Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
― Oscar Wilde
There are myriad questions one might ask when contemplating a full time RV transition:
– Would I enjoy this lifestyle?
– Do I have or can I readily gain the knowledge and skill set necessary to do so?
– Am I physically capable of the specific demands?
– How will we deal with the distance from local family?
– And of course, can I afford it?
Focusing on that last question involves an analysis of available money and incomebalanced against a rational cost assessment. For the former, RVers rely on the traditional funding sources as well as a few other RV-oriented funding streams.
– Retirement benefits/Social Security/pension
– Savings and investments
– Rental income from owned property or the house you just moved out of
– Remote home office work, particularly if you have highly technical skills
– Temp or seasonal work at, for instance, campgrounds where you stay
– “Travel Blogging” income from sponsors, advertisers, reader/viewer donations, conducting seminars, and “click through” purchases as an Amazon Associate.
Some other time we can get into the RV oriented income streams, but Rose and I are solely counting on the first two options, so we have a very clear understanding of our available funds and thus the amount of monthly expenses we can absorb. Fortunately, there are quite a number of cost estimates from the plethora of RV bloggers out there. I reviewed dozens, but Wheeling It’s posts on the subject are a great place to start, and the links towards the end of that article lead to other examples and spreadsheet style breakdowns. Technomadia maintains six years of data focused mainly on park fee and fuel costs (NB: if you are new to RVs and click that link, the Technomads do NOT spend hundreds of dollars on paper each month… “stationary” refers to staying in one place for a while and paying park fees, heh).
From these and other examples Rose and I came up with an anticipated monthly cost significantly less than our current Condo based existence. We anticipate a monthly total of approximately $1700, not including entertainment and incidentals. To wit:
Item Cost Notes
RV Park Fees 450 Assumes $30/day with 50% of “boondocking” for free
Tow Car Insurance 70 Reducing from two Saabs down to one Jeep
Motorhome Insurance 70 Shopped around, Progressive offered best deal to us
Registration & Tags 35
Life Insurance 54
Satellite TV/Internet 220 We are TV & internet addicts, so assume high costs
Cell phone service 120 Fixed price prepaid. Possibly lower if with Verizon
Netflix 9 See above!
Mail Service 25 Mail collection and forwarding service
AAA & other RV clubs 25 Passport America, Escapees, Family Motorhome, etc
Gas 600 Based on RV 600 miles/month plus Jeep local use
There will no doubt be a good deal of adjustment to this list once we start, but it is based on solid research and an analysis of our spending habits. Many of the bills we have now simply will not be relevant once in an RV (no mortgage or property taxes) or will be replaced by an RV equivalent (e.g., our condo maintenance, RV storage, and car parking spot rental get replaced by RV Park fees). I suspect we can lower the Satellite TV/Internet options based on some recent advice from Wheeling It. There will certainly be some unexpected items, maybe we will even maintain a storage facility. But the great thing is that if, monetarily, we have a bad month, we can suspend our no contract satellite TV and internet services, “boondock” a week or two at Bureau of Land Management areas or cheaper state parks, and throw in a couple of nights free parking at casinos or Walmart. Or we will just park at your house, friend. You can take a 30Amp hook up, right?