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What does it cost to live out of a camper van full time? In this post we share the seventh 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 – November 2017
Total Miles Driven: 662
Avg. MPG: 12
Nights of Paid Camping: 0
Nights of Free Camping: 30 (Driveway Surfing, Dispersed Camping, Rest Area, Walmart, Hosted Campground Stay)
Meals Eaten Out: 5
Variable Costs Breakdown:
Food $432 – groceries and dining out
Campground Fees $0
Gym Membership $22
Dog Food & Supplies $121
Total Variable Costs: $791
Cost Per Day: $26
Gas costs were down over $80 compared to last month as a result of driving fewer miles. This is the least number of miles we’ve driven since we started van life. However, our average MPG dropped from 14 to 12 as a result of driving on mountain roads and city streets. This resulted in less savings in gas.
New item in the report is LP. The camper van has a 5.9 gallon propane tank. Over six months of using the gas stove every day, we finally refilled the propane tank at Costco. It came out to 2.8 gallons, less than $5. We use the gas stove on average twice a day to boil water for tea and coffee and every once in a while we run the Truma heater on gas instead of electric.
Dog costs increased as a result of a vet visit and other supplies for Leo.
Miscellaneous costs decreased significantly, dipping below $100, which hasn’t happened since July 2017.
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.
View More Van Life Cost Reports or click on the banner below.
Thinking of the best van chassis for your camper conversion? Check out our Top 6 Van Chassis for your Camper Van Conversion.
13 thoughts on “Full Time RVing Costs: Van Life Edition – November 2017”
Thanks for sharing!
We have a 2002 fifth wheel Coachmen and has one slide where the dinette is we have two little dogs and next October we are heading out west we live in South Carolina right now and we can’t get wait to get on the road did I say that right I don’t know I’m so excited I can’t wait you’ve been an inspiration but I don’t know if I could live in a van a fifth wheel is going to be hard enough oh well here’s to you congrats
We recently bought a Hymer Active 1.0 and really enjoy your informative videos. I was surprised to hear you say that your vehicle has the 3500 chassis, so I looked at the specs. Apparently the 1.0 has the 2500 chassis- and our gas milage so far (about 2500 miles) seems to be averaging about 17 mpg. We are retired with a house and yard which demands more than a fair amount of attention. But we are really looking forward to touring in out new camper van.
Thanks Michael! Congrats on the van and glad to hear your getting good mpg. Enjoy your adventures ??
Hello Joe & Kait,
I am currently reading your book and loving it. Can you do a little YouTube video on your book writing process? Is this your first book? Where did you do most of your writing? How long did it take you to finish? And, did you use a professional editor, etc? I am writing a nonfiction book, but the noise distraction of living in a big city is really hampering the process. So, next year I plan to do the Thoreau thing in an LTV, hopefully in the redwoods around Santa Cruz. I’m very keen on getting your take on this process. You are living the life I dream of: itenerant writer- filmmaker.
Has your gas mileage always been that low? For some reason I was thinking the ProMaster was rated higher than that like 19 to 20 mpg.
Hi Kent – I believe the rating you’re referring to is based on the Promaster when its completely empty (just a shell). Keep in mind ours has been converted and has an awning, AC unit, etc on top which can affect mileage plus it’s fully loaded.
C. C. MacNair
Just downloaded your book Taking Risks this morning. Could not put it down and read it from cover to cover. I’m ready for the next one where is it? ? You did a a fine job of writing. It was interesting and informative. I have also been following you guys on YouTube . Keep up the good work.
Leo reminds me of a Samoy I had named Max. He was solid white,weighed 65 lbs. and we took him every where we traveled.
Keep up th good life,
Thanks CC! If you wouldn’t mind taking a moment to leave a review we’d really appreciate it.
Thank you so very much for sharing. My husband and I have a dream of being on the road. Sooner than later. But we are trying to get as much information as we can. I did order your book the other day. This is his Christmas gift! Thank you once again. We really do enjoy you on Utube and your posts on face book. Did sign up for newsletter.
Thank you Rhonda and hoping you and your hubby enjoy the book and you’re dream of being on the road happens as quickly as possible.