One of the most common questions I get about the fulltime RV lifestyle is, “How much does it cost?” The answer is both simple and complex. The simple answer is, “How much you got?”
The fulltime lifestyle does not have to be expensive, but if you’ve got it, you can spend it. We know some fulltimers who are making do on $1,000 a month and we knew one couple who got off the road because they could not live on $5,000 a month. I think the comfortable range is somewhere in between those two extremes.
Like anything in life, you can live frugally in an RV or you can spend a whole lot of money. There is no one budget that fits everybody. By taking advantage of free campgrounds, boondocking, overnight parking at casinos, camping at fairgrounds, volunteering in exchange for an RV site, or workamping you can cut your campground costs down to almost nothing. By eating at home, not traveling all the time, and enjoying simple pleasures, this can be a very economical lifestyle. On the other hand, there are lots of expensive RV resorts, restaurants, and attractions from coast to coast and border to border that are more than happy to take your money if you want to spend it.
Of course, not having RV or car payments goes a long way toward reducing your overall expenses. You don’t have to have the biggest and newest RV in the campground. For over eight years we traveled fulltime in a 1976 MCI bus that we converted ourselves, and the view out the windshield was the same as the folks parked near us in a million dollar Prevost. And guess what? We both pulled up to the same dump station, even if they thought theirs didn’t stink.
For lots of good common sense ideas on living well for less check out my book The Frugal RVer.
I mentioned workamping, and just as there are lots of ways to same money, there are also lots of ways to earn money as you travel, whether you need a fulltime income, need to supplement your funds, or just for some pocket money. For years I have taught a class on working on the road at RV rallies and Life on Wheels, based upon another of my books, Work Your Way Across The USA.
These days a lot of RVers are making good money as gate guards at oil and gas drilling sites, and while it’s not for me, our pals Greg and Jan White really enjoy it. Greg did a seminar on gate guarding at our Gypsy Gathering rallies that was a hit, and he has a good overview of what’s involved in his blog at the Gate Guard Info tab.
As of now, over 165 people have signed up for our free drawing for a personally autographed paperback copy of John and Kathy Huggins’ excellent book So, You Want to be a Full-Time RVer? If you haven’t entered yet, what’s stopping you? It’s free and you could be our lucky winner!
Thought For the Day – I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
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Your Blog is looking more and more like a Sear’s catalog!
Thanks for all the great info Nick, we really appreciate you sharing your knowledge. Also, “thought for the day” is so true….
I loved the Sears catalog as a kid growing up on the farm! All those wonderful things just waiting to be discovered. And I love your blog and all of the information you share with your readers.
Nick thanks for the link to Greg White’s blog about gate guarding. We have heard abut it form others second hand but getting info right from the horses mouth is invaluable.
Just started to read ur blog /posts. Enjoying. We r still a brick and stick. Looking to get an RV soon. We should have been in one few years ago,but needed to move DW’s mother in…
Work camps maybe great way to make extra money but I am not sure if that is possible for Canadians.