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Old 06-02-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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I am wondering how much does it cost you a year to live on the road in a RV? I'm trying to get together a plan for saving so that when I retire someday I can live full time in a RV.

Is gas your highest expense?
Are you using a truck camper, 5th wheel, or Class C,B,A?
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:25 AM
 
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You will get a million different answers to your question because everyone is different.....its like asking someone how much it cost to live in their home or how much they make a year...its all based on the type of lifestyle you are used to or what type of lifestyle you want to have when you retire........some people may make it off of 30K a year others may spend 100K plus a year.....
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:37 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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the econo "Longtime" fulltimers I know:
  • have gone to 5er's (~30-34')
  • diesel pickups
  • restrict relocation travel to ~10,000 miles / yr (staying in a region and taking side trips)
  • own 2 or more memberships in travel / camping resorts (1000 Trails / Leisure World... buy 'used' (~$2000) for platinum level (no longer offered new $12k-$20k), pay $500-$800 annual fees))
  • Often own a lot (~$10,000) in a wintering or summer place.
  • spend at most 60 days/ yr "out-of-park" (i.e. paying a monthly rate somewhere)

so...annual $$ apart from capital expense (a very rough guess)
  • $3000 in fuel between parks
  • $3000 in fees / rents for spaces
  • $1000 RV insurance
  • $3000 maint (wild guess, as this varies a lot.. a transmission alone can set you back this much)
  • $3000 in entertainment (these folks seem to 'go' to lots of activities with admission)
  • $5000 food (they eat much more expensive than I)
  • $3000 fuel for bopping around
  • $2000 propane

add a depreciation factor, ($20k / yr ?) as they seem to get new 5er's every 5 yrs and a new truck every 7-10 yrs.

As mentioned, your costs can vary a lot. I would be spending $$$$$ in fuel and maint, as I would prefer to drive than 'sit'. I would be driving 10,000 / month until I got my first CC bill.

Spend some time at escapees website, I'm sure they can fill you in. (and be sure and take one of their 'RV-Intro' courses, they are beneficial to even the well experienced.

I envision more "park-models' type destinations in the future, and people driving around by car. Just another 'guess'. RV's are a lot of expense and trouble, and when world fuel prices equalize (as the USA loses political clout) We (USA) will be paying market rates for fuel, and 7-10 MPG will be unacceptable. For instance driving my 20 mpg MH breaks me for about $70 - $100 / day on the road, and campsites $20 - $35. My 52 mpg Passat is much more digestible, especially since I use $10 / night private guest homes.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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Thats a lot of expenses, wonder if it would be cheaper to ride motorcycle instead
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:46 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgomez912 View Post
Thats a lot of expenses, wonder if it would be cheaper to ride motorcycle instead
BTDT, (circa age 18-age > 30)

Now (older)... I prefer my $35.00 50 mpg VW Rabbit Diesel (check your neighbor's brier patch, maybe you can get one for free BTDT too!)

Heat, wipers, radio, can sleep in it, hauls heaps of cargo (I built 3 houses using a Rabbit as a 'go-fer')... AND NO DINOSAURS or OPEC required, your local Chinese or Mexican Restaurant can fill your tank for free!!

Use 'Couch-surfing' for cheap stays, & river, or public pool when you need a shower.

My best 'road worthy' Motorcycle rarely gets better than 50 mpg, and they are a real pain when you get to a city and need to leave all your gear sitting exposed to theft. That said, you can find some significant 'die-hard' BMW travelers on 1970 - 1980 vintage bikes. That is a fun way to meet other 'eccentric's (shoestringers). I still ride a 1972 XS-2, and also have a TL-250 ~ same vintage (It gets over 100 mpg).

I'm ole-school....

One benefit of a MC is that you can often camp for free on back roads and at farms. That gets old after a few weeks in the winter...

Plan B for a 'fulltime' RV would be an early Dodge Cummins (~$5000 for a very nice one or $2500 for a 'beater') + a used high quality Travel trailer (~$3000 for a very nice one). This rig would keep you for ~ 5-10 yrs if maintained. Cheap Class C's can be had for ~ $3000, but they won't be much fun when gas prices go back up.

On any 'old' RV 1st buy new tires, even if they look good... check dates, 7 yrs max age for tires in heavy service.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 06-05-2010 at 12:55 AM..
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:14 AM
 
713 posts, read 3,132,880 times
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Thanks for the post, it is this blog that is making me see the value of traveling by motorcycle than RV now. The Oasis Of My Soul Ara and Spirit: Life Under the Stars




So at the moment I am leaning more on the motorcycle route than RV but the RV really just adds a bit more comfort since you have a bed and not a tent to sleep in lol.

Last edited by Cornerguy1; 06-05-2010 at 09:36 PM.. Reason: links to other forums not permitted
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:44 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
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Don't they have little tent trailers that can be towed by a motorcycle?
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,425 posts, read 44,630,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgomez912 View Post
I am wondering how much does it cost you a year to live on the road in a RV? I'm trying to get together a plan for saving so that when I retire someday I can live full time in a RV.

Is gas your highest expense?
Are you using a truck camper, 5th wheel, or Class C,B,A?
I don't know how old you are but in 10 or more years gas might be $6/gal. Then even the most wealthiest people will dump their RVs.

I am on my 2nd year as a full timer. I stay long periods at RV parks till I get tired and move on to the next. Monthly slip space runs me $450 but I am in a high cost area. I have seen under $300/M in less populated areas. Everything is included in the monthly rent except electric which runs about $35/M when no AC or heat is needed to $120/M during AC season. Add to that about $40/M in LP gas during heating season.

Most good parks have lots of things to do so that saves on entertainment costs, especially if you are older and enjoy sitting playing cards while talking about your ailments and grand kids (which no one wants to hear).

The days of retiring and really traveling are making their way to the history books. In the past all RVers in parks were vacationers and weekenders. Today they are victims of the depression. Some have lost their home and the RV is all they have left. But most are just going where they can find work.

I can't see myself owning a depreciating asset such as a home again. My RV is not depreciating as fast as houses are these days. And when I get tired of my surroundings or hate my neighbor, all I have to do is turn the key and drive away. Beat that!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply, well im 19 so I still have 30+ years to go before I retire. Just thinking ahead. Thought it might be cheap to be in a motorcycle since the blog I am following, it shows he drives maybe 600+ miles a day and does not stay in one place for more than a day or two so I can only wonder how much he pays in gas to drive 5000+ miles a month every month.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:36 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,524 posts, read 39,903,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgomez912 View Post
...well im 19 ...motorcycle ... I can only wonder how much he pays in gas to drive 5000+ miles a month every month.
~$400 / month on that rig (5000mi / 35 mpg (sidecar) * $2.75 (premium, or additives required for Beemer))

A good friend ~ age 55 is putting about that much mileage on his antique BMW R90 / month. He picked it up for under $2000.

At your age I was on a MC every hour of the day I was not working / going to school / caring for parent / or caring for my home that I bought at age 19 (not as fun as the MC .) I even raced at Sturgis that yr.

many, many, wknd road trips in Colorado, WY, SD, UT. Also had a 200mi trip we would take after work over 2 mtn passes + the great races on dirt road through a 25 mile long canyon.

so..

full-timing same distance (5,000/mo) in other rigs would be ~ (fuel costs only)
$275 VW Rabbit (or Jetta wagon) or Prius
$550 Mini Van / Sprinter
$687 My Rialta Class C
$916 Roadtrek or equiv (15 mpg)
$1375 Standard Class C or Diesel Class A (10 mpg)
$1833 Guzzler (Gas powered Class A)
$2750 last Class A that I 'relocated' for $$ (I would top off my VW for 1/10th the cost each fuel stop)


Maint on a Motorhome can dwarf fuel costs.

I'm not sure a bicycle would be cheaper, as fuel is likely much more for body than Machine

I eat on $5/day max when traveling and not able to bargain buy.

My lodging averages $15/day (Many RV's spent 2-3X that)

Thus my 'econo' full-timing' budget would be ~ $15,000 / yr providing me an extra $10/day 'spending money' + $800 for insurance (car not health) and repairs. I get my tires at wrecking yards for $5 and can go ~ 100k before changing brakes ($40) and timing belt ($12). New fuel and air filters + wiper blades would add $30.

Now if I chose to use free fryer grease instead of buy fuel... I would save $3300, and sleeping in my car occasionally (or in free parks in WY or here Free Campgrounds for RVs ), or working for room and board I could easily get below $10,000k/yr

Many RV's do only 10,000 miles / yr, but I'm a road warrior so 60,000 is more likely.

Remember.... fuel costs WILL be very high when (IF) the economy recovers and the USA starts paying market rates for energy. Road Warrior days will be a figment of thought.

I'd recommend retiring at age 19 (go back to work when wages climb, if you must ) You can easily find enough work to fund your wanderlust. Don't buy a deluxe motorcycle, get something generic that can be fixed cheap, or a used Beemer that may not require repairs. (Or a $35.00 VW diesel Rabbit from your neighbor's brier patch)

Do this FAST... Before you start collecting junk (furniture / garden tools / spouse / kids / eldercare...) Maybe you can sign up for a college course that would offer you credits to do this. One of my son's roommates got a semester credit for doing a solo sailing trip across the Pacific.

You can easily do an 'on-line' college program while your sitting in libraries / laundromats.

Have fun
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