How Much Does It Cost To Live in an RV Full Time?

So, how much does it really cost to go nomad and live full time in an RV? Well, technically that’s a tough question to answer, but there is an answer. The short answer is that it depends. The cost of living on the road varies tremendously from person to person based on lifestyle, just like it depends on the kind of home someone owns varies widely. Some folks can live very frugally on $500 per month and be quite happy, others need $3k to $4k or more per month to live on in nicer RV parks, campgrounds and resorts.

As a new nomad I’m living on a very small budget right now of about $1000 month or maybe a little less. This is not enough to live the lifestyle I want to live at the moment and it makes it very limiting in where I can go and what I can do.

I’m a full-time nomad. I do it for two reasons. Because I wanted to travel the world and I do it for work. This is my career choice because I know eventually I can build a business around it and be very successful at it. My approach is different in that I started living on the road as a full time nomad with ZERO income, I’ve had to generate what little money I have coming in by selling some personal items and creating merchandise to sell as well as some sponsorship income from those people kind enough to sponsor my new nomad life. This is NOT how most folks do it, but this is how I am doing it.

In my travels and before I ever became a nomad, I researched everything I could and have asked other RV nomads how much a full time RV’er actually spends on their monthly and annual expenses.

It varies greatly, as you can imagine.

As you know people live different lives and what might be fine for one person might not be ok for another.

I figured how much full time RV’ing costs based stayig in campground every night versus every other night, versus boondocking (free camping on public lands and free parking in cities; and “stealth camping/boondocking”) over a period of 30 days, then I multiplies those numbers by 12 months to find an average. I’ve also figured expenses into major categories.

Food
Fuel
Maintenance

Campgrounds, Parks & Resorts
National Parks & State Parks

Miscellaneous:

Now, I have to say, that no matter how much research and how many of these articles people write there will always be those who disagree with the numbers presented, and that’s ok. Everyone is different and there is a happy medium to be had here.

I personally like to live and eat well. I like higher end dining and love good food and wine and spirits. I love high quality goods and services and am not satisfied with mediocrity when it comes to on-the-road living. I need my creature comforts and luxuries. Which is why right now, living on $1000 or less is very very difficult for me.

So let’s jump into it. How much does it cost?

Well, let’s start with the most expensive cost first. The RV.

Your RV is going to probably be the most expensive piece of equipment you own. After all it is your home. You live out of it, and you want to be comfortable in your home. RIght here is where the first split in lifestyle happens.

People’s budgets vary widely, and people will buy the best RV they can afford on their budget and then purchase whatever other equipment and supplies with what’s left over. That budget can very from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands.

Some folks sell their homes and buy the biggest and best class A motorhome they can afford. Other folks scrape together and save to spend $3k to $5k on a small class C RV or a nice big van. Some folks, like me, live out of their vehicle. I live in my Jeep Grand Cherokee because I could not afford a

 

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