The Real Cost Of Living Full-Time In An RV - Tiny House Blog

The Real Cost Of Living Full-Time In An RV

Just as the more commonly accepted THOW forums go there is always that one question that is asked over and over and over so to does the RV community. It usually manifests itself as some version of “How much does it cost per month to live full-time in an RV?”  And as one would imagine there is no standard answer. The answer is highly personal and varies from person to person based upon personal living style and income.

r(E)volutionary disclaimer: We live on the road as an expression of freedom and discovery. We look for places that are either in the sun, near friends and family, or in proximity to a learning opportunity for our daughter. We live without consumer debt and have whittled away our monthly overhead. While I have a corporate day job it is a telecommute position allowing us to be on the road as a relatively young couple with a growing young lady. Our monthly income is consistent and we live on a budget.

From March 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015 part of our budget looked as follows:

30-amp Camp Site Woodsmoke Camping Resort $1,050
Cody’s RV Park $56
Reed Bingham State Park $23
Auto Insurance (truck and trailer) $196
Fuel $379
Propane $46
Utilities $63.47
Laundry $71
Mail/Postage $17
Groceries $375
Eating Out $225
Recreation $107.62
TOTAL $2609.09


No matter what month it is the fixed travel costs remain virtually the same. They are primarily what the above budge is based on. Some months we certainly spend less and other months we go higher. But all in all they are the standards.


I am fortunate in that my company pays for my cell phone. This includes the grandfathered “unlimited” data plan. However reliable that is though we still look for campgrounds and camping sites that offer reliable WiFi and relish in those moment we get to a cafe or a friends house that will allow us to download a movie or two for future watching. Let it be known though that our call phones and our ‘net connection are essential to our livelihood and therefore our lifestyle. My wife does have a Verizon “Pay As You Go” that we purchase minutes for on a semi-regular basis (every four months or so). For a good look at what WiFi on the road may cost though feel free to check out the expenses of Technomadia.


We maintain an RV policy and a truck policy with Progressive. We have been with them in some way for almost 8 years. Our cost for RV insurance is $299/year and our truck policy (for a 2014 Ford F250 Super Duty Crew Cab) is $374/year. We are registered and insured in the state of North Carolina which is our “home” state.


We are fortunate in that our health insurance is a benefit of my corporate job. We are with Cigna and all three of us have full coverage including dental and vision. Our deductible has become increasingly higher since 2012 and we are now at a Silver plan which gives us a $5000 deductible each. Our prescription plan is less than stellar and we maintain our insurance primarily for our daughter and for unforseen medical circumstances. While on the road though we typically see an Urgent Care physician which costs $35/visit. We currently pay $430/month for health insurance.


Just as a mortgage might be this is the largest expense we incur. It is also the most important though. The biggest difference is that we don’t pay rent on our land in North Carolina. It is paid for and other than a very small yearly, personal property tax, is little liability. Lot rent is the payment we make to a campground, state park, city park, etc. to park our travel trailer, have access to water, electricity, and (more times than not) sewage, and parking for our truck. Most spots we choose also come with room for our daughter to play, us to have a small patio area, WiFi, and access to a number of campground amenities including a swimming pool, jacuzzi, shuffleboard, basketball court, playground, etc. So unlike personal home rent or mortgage payments our lot rent gives us exposure to a community of people who are like minded and love to live life to the fullest!


Propane allows us to run the furnace, cook, and (if we choose) have hot water. We try to use it sparingly by cooking outdoors on the grill, wearing ample clothing during cold seasons, and use campground showers when possible (and inviting enough.) Filling our propane is easy enough as a number of RV resorts offer on-site fill or contract a company to fill your tanks on-site. You can also exchange tanks or fill them at truck stops like Flying J, Loves, and others. The average in most states is $22 for exchange and $18 for a refill of a 10lb. tank.


This is a basic charge (per Kwh) for electricity on site. In our travel trailer we use standard grid electricity for interior lights, exterior lights, our television, our computer and devices, and our coffee pot. We have made an effort to reduce this expense though by changing all of our lights to LED bulbs and getting a low watt coffee pot.


The average cost we run in to is $1.75/load for washing and $1.25/load for drying. Most campgrounds have low-end but decent enough washers and dryers and you hardly ever have to run a load multiple time. It is important to note that many campgrounds and parks will not let you hang clotheslines so you can’t depend on that as a way to reduce expenses.


I love sending hand written postcards and letters and do quite frequently. We also send the occasional gift and in the course of the month spend a little over $10 to do so.


We try our hardest with this aspect of our budget. We like to eat fresh, healthy, and regional so we try to visit farmers markets and local farms/ranches/dairies when possible. We also buy bulk items at CostCo, Fresh Market, etc. in order to keep staples on hand and get the most for our money. However, with a 3-year old we go through a lot of milk (at $4.85/gallon or so), snack foods, apples, and nuts. Have you seen the price of pistachios lately? One things we do splurge on is typically meats (we like good, grass fed beef), beer, and ice cream. Even life on the road doesn’t have to be sparse.


Our recreation expenses are all over the place. There is no right or wrong, black or white, night or day. Some months it covers a movie rental or two while others it serves as admission into a children’s museum. This past month it paid our way into 3 different state parks, an iTunes album, 2 television episodes, a fishing road and fishing license, and some craft supplies for my daughter.

Count Pennies

Living on the road seems like such a great way to live simply and spare spending money. The truth is it can be every bit as expensive as living in a sticks ‘n bricks and unless you prepare for it and keep track of your budget you could just as easily fall prey to bankruptcy as you could in a brick colonial in Anytown, USA.

By Andrew M. Odom for the [Tiny House Blog]

cost of RV living

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Joe - April 22, 2015 Reply

That’s a pretty big size nut for living in an RV. $1100 for the month for lot rent seems rather against the tenets of tiny house living which seeks to reduce your overhead. Throw in laundry and utils cost and you’re about $1300/month. I can lease a darn nice house around here for a lot less. One other thing I’m confused about is you say you pay $600/year for auto/trailer insurance and then your monthly budget is $196. That doesn’t add up.

    Andrew M. Odom - April 22, 2015 Reply

    It is a large chunk, yes. You would have to read my full story ( to understand the basis of this post. Not every month is the same. But that is the reality. Some campgrounds/parks/villages/resorts are more expensive than others. We treat ourselves for 3 months a year by living in SW Florida where it is sunny and warm rather than endure the winter other locations have. I would guarantee you that if you chose to do the same you would find identical costs. And no, I wouldn’t say it is against the tenets because it is only by choice that we are able to escape in such a way. We have the choice to appropriate our money each month as we like because we aren’t saddled to debt be it consumer, mortgage, personal loan, etc. You are right Joe. You can lease a darn nice house in a lot of places and that is your choice to do so if you are financially free to do so.

    As for the budget discretion please note that we differentiate between fixed expenses and monthly expenses. To quote myself: “No matter what month it is the fixed travel costs remain virtually the same. They are primarily what the above budge is based on.” We pay our insurance in full every 6 months. We do not pay monthly so it doesn’t fall into our monthly expense category.

      John LeJeune - April 22, 2015 Reply

      I have never had to pay over $475.00 a month (lowest was 375), most times at Casino RV lots, and have been in Louisiana, Illinois, and Oklahoma. The 475 had a private pool and BBQ restaurant. But than again, I don’t look for the higher end RV lot rentals.

      oxide - April 24, 2015 Reply

      “We pay our insurance in full every 6 months. We do not pay monthly so it doesn’t fall into our monthly expense category.”

      That sounds pretty misleading. Or did I miss something?

      And there’s a saying about full-time work at home: If you can do your job on your computer from your home in [an RV], than Apu can do your job on HIS computer in Mumbai, at 1/10 the pay and no pesky benefits.

        Andrew M. Odom - April 24, 2015 Reply

        Because we pay our insurance in one lump sum it is not a monthly expense. I only listed monthly expenses.

        And I will not validate your Apu comment as I find it very condescending and racially charged.

      Thomas Lappin - January 2, 2016 Reply

      I ran across your post during my search for RV cost of living. I just recently semi-retired at 48 and was wondering what this lifestyle would cost. I’m always amused (read frustrated) by how many readers make critical comments about other people’s decisions on how to spend their money. “You pay $1100 for space rent? I boondock in a slaughter house parking lot with a view of a brick wall for free!” or “You spend money on fancy craft beer? I only drink grain alcohol mixed with Capri Sun, or I’ve sober since 1989, you need to meet Bill W.” Myself, I want freedom that’s why I chose to change my lifestyle. That said, I like being near a beach. I like “resort” style living with a pool and a jacuzzi. I love eating in great restaurants. I appreciate you breaking this down in a realistic way, its given me some food for thought.

    Toni Doyle - June 18, 2016 Reply

    Thank you for giving me some ideas. I am interested in going on long trips, and or living in an rv. Of course different lifestyles change the amounts of money. But, do you think a single person, in a realistically priced trailer, with a decent size truck, and doesn’t require a lot of entertainment and food, do you think I could make it? I am but a modest lady wanting to travel some. I appreciate your advice. Thank you.

    gertpacu - August 1, 2016 Reply

    I was about to say the same thing. 2,500 is way too much. I was hoping with discount plans to be able to hit the road with about $400k, paid for Truck and 5th wheel and spend about $1000 a month. Just leaving the cash in a normal retirement plan which would return about $700 a month (grandpa is on something similar at the moment) and Social Security (if still available) should be a couple hundred more. Figured out of my pocket I would be spending about $300 – $400 of my own money per month. That would last me pretty much forever and a lot left over for nephews and nieces.

    I am single (staying single forever) with no children. So it will be just myself and a small dog & cat. Maybe just a cat. Not sure on the dog thing yet.

      Mark L - August 16, 2016 Reply

      You could invest some of that chunk in closed end funds that pay 7-10% dividends to boost your monthly income.

    winzip download gratis - April 30, 2019 Reply

    This actually answered my downside, thanks!

    Hairstyles - January 5, 2020 Reply

    One thing I would like to say is that before purchasing more computer system memory, have a look at the machine in which it is installed. In the event the machine will be running Windows XP, for instance, a memory limit is 3.25GB. Putting in above this would easily constitute a waste. Be sure that one’s mother board can handle this upgrade volume, as well. Great blog post.

    Domenic Tafuri - July 20, 2020 Reply

    Your blog is one of a kind, i love the way you organize the topics.:)

Walker - April 22, 2015 Reply

I’m fortunate to have a family farm to park my RV, that savings is everything. I can easily get by on $500 a month here, winter a little more with propane. But if you need to pay for the lot it can be pricey and almost not worth it. Good for you for doing it by the book though

Danny Helfen - April 22, 2015 Reply

Thank you very much for outlining your expenses for us. I am looking into trying out the nomadic life sometime and it would be nice to have a base line idea of what it would cost. Our jobs are not nomadic in nature so it would not be as involved as your excursion is.

Cherie @Technomadia - April 22, 2015 Reply

Love when other RVers share their monthly costs to help folks see just how diverse it can be out here.

We’re actually doing our next live video chat on this topic, more info at:

Thanks for the shoutout too on internet costs 🙂

    Andrew M. Odom - April 22, 2015 Reply

    As you probably know Cherie you and Chris have been an inspiration of ours for a couple of years now. Our desire to share our budget came from y’all, the Wynns, and the Snows being transparent about budget. From the tiny house world, thank you!

jerry teel - April 22, 2015 Reply

who do you have your truck insured with. i live in nc and pay way more than that for lesser truck and no claims in 30 yrs. my other truck is ten yrs old and just liability is way more than that. thanks jerry.

    Andrew M. Odom - April 22, 2015 Reply

    We are with Progressive Insurance. It helps that we have been with them for 10 years now through various vehicles, have no traffic infractions, and have not once relied on our deductible. Other than that though Jerry (which is comparable to your history) I don’t know. We don’t use an agent but rather deal directly with the insurance company, we are a one-car household, and keep low miles (by their standards).

      Jay - April 22, 2015 Reply

      With regard to insurance costs, I know it can make a difference where you live within your home state. I live in a city known for high insurance costs and if I lived a 10, 20, or 30 minute drive to the west, my rates might be a lot lower.

    arizona - July 19, 2019 Reply

    Try travelers insurance, i was paying 485 for 6 months and now only pay 373 FOR A YEAR, they are stupid cheap!!

M Webb - April 22, 2015 Reply

Your personal diary of events and budget is not uncommon. However me and my husband lived in North Eastern Utah in a new RV park for only $350 month, which included ALL utilities except our propane. We also renovated a used 35 ft fifth wheel becasue we did not want to be in debt. We also stayed on a budget and never had the expense you all did. We to own land but voted to stay in town at an RV park. I can tell you from experience our total expenses were not over $600 and this includes most of your list.

So , no if your wanting to live in a newer RV and have a newer vehicle to look the part then yes your spending as much as if you bought a house. But it really comes down to being a bit more free to move around. That is it!

Debbie C - April 22, 2015 Reply

I’d like to ask what they do “during the winter”…or do they go to FL or AZ??

    Andrew M. Odom - April 22, 2015 Reply

    This past year we did just that Debbie. We headed to SW Florida and subsequently loved every second.

Peter - April 22, 2015 Reply

I appreciate your candor here. $2609…. if it were 12 months of the year is $31,300 post tax dollars… So you’d need to factor in pretax earnings of about $38,000.

Some would argue that you don’t pay the lot rents every year… However, you also didn’t buy any clothes nor do any major repairs/maintenance on the trailer, truck, tiny house… nor any medical expenses (even if it’s just copays and prescriptions). So let’s just go with the numbers at 12 months and say that it all evens out.

That’s someone working full time at $20 an hour w/ good benefits and a paid off truck and trailer, to afford the lifestyle.

Thanks for putting it in true perspective.
I really appreciate that kind of honesty!

John Lavery - April 23, 2015 Reply

I thought it would be a great idea for 10-12 people from different parts of the country to buy a small, scenic piece of property, install 2-3 pads with electrical/septic hook ups and start a vacation club, members only. Your thoughts?

    Andrew M. Odom - April 23, 2015 Reply

    No real need to reinvent the wheel as there are Harvest Host spots, Travel Trails, etc. that already exist and are essentially timeshare for RVers.

    LINDA STMARY - February 9, 2017 Reply

    i had the same idea, and i am willing to invest and become partner in such an adventure, but would be nicer to have 15 to 20 spots, we could go over costs , find a place not farther than 35 to 40 min from a city center with ammenities, resturaunts, shopping & movie theatre, i live in s. florida and theres alot of land for sale out west, and not too far from everything, i had an idea to do a shipping container homesite, doing the same thing, same idea,,, its hard to find like minded people wanting to co-exist but the living expenses would be so low, commpared to a house and great for retirees that do not have alot of savings,, we could be a community helping each other out, i am all for that idea. would have to get plans and find out from the building departments what we can do or cant do..

sondra - April 23, 2015 Reply

I think a lot of expenses could be eliminated for sure. Dr electric you could easily convert to solar power. Solar panels can be quite inexpensive. The batteries for charging can be costly to purchase but in the long run will save thousands of dollars with solar. You can still hang dry your clothes on hangers in your rv. As far as washing, if you are at a park that provides water/sewage you could easily put in a portable all in one HE washer dryer. May cost around $800-$1200 but again will save $$$ in the long run. Stop eating out. It substandard food anyway and isn’t good for you. If you are all in the rv together on a regular basis, eliminate a phone. There no need for 2phones. If you are writing several letters in a week,unless it’s an emergency, you could have much news to share. I for one would rather have a portable internet connection. That would probably be one of my biggest expenses. Just some suggestions that may cost a bit in the beginning but will end up being the best purchases to save you money over a long period of time.

    Andrew M. Odom - April 23, 2015 Reply

    You are absolutely right Sondra although we are not at all looking to eliminate many of our expenses. About the only thing we are anxious to do is convert more to solar so we can boondock more in some of our natural parks. Our TT does not have any extra room for hanging clothes or a washer/dryer. We are a family of 3 (the third being a toddler) in 27′. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room, so to speak. As for eating out. Be careful what you say. Eating out is not synonymous with McDonalds and in our case involves some incredible farm-to-table establishments, seafood eats on the waterfront, etc. It is something we enjoy as a family and not something we are looking to cut back on. Your recommendations will surely be helpful to some though. Thank you.

      Roberto Luna - April 6, 2018 Reply

      I don’t quite understand why anyone regardless of available resources, would not want to cut costs. Even as a service to other RVers to collectively help lower costs for all. I hope your remote job doesn’t involve profit and expense decisions. I’m sixty years old retired Accountant and on SS Disability for a missing limb. I work part time although I’m not working currently. My home recently burned down so I’ve got about $12,000 in the bank. I saw a 2007 Denali Camper for $8,000 in great shape. the very best I can rent a one bedroom apartment for is about $800 plus utilities. I’m sure I can beat that RVing. My only problem is getting a 3/4 ton pick up to pull the camper. It’s tandem axle but not sure about the weight. I probably wouldn’t be moving but once maybe twice per year. It might be less expensive to rent a truck to move the Camper rather than buying one.

Abby Jensen - April 23, 2015 Reply

Thanks for explaining all of your expenses! While part of living in an RV is saving some money, the other part is that you get to live the lifestyle that you want to live, and that’s priceless. Surely people could live in an RV for half the cost that you do, but they would probably be staying in less than ideal locations and situations.

    Andrew M. Odom - April 23, 2015 Reply

    You hit the nail on the head Abby. …”the lifestyle that you want to live” and for us that means chasing the sun. We often laugh and say, “if we have to put on pants we missed a turn somewhere.” HAHAHAH!!!!

      Chocolatmarie - September 6, 2016 Reply

      I love that saying!

Larry - April 23, 2015 Reply

Wow. The lots in SW Florida must be insanely high. We have brand new real nice RV Parks in East Texas with carports, storage buildings etc. that will only cost you about $350 per month. And there are several pretty good parks coming in at $250 around here. You might consider East Texas a few months a year just to pocket some serious cash. My wife and I have talked about this kind of living on and off for a while. Our expenses living in a duplex is about $400 less than yours right now. And our utilities are $350-$400 a month. But, we are considering trying to purchase a lot instead of traveling around. That’s great freedom. Kudos! I worked for 11 years in the corporate world. I never did find a company that brought into the telecommute thing for more than 2-3 days at a time without coming into the office.

Larry - April 23, 2015 Reply

Wow. The lots in SW Florida must be insanely high. We have brand new real nice RV Parks in East Texas with carports, storage buildings etc. that will only cost you about $350 per month. And there are several pretty good parks coming in at $250 around here. You might consider East Texas a few months a year just to pocket some serious cash. My wife and I have talked about this kind of living on and off for a while. Our expenses living in a duplex is about $400 less than yours right now. And our utilities are $350-$400 a month. But, we are considering trying to purchase a lot instead of traveling around. That’s great freedom. Kudos! I worked for 11 years in the corporate world. I never did find a company that bought into the telecommute thing for more than 2-3 days at a time without coming into the office.

Valerie - April 23, 2015 Reply

I boondock often. The campground near my home town is $27 per night when I decide to stay there for a few days a month. I put $20 a week in the tank. My RV insurance is $189 every six months. Since my husband passed away I am eligible for food assistance (which I am very grateful for). My next “big” purchase is going to be replacing my tablet that recently broke – about $200. I live very comfortably on $700 a month.

    Taimy - July 22, 2016 Reply

    Can I ask in which state you live in? As a single mom I am looking for alternatives for a cheaper housing. I live in South Florida now but I will love to move more north even outside FL.


      Andrew M. Odom - July 22, 2016 Reply

      The post you are replying to is over a year old Taimy. Personally I live in eastern NC.

cindy - April 23, 2015 Reply

That was very nice of you to list your expenses like that. Many of us appreciate it. As you mentioned, this is your lifestyle choice. Personally, I think it is a great one. I don’t get why some other posts are trying to compare it with monthly expenses for owning a home. You and your family are living the life you want. Good for you. You are open and honest. After reviewing your expense sheet, it is my opinion that you and your family are living a frugal lifestyle compared to most of us. I love the simplicity of your life without the baggage of all the stuff. Blessing to you and yours!

    Andrew M. Odom - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Thank you so much Cindy. We do own a home. It just happens to be highly aluminum and on axles. It is very much our home though and whatever we spend a month is our monthly expenses like any sticks ‘n bricks family would have. Thank you so much for your kind words and support. Blessings to you as well!

Karen - April 23, 2015 Reply

What an adventurous way to live! I would love to take a six month camping-all-over vacation, but living that way wouldn’t be for me. Anyway, I wish you’d add one more bill-life insurance. I love postcards too. Handwritten letters or notes are rare today, and such a pleasure to receive! Happy Trails to your family!

    Andrew M. Odom - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Our life insurance is pre-taxed and part of our gross pay and not net so it is not really an expense, per se. We are contemplating secondary life though so it may show up soon Karen.

Annie - April 23, 2015 Reply

thank you so much for taking the time to itemize a month of expenses! I have considered this lifestyle thinking it may reduce my expenses but my monthly expenses are 2300 in a stick built home. :-/ back to the drawing board ????

    Andrew M. Odom - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Remember Annie. This is my families expenses. It is not meant to be “the be all that ends all” or the average monthly expense for nomadic living. Not to mention this is from the “winter months” wherein we splurge and stay at an RV resort in SW Florida where prices are premium because of snowbirding. Do some searching around on sites like Technomadia and Gone With The Wynns or even the Snowmads to see examples of other working budgets.

Laura - April 23, 2015 Reply

Thank you for sharing. Considering doing this and need to know the range of expenses and what is realistic.

    Andrew M. Odom - April 23, 2015 Reply

    There are so many variances Laura that rely on your personal situation(s). I am happy to share it but I would only use it as a tool to get started with your own budget and adventure.

      Robyn - April 23, 2015 Reply

      thanks for sharing your info. my husband and I are contemplating hitting the road and your info gives us a glimpse of cost. I also appreciate your sharing the other sites to gain others info. Do you know of any sites that share info on campgrounds they have liked. Our dream is to be waterfront and warm during the winter.

        Andrew M. Odom - April 23, 2015 Reply

        There are a ton of online resources Robyn. Start with and go from there.

Mike Wofsey - April 23, 2015 Reply

Andrew, that was an interesting blog entry, because it gives a snapshot of what’s important to your family, you seem to have a good balance between enjoying your life and maintaining your expenses. But the part that really grabbed me about this post was that it reminded me of George Orwell’s “Road to Wigan’s Pier” in that you outlined your expenses. If you get a chance, please have a look at that book (it’s available for free on the internet) and read the part where he reports on the expenditures of different coal miners in the early 1900s Northern England. We’ve all become wealthier, but even after all that time, nothing has really changed, we still make choices to in our lifestyles and our spending choices may be one of the purest epressions of who we are and choose to be.

I read your blog religiously. You do an excellent job with it.

    Andrew M. Odom - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Thank you so much for the book recommendation Mike. I just downloaded it on my iPad. Looking forward to it. Thank you for your loyal readership. I truly appreciate it Mike!

Hollymaren - April 23, 2015 Reply

Thank you for sharing this. I think there is a misunderstanding by some that tiny means cheap.
For some of us the goal is to scale down and simplify our lives. Adding a few splurges and upgrades is just fine.
I think that many are also overlooking the value of travel and the experience it adds to our lives. That is worth so much.

Lorna - April 24, 2015 Reply

I live in a work-in-progress (WIP) self-converted schoolbus
(40 ft). I live for FAR less. For starters, I currently pay $425/mo for a 30 amp site with full hookups and cable/wifi and I figure I will not pay more than $500/mo. I don’t tend to stay in “resorts” either. While traveling stays in parking lots (overnight), low cost or free public parks and half price Passport America private parks keeps my site rental down. The difference ends up in the fuel tank. You can live cheap in an RV or you can live expensive. Just like in a house. I do know that it is slightly cheaper for me to live in the RV than it was in my last house… and I have no yard to mow. I run into people who can’t live on less than $5K per month and folks who live quite well on $1K per month. Most folks fall somewhere in the middle. I will tell you that it is difficult to live fulltime in an RV (traveling fulltime) and have debt.

tiny - April 24, 2015 Reply

You do laundry 23 times a month?

    Andrew M. Odom - April 24, 2015 Reply

    23 loads. This includes both washing loads and drying loads and it just so happens that at during this time a wash cycle costs the same as a dry cycle.

MJ - April 24, 2015 Reply

Just so everyone doesn’t get the idea that all RV parks in SW Florida are that expensive. We have been living in our paid for RV TT which is 30′, and 4 yrs.old, for 4 yrs. in Central, and SW Florida which is where we currently are, we have never paid that high for monthly fees with or without electric included. The most we have ever paid is $400 a month, which is almost what we pay now. And in the area we are in this is the most expensive park. It is very rural here which is what we choose to do also, as our “little” girl who lives with us is in college locally. Our monthly expenses are well under $1000 a month. And that includes, satellite and internet, and food. So there are alot of options in SW Florida that are alot cheaper. When you have a college student you make different choices. The cost is very high there. It is all about where you choose to park your RV, and what amenities are important to you.

Rob - April 26, 2015 Reply

Here in Comitan, Chiapas, Mexico we pay $235 for our small house. Includes utilies and internet (not cooking gas though so a extra 20 a month for that). No car needed and buses are 40 cents and taxis are $2.50. Doctor house calls 20 bucks.

ashley - April 28, 2015 Reply

We FT and are currently in Wa. We have varying rates of 475 to 575 (winter/summer rates) .
But I am sure you know, so this is more for others who are looking into the lifestyle that often times getting a thousand trails or RPI membership cuts costs tremendously while traveling. So good to check out all avenues! You could really do this on any dollar amount as you mentioned cause there are a lot of workkamping positions. I heard of a guy doing it for $700 a month. If it’s your dream go for it!

On another note thank you for posting this i was beginning to feel like a scrooge with my budget but it sounds like we’re pretty on par!

Pat - May 27, 2015 Reply

Hi, Andrew.

I just found your post as I was scrolling through to catch up. About your monthly rv rent–here in the Washington, NC area of Eastern NC, the rates are comparable to what you are paying for nice rv parks. One lists rates of about $300 a week “in season,” with “off season” about $200 a week. The other is higher at about $400 a week “in-season.” The cost is less for a year-long lease. The higher-cost park is gated and offers plenty of amenities, similar to what you list–it’s a really nice park that I would happily live in! So I think your costs are average for what you’re getting. Both parks are on deep streams that feed into the Pamlico River and on to the coast The nearby State park costs less but offers much less.

It’s warming up here in Eastern NC if you decide to come back to the area for a bit. We are already in the upper 80s during the day, so bring a fan!

Have safe travels.

Pat in Blounts Creek

Jan & Paul Cottom - November 18, 2015 Reply

Hi, We do not know you guys but we are going to living in an RV soon also. We have
done it before and look forward to doing it
again to get someplace warm instead of going
through another winter in the Upper Peninsula!!!
Paul & Jan

Raye - December 28, 2015 Reply

I really appreciate you sharing your budget. I’m currently paying $600 per month for a non-resort, off-season campground in North Carolina, so I don’t think your choice is outrageous at all. Hopefully by next winter I will be a real snowbird – sold my house, but still working for now.

We're the Russos - January 18, 2016 Reply

Hi Andrew. Had a lot of fun reading through your post as we also keep track and share our expenses as full time RVers. We started paying for health insurance out of our own pockets this year and it hurts to see it on the expense sheet.

    Andrew M. Odom - January 21, 2016 Reply

    Thank you so much for the read. Luckily our insurance is partially covered by my employer. Even still, the monthly deductible is….OUCH!

Cost of Full Time RV Living With a Family - Gypsy Jema - February 23, 2016 Reply

[…] Tiny House Blog […]

Donny - April 17, 2016 Reply

My only issue with this article is the title “The real costs” which implies that you are about to tell us that full time RVing is not as cheap as some people might think. Instead you provided your expenses which I would speculate are much higher than the average. As a number of people mentioned your lot rent is perhaps two to three times higher than the typical rent.

People approach RVing from different perspectives. Many people are initially drawn to the idea for financial reasons and may get the wrong impression from some of the numbers in this article. Others are motivated for different reasons and not necessarily finances.

Nice article.

Julie - May 8, 2016 Reply

I was surprised at the cost of insurance but then saw it is a Travel Trailer. Motorhomes are rather more expensive. As far as lot costs, we would/could not justify that as retirees. We pay $500.00/mo which includes water and electric in Denton TX., and traveling will require a fair amount of research as so many parks are above what many of us travelers can afford.

Taimy - July 21, 2016 Reply

I was looking for an alternative to rent, which is pretty expensive nowadays and as a single mom I am struggling but this option is not a cheap one. $1,050 a month to rent a lot is too much for me. 🙁

Rachel@Tidy&Teal - September 10, 2016 Reply

Thanks for this breakdown! I think it’s awesome that y’all do this. I would like for my husband and I to try out the RV life at some point. I think it would be a great adventure ha. Also wanted to let you know that I wrote a post on my blog on Low Cost Housing Options and I linked to your post here. Thanks for the tips!

– – Rachel @ Tidy&Teal
P.S. Here is the link if you want to check out the post! Thanks! 🙂

Wally McGaughey - November 23, 2016 Reply

How did you pick your home state. We currently reside in OK but not sure that will be home base. Is there anything we should look for to determine home state?

The Costs Of Fulltime RVing (Part II) – Specifics & Links – Wheeling It - February 17, 2017 Reply

[…] Tiny House Blog – Andrew shared his expenses for his family of three. Total was $2,600/mo for everything. […]

scooter dealers - March 18, 2018 Reply

I really enjoy this site and blog. Not only are the articles helpful, but the comment strings are too. Thanks for sharing!

Monica - March 29, 2018 Reply

Oh My Goodness THANK YOU!!!! My husband and I are about a year out from retirement and I’ve been on the lookout for what to budget for. This had given us a GREAT starting point. Next on the list… To Drive or to Tow (I’m leaning towards driving), Now THAT is a question!! Thank you again!

Bloggin Brandi - June 27, 2018 Reply

This is such great info and good to know the numbers. It sounds like it depends on the size of the Rv and where you are staying. I stayed at an RV park for a month for $500 in Florida all utilities included. I had a travel trailer at the time. I also have noticed on the fees at some parks charge large class A motorhomes additional fees. So much to learn! Trying to go full time soon. 🙂

Cheap RV Rentals Listings - UPDATED - What To Ask The Dealer - October 26, 2018 Reply

[…] do not allow the beauty you may see deceive you. Some things may be beautiful but faulty. So, do as full time RVers and pay attention to details such […]

Tyler Johnson - May 10, 2019 Reply

That’s cool that most spots that you could stay at would have things like wifi and running water and things like that. I think it would be cool to stay in an RV for a while, but I would definitely moss some of the comforts that come with a house. If you can get most of them in an RV park, I’ll have to consider spending some time at one this summer.

Brendan Shelton - September 5, 2019 Reply

$299/year is actually much lower than I was expecting for RV insurance! My family and I want to spend more time in the outdoors and on the road next year. I’m trying to plan out how much it will cost to do all this traveling and where to go so I’ll keep your article in mind.

David Norriss - November 4, 2019 Reply

I love how you mentioned that with renting a place to park your RV you are getting exposed to a whole community of people that are all like-minded. This could be a huge benefit to anyone who wants to live in a strong community and not have to deal with house maintenance. Thanks for explaining why living in an RV park is actually pretty awesome.

Tristan Stewart - December 5, 2019 Reply

I appreciate you giving a dollar amount that I can use to determine how much to budget for insurance. My kids and I want to start camping over the weekends but I don’t want to sleep in a tent. I think that getting a nice RV would be really fun for my family and we could make a lot of memories together.

Dylan Peterson - December 11, 2019 Reply

It’s good to know that your largest expense for living in an RV is going to be campsites. My brother has been telling me about how he wants to live in an RV next summer, and he wants to know how much it will cost. I’ll share this information with him so that he can look into his options for RV parks that can help him with this.

George - December 26, 2019 Reply

Wow, I have always wondered how you guys lived full time.
Thanks for sharing!

Jarom Linton - March 10, 2020 Reply

It’s a great point that you need to get insurance for your RV because that can be something to easily forget. My wife and I are trying to get an RV so that we can travel around the country for a few years. I think it’s smart to think about all the hidden costs that we are going to need to pay for when getting an RV.

Bryson Owens - September 14, 2020 Reply

It’s interesting to learn that you budget around $400 a month for fuel in your RV. My spouse and I are thinking about getting an RV soon so that we can travel more. We both work from home so we need to find a way to get reliable internet while on the road.

Taylor Anderson - September 18, 2020 Reply

One of my old friends mentioned that he’d be interested in living in an RV park. I love how you pointed out the with an RV, you can try the local produce of the places you visit. Thanks for an informative look into what it would be like to live in an RV full-time.

RV Roof Magic - May 18, 2021 Reply

It is quite an interesting idea to live fully in the RV, but I was wondering how to do proper disposals daily because it is a hectic exercise.

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