Is RV living cheaper than other living arrangements? I wish I could say “Yes” or “No”. Unfortunately it is completely dependent on your personal needs, spending habits, and location. Let’s take a look at RV living costs.
Updated November, 2017
The costs of RVs varies greatly. You may buy yours outright and not finance (big savings!).
Need to finance?
Your monthly payments will vary depending on down payments, interest rates, etc. Also, do you need a tow vehicle? Do you need to finance that? If you’re not sure whether buying new or used is the best option, read about the pros and cons here or watch below.
What we did:
In our case, we financed both. We went with a new 26 ft travel travel and an almost 10 year old truck. Even though the RV was new, it was about $20k and our truck was about $15k.
Our Monthly RV & Truck Cost – $543
Our insurance for both is about $150/month
The costs of campgrounds and RV parks also vary greatly.
What to find out during your research:
How much for your stay?
Does it include electricity?
Are there sewer hookups?
Are there laundry facilities and how much per load?
Do you charge for more than 4 people and how much?
Do you charge for pets and how much?
Find out more about Finding the Right RV Park in the blog post or watch below.
What we do:
We usually stay at RV parks for a month or more at a time and we stay at parks that include electricity and have on-site laundry facilities.
Monthly RV Park Costs – Generally below $500, but we have paid as much as $800
If you are looking to save on RV sites, there are various clubs that offer discounts, boondocking/wild camping (details available here in our How to save on RV Parks & Campgrounds blog post), and workamping (you work in exchange for a free site).
Our food costs increased greatly on the road. We have a tiny fridge and a pantry that has to double as toy storage and paper towel/toilet paper storage.
The small storage means…
We can’t stock up when prices are low or during BOGO deals.
What we do:
We eat at home as much as possible…EXCEPT travel days.
What we are trying to do:
Eating at home even on travel days!!
We have started planning better for travel day by stocking up on some of our favorite snacks and easy to manage lunches.
Monthly Food Costs: – $600 – $800
This is about $200 more than when we were in a traditional home (As of November 2017, we have been able to bring this cost down by at least $200).
Yeah, we have one vehicle…a BIG diesel truck. It gets thirsty…especially on travel days.
Diesel isn’t always cheap (varies by region) and we go through quite a bit of it…especially when we are moving about a lot.
Things to keep in mind:
The more often you drive, the more your fuel costs (Duh)…
Running a generator whicle boondocking/wildcamping? Well, you will save on RV sites, but you will need to factor in the cost of the gas you use to run that generator! Our generator costs less than $7/day (way less than RV parks).
Our Monthly Fuel Costs – Around $400
This one is the hardest for us to track. We use the most during winter and when boondocking/dry camping.
How we use it:
Cooking – we use our stove and oven daily. We only have a few kitchen gadets that use electricity, none that we use daily.
Hot water heater – especially when boondocking/dry camping.
Refrigerator – This is only true when we are boondocking/dry camping.
Heat – we use our propane heater during the winter months. While trying to stay in mild climates, we still find ourselves needing to run the heater.
How we try to conserve it:
Cycle between the propane heater and some small electric heaters. This can be a big saver, especially in RV parks that don’t charge extra for electricity.
Our Monthly Propane Cost: $10 – $40