Can you afford to live in an RV and travel full-time? Our RV Living Cost Calculator allows you to quickly and easily calculate your projected annual RV living budget.
For guidance on typical costs, see our detailed blog posts on RV living expenses to understand the typical expenses associated with each item in the RV Living Cost Calculator.
RV Living Cost Calculator
How to Reduce your RV Living Cost
Is your projected annual budget in the RV cost calculator too high? Below are 5 simple ways to cut costs and make RV living more affordable.
Get Expert Help
If calculating and planning your RV budget seems too overwhelming, there are experts who can help you create and stick to a reasonable budget. Julie and Sean Chickery are full-time RVers who managed to pay off $137,000 in debt while living on the road. Their course, Full-Time RV Finance, helps families customize a realistic RV life budget and create strategies to control their finances more effectively.
Eliminate Storage Costs
We rented a small storage when we moved into our RV over five years ago. Since then, we have used none of the items in the storage unit and spent over $5,000 in rent! We plan to empty out our storage unit soon, and I highly recommend eliminating this cost from your RV living budget. As an added bonus, selling your stuff instead of storing it can help fund your RV lifestyle.
If you are nervous about the downsizing process, enroll in RV Inspiration’s Declutter & Downsize course. The course includes practical tips on the downsizing process, as well as a workbook and calendar to structure the process. The entire 5-part course is just $78 or you can purchase individual lessons, such as Closet Cleaning or Downsizing Sentimental Items, for just $18.
Find Free Camping
As you can see in our RV Living Cost Calculator, campground fees are one of the biggest line items on many full-time RVers’ budgets. Finding free or low-cost camping will make RV living significantly cheaper. Affordable camping doesn’t always mean boondocking or dry camping in the desert. See our guide to free camping with full-hookups for some examples of awesome free RV sites.
Another way to reduce camping costs is to join an RV membership club that offers discounted camping to members. Our favorite RV club is Thousand Trails which offers camping with no nightly fees to all members. Elite memberships do have large upfront costs, but campers will definitely enjoying savings on rent in the long-term. See our full guide to Thousand Trails membership options for more details.
Fuel is another major expense for most full-time RVers. Taking shorter trips and staying at each destination longer is the best way to reduce fuel costs. The benefit of moving into an RV is being able to travel all the time instead of only during your two-week vacation. With 52 weeks of travel there is plenty time to explore, so go slow and save yourself some dough! (I couldn’t help the cheesy rhyme)
Choose an Affordable RV
Your first RV doesn’t need to be your dream RV. If money is your biggest hurdle to getting on the road, start with a small RV or travel trailer. You can always upgrade later, although you may not want to. We personally wish we had selected a smaller RV, and I’ve heard from countless full-time RVers who learned the hard way that smaller is better. See our picks for the best RVs for full-time travel for some RV buying inspiration.
Resources for Aspiring Full-Time RVers
We hope our RV Living Cost Calculator and money-saving tips helped you understand if full-time travel works for you. If you are interested in the RV lifestyle, check out these other great resources!
- Amazon List with Must Have RV Supplies
- 25 Steps to Prepare for Full-Time RV Living
- Pros and Cons of Living in an RV
- The Real Cost of RV Renovations
What was your projected annual budget from the RV Living Cost Calculator? Share your results and your plans for RV living in the comments section below.