WHAT IT COST TO TRAVEL IN THE RV

Buying the RV

RV for Costs Page

Initial RV Cost

(2000 Fleetwood Flair 34D)

Item Cost
Purchase Price US$20 500.00
Pre-Delivery Checks US$      489.00
Sales Tax US$   1 343.21
Licenses US$      261.50
Repairs to RV US$   1 455.32
Grand Total US$24 049.03
Net Proceeds from Sale of RV US$12 918.82
Net Cost US$11 130.21

Monthly Expenses for Trip 1 - June to October 2013

In the hope that this will be useful for others (especially non-USA residents) considering this lifestyle we have shown all our expenses for our travels through the USA.

 

We initially set a rough budget of $100 per day for living expenses but what we hadn’t considered was the amount of fuel the RV would use (and this is directly proportional to the distance covered), the initial set up costs and the ongoing maintenance on the RV.  RV spares and maintenance are costly – anything bought from a RV Dealer will be substantially more expensive than the same item in a department store.

 

For us it was more challenging than most who travel full time in their RV’s in the USA. We had not ever lived in the USA and really had no idea what it would cost to maintain a reasonable standard of living.

 

Detailed hereunder are our monthly expenses for our first trip across the USA. We traveled a distance of 5 440 miles (8 704km) from June 2013 to October 2013. These expenses do not include our flights to and from the USA but do include all other expenses from the time we arrived to the time we left the USA.

 

RV’s are by their nature thirsty machines and our fuel consumption was 8.08 miles per gallon. We also traveled at a time when fuel costs were extremely high – our most expensive fuel was $3.829 per gallon in Jean, Nevada and the cheapest $3.299 per gallon in Kingman, Arizona. The average fuel price was $3.534 per gallon.

 

We also paid far more for insurance than the average American did. Because we did not have American driver’s licenses (and could not get them) we were charged about 3 times more than the standard rates.

 

Item

June

July

August

September

October

Total

Bank Charges

$     36.00

             Nil

$     18.50

$     24.00

$    25.80

$     104.30

Campground Fees

$   390.70

$    521.00

$   539.00

$   421.61

$  276.00

$  2 148.31

Car Hire

$1 339.60

             Nil

            Nil

            Nil

$  487.05

$  1 826.65

Clothing

             Nil

             Nil

$     57.89

$       7.33

           Nil

$       65.22

Coachnet

$     89.00

             Nil

            Nil

            Nil

           Nil

$       89.00

Entertainment

$   268.67

$   181.14

$     82.66

$   447.25

$    99.03

$  1 078.75

Food

$   923.80

$   653.54

$   703.90

$   453.97

$  341.05

$  3 076.26

Fuel

$   426.24

$   409.27

$   824.20

$   638.15

$   249.22

$  2 547.08

RV Maintenance

            Nil

$1 511.45

$   638.62

$     24.95

$     50.39

$  2 225.41

Internet

$     12.00

$     24.00

$       3.00

            Nil

            Nil

$       39.00

Laundry

$       6.00

$     33.50

$     32.00

$     46.00

$     14.00

$     131.50

Mobile Phones

$   119.06

$     53.32

$     89.83

$     81.60

$     16.32

$     360.13

Motel Costs

$   142.60

$     72.84

            Nil

$   148.48

$   180.00

$     543.92

Other

$1 576.49

$   359.82

$   121.88

$     88.98

$   338.44

$  2 485.61

Propane

             Nil

$     28.71

$     30.94

$     36.58

            Nil

$       96.23

RV Clubs Subs

$      25.00

            Nil

$     51.00

             Nil

            Nil

$       76.00

RV Insurance

$    346.55

$   178.50

$   178.50

$   178.50

$   178.50

$  1 060.55

Satellite TV

$      53.82

$     60.18

$     19.55

$      39.43

$       2.66

$     175.64

Total

$5 755.53

$4 087.27

$3 391.47

$2 636.83

$2 258.46

$18 129.56

Daily Average

$    191.85

$   131.85

$   109.40

$      87.89

$     72.85

$      118.49

Buying the Tow Car (aka the Toad)

Cost of Tow Car

(2005 Honda CR-V))

Item Cost
Purchase Price US$10 500.00
Blue Ox Base Plate for Car US$      425.00
Ready Brute Elite Tow Bar US$   1 025.00
Labor to install Towbar US$      700.00
Misc US$      411.86
Grand Total US$13 061.86
Net Proceeds from Sale of Car US$  7 500.00
Net Cost US$  5 561.86
Toad Picture

Monthly Expenses for Trip 2 - January to August 2014

We always knew that the trip to Alaska would be an expensive one but it was a once in a lifetime event. Fortunately we did not have to spend much on campground fees. We simply stopped next to a lake or a glacier and spent the night there. We also spent a few nights at Casinos and Walmart parking lots. It was also necessary to make sure the RV was in great shape. There are very few repair facilities in Alaska and those that are there charge like wounded bulls. The price of fuel was at an all-time high and we shed a tear every time we had to put fuel in the RV. As we were now towing a car the fuel consumption dropped to 7.3 miles per gallon. The most expensive fuel was $4.85 per gallon in Cantwell, Alaska. We covered a distance of 8 081 miles (12 930 km) over that four month period. Detailed hereunder are our expenses for this eight month period. We spent from May to August in Alaska.

 

Item

Jan

Feb

Mar

April

May

June

July

Aug

Total

Bank Charges

$  36.00

$  30.00

$  48.95

$  21.00

$  36.00

$      8.45

$  15.00

$    4.00

$    199.40

Campground Fees

$956.55

$764.00

$862.96

$846.77

$273.65

$    78.20

$301.50

$  69.00

$  4 152.63

Car Hire

$866.64

Nil

$  66.07

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

$    932.71

Clothing

Nil

$  59.39

Nil

$  94.19

$208.18

$    43.18

$  10.66

$  10.00

$    425.60

Dump Fees

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

$    5.00

Nil

$         5.00

Entertainment

$  29.20

$160.66

$  49.48

$  91.15

$338.09

$    69.71

$850.93

$  40.60

$  1 629.82

Food

$924.06

$628.79

$781.28

$548.07

$610.07

$1 084.67

$657.17

$404.96

$  5 639.07

Fuel – Car

$219.16

$196.67

$119.71

$  68.64

$260.58

$    73.74

$186.59

$  46.56

$  1 171.65

Fuel – RV

Nil

$  74.74

Nil

Nil

$953.70

$1 982.31

$930.29

$917.75

$  4 858.79

RV Maintenance

$  25.87

$298.36

$2 338.46

$350.83

$903.91

$    72.20

Nil

$    6.53

$  3 996.16

Laundry

$  20.50

$  45.01

$  44.50

$    8.50

$  67.60

$    56.50

$  70.00

$    9.50

$    322.11

Mobile Phones

$  73.96

$147.07

$  16.32

$116.32

$  27.57

$    10.50

Nil

Nil

$    391.74

Motel Fees

$  71.08

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

$      71.08

Other

$816.97

$510.53

$471.65

$345.99

$  94.00

$  227.00

$121.29

$  91.11

$  2 678.54

Propane

$  52.05

$  30.00

$  21.00

$  33.55

$  48.29

$    30.88

$  73.39

Nil

$    289.16

RV Club Subs

Nil

Nil

$177.20

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

$    177.20

Car Insurance

$202.75

$125.65

$139.78

$124.18

$124.18

$  124.18

$124.18

$124.18

$  1 089.08

RV Insurance

$178.50

$178.50

$178.50

$178.50

$307.95

Nil

$178.50

$178.50

$  1 378.95

Satellite TV

$  66.13

$  47.41

$  86.48

$  45.28

$  45.28

Nil

Nil

Nil

$    290.58

Vehicle Tax

Nil

Nil

$142.00

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

$    142.00

Total

$4 539.42

$3 296.78

$5 544.34

$2872.97

$4 299.05

$3 861.52

$3 524.50

$1 902.69

$29 841.27

Daily Average

$146.43

$117.74

$178.85

$95.77

$138.68

$128.72

$113.69

$61.38

$122.80

 Monthly Expenses for Trip 3 - February to June 2016

This trip was about getting from the West coast to the East coast and we knew that fuel would be a major consideration. The RV had been in storage for about a year and there was quite a lot of maintenance that had to be done. RV’s definitely don’t like being in storage.

 

Detailed hereunder are our expenses for this five month period from February 2016 to June 2016. We covered a distance of 8 815 miles (14 104 km) – 4 744 (7 590 km) of these were in the RV and the remaining 4 071 (6 514 km) where in the car. The RV covered an average of 7.55 miles per gallon and the Honda an average of 23.89 miles per gallon. Fortunately the price of fuel had come down considerably. Our most expensive fuel was $2,249 per gallon in Wauchula, Florida and the cheapest $1,589 per gallon in Carlsbad, New Mexico. We had hoped to sell the RV in Florida but this proved to be very difficult. We consequently drove the RV from Florida to Houston, Texas to return it to the consignment dealer we bought it from. The costs include our flights from Houston to New York as our flights out of the USA were from New York.

 

Item

Feb

Mar April May June

Total

Bank Charges

$       3.00

Nil $    20.75 $    12.00 $        2.00

$       37.75

Campground Fees

$  283.00

$  248.56 $  515.63 $  529.01 $  171.00

$  1 747.20

Dump Fees

$     10.00

Nil Nil Nil Nil

$      10.00

Entertainment

$     73.04

$  206.07 $  480.34 $  558.32 $  626.04

$  1 943.81

Food

$1 042.95

$  752.80 $  681.62 $1 025.42 $  277.12

$  3 779.91

Fuel – Car

$   101.36

$    62.69 $    98.86 $     82.00 Nil

$  1 177.27

Fuel – RV

$   268.28

$  582.45 Nil $    326.54 $    44.27

$      389.18

RV Maintenance

$1 016.61

$  232.19 $    27.56 Nil $  245.79

$  1 522.15

Laundry

$     53.00

$    41.00 $     29.75 $    10.00 $    7.50

$     141.25

Mobile Phones

$   152.44

$    81.65 $    97.42 Nil Nil

$      331.51

Other

$    367.67

$    86.72 $  651.57 $  868.60 $  646.41

$  2 620.97

Propane

$      44.93

$    36.78 $    15.50 $    37.97 Nil

$      135.18

RV Club Subs

$      39.95

Nil Nil Nil Nil

$       39.95

Car Insurance

$    151.18

$  151.18 $  151.18 $  151.18 Nil

$    604.72

RV Insurance

$    170.84

$  170.84 $  170.84 $  170.78 $  170.84

$    854.14

Satellite TV

$     69.95

$    69.55 $    69.60 $    69.60 Nil

$      278.70

Vehicle Tax

Nil

Nil $  129.00 $  131.00 Nil

$      260.00

Total

$3 848.20

$2 722.48 $3 139.62 $3 972.42 $2 190.97

$15 873.69

Daily Average

$132.70

$87.82 $104.65 $128.14 $121.72 $114.20