Maybe it's the gas prices that make people ask this question or assume this. And I get that. With the size of our family and our pocket book, we already drive a gas guzzler because we need a big vehicle. So perhaps for us an RV really doesn't make much of a difference when it comes to the price of a barrel of oil. On a total side note, when I started driving gas was only .89-.99 a gallon, do you remember that?? My kids gasp at that. Just astonishing and baffling to me. But I digress...
So let's get down to the nitty gritty. This is based on our personal expenses:
Living in a House Expenses: Living in an RV Expenses:
House Payment(with taxes): 1200.00 $595 ( campground fees average)
Electric: $120 $0 ( Included in campground fees)
Water: $100 $0 (Included in campground fees)
Car Payment: $0(own our car) $0 (own our car and will own RV)
Gas: $320 $600(1,885 miles a month)
Heat: $56 $25 (propane)
Auto Ins.: $25 $50(car and RV)
Groceries: $400 $400
Eating Out: $0 $100
Family Activities: $0 $100(museums and such)
Tolls: $0 $10
Cell Phone $15 $15
Home Phone/Internet: $85 $0(use free wi-fi)
Mortgage Ins: $35 $0
Cable/Sat. :$0 $0 ( get it free at some camps)
Personal Loan: $100 $100_________
TOTALS: $2706.00 $1995.00
That is $23,940 a year to live in an RV and travel across the country. It cuts down our expenses by about 1/3. As far as tithing- since we will not be drawing an income while we are out on the road we will have nothing to tithe. If for some reason we do make money by some means we will be giving 10% of that.
Here is a great site that further explains some of the breakdowns and costs of RV living. I used some of their real life budget #'s for my RV column. I have researched lots of other sites too who RV full time.
When it comes to campground fees, the average is $30-$40 a night. That is full hook-ups usually. You can totally control that campground fee category by choosing which places you park at( some are as low as $10 a night but no hook ups), if you boondock, use public land, etc. Boondocking is simply parking your RV somewhere for free-a family/friends driveway, a wal-mart parking lot(this is legal), etc. There is a lot of public land out west that you can pick any piece of land and drive out to it and stay for free. Some areas have dump stations around but sometimes not. I am really looking forward to using public land(ie-beautiful scenic spots)!
And the longer you stay at a place, the less you pay typically. Not unlike some hotels.
Now let's talk gas prices-I think people envision us driving around constantly or for very long distances at a time. But that's not our plan.
We will likely be staying in one place for a week or more at a time, depending on what all there is to do in the area or who we are visiting or how much we like the place. We will be pulling a travel trailer, so not quite as bad on gas as a regular motorhome. We figured 11 miles per gallon compared to 8-10 with a motorhome. Now we get maybe 14 mpg.
I would dare to guess that most people in the U.S. have around a 30 minute commute one way to work each day. So that is 1 hour of just commuting a day, or 5 hours total a week. That's just one working parent obviously. Now add in anywhere else you go and you have 7-10 hours a week of driving time.
We will be traveling no more than a few hours to each destination typically. Then whatever driving we have to see local sites. And we will be staying in one place for a week or more. So we could very feasibly have less drive time than you a week! Given a budget of $150 a week, that would be about 470 miles a week based on $3.50 a gallon( we use fuel points a lot too for .10-.20 off per gallon).
Not to mention, if gas prices go up higher or something, we will just stay put longer, less traveling. So we can control this cost to an extent since we make our own agenda.
I leave you with this video that shows just what we are trading in and what we are gaining from living full time in an RV: