People love the freedom of a full-time RV lifestyle, and they do this on various budgets. Funds for full-time RVing come in many forms.
Some couples are retirees and have substantial benefits, yet with minor investments. Others can have a retirement account, yet they lack a pension.
For the younger generation, you can find many full-time RVers work as they travel around or have a means of employment that can pay living expenses or supplement another source of income.
Living in an RV full time is all linked to your expenses and the money you have.
Should you have a substantial income from your pension or Social Security, then it could be possible to splash out on a new luxury Class A motorhome, and with this, you may not be concerned about the nightly cost of high-end RV parks.
If you seek to stretch small savings and are not yet retired, it could be a better option to purchase an RV for cash and then pick where you’ll be camping and parking overnight.
If you intend to work part-time while traveling, or plan to work on the internet from your RV, then overnight parking spots may be determined by job requirements rather than travel interests. With this, your camping costs and the type of work will also be related.
You can learn all you need to know about living in an RV full time in a park in our guide. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of what does it cost to live for full-time RV living.
Can You Live Year-Round in an RV Park?
Yes, it is possible to live year-round in an RV park so long as you understand what you are doing. You also need to pick the right areas that are safe.
The difference is you’ll need to find RV parks and campgrounds and not mobile home parks. These types of parking places typically offer full-time, year-round parking when they are not resorts or government parks.
When searching for such places where to park every night, you’ll discover different RV parks that can offer a wide range of amenities and very different RV park monthly rates.
- Dry Camping: Some sites offer a basic parking spot that doesn’t have any hookups or facilities. You can find these are as basic as parking in a field or parking lot. Generally, this is known as dry camping or the better-known term of boondocking. Here, you have nothing but what your RV provides.
- State Parks: Move up, and you have State Parks that some may provide basic services like water and electric. You can also find some that offer more in the way of picnic tables, bathroom facilities, and dump stations to empty your RV tanks. Services may be limited to uphold the aspect of nature.
- Basic RV Parks: When staying in your RV for extended periods, you’ll likely want more amenities to make your time more comfortable. Basics such as water, sewerage, and electric hook-ups will certainly ease the burden. Basic RV parks typically offer these and laundry areas, bathroom facilities, and paved parking areas.
- Deluxe RV Parking: At the top end, you have the deluxe RV parks. On these, you will find all the basics of water, sewerage, electricity hookups, washrooms, laundry areas, paved parking spaces, and many more. Depending on the area, you can find swimming pools, sports features, gyms, and kid’s playgrounds.
With the upsurge in popularity, there are many deluxe sites that you can purchase, lots that offer oversized areas where you can add patios, garden sheds, and more. The RV park cost per month can be considerable as they are geared to those RV’ers with extra income.
Is It Cheaper to Live in An RV Than a Home?
When pondering over full-time RV living, you’ll want to know if it’s cheaper than living in a brick-and-mortar home?
With full-timing, there are many ways you can cut back on expenses and still lead an amazing nomadic lifestyle. Here are a few ways to cut back on your monthly expenses for economical full-time RV living. (Learn How to Unclog RV Toilet)
Maintain a Budget
It would help if you decided what is essential and important. RV living is simple, and you need to consider everything you purchase as it may not have a home after your initial use. Many full-time RVers even consider clothing as these are one way to accumulate clutter.
Besides this, if you stay on one campsite for an extended period, you may not have to think about travel expenses.
If you want to travel, you need to think of fuel and vehicle maintenance expenses. It isn’t a requirement to travel when you decide to live in an RV full-time, but it comes with RV life for many.
Save on Campsite Fees
We have seen types of campgrounds and what they offer. Beyond this, you can gain discounts if you purchase upfront for over 3 months or over. Rates between seasonal, weekly, and nightly can differ by hundreds or thousands. If you want to park for a season, using a seasonal site is a cheaper alternative. Even monthly or weekly rates save compared to nightly camping fees.
Another way to save is to join an RV club, as these can help save money on camping fees at certain campgrounds.
Carry Out Your Own Vehicle Maintenance
Doing your own maintenance tasks can save you hundreds. While there may be certain things you need a professional, general maintenance like changing the oil, switching your tires, or maintaining slide-outs, can save a lot of money in repair bills.
Maintain My RV is a great resource and helps you learn more about your RV and when each area needs checking etc.
It can help you in many areas, such as keeping all your documents together. Also, you can get timely email reminders when maintenance is due and avoid further headaches by forgetting.
Eat at Home
One of the best ways to save is to make the most of your grill and eat at home. It is easy to rustle up something as good, if not better, than you’d pay for from somewhere else. You would also find the foods you cook are more likely healthier as well.
How Much Does it Cost to Live in an RV Park Full Time?
The average cost to live in an RV park can typically range from $500 to $1500 per month or more and will have electricity as an added cost. You can find a wide variation in average costs since there is a wide range of factors to affect these prices.
Length of Stay
- Nightly can range from free to $20 or $100 plus per night
- Weekly may range from $250 to $700 plus per week
- Monthly has a range of $500 over $2000 per month
- Seasonal can range from $300 to $1800 plus every month (based on 6-month stay)
- Annual may range from $3600 to $20,000 plus per year
The longer you stay, the cheaper the expense for your campground rates. Most parks offer big discounts for longer stays.
When in one location, you can avoid the cost of fuel and time un-hooking and hooking up your fifth wheel.
Type of RV
The sizes and types of your RV can affect how much you’ll pay for your campsite. Charges vary based on the site if it is a back-in or pull-through and if your RV has no slides, single side slides, or double-sided slides.
Your choice of location is a significant factor in the expense of your RV park. Where you choose to live and how to make money can change your individual requirements. You will also find the summer offers higher rates than a month out-of-season.
Typically, smaller towns offer lower rates than larger cities, as can less touristy areas. However, if you need to work, then these may limit your opportunities. However, many RV owners work their way across the country by taking on part-time jobs or working online.
How Much Does it Cost Monthly to Live in an RV?
California has become one of the most popular states to park an RV. It can be cheaper to take up RVing full-time than living in an apartment. Here are 5 key factors to consider. (Learn How to Unclog a RV Toilet Holding Tank)
Buying your RV
The highest cost is your motorhome or travel trailer, and you would need to decide on new or used.
- New: Think about what you need and what you don’t. If you’re planning on RVing full-time, you’ll want a Class A, B, or C RV. You’ll find these aren’t a detachable type and won’t raise RV Insurance costs.
- Used: RVing full-time can be more affordable if you purchase a used RV. You will need to do your research as they won’t be as flexible as purchasing new and need to be in good mechanical condition. Buying a costlier used RV could save you money on repairs later, so it makes sense to choose wisely.
Where do you want to live and park your RV? When looking for the ideal long-term RV destination, consider the RV site, amenities, and the surrounding areas.
- Type: You have the choice of RV parks, campgrounds, and RV resorts. Campgrounds may limit the days you can stay so that it will be an RV park or resort. Residential RV parks offer monthly, seasonal, or annual rental periods.
- Amenities: RVing full-time means some amenities will soon become a necessity. Sites with full hook-ups can save against water, electricity, and sewage or the need to use water and dumping stations. Some sites have internet and good cell phone access.
- Location: Climate and weather conditions are vital when choosing a long-term RV destination. Any RV has to withstand harsh weather conditions. Besides this, if your area gets overly hot or cold, you could save on heating and cooling by living in more temperate climes.
Many people considering RVing full-time worry about the cost. Here we have a rough monthly cost breakdown based on two adults who are full-time RVers and using typical living costs.
Remember, monthly living costs vary, and you can expect costs for RV sites, gas, and food to fluctuate from month to month based on location. If you are traveling around, you can easily see costs range from $1,000 to over $3,000 through location alone.
Here you can find an average cost of RV park living:
- RV Site: $450 – $1,500
- Gas: $250 – $400 (You may spend nothing if you are in one location and don’t do any RV travel)
- RV Maintenance: $100
- RV Insurance: $100
- Phone & Internet: $250 (Some RV campsites have free WiFi)
- Groceries and Eating Out: $500 (This may not include the cost for propane. Your propane cost will vary based on how you cook and how often you eat out, as well as getting your RV in cold weather).
Monthly Total Costs: $1,650-$2,850 ($2,250 as an average)
Yearly Cost Total: $19,800-$34,200 ($27,000 as an average)
RV Insurance: RVing full-time or occasional use, and you shouldn’t stick to standard Auto Insurance for your RV. Always buy specific RV insurance now, so you know you have adequate cover.
RV Insurance costs can vary based on class type and how old the RV is. RVing full-time compared to seasonal can also increase premiums. RV Insurance can cost around $800 per year for Class C motorhomes, yet may rise to a few thousand if you have a luxury Class A motorhome. (Find the Best RV Surge Protector)
Helpful Tips for Full-Time RVing
- Roadside Assistance: You can often get this assistance as part of your insurance. You never know when you’ll need a tow truck, and it can be a considerable expense.
- Emergency Fund: Make sure to have emergency money if something has to be fixed or replaced on your RV.
When you look at all the above, it can be a cheaper way to live and offer a more exotic lifestyle than living in a house. However, a house offers you a substantial investment for years to come. This aside, there is no better way to see the country than RVing.
If you are traveling to this extent, one area new RVers often overlook is their health insurance. It would help if you kept on top of this as you never know what can happen and when you’ll need to spend a night in hospital.