Life is in fact…expensive, and its not getting any cheaper!

So our purpose here is to teach our children how to spend their money wisely, while imbuing them on the value of the almighty buck, PLUS give anyone aspiring to RV full time a general idea of what it actually costs to do this whole trip.

But we are also doing it just for pure fun to see what an average family spends on such things as “souvenirs” and “gas” when traveling cross country in an RV full time.

So here is Eli’s Ledger from Eli, with a little help from big brother Alex.

Full Time RV Expense Totals June 12 to July 15:

Total for campsites:$851.52

Total for tickets to baseball games, museums, historical sites an attractions: $810.00

Total for groceries: $1,248.46

Total for fuel (diesel): $1,275.25

Total for parking: $116.75

Total for cab and bus fares: $35.00

Total for drinks and snacks: $293.64

Total lunch and dinner: $870.26

Total for laundry: $24.00

Total for haircuts: $28.00

Eli’s Comments:

I think that we are doing fine on spending money while full time RVing. Its OK that we spent about $1,200 the month on groceries. We should spend that much.

At home we will spend about $800 on groceries each month on average! As time goes on, I expect that we will spend about the same amount on groceries.

Maybe we will spend less on dinner because we know less people in the West too.

Also because we were visiting lots of friends they insisted on paying for us, so if we had paid for all of it, it may have been more. My mom and dad don’t like to not pay, so this was hard, but we appreciate it.

Thanks to everyone who treated the full time RV family to dinner or hospitality!

The other big expense was the RV parks. We are averaging about $50/day there, which is more expensive than we thought. We are staying at KOAs which are more expensive than state parks. One state park we stayed in this past week was only $11/day! (That one goes on next month’s ledger).

Alex’s Comments:

As Eli said we are a lot better in the RV than in Sagamore Beach. One thing we should change is that we can’t go to  restaurants as much as we have anymore. It is too expensive! Plus I like to make my food (and I like my mom and dad’s cooking too)!

Gas is a little bit higher than at home because the only fuel we use now is diesel which is more expensive than regular gasoline. We usually spend about $600 a month on gas, but that is for two cars so the diesel bill is what we thought, but still high!

When RVing full time cross country, we are also driving a lot more and traveling to out of the way places. For example, some of mom’s clients she is visiting are far away and that takes extra gas.  But mom needs to visit her customers.

Also in past summers when we were not full time RVing, we’ve attended camp. Camp costs about $600 for  4 weeks. Plus if I went to tennis camp, that would be an extra $300. So RVing full time is the life for me.

So this year instead of going to camp, we are living in our RV full time and going to baseball games, seeing the USA and visiting interesting museums and Presidents houses. I am really looking froward to seeing Mount Rushmore again and Eli is looking forward to seeing Glacier.

So even though we have spent a lot of money, if we were home we would have spent almost as much.

So I think that full time RVing cross country is about as expensive as we had thought. But we do have to be careful to slow down some spending which we plan on doing in this leg of the trip.

What do you think? Are we spending too much money RVing full time? Or are we spending about what you would think it would cost?

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Alex and Eli

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