The rushed tone of city living isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, more and more people every year from various walks of life are exchanging the traditional family home for the more nomadic lifestyle of RV living. Those who choose to make an RV their home have a sufficiently long list of reasons to do so, but how much does RV living cost and is it worth it?
When it comes to the cost of RV living, there are some predictable expenses that come with the lifestyle. These include fuel, insurance, maintenance, storage fees and camping fees. In this guide, we'll cover all of these costs and provide a quick breakdown so you can decide if RV living is right for you.
RV Living Cost Breakdown
Life on the road may feel liberating, but it isn’t free. It’s important to understand the RV living expenses before taking the plunge.
- Gas and Propane
For one thing, the cost of gas and propane is a consideration. One could easily spend around $500 a month on gas and anywhere from $50-100 in propane costs. While fuel costs are always changing, this is likely to be one of the biggest expenses involved. One can also expect to pay for electricity use, the cost of which varies greatly.
- Campsite Fees
Campsite fees should be factored into the budget as well. On average, campsite fees range from $14 to $40 per night. However, this can vary depending on location. Some sites are a lot more upscale than others. Season passes are available at some campsites and typically include discounts on the daily rates.
Food is another essential cost of RV living. Groceries, eating out, and other food-related expenses can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars each month. Like a traditional household, cooking meals in your RV home can help reduce food costs. Besides, dining in an RV living setup is comparable to dining out, but with much better views.
- Rig Repairs and Maintenance
Even a brand-new RV will require regular repairs and maintenance. Common expenses include oil changes, brake jobs, filter replacements, and tire rotations. Setting a budget of $200-300 each month for repairs and regular maintenance is highly recommended. This will ensure your RV is road-ready and functioning properly.
Average rates for electricity can vary from state to state, but in most cases, you should expect to pay an average of $77 per month. Solar generators are a great alternative energy source and can help lower your electricity bill. By using solar generators to power your RV and appliances, you save on electricity bills by as much as 40% and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Vehicle Insurance
One of the most important costs to consider is insurance. In most cases, it’s recommended to get full-coverage insurance on your RV or trailer. This includes collision coverage as well as liability coverage. Depending on your state, usage frequency and type, as well as the age/value of your RV, premiums may dramatically differ. Typically annual costs could range from $800 to over $1000 annually.
- Health Insurance
Even while on the road, health insurance is a must. Fortunately, there are a few insurance companies that offer coverage specifically tailored for RVers or those who travel frequently. Basic health insurance plans can cost around $400 per month for individuals and $1000 per month for families. The premiums will depend on the type of coverage you choose and the provider.
- Phone and Internet Plan
RVers who want to stay connected while traveling have three main options for gaining internet access:
- Using surrounding Wi-Fi connections
- Investing in a cellular data plan
- Satellite internet
Each of these options comes with its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to do your research before committing to one. On average, phone and internet plans for RVers can range from $50-$100 per month or more, depending on the type of plan you choose.
Whether that’s going to the movies, taking part in outdoor activities, or just visiting local attractions, these expenses can easily range from $100-$200 a month. The best way to cut costs for entertainment is to look out for discounts and coupons available online.
- Other costs (laundry, mail service, RV wash, tolls, pets)
Depending on your usage and lifestyle, other minor costs may arise, such as laundry services, mail service, RV wash fees, and tolls. If necessary, you’ll also need to factor in some extra money for pet-related expenses. Depending on your family's individual needs, these costs could range from $50 to over $100 monthly.
RV Living Monthly Costs
The total monthly cost for RV living is around $2500 to $5000 per month, depending on the type of RV and lifestyle. Your monthly expenses would likely include gas, food, insurance, electricity, health insurance, phone and internet plans, entertainment, repairs, and maintenance costs.
To make it more affordable, we recommend sticking to a budget and making smart spending choices. With careful planning and smart spending habits, you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle on the road without breaking the bank.
RV Park Rates Monthly
You can find budget-friendly RV parks that cost around $15 to $40 per night. However, if you want to stay in a resort-style RV park, it will cost around $50 to $100 per night. Some locations offer weekly and monthly rates with discounts for long-term stays. Depending on the location and amenities provided, RV park fees can range from $500 to over $1000+ per month.
RV Living: How to Save Costs
RV living can be a great way to enjoy the road while still having the comforts of home, but it is important to monitor your expenses so you can keep your costs down. Here are a few tips for keeping your RV lifestyle affordable:
- Set up a budget (keep a lid on spending)
Before you hit the road, create a budget and track all of your spendings. Keeping an eye on your expenses can help you stay on top of your finances and avoid overspending.
Vehicle and RV maintenance
Total RV budget
- Plan your trip in advance
Planning your trip can help you to find deals on camping sites and other activities. Look for discounts and coupons online, as well as special offers from campgrounds and tourist attractions.
- Look for low-cost campgrounds
Instead of opting for more expensive RV parks, look for low-cost campgrounds. These can include state and national parks, as well as free campsites.
- Get a solar generator
Solar generators are a great way to keep your RV running without relying on an external source of power, which can save you money in the long run.
Jackery Solar Generators for RV Living
Jackery is a leading company in the innovation of incredibly efficient solar generators. There are a number of appliances and machines that require electricity in an RV such as: CPAP machines, microwave ovens, televisions, coffee makers, fans, electric heaters, laptops and more. With a Jackery Solar Generator, one can have a comfortable life in an RV without breaking the bank.
The Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Pro is one of the newest additions to the Jackery family of solar generators. This generator offers an incredible 2,160Wh capacity and a maximum of 4,400W peak power. This generator provides enough energy to run the majority of appliances and tools used both indoors and outdoors—from pellet smokers to mini coolers, refrigerators, AC units or ebikes.
The Jackery Solar Generator 1500 is designed for those who need maximum power and portability. This generator boasts a 1534Wh capacity with a peak power of 3,600W for up to 24 hours usage basing on your appliances. The foldable solar panels are easy to carry around, and the lithium-ion battery offers quick recharge times from renewable energy sources. It is an ideal choice for camping, RV trips, and other off-grid activities.
Solar Generator 2000 Pro
Solar Generator 1500
Mini cooler (90w)
Electric Grill (1600w)
1 hour 15 mins
Coffee Maker (550w)
2 hours 10 mins
FAQs about RV Living Cost
1. Cost to Build RV Garage with Living Quarters
The cost of building an RV garage with living quarters varies depending on the size and materials used. Generally, expect to pay between $36,000 to $140,000 for the construction.
2. How Much Does it Cost to Live at a Campground Year Round
RV park fees for long-term stays cost between $6000 and $14,400 per year. However, the actual price depends on where you choose to stay and the amenities offered.
3. How Much Does it Cost to RV for a Year
Everyone’s RV cost each month will vary based on their current residence (or domicile state) and the type of insurance they select. When mapping out your finances, make sure to leave room for approximately $3,000 annually for all vehicles—truck/trailer or motorhome/tow vehicle combo included.
If traditional housing isn't the right fit for you, put some serious thought into whether or not RV living might be what's missing in your life. The freedom it provides and the reduced cost of living makes it an extremely reasonable alternative to traditional housing.
At Jackery, we provide a wide range of power sources to support your RV living cost. Our portable power stations and solar panels are designed for reliability and performance on the road. Invest in Jackery’s renewable energy solutions to help you manage your RV living cost with ease.
Learn more about how we can help you make your RV living cost affordable. Shop a Jackery solar generator to get the power you need today.