Living in an RV – Is it Cheaper than Living in a House [2023]?

This home is geothermal, super efficient, and modern. It is also available to book on Airbnb in the Salt Lake City area.

Are you tired of paying exorbitant rent/mortgage fees every month? Do you want to save money and live a more minimalist life? If so, you might be considering living in an RV. The idea of downsizing to a smaller, mobile home often sounds appealing, but how much can you save? In this article, our team at RV Brands™ will explore whether living in an RV is cheaper than living in a house.

RV vs. House Living Costs – Breakdown

Living in an RV can seem like a money-saving opportunity, but you need to know that it comes with expenses too. The costs of living in an RV can vary, but here is a list of common expenses associated with RV living:

  1. One-time Costs
  • Purchase Price of RV
  • Insurance
  • Registration or Taxes
  • RV equipment and appliances
  • Upgrades and Repairs
  1. Recurring Costs
  • Campground or RV Park Fees
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Propane Gas
  • Food and Household Supplies
  • Internet and Cable (when available)

On the other hand, owning a home comes with costs too. Here is a list of some of the common expenses associated with owning a house:

  1. One-time Costs
  • Purchase Price of House
  • Real Estate Agent Fees
  • Home inspection, Title, and Appraisal Fees
  • Upgrades and Repairs
  1. Recurring Costs
  • Mortgage, Interest, and Property Tax Payments
  • Utilities (Water, Sewer, Electricity, Gas)
  • Home and Property Insurance
  • Lawn and Yard Maintenance
  • HOA (Homeowners Association) Fees (when applicable)

As you can see, both lifestyles require a significant investment. The differences lie in the type of investment, so it is up to you to decide which trade-offs you’re willing to make.

Does Living In An RV Save Money?

Living in an RV can be a cost-effective way of life, especially if you are someone who is comfortable with a minimalist lifestyle. Here are some of the ways that you can save money by opting to live in an RV:

  • Downsizing to a smaller living space means less energy consumption; thus, your utility bills could drop significantly.
  • Living in an RV also means that you have fewer rooms to do upkeep on than a house. You will also be cleaning less space, which means you will save time and money on cleaning supplies.
  • When you live in an RV, you can choose to cut out the constant need to dine out or order in food since you have a built-in kitchen.

While there are several expenses to consider when living in an RV, it is possible to make it affordable. One way to save on costs is to opt for a smaller rig or used RV, which will be kinder to your wallet.

Tips to Save Money While Living in an RV

Here are some tips to help you save money if you decide to take the leap and live on the road:

  1. Couponing and Meal Planning: Eating out all the time can quickly eat into your budget. Plan to cook your meals in your RV and consider using coupons or purchasing items in bulk to save money.
  2. Boondocking: Boondocking or dry camping means camping without hookups and utilizing natural resources like solar panels, water tanks, and generators to conserve electricity, water, and propane gas. You can save money on campground fees while enjoying nature.
  3. DIY Maintenance: Doing some of the maintenance yourself can save you lots of money in the long run. Learning simple tasks like changing oil or maintaining an air conditioner can be an invaluable skill that could save you hundreds of dollars per year.
  4. Buying Used: Buying a used RV or renovating one yourself can save you thousands of dollars compared to buying new.

Pros and Cons of Living in an RV

As with all things in life, living in an RV has its fair share of pros and cons, so let’s take a closer look:


  • Flexibility to travel to new places and explore new regions without paying for accommodation
  • You have fewer possessions and less clutter in your life
  • It can be a more affordable living option, especially for those who have a limited budget
  • You will cultivate a connection with nature and appreciate the outdoors more.
  • More time spent in nature can be a big stress-reliever and offer big mental health benefits
  • Living in an RV provides the freedom to choose your own path and have a life full of adventure.


  • Space is limited, and you have little room for storage or possessions
  • RVs can feel cramped and restrictive compared to a house
  • It can be challenging to find a quiet, secure location to park or set up camp
  • RVs can be noisy, especially if they are parked in a busy area
  • Maintenance can be costly
  • Finding proper maintenance on the road can be difficult, although there are solutions.

How Much Does it Cost to Live Out of an RV Full-Time?

Since RV living is unique, the financial costs don’t fit into a perfect mold. The cost of living in an RV will vary depending on various factors, including where you live, the size of your rig, and your travel style. However, a monthly budget of about $500-$1,500 is a good range to go by.

A recent survey revealed that a year of RV living costs between $10,000 and $30,000 on average. This figure included both one-time expenses like buying the RV, as well as ongoing expenses like RV park fees, groceries, and fuel.

What is the Cheapest Way to Live in an RV?

Living in an RV doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips to make the most of it while also keeping costs low:

  1. Parking in National Forests: If you’re willing to rough it, parking an RV in a national forest or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land can be free or inexpensive. You could also enjoy the natural beauty of a boondocking experience.
  2. Using a solar panel: Investing in a solar panel and other conservation resources can save you money on your energy bills. Solar panels require only the sun’s natural light to function and provide power to your RV.
  3. Avoid RV Parks: If your RV is self-sufficient, you may choose to avoid expensive RV parks. You can park overnight or for longer periods in truck stops, church, or free city lots.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Downsizing is an excellent way to cut your living expenses and live happily more simply.
  • Some RVs come equipped with composting toilets and renewable energy sources.
  • You do not need a special driver’s license to drive an RV.
  • Many people enjoy RV living as a way to travel and get outside more.
  • Try RV living on a trial basis to make sure it suits you before selling your home.


How Much Does It Cost to Live Out of an RV Full-Time?

As we previously discussed, living out of an RV can cost between $500 and $1500 each month. However, expenses can rise depending on how often you shift camps, what type of rig you own, and whether you prefer camping in RV parks.

What is the Cheapest Way to Live in an RV?

The cheapest way to live out of an RV involves boondocking, parking at free campsites or government lands, having inflatable solar panels or renewable energy sources, and avoiding pricy RV parks.

Will Living in an RV Save Money?

As discussed earlier, living in an RV provides many opportunities to save money because an RV lifestyle is more minimalist and encourages a simpler way of life, which in turn reduces costs.


When it comes to RV versus house living, the choice is up to the individual. While living in an RV can be a more cost-effective option, it requires certain sacrifices, including limited storage space and less privacy than in a home. However, many people choose RV living because it provides more freedom, adventure, and a chance to connect with nature.

Our team at RV Brands™ hopes you found this article helpful. If you’re interested in RV living and want to know more, check out some of the helpful links below.

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