How much does it cost to live in a camper is a common question that people ask when they consider RV living for the first time.
It’s hard to answer as everyone’s circumstances will be different. You’ll find those who travel around and want to experience the Grand Canyon, while others ish to blow dry their hair after a shower.
You’ll also have the budget travelers who are more concerned with finding a cheap dump station for their waste and are happy for the view in national forests.
Likewise, some enjoy the activities on an RV park, while others enjoy the off-0grid life to relax in state parks or other remote areas.
There is nothing wrong with any of these decisions; it just means you’ll have variable expenses. You can splash out on camping in private RV parks and enjoy the amenities and pay for the convenience, or you can take the path of boondocking, which takes a little more thought. (Read our Complete Guide to Boondock Camping)
When considering full-time RVing and you’ll need to decide what your adventure will cost and where you can save a few hundred dollars.
In our guide, you’ll learn how much does it cost to live in a caravan, the rough costs of owning an RV, and more. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the costs of owning a motorhome and roughly how much you need to be a full-time
What is the Average Cost of Full Time Rving?
When you want to be a full-time RVer, you can find these are the basic RV cost of ownership you can face with a life on the road.
As mentioned, how much does it cost to live in a motorhome will vary based on whether you want to spend a few dollars or there is no budget on monthly spending, and you can absorb the extra cost. (Read Full Time RV Living Tips)
Cost of a Motorhome
RVs aren’t cheap, and even a used one can set you back a decent amount of money. Some fortunate individuals can afford to purchase a New RV outright, while others take on a loan and face the repayments’ monthly costs.
After your RV payment, gas will be your biggest expense or the largest cost of living fulltime in an RV when you hit the road and travel a thousand trails. However, you can save by traveling shorter distances or traveling less in your van life.
You can also find the gas cost varies between a motorhome or a fifth-wheel trailer you are towing.
The perfect RV for your adventures may not be new and may not have its own engine. You can spend from $0 if you don’t move to a few hundred dollars per month based on distance traveled.
When working out how much does it cost to live in an RV, camping fees have shot through the roof with the popularity of camping and RVing.
You can easily spend more than $1000 per month by staying in RV resorts, yet, you can quickly save a few hundred dollars by being smart.
To cut living expenses in RV parks and campgrounds, choose to have fewer hookups and use the dump station once you are about to leave, or at least when your tank is full.
Boondocking throughout the month of your full-time RV lifestyle can save a considerable amount, yet the hookups will have to wait.
RV living cost for groceries doesn’t vary too much and can only vary by the nights you don’t cook. You could see around a 10% increase in your grocery bill because of limited storage space.
Spreading your food purchase throughout your travel to every few days can help keep costs down while on RV travel. Unfortunately, with food, it is just the way it is, and you can’t do much about it.
Food expenses can shoot up and vastly increase your RV living cost if you decide to eat out regularly. This can have a massive impact on your motorhome living costs, yet it is a key area to skip and find lots of money saved.
Phone & Internet
If working from your RV, you’ll need unlimited data on your hot spot. Costs can vary based on your carrier.
Regular maintenance is advised when you RV full time. It is worth allocating a set amount each month to be on the safe side.
You can break down or shred a tire or, far worse, that you need to get fixed. You come to find how much does it cost to own an RV, and you can save by learning to carry out some maintenance yourself.
Insurance rates will vary based on your rig. A motorhome, for example, will cost more than inexpensive travel trailers. You can pay between $500 to $1000 per annum for your RV insurance. Full-time RV living can also cost more than if you use your RV a few times per year.
While it is an additional cost, it is worth having roadside assistance along with your insurance.
Health insurance costs will vary based on the person and their circumstances. You can shop around for the best health costs to save money, yet most can end up roughly the same monthly cost when full-time RV living.
Is It Cheaper to RV or Stay in Hotels?
When you compare the two, there are reasons for choosing either. Hotels are more about convenience, and it is this you end up paying for. Even with higher fuel costs for your RV, you can find savings in almost every other department.
Besides this, you can visit national parks and other areas, and your costs won’t vary too much based on popularity. Hotel hotspots can see a hike in cost-based
How Much Does it Cost to Travel and Live in an RV?
Here’s the RV cost of living for some full-time RVers: Overall costs can reach around $2,000 per month with insurance costs around $200, gas and maintenance cost roughly $400, food costs up to $800, phone and internet cost $80, and miscellaneous costs around $500.
Is it Cheaper to Live in an RV or an Apartment?
If you leave out the cost of the RV or your tow vehicle, here is a comparison of apartment living to living in an RV full time to save money. (Read Running RV Fridge On Propane While Driving)
- Regardless of RV, it would help if you had hoses, chocks, and trailer levelers, along with many more accessories that can be vital.
- RV memberships and RV clubs can cost up-front, yet when living in an RV, they can save you money along the way.
- RV Interiors are small but can be as large as an apartment. Storage will, however, suffer, so this can be one of the key differences.
- Towing equipment will be required if you have a travel trailer or fifth wheel. Your towing equipment can cost $500 upward for your fifth wheel.
- Gear isn’t a must, yet you’ll need to keep this secure if you have a bike. Locking bike racks can be essential on your RV, as can space to keep fishing gear, kayaks, or anything else you may use in the great outdoors. A storage unit can be one way to keep your goods safe when out of season.
Monthly RV life expenses
Here are some of the RV expenses you can’t get away from when you full-time RV.
- RV or car payment: finance on RV and/or tow vehicle
- RV and car insurance vary based on the insurance company and your driving record
- RV parks and campgrounds vary based on season, location. Completely free parking or dry camping can help slash costs, and free camping by boondocking on BLM can lead to memorable occasions and save money.
- Propane costs can be high based on how you power your appliances, such as heating, refrigerators, and stoves.
- Gas costs will vary based on vehicle type, and distance traveled.
- The Internet needs a decent hot spot that isn’t from your phone. You can get unlimited data from your cell phone provider or use park Wi-Fi, although that may not be reliable.
- Don’t forget monthly expenses, such as credit card payments, memberships, medications, health insurance, personal care items, and more when living in an RV.
When comparing costs, if the aim is saving money, this can be one way to do it, although you can spend the same living in an RV as living in an apartment.
However, it gives you the chance of saving by not using the extra money on useless items and ending up with more money to do more things; and as you are mobile, you can visit more places.