Are you considering living in an RV full time? Maybe you're curious about the costs involved. As RV enthusiasts, our team has spent countless hours researching and analyzing the expenses of this lifestyle. Here, we’ll cover all the financial and practical aspects of living in an RV full time, so you can make an informed decision.
Costs of Living in an RV Full Time
RV Purchase or Rental
First off, you need an RV to live in. You can either purchase or rent an RV. The cost of buying an RV varies greatly depending on the size, age, and model. You can find a used RV for as low as $10,000, but a brand new one can set you back over $100,000. You also need to factor in the cost of insurance, maintenance, and repairs. You can rent an RV for short-term or long-term use. The cost of renting varies by location, season, and type of RV. A typical monthly rental can be anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the RV’s size and amenities.
You will need a place to park your RV. Campground fees vary depending on amenities and location. A typical monthly campground fee range from $300 to $1,500. However, if you plan to stay in a high-end RV resort, you could easily spend up to $5,000 a month. Consider using apps like Campendium or RV Trip Wizard to find affordable camping options.
Just like traditional homes, RVs need electricity, water, and sewer. Some RVs come with built-in generators, solar panels or holding tanks, but you’ll still need to pay for fuel, dumping and filling stations, and maintenance of the RV equipment. You also need to account for propane gas or other heating sources. Expect to pay $100 – $300 a month on basic utilities.
Food, Entertainment, and Miscellaneous Expenses
Of course, you’ll still need to eat, have fun, and buy necessities. These expenses can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle. If you enjoy dining out and shopping for new gadgets often, your expenses will be higher than someone who cooks in and read books. Other miscellaneous expenses include laundry, storage, and RV upgrades or repairs. You can budget anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 a month for these expenses.
Total Estimated Living Costs
To give you a rough estimate, the total cost of living in an RV full time can range from $2,500 to $10,000 per month. If you own your RV and are able to stay at low-cost campgrounds, you could easily live on the lower end of that spectrum. However, if you choose to stay in luxurious resorts and dine out frequently, your expenses could be on the higher end.
Is It Financially Smart to Live in an RV?
Living in an RV full time can be significantly cheaper than living in a traditional home. You don’t have to pay property taxes, utility bills, or a mortgage. You can also save money by downsizing and minimizing your possessions. However, it's important to note that other costs – such as RV insurance, maintenance issues, and campground fees – can add up over time.
But in general, RV living can be financially smart, especially if you’re someone who loves to travel and/or work remotely. You can see new places and save up on rent money at the same time. If your financial goal is to live frugally or retire earlier, then RV living might be the right choice for you.
Pros and Cons of Living in an RV Full Time
Let's break down the pros and cons of living in an RV full time:
- Affordable living compared to traditional homes
- Ability to travel and see the country
- Minimalistic lifestyle
- More time spent in nature
- Flexibility to work and play on the go
- Need to frequently move and park your RV
- Limited living space
- Higher maintenance and repair costs
- Sacrifice of some creature comforts
- Need for regular access to electricity, water, and sewer
Quick Tips and Facts
- RV living can be a great way to reduce living expenses while enjoying a mobile lifestyle.
- Many full-time RVers combine travel with seasonal work to cover living costs.
- Costs can be mitigated through the use of boondocking (camping for free on public lands) and by joining clubs such as Passport America or Good Sam.
- Some RVers reduce expenses even further by installing solar panels, using composting toilets, and using low-energy appliances.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost monthly to live in an RV full time?
The costs of RV living can vary widely depending on the type of RV, location of the campsite, amenities offered, and personal lifestyle. However, a rough estimate puts the costs at $2,500 to $10,000 per month.
Is it financially smart to live in an RV?
In general, living in an RV can be financially smart, especially if you love to travel and/or work remotely. Compared to traditional homes, RV living can be significantly cheaper, and you can save money on rent/mortgage payments.
Is full time RV living expensive?
Living in an RV full time can certainly be expensive. You still need to factor in costs such as RV purchase or rental, campsite fees, utilities, food, entertainment, and miscellaneous expenses. However, if you are willing to downsize, minimize your possessions, and live frugally, you can reduce your expenses and make RV living more affordable.
Living in an RV full time can be a wonderful lifestyle choice, but it’s not for everyone. When you take into account all the costs involved, it might be a more financially feasible option for some. Regardless, it's a lifestyle that provides freedom, flexibility, and adventure to those who choose it. If you're still on the fence, it's recommended that you do more research, talk to other full-time RVers, and consider renting an RV to try it out for yourself.
Remember that the cost of living in an RV full time can vary widely depending on the type of RV, park, location, and your personal lifestyle. It's important to create a budget and stick to it. With careful planning, RV living can be a way to live more affordably while enjoying the freedom and adventure of the open road.