The Ultimate Stationary RV Living Cost Guide [2023 Edition]

woman sitting in her RV below a bed

Are you tired of paying high rent for an apartment? Are you looking for an alternative lifestyle that lets you travel wherever you want while enjoying the comforts of home? If you’re considering stationary RV living, this guide is for you! Our team of expert RV enthusiasts at RV Brands™ has put together the ultimate guide to help you determine the cost of stationary RV living and prepare for this unique lifestyle.

Full-Time Stationary RV Living Costs

When it comes to stationary RV living, there are several costs to consider. These costs include:

1. RV Purchase or Rental Cost

The first cost to consider when it comes to stationary RV living is the cost of the RV itself. You can either buy an RV outright, finance it, or rent one. Renting an RV is usually the most expensive option in the long run, but it can be a good option if you’re not sure you want to commit to buying an RV.

2. Campground Fees

If you plan to stay at a campground or RV park, you will need to pay a nightly or monthly fee for your spot. Campground fees vary depending on the location, amenities, and time of year.

3. Utilities

Just like a traditional home, you will need to pay for utilities when living in an RV. These costs include electricity, water, and possibly propane for heating and cooking.

4. Maintenance and Repairs

RVs require regular maintenance and occasional repairs, just like any other vehicle. These costs can vary widely depending on the age and condition of your RV.

5. Insurance

Lastly, you will need to pay for RV insurance to protect your investment. RV insurance can be pricey, so be sure to shop around for the best rates.

Is It Cheaper to Buy an RV and Live in It?

The total cost of living in an RV can vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits. However, in most cases, living in an RV can be cheaper than renting or owning a traditional home. When you live in an RV, you have more control over your expenses, and you can choose to live in areas with a lower cost of living to stretch your budget further.

How to Prepare for Full-Time Stationary RV Living

Preparing for full-time stationary RV living requires more than just buying an RV and hitting the road. Here are some tips for preparing for this unique lifestyle:

1. Downsize

Before moving into an RV, you’ll need to downsize your belongings. RVs have limited storage space, so you’ll need to be strategic about what you keep.

2. Get Organized

Living in an RV requires a certain level of organization. You’ll need to find creative storage solutions to make the most of your space.

3. Plan Your Route

If you plan to travel, it’s a good idea to plan your route ahead of time. This will help you avoid unexpected expenses and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Is It Cheaper to Live in an RV or an Apartment?

I took these for AirBnb, but they’re so pretty

When it comes to comparing the cost of living in an RV vs. an apartment, there are several factors to consider. While RV living can be cheaper in some cases, it’s not always the most cost-effective option. Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros of living in an RV

  • Greater flexibility to travel anywhere
  • Lower overall cost of living, potentially
  • Ultimate freedom
  • Close to nature
  • Smaller living space can be easier to clean

Cons of living in an RV

  • Limited living space
  • Maintenance costs and RV repair
  • Difficulty finding a place to park and live legally
  • You have to purchase an RV

Pros of living in an apartment

  • More space
  • Easier to find and lease than an RV
  • Government protections for tenants
  • More comfortable lifestyle

Cons of living in an apartment

  • High rent prices and associated utilities
  • Limited to one location
  • More strict environment, with leasing regulations and apartment management

Quick Tips and Facts

  • RVs typically get less gas mileage than cars, so plan accordingly for gas costs and trips.
  • Many RVs come with amenities like a shower, toilet, and kitchen, making life easier on the road.
  • Traveling in an RV can allow for more visits with family and friends in the long run.
  • If you’re traveling and working, mobile hotspots are a great way to stay connected without relying on public WiFi.
  • Living in an RV full time requires an adventurous spirit, open-mindedness and the ability to adapt to any situation.

FAQ – Ask the Expert

Is it cheaper to live in an RV than an apartment?

That depends on your lifestyle, budget, and location. In many cases, living in an RV can be more cost-effective than renting or owning a traditional home, but it’s not always the case. Living in an RV requires adapting to a smaller space and potentially making sacrifices in terms of comfort and convenience.

How do I prepare for full-time stationary RV living?

Preparing for full-time stationary RV living requires several steps. Begin by downsizing your belongings, getting organized, and setting a budget. Plan your route and research campgrounds ahead of time to avoid unexpected expenses. Make sure to properly maintain your RV to avoid costly repairs later on.

Is it cheaper to buy an RV and live in it?

In most cases, yes. When living in an RV, you have more control over your expenses and can choose to live in areas with a lower cost of living. However, there are also additional costs associated with RV ownership, including maintenance, repairs, and insurance.


Stationary RV living can be an exciting and affordable alternative to traditional housing. By taking the time to research and prepare, you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of RV living without breaking the bank. Whether you’re considering a life on the road or simply want to downsize and simplify your life, the benefits of stationary RV living are worth exploring.


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