The Cost of RV Living – May 2016 Budget Results

During the entire month of April we were visiting our hometown. We spent zero dollars on camping and picked up a few gigs for extra cash. It was easy to fall back into the complacency of stationary life. I hate to admit it, but April was the first month we didn’t track our budget.

When May rolled around we eased back into nomadic life and began living by our budget. The “month to month” comparisons will use our last recorded month of March.

Our focus for the summer is free camping. And, this is no easy task when traveling east of the Mississippi River. We also need to keep our monthly food budget under control, as it has been a challenge during the previous months. The results for May were positive. Barring a few unexpected mechanical repairs, we kept the spending under control.

Here’s the breakdown:

Camping Fees

We driveway surfed the first week of May. Departing our hometown on the 8th, we camped at 9 locations throughout the month – totaling 16 nights of free camping, 7 nights of dry camping, 5 nights using Passport America, and 8 nights with full hookups.

Our “daily camping fee average” was boosted due to a few nights of expensive camping. We attended a molded fiberglass camper rally for three nights. The RV Park was nice, but paying $35/night is not our normal routine. Also, due to truck repairs, we had to renew a Passport America park reservation for one night at the full rate of $30/night.

  • Total Camping Fees: $288 ($305/previous month)
  • Daily Average: $9.29 ($9.84/previous month)

Food Expenses

We spent very little on food during the first week of the month due to friends & family treating us to wonderful homemade meals. As we began to travel, we kept our food expenses in line and only “ate out” once.

We eat a vegetarian diet, buying mostly beans, rice, fruit, eggs, and fresh veggies. We’re also trying to cut down our dairy consumption and expect this to make us feel better and save some money.

  • Total Food Expenses: $347 ($585/previous month)
  • Daily Average: $11.19 ($18.87/previous month)

Gas Expenses

We hate seeing gas prices rising, but its a summertime tradition.

Our monthly travels took us from Fairhope, Alabama to Bloomington, Indiana with a few zig zags in between. We towed the camper just over 1000 miles and did a fair amount of “in town” driving during the stops. Towards the end of the month we began running our generator frequently, and purchased five gallons of gas for it.

  • Total Gas Expenses: $287 ($295/previous month)
  • Daily Gas Average: $9.26 ($9.52/previous month)

Truck & RV Maintenance Expenses

During May we focused on fixing a few RV issues and prepping the truck to get back on the road. We also spent a few bucks on oil and materials for our generator.

While we were in Hiawassee, Georgia we found a small coolant leak in a sensor. This repair set us back $85.

  • Total Maintenance Expenses: $214 ($0/previous month)
  • Daily Average: $6.90 ($0/previous month)

Other Expenses

This section includes smaller expenses like laundry, city parking, post cards, dog treats and knickknacks. Regarding dog food; if we buy it during a grocery shopping trip well lump it into “food expenses” – if we make a special trip just for dog food, it will fall into “other expenses”. I know, it doesn’t make much sense, but it all gets tracked in the end.

  • Total Other Expenses: $112 ($114/previous month)
  • Daily Average: $3.61 ($3.68/previous month)

The Monthly Cost of RV Living

We’re pleased with our May results. Every section, with the exception of Maintenance, we beat compared to the previous month. We’ll focus on continued campground savings in June.

After the “May Living Expenses” line, you’ll notice the “Fixed Expenses” line. Fixed Expenses is the combination of our unchanging monthly bills – insurance, internet, cell, credit card, and subscription services.

  • Total May Living Expenses: $1248 ($1299/previous month)
  • Total Monthly Fixed Expenses: $400
  • The Total Cost of May RV Living: $1648 ($1699/previous month)
  • Daily Average: $53.16 ($54.81/previous month)

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3 thoughts on “The Cost of RV Living – May 2016 Budget Results

  1. Awesome job you guys! Thanks for sharing your numbers. It’s really useful to see what others spend, and come up against while on the road. We live full-time in our Airstream now but won’t actually start traveling until next year and I want to be prepared.

    Quick note. We eat a diet very similar to yours. I recently realized I have a dairy allergy so we’ve cut that out of our home meals. Now my husband only eats it when we go out (not often). He doesn’t feel very well the next day either. I would say definitely go for it! I think it helped our health, and our wallet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We feel it’s important to give perspective to our lifestyle even though others can do it for less or have the means to be a little more lenient with their budget it’s an honest representation of how we live. We have gone without dairy for about 3 weeks now and we feel great! It’s really nice to save on our grocery expenses too!

      Liked by 1 person

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