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What does it cost to live out of a camper van full time? In this post we share the third month of variable van life costs for full time travel. Continue reading for a detailed breakdown of costs.

For a six month average, watch the video below.

Full Time RVing Costs: Van Life Edition – July 2017:


Total Miles Driven: 2,241
Avg. MPG: 12
Nights of Paid Camping: 2 (Mazama Campground Crater Lake)
Nights of Free Camping: 29 (Dispersed CampingStreet Camping, Driveway Surfing)
Meals Eaten Out: 3

Variable Costs Breakdown:

Food $407 – groceries and dining out
Gas $322
Campground Fees $44
Gym Membership $22
Dog Food $23
Misc $92
Total Variable Costs: $910
Cost Per Day: $29

MPG on the camper van dropped down to 12 due to all the hills and mountain roads. The average is 14 MPG on city streets and major highways.

Gas and grocery costs were higher this month because we drove more miles and bought a large supply of food. Our goal is to travel slower this year, but we made the long drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles to attend classes at YouTube Space LA and visit with family.

As we hoped, miscellaneous costs came in under $100 this month. Although I did buy another pair of shorts and items like razor refills and deodorant that should last a while. I know Kait will be ecstatic if we can get this category under $50 each month.

Fixed Costs

Costs such as cell phone plans, health insurance, vehicle insurance, club memberships like Costco, Escapees, Harvest Hosts, and Elks are not included. The reason for this is we’ve found that fixed costs for RVing can vary dramatically depending on your situation. Below are some examples for reference.

If you pay cash for a used RV, you won’t have an RV payment and insurance will be lower on an older vehicle.

We pay about $150/month for an unlimited cell phone plan that we need for all the content we upload. You may only need a pay as you go cell phone or not even need one.

If you work for a company that pays for health insurance, you won’t have that as an added cost. Since we work for ourselves, we pay for our own health insurance.

Being avid readers, we have the Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription which runs about $11/month. There are other subscriptions and services that you may choose to have that can increase fixed costs.

We did share our fixed costs when we started out. If you’d like to get an idea of what those costs were for us, head over Cost of RVing in a Motorhome for One Year.

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Cost of Living Full Time in a RV