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It’s our third month of full time RVing and we seem to be finding our groove! We’ve continued to try and take it slow in order to save money on fuel. Although we drove nearly 900 miles in two days from Tucson to San Antonio! Food expenses were quite a bit more this month because we restocked on many essentials items at Costco. For those of you with a Costco Membership, you know how easy it can be to spend money there. It took a lot of self control not to fill up two carts worth of goodies.

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

Full Time RVing Costs: Motorhome Edition – November 2015:

Total Expenses: $2,929
Cost Per Day: $97.63
Total Miles Driven: 2,609
Generator Hours: 21
Jeep MPG: 18
RV MPG: 6.5
Nights At RV Parks: 6
Nights Spent Dry Camping: 24
Meals Eaten Out: 19


Our expenses went up this month, spending a total of $2,929 compared to $2,686 last month.

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

  • Food costs were much higher for two main reasons. We stocked up on many essential items at Costco that should last us quite a while. More social activities means more eating out. Kait’s parents visited us in Tucson, Arizona for three days and we got a chance to meet up with fellow RVers.
  • We didn’t have any dog expenses last month, but Leo needed flea treatments and more food this month, adding $83.
  • More savings on fuel! We drove fewer miles which saved us just over $190 on gas. GasBuddy continues to help us find the best gas prices. Check out the Top 10 Apps for RVing.
    • Miles on the RV: 1,405 – avg mpg 6.5
    • Miles on the Jeep: 1,204 – avg mpg 18
  • MPG on the RV dropped this month. We’re getting more comfortable driving and consequently setting the cruise control at higher speeds (around 70 mph).
  • We spent more nights dry camping than at RV parks.
  • Still haven’t paid to dump thanks to the Allstays Camp & RV App! We did buy a ladder holder and ladder so we could clean the windshield and the RV.

November 2015 Expenses

Lessons Learned:

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

Drive slower and shed some weight! When we increased the setting on our cruise control from around 62 to 70 mph, we noticed a decrease from 7 to 6.5 MPG. We consulted our Ford chassis manual and found that for every 400lbs we shed, we gain about 1 mpg. Since we do a lot of dry camping we always top off our fresh water tank (75 gallons) whenever we can. This means we typically drive long distances with an extra couple hundred pounds of water. Shedding the extra weight will help increase the MPG. We’ll start looking for potable water at destinations to try and lose some water weight.

Stocking up at Costco can be expensive but saves us money in the long run. Before we left on this trip, we stocked up on items like canned goods, oils and spices, alcohol, etc. At the end of October, many of those items ran out and we made a pilgrimage to Costco to replenish. Most of the items we picked up should last us a few months (if not more) which means our grocery bill next month won’t be as high (hopefully). Stay tuned for a separate post on how much we spent at Costco and how long those items lasted – broken down on a per day cost.

Cracker Barrel is better than Walmart for overnight RV parking. We’ve found that Walmart is hit or miss in terms of allowing RVs to park overnight. When we call ahead to ask if we can park, we’re told yes – but when we arrive we’re told they do not allow overnight parking. This has happened on multiple occasions and can throw a wrench in our plans. Many Cracker Barrels have dedicated RV parking spaces and they are always friendly and consistent with their overnight policy. Learn more about Overnight Parking at Cracker Barrel.

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

RV Living costs