What to Include in Your Full Time RV Budget

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What to Include in Your Full Time RV Budget

What to Include in Your Full Time RV Budget

Whether you plan to live in your RV full time to save money or just to travel or both, a budget will help keep you on track financially. Living in an RV comes with many different budgetary considerations than living in a house – and some of the same. Here are some things you’ll want to consider as you plan to manage your money on the road.

Related Read: Money Saving Tips: 5 Ways to Save in your RV

Mail Service – One thing to think about is how you will receive your mail when you are not in the same spot all the time and what it will cost. Private mailbox companies aimed towards businesses often offer receiving and forwarding of mail and packages. There are also companies that are aimed specifically towards RVers that can help you use your mailbox as a permanent address.

Related Read: RV Full-Timer Tips: Getting your Mail

Insurance – You will need both vehicle and health insurance. Many full timers choose to become residents of states based partially on the availability of health insurance. While the insurance on a tow vehicle will generally cover liability for a towed travel trailer or fifth wheel, you may want to look into “full timers” insurance to cover your rig in other situations.

Related Read: Choosing RV Insurance for Fulltime RVers

Registration – Vehicle registration is another cost that will be dependent upon your state of domicile.
Cell phone – While you probably already have a cell phone bill, something to consider is whether you will need to add additional data to your plan. Many permanent RVers find park Wi-Fi to be lacking (and in some cases, completely non-existent) and end up relying primarily on their cell phone plan for data, whether by tethering from their phone, using a hot spot, or purchasing devices that are compatible with their plan.

Related Read: Call of the Wild-5 Ways to Improve Phone Reception on the Road

Satellite TV – Some full timers opt for satellite television service because of restrictions on internet usage. There are many satellite companies which market directly to RVers. Some of these even offer plans in an affordable, pay as you go format.
RV Fuel – Taking your house with you everywhere you go is bound drive your fuel costs upwards, so plan ahead by adding the additional expenses to your budget in advance.

Related Read: 10 Tips for Boosting your RV MPG

Repairs and Maintenance – Be sure to include any routine maintenance your rig will need in your budget. While you hopefully will not need a recurring budget line for repairs, it’s a great idea to have an emergency fund set aside for this purpose.

Related Read: Easy RV Repairs You Can Do Yourself!

Site Fees – Campground fees vary by the type of establishment, amenities, area of the country, and the length of your stay. If the fee charged does not include electricity usage, you’ll have to budget for that as well. If you will be staying at a private campground for several weeks or several months, don’t be afraid to attempt to negotiate the cost; it won’t always work, but when it does, you will be glad you tried. You could also barter: many campgrounds offer work camping programs that can reduce or eliminate the cost of renting a site.

By planning ahead, you can make sure your RV adventure stays on track financially, allowing you to enjoy the lifestyle even more.

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Monica Turner


Monica Turner

Monica Turner is a full-time RVer and a blogger who travels the country with her husband and pets. Her creatures include a dog who participates in barn hunt, three leash-trained cats, three rats, and a traveling turtle who relishes the opportunity to sun himself in new surroundings. A lifelong nomad and cradle Catholic, she had already been a member of more than half a dozen parish communities before she set out on the road. Monica changes her backyard frequently, but always finds time for her furry friends, her faith, and to learn and share a little bit more about the RV lifestyle each week!

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