By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
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:
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)
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)
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)
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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