Full Time RVing Costs: Van Life Edition – June 2017

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Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means we will earn a commission on the products or services you purchase using the links. There is no additional cost to you and the earnings help keep this website running. Read the Affiliate Disclaimer for more information.

What does it cost to live out of a camper van full time? In this post we share the second 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 – June 2017:


Total Miles Driven: 1,490
MPG: 13
Nights of Paid Camping: 6 (Crystal Springs Campground in Kings Canyon, Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite)
Nights of Free Camping: 24 (Harvest Hosts, Truck StopStreet Camping, Driveway Surfing)
Meals Eaten Out: 5

Variable Costs Breakdown:

Food $383 – groceries and dining out
Gas $305
Campground Fees $132
Gym Membership $22
Misc $154
Total Variable Costs: $996
Cost Per Day: $33

Starting the month off in wine country allowed us to take advantage of vineyard camping in Paso Robles. Instead of paying a campground fee, we put the money towards wine purchases. If you’d like to learn more about camping on farms, vineyards and museums, check out our post on Harvest Hosts.

Miscellaneous costs were high this month and we hope to keep them under $100 moving forward. We had to replace our broken water bottles with a new set of stainless steel bottles that should last for a very long time. I purchased a new pair of shorts and trail shoes which added to the cost. Kait likes to point out that she hasn’t purchased an article of clothing since 2015.

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 cost 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.

To view more van life reports, Cost of RVing.

Thinking of the best van chassis for your camper conversion? Check out our Top 6 Van Chassis for your Camper Van Conversion.

Cost of Living Full Time in a RV

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6 thoughts on “Full Time RVing Costs: Van Life Edition – June 2017”

  1. While you were waiting for shower in Mazama camp grounds, Crater lakes July 2017, I immediately recognized you. I have seen lot of youtube videos on van living and would be interested in doing so once my daughter goes off to college. My family would love to host you and your family at my guest house if we are in Mar Vista Ca. Did you ever thinking about doing international travels?

    • Hey James – great meeting you that day and thank you for the offer to host us. We probably won’t be back in SoCal until next year but would love to meet up (Kait and both used to work around Mar Vista).

      We’re considering doing something international, either backpacking or getting a rig shipped overseas and touring the world. It’s not something we’ll do until our dog, Leo leaves us as it would be too hard on him to travel overseas.

  2. It’s amazing how much your variable costs have gone down compared to your average Motorhome monthly costs. Kudo’s to the budget manager!

  3. Joe and Kait,

    My wife and I are planning on packing it in and hitting the road in the next three years or so. I saw on one of your income posts you were making some good money on YouTube. I find the info on earning on YouTube to be all over the map…do you have an average payment per view that you are seeing? I would love to hear a real range from real people. It will help us put our plan together. Thanks in advance and if you are ever in the Tulsa, OK area please let us know as we have a driveway you can use (it does have a little slope to it though…)

    • Hey Greg,

      That’s a tough question to answer and I could probably spend about an hour explaining how the advertising system and monetization works (it’s what I used to do in my former career). The reason you see earnings to be all over the map is that there are many factors that relate to how much you make from your views. These include things like…how old or affluent is your audience (many advertisers will pay more to deliver their ad to someone in their 40’s making six figures than someone fresh out of high school making minimum wage), where are they located, how engaged are they (do they click the links/watch the ads) and there are hundreds more. In short, how much you make off ads is measured by CPM (cost per thousand views). Based on all the different factors, you could get anywhere from sub-$1 to high single/low double digit figures per thousand views. Also, each video may make a different CPM based on that host of factors I mentioned. So you can have an identical number of views on two different channels and each channel will make a completely different amount of revenue. My advice is to learn as much as you can about how the advertising system works so you know what to look for.

      Good luck and if we ever come through you’re area we may take you up on your offer for the driveway!


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