One of the most common questions I am asked when I tell someone myself, my husband and our four kiddos travel and live full time in an RV is, “How much does it cost?!”. That is a deeply personal question of course, but we get it so often I thought sharing our budget information may help others plan a realistic budget for their RV travels. Before we hit the road we did a bit of research, and research shows that families who travel full-time often spend less on living costs than your typical family in a “traditional” home. We have no heat, electric, HOA, cable, water, landline phone, security system, property taxes, mortgage, etc. For us, this lifestyle is, by far much more affordable than our sticks and bricks home was and feels just as much (if not more) like home to us.
Our monthly travel cost is listed below and is just an example of what it can cost to travel full time. As one would imagine there is no standard answer. The answer is highly personal and varies from person to person based upon personal living style and income. This should by no means be an indicator of what it could cost you, but it is a general guideline.
Our Full Time RV Living Cost
|5th Wheel Loan||$560|
|5th Wheel Insurance||$107|
|Thousand Trails Membership||$50|
Keep on reading for explanations of a few odd columns. Some people reading this will wonder how a family of 6 gets by on so little, some will think we are living an overly indulgent lifestyle, but this is just a raw and honest explanation of our budget.
Mail Forwarding: Since we don’t have a piece of property, we do not have a street address. In order to recieve important mail, register our vehicles, get insurance, etc we needed to use a mail forwarding system that provided us with an address. We chose Saint Brendans Isle. They are only $11.99 per month and we opted to add the Mail Scan Pro for $7.99 which allows me to view my incoming mail online the day it is received. We budget more than that because my husbands medicine is shipped there and we have to then pay them to ship it to us. More info here.
Other: This includes clothing, shoes, haircuts, toilet paper, toothpaste, school supplies, etc. It varies from month to month, but I set aside the same amount each month. What we don’t spend one month, rolls into the next month where we may spend more then. I also wrote a post about the hidden costs of RVing. You can find that here.
Health Insurance: My husband is a disabled veteran, health care for veterans is sub par, but free. This is a large bill for most other fulltime families and should have a budget of $500 plus for typical families of 6.
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Things I did not include in our budget above include, but are not limited to RV and maintenance, retirement, savings account, yearly registrations, credit card debts. I plan to make another post in the future covering most of these. There are no state taxes in Florida.