Everyone wants to know, “How much does full-time RV living cost?” They want to see a detailed chart, breaking down every little expense. However, every RVer is not living the same life. Also, food and gas prices are constantly changing, from week to week, and from place to place. So, I’m not doing a breakdown chart!
Firstly, you will still spend the same amount of food. You may even spend a little more if you choose to eat out, rather than cook inside your RV.
Secondly, if you have a credit card or student loan debt, that will remain the same.
If you financed your RV, you can count that as rent or a mortgage. In addition, any camping fees you might incur count as rent. However, even with an RV payment, and paying for space, you’ll likely come out cheaper than rent or a mortgage. Also, your utility bills will either be gone or, much less, even with buying propane.
So you might figure, overall, the cost may be a few hundred to a thousand dollars less per month. This depends on how much you were paying for a house or an apartment, and how much you are now paying for your RV, and a place to park it.
Another consideration, are you living at an RV park in California, or another pricey and highly popular area? On the other hand, are you boondocking on BLM land in Arizona? There is “free camping”, but you may need to leave the area of the country you now live in. Consequently, you may have to head out West, where most of the “free BLM camping” is. And not all of the free camping areas will be suitable for you RV; many of the free campgrounds are in the back country, and best accessed with a 4X4 truck camper. Some are not on level ground. Some of these areas may not have a solid cell phone or Wifi signals. So there will be trade-offs, and you MUST take the limitations of your particular RV into consideration. Getting stuck in the back country will not be good for your budget!
How much does gas cost? Good question, ask that next year, and the answer will be “more”. Are you driving across the country constantly, putting in 1,000 miles or more per month? Or, are you sitting parked for a month at a time? Are you driving a Class B that gets 15 mpg or a Class A that gets 8 mpg? How much does it cost is something you will have to figure out yourself, according to your own situation. Driving and moving around constantly is going to burn up the gas budget a lot faster, no matter what you drive. Finding a nice place to park, and staying for 2 weeks or a month will save gas. Staying parked will also reduce mechanical wear and tear on your rig.
How much it costs is mostly up to you. It depends on a lot of the usual factors, such as is your RV paid off or financed? How far you drive every month, and where you choose to park it. But the RV lifestyle is flexible to each individual situation, so make it your own!