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Month four and it feels like yesterday that we hit the road full time in a motorhome. The biggest thing for us this month was that we became Texas residents! We’re very excited to become Texans, but the cost to set everything up impacted our costs. Food costs were down even though we splurged in Louisiana and ate at several restaurants. Kait thinks we can cut down our food bill even further next month. We did stay at our family’s farm in Central Florida for a good portion of the month, which greatly helped us save on campground fees.

To view all reports, RV Living Costs: Full Time in a Motorhome for One Year.

Full Time RVing Costs: Motorhome Edition – December 2015:

Total Expenses: $2,829
Cost Per Day: $91.26
Total Miles Driven: 2,073
Generator Hours: 15
Jeep MPG: 18
RV MPG: 7.5
Nights At RV Parks / Family Farm: 23
Nights Spent Dry Camping: 8
Meals Eaten Out: 13


This month our expenses went down, spending a total of $2,829 compared to $2,929 last month.

Here are a few notes about our expenses this month compared to last month:

Food costs were cut in half this month. Although we ate out quite a bit especially in Lafayette, Louisiana, we spent the rest of the month making meals at home. Total spent on food was $651 compared to $1,121 last month.

Performed maintenance on both vehicles. We changed the engine oil on our RV, changed the oil in the Onon generator and the differential fluid (front/rear) on the Jeep. In total, we spent $55 on oil and filters. Better than the $450 at the dealership (avg. quoted prices: RV oil change $100; generator oil change $90; Jeep differential fluid (F/R) $260). We also cleaned the RV inside and outside. These maintenance items were easy to do and saved us a lot of money. It also gave us a good opportunity to inspect the RV. We found a few warranty issues that we’ll have taken care of at our next service appointment.

Spent many more nights hooked up. Although a majority of those were spent on our family’s farm, we are spending more on campsites. Dispersed camping in National Forests and on BLM Land is almost nonexistent on the East Coast.

In becoming Texas residents, we paid several one time fees from setting up our mail forwarding service to getting our Texas drivers licenses and vehicles inspected and registered. Check out our post on Becoming Texans through Escapees RV Club.

Saves money on gas. We continued to drive fewer miles which saved us $56 on gas and GasBuddy continues to help us find the best gas prices in each city. Check out the Top 10 Apps for RVing.
Miles on the RV: 1,169 – avg mpg 7.5
Miles on the Jeep: 904 – avg mpg 18

MPG on the RV went back up to 7.5 this month because we’ve been slowing down and taking our time. We also lightened the load to help increase mpg.

Cost to Live on the Road Full Time - 1

Lessons Learned:

Some things we learned this month that we’d like to pass along.

Researching sales tax can help save money. We were going to make a Costco run in Mobile, AL, after doing some research, we found that the tax rate was 11%! Since we were headed to Tallahassee, FL, we decided to make our purchases there and saved the 3.5% on sales tax.

The further east we go, the fewer free dry camping spots there are. We have been accustomed to dry camping on BLM or National Forest land and only stay at a campground when we want hookups for a few days. Now, the dry camping spots we’re finding are at Walmart or Cracker Barrel and since we are limited to one night, we are staying at more campgrounds.

The humidity and bugs in the south make hookups a necessity. Many of the places we’ve gone this month are swarming with mosquitos and small stinging flies. The smaller mosquitos and flies are able to get through the screens and we got eaten alive one night when we left the windows open and fans on. It’s also been warm and VERY humid in Florida and not having the AC running made life in the coach very uncomfortable.

We’ve taken our own advice from last month and started driving slower in the RV (around 60mph) and not filling our water tank whenever possible. We’ve seen an increase in 1mpg over the course of the month.

To view all reports, RV Living Costs: Full Time in a Motorhome for One Year.

RV Living costs