WHY FULL-TIME RVING CAN BE MORE AFFORDABLE THAN YOU THINK
You might think I’m biased in saying it’s cheaper to full-time RV since that’s the life I’ve chosen. But my years of experience as a full-timer present some compelling numbers. Here’s a quick overview of monthly expenses compared to my many years of living in a traditional brick-and-mortar home.
List out your monthly expenses
Start by listing your monthly expenses. While I can provide a general comparison, it’s essential to recognize that individual lifestyles will introduce exceptions. Whether you’re transitioning from a brick-and-mortar or a similar RV, lifestyle plays a significant role.
RV to House Monthly Expenses
|Item||Monthly expenses (Brick-and-Mortar)||Monthly RV expenses|
|Rent/Loan Payment (15 years)||$1800||$575 (Truck – $600)|
|Taxes/insurance||$415||$165 (Truck – $100)|
|Water/electric/sewer||$300||$400 (includes RV site)|
Rent vs. taxes
For my spouse and I, our fifth wheel and truck cost about the same as our house. Selling our home allowed us to pay off both the RV and truck, eliminating monthly payments. Factors such as monthly rent, loan payments, and length of loan notes will affect your calculations.
We control fuel and tire costs by traveling only a couple of days each month, avoiding frequent relocations. Typically, our utilities are included in the campground fee because we opt for monthly stays, negating the need for a separate utility payment. On average, we spend around $400 per month on these combined expenses.
Tire and fuel considerations
Although not typical for brick-and-mortar homeowners, RVers need to account for tire and fuel expenses. Depending on your RV setup, you might also need to include your vehicle costs. Our truck is crucial for our full-time RVing, but if you’re using your existing vehicle, you might not have to factor it in unless your usage changes.
Internet expenses in RV life
Staying connected is a significant cost for us, but it might not be the same for everyone. Our full-time jobs demand reliable internet, so we invest in multiple cell phone chips, boosters, servers, and backup services.
Without these job requirements, one could possibly rely on the local RV park Wi-Fi or a single cell service provider. There’s an initial setup cost to consider, which might be higher than what you’d spend on a traditional home setup.
Upgrades and repairs
Repair and upgrade costs have been similar for us, whether in an RV or a traditional home. While you won’t have expenses like air conditioner repairs or roof replacements in an RV, other maintenance costs will arise. Anticipating these expenses and using your current budget as a reference can prepare you for full-time RVing.
Remember: full-time RVing isn’t a vacation
It’s crucial to remember that transitioning to full-time RVing doesn’t mean you’re perpetually on vacation. Sure, you’ll explore new places, but it’s essential to manage these excursions within your budget. Overindulging in eating out or frequent sightseeing can quickly overrun your budget.
The flexibility to control your RV expenses
A significant advantage of full-time RVing is the ability to control your monthly expenses, something less feasible in a stationary home. With an RV:
- You can choose a more affordable RV park.
- Monthly stays or RV memberships often give you discounted rates.
- Staying for extended periods can mean inclusive utilities.
- Traveling less frequently reduces fuel and tire costs.
- Boondocking can minimize most monthly expenses.
Making the right decision for you
While finances play a crucial role in the decision to transition to full-time RVing, it shouldn’t be the only consideration. It’s essential to find a balance between managing expenses and ensuring a fulfilling quality of life. After all, life’s too short to miss out on wonderful experiences.
Get tips from other RVers
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.