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RVing message boards => Fulltiming => Topic started by: AStravelers on February 21, 2017, 07:49:50 AM

Title: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: AStravelers on February 21, 2017, 07:49:50 AM
Below are two great articles on what it costs to fulltime in an RV from Wheelingit:  http://wheelingit.us/ (http://wheelingit.us/).

Part 1:  http://wheelingit.us/2017/02/09/the-costs-of-fulltime-rving-part-i-budgeting-planning-your-spend/ (http://wheelingit.us/2017/02/09/the-costs-of-fulltime-rving-part-i-budgeting-planning-your-spend/)

Part 2:  http://wheelingit.us/2017/02/16/the-costs-of-fulltime-rving-part-ii-specifics-links/ (http://wheelingit.us/2017/02/16/the-costs-of-fulltime-rving-part-ii-specifics-links/)

The nice thing here, is they don't tell you what "you" will spend, but tell you what they spend and different options and details about what others spend.

Some spend as little as under $1500/month ($30,000/year).  Others upwards of $7500/month ($90,000/year).

Additionally near the bottom of "Part 2" are links to 12 fulltimers who share their monthly expenses.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: SeilerBird on February 21, 2017, 12:43:35 PM
I full timed for ten years on a lot less than $1500 a month.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: herekittykitty on February 22, 2017, 03:29:58 AM
$1500?! I'm on a fixed income ($1100) and would consider that riches.

I believe all that really proves is that living in an RV fulltime is no different than living anywhere else fulltime: you make it work with whatever is available to you.

Maybe that should be our answer the next time a noob asks "What does it cost?": It costs whatever you have and want to spend.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on February 22, 2017, 06:17:08 AM
Quote
you make it work with whatever is available to you.

Good answer!  It's a variant of Parkinson's Law: spending expands to consume the available income. Whether RVing or not.

Seriously, it's a lifestyle question. If you maintain your current lifestyle when you move into an RV, the overall costs will be much the same. If you expand your lifestyle with extensive travel plus more restaurant meals and entertainment expenses (admission fees, tours, etc), then your costs are going to go up. 
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: AStravelers on February 22, 2017, 03:56:09 PM
While it is easy for experienced folks to say I spent $xx and statements like "you spend and travel as the amount of money allows", the does NOTHING to HELP the noobies looking for good info and advice on what it costs to travel fulltime.

It is much nicer and friendlier to proved links to helpful articles like the two I posted in the OP.  The info given there really helps the people who know nothing about traveling in RV's.  The articles and others like them give examples and suggestions on the cost of traveling in an RV. 
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: SeilerBird on February 22, 2017, 04:08:52 PM
It is ridiculous to post articles that claim it costs X amount to full time. Total baloney. You can full time on $200 a month or $30,000 per month.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: AStravelers on February 22, 2017, 04:24:41 PM
It is ridiculous to post articles that claim it costs X amount to full time. Total baloney. You can full time on $200 a month or $30,000 per month.
Is this being intentionally offending to people or wanting to be helpful to people?? 
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: herekittykitty on February 23, 2017, 07:34:10 AM
While it is easy for experienced folks to say I spent $xx and statements like "you spend and travel as the amount of money allows", the does NOTHING to HELP the noobies looking for good info and advice on what it costs to travel fulltime.

I understand your point, because we were all newbies once. And I was one myself, not so very long ago.
I, too, sought the same answers to the question "what does it cost?"

My point was that, in reality, it really DOES cost WHATEVER YOU WANT TO/CAN AFFORD.
Which should be good news!
I mean, if you're thinking of such an alternative lifestyle, you obviously have your reasons. So if you want it badly enough, you WILL make it work, no matter what some click-bait blog post tells you.

To us fulltimers, the question starts to sound like, "How much does it cost to live in an apartment? In a house?"
What the hell??
You have to live somewhere, right?
And in choosing what area of the country to live or travel in, what kind of domicile you desire, and how much you want to pay for housing, food (and yes, gasoline or diesel), you make changes in other areas of your budget.

In other words, just like you're already doing.


Is this being intentionally offending to people...??

Yes, he was. But I say that with affection.  :D
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: herekittykitty on February 23, 2017, 07:46:11 AM
I would like to add that I'm not knocking the original poster who linked these articles - any information you can get is helpful. And the couple behind WheelingIt is one of the best resources you can have.

But do notice that the first two paragraph headings in her article are entitled, "Start By Tracking Your Current Spend" and "Now Tell Me What It Really Costs? Answer: It Varies…!"

Bottom line: If you want to make it work, you will.

Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: SeilerBird on February 23, 2017, 07:54:26 AM
Is this being intentionally offending to people or wanting to be helpful to people??
The article lies and that is intentionally offensive.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: Dragginourbedaround on February 23, 2017, 10:13:14 AM
Below are two great articles on what it costs to fulltime in an RV from Wheelingit:  http://wheelingit.us/ (http://wheelingit.us/).
Thanks for posting. I thought the two articles were informative and the links were to some reputable RVers. I wish I had something like this before we went full-time. RVDream's blog is what sparked our interest five years ago and his spreadsheet was very helpful.
"you make it work with whatever is available to you", is the best answer, but you don't know or understand that until you've taken the leap of faith.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: Gizmo on February 23, 2017, 10:37:17 AM
$1500?! I'm on a fixed income ($1100) and would consider that riches.

I believe all that really proves is that living in an RV fulltime is no different than living anywhere else fulltime: you make it work with whatever is available to you.

Maybe that should be our answer the next time a noob asks "What does it cost?": It costs whatever you have and want to spend.

I agree.  So much depends on the individuals needs and wants.  These "how much it costs to full-time" articles and videos are pointless because how much it costs to live are so dependent on the individual. 
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on February 23, 2017, 10:49:29 AM
Quote
While it is easy for experienced folks to say I spent $xx and statements like "you spend and travel as the amount of money allows", the does NOTHING to HELP the noobies looking for good info and advice on what it costs to travel fulltime.

Sorry you took Kittty's and my responses to be unhelpful, cause that was not the intent. Nor is our advice at odds with the excellent articles that you referenced. The whole point is that there is a wide range of costs that are manageable within almost any budget, and the articles themselves say essentially the same thing.

We all make daily decisions about lifestyle, whether to live in a modest way or high style, or somewhere in-between. You can spend a lot or a little on your RV, choose budget campsites or those with high-rent amenities, eat at home or go out, etc. Your RV may be paid for or financed, which in itself makes a huge difference in budget.

Probably the main difference in fulltime vs part time RV life is that you perhaps can substitute the cost of the RV and rental campsites for the cost of a fixed site home or leased apartment.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: OutdoorFT on February 27, 2017, 12:40:25 AM
For what its worth, its fairly easy to calculate how much you will spend fulltiming. Add your expenses up in your s&b. If you pay cash for your rig, cross off motgage/rent. Food and gas may be higher, but if you owe nothing on your rig, youll be fine. You pay insurance on your vehicle, this wouldnt be much different. Depending on your preferences of internet/tv in your s&b, it may a bit of a change. The biggest hurdle you may be thinking is places to park. This is where it varies. It can range from free to over $100 a night, depending on time/place.

I havent fulltimed, but this is my take on it in my research. I could be wrong, but on paper this is what Ive discovered.

You can choose to live in a 85k house or a 125k house. $600 apartment or $1250 apartment. Its up to you and your comfortable level. I read another forum that has extremely frugal living. Car, van full time living. Living on mere hundreds a month and loving it.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: herekittykitty on February 27, 2017, 05:29:00 AM
For what its worth, its fairly easy to calculate how much you will spend fulltiming. Add your expenses up in your s&b. If you pay cash for your rig, cross off motgage/rent. Food and gas may be higher, but if you owe nothing on your rig, youll be fine. You pay insurance on your vehicle, this wouldnt be much different. Depending on your preferences of internet/tv in your s&b, it may a bit of a change. The biggest hurdle you may be thinking is places to park. This is where it varies. It can range from free to over $100 a night, depending on time/place.

A truly excellent answer: One paragraph and you have it all.

I will add one thing from my experience, and that is that reliable internet access is an expensive headache when compared to what it's like obtaining it in a S&B. I found a way around the highway robbery that is Verizon service through a Jetpack (rent my service from a Verizon business line provider), and that helps with the cost.

On the plus side, because my house is on wheels, I was able to reduce my "rent" to less than $100 a month (in annual maintenance fees) by buying 2 park memberships, and I just drive on down the road (3 whole miles) every 2-3 weeks, between them. Not the way most people envision fulltiming it, but I did the snowbird thing already and I want to stay in one town now, and this lets me do that for a fraction of the cost of what everyone else pays for either a mortgage or rent. Not only is my monthly cost dirt cheap, but electric, water, and sewer are included for that price.

But food...I still don't understand the idea that food will somehow cost more living in an RV. You have a kitchen - use it, just like you did in your S&B.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: OutdoorFT on February 27, 2017, 04:22:29 PM
For food, my reasoning is I buy bulk packs for as much as possible. With some not having enough storage, it may not be doable (fridge/freezer as well). But, that is definitely a personal thing, not a one fits all. Some may prefer eating out more, again that is all personal preference.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: GR 'Scott' Cundiff on February 27, 2017, 04:39:52 PM
I saw a poll elsewhere that suggested that, while the range of expenses was wide, the average expenses of those who responded was around $3000.

I also dislike the "It depends" response but it's easy enough to avoid getting that answer by asking the right question. 

The wrong question is, "How much does it cost to fulltime RV?" 

The right question is, "How much does it cost YOU to fulltime RV?"

If you collect enough responses you start to get a range of numbers to plug in.

Also, I'll mention that I wrote an article some time back about reading other people's budgets.  The main point was that not everyone's budget information is created equal.  It does deal with the "it depends" issues.  http://pastorscott.com/travel/budgeting-tips-for-reading-fulltimers-budgets/ (http://pastorscott.com/travel/budgeting-tips-for-reading-fulltimers-budgets/)
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: Drifterrider on February 28, 2017, 07:39:48 AM
But food...I still don't understand the idea that food will somehow cost more living in an RV. You have a kitchen - use it, just like you did in your S&B.

That would depend on if you are a frequent shopper like I am or a bulk shopper.  I know people with a deep freezer who buy in bulk, on sale.

I shop more frequently (I don't like frozen food) and I have a small (relatively speaking) freezer section of my 'fridge.

When people ask how much it cost they are looking for guidance, not law.  How much do YOU spend monthly on a full hook up site?  What routine maintenance cost, that you would not experience on a fixed structure, do you find you have to plan for?

Maybe they don't know about free/low cost boon docking on BLM lands.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: rvannie23 on February 28, 2017, 10:47:14 AM
I think a lot of people don't consider overnighting vs. monthly stays when they are trying to decide their full time expenses. Staying for four nights at 30-40 a night adds up really fast. If you are a different place every couple nights or weeks, in my opinion, thats going to cost you. Gas, wear and tear on the trailer and tow vehicle, plus hoses etc. All things you have to fix/purchase when they break.

If I went back to renting an apartment from my monthly camper spot right now my cost of living would SOAR. I buy less groceries and just less stuff in general bc my fridge is small and I have less places to store things. I don't know any decent place you could live, with included utilities, for 800 a month, which includes what I pay on my camper+insurance.

Unless you own your home, which I guess a lot of the retired folks do, you're going to be paying rent or a mortgage anyway. If you do it right you're still saving money or perhaps coming out the same with full timing.

I totally agree with the idea that it will cost what you are willing to spend.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: aprs on March 13, 2017, 07:21:30 PM
Save up, squirrel away somewhere between 3-5k$ and don't tap into it but for big ticket expenses only. If you can, keep building it up even if it's only 50$ here and there. You will appreciate it. Then live within your means. You can control campground fees; going monthly or seasonal can save you big $$ but might be at the cost of location. For example, we had to change our plans (radiator on DP gave up the ghost) at the very last min and wintered in N. Florida. Found FHU all inclusive monthly site for less than $550/mo. No cable, wifi, but right on a lake, mostly empty but for the weekends. Hung out and replenished the emergency fund as best we could.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: Free Spirit on April 01, 2017, 09:56:09 AM
Great question with not so great answers. I have been living aboard my boat for almost 25 years and can tell you that most replies about it cost what it costs are pretty accurate but also pretty vague.

You food and entertainment should be the same no matter where you live.
Your cell bill probably wont change
Your car/truck maintenance will probably be roughly the same
Your meds will be the same.

About the only things that will change will be rent/mortgage and gas.
 
If you just live aboard in one place, the only difference will be monthly rent will be between $350 and $500/ month, depending where.
If you are required to pay for electricity, it will probably be a little less than an apt. and a lot less for a house.

If your travel a lot figure about $400-$800/month for transient (overnight) fees which includes some free nights at Walmart and truck stops.
Then figure the additional travel costs of gasoline/diesel while traveling.
Probably additional cost of propane for heater and fridge while on the road
If you have a generator, figure out coat of running it for Heat and AC while 'anchoring out' at Walmart and truck stops.
Also, while traveling, plan for breakdowns of truck and appliances. No logical reason why, but things break down at the most inopportune times.
Traveling can get costly.
These prices will vary with different locations.

My RV experience is very limited and that was almost 15 years ago for a duration of about 1 1/2 years, off and on.
I have, however, been living on my boat for the last 22 or more years and so, that is how I came up with the above conclusions.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: Free Spirit on April 01, 2017, 10:01:11 AM
Oh, I forgot......add in additional costs for doing the 'tourist thing' while traveling. That and eating out can get quite costly.
Soooooooooooooooo.............Just about everyone above is correct in being vague and non-specific in what it costs. It costs whatever you have to spend.
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: camperAL on June 24, 2017, 02:37:48 PM
Hi,

Found this on the web and thought it might add to the how much does it cost question, in order to help people to develop an idea. My costs were less than this so it really depends on how you work things, what you spent on your home on wheels and so forth.

http://heathandalyssa.com/cost-to-travel-america-in-an-rv/
Title: Re: How much does it cost to Fulltime? 2 great articles.
Post by: SMR on June 25, 2017, 07:31:34 AM
Thanks for posting. I thought the two articles were informative and the links were to some reputable RVers. I wish I had something like this before we went full-time. RVDream's blog is what sparked our interest five years ago and his spreadsheet was very helpful.
"you make it work with whatever is available to you", is the best answer, but you don't know or understand that until you've taken the leap of faith.

I also enjoyed the article and found the links helpful - thank you for posting.