full timer cost, ? from newbie

Newbie to site, if I retire and purchase a motorhome, what can I project as an AVERAGE monthly expense. I know, " it depends on how much you travel, where you stay," blah, blah, blah,
but there must be a general rule of thumb. I would be just your " average guy " and not a ga-zillion-air staying at the million-air parks broadcast on The Travel Channel.
I'm talking about fuel, food, park fees,mail forwarding,internet access etc.


Senior Member
full timer cost, ? from newbie

No, there is no general rule of thumb, because there are so many variables. Here are some ideas to add up:

'Housing & Transportation'
Payment on the motorhome
Payment on a 'towed' vehicle for local travel
Yearly registration and insurance for both vehicles/12
Maintenance/Repair fund ($50 or more, depending on age/condition)
MH Fuel, .15 to .30 x estimated miles per month (number is Gas Price/MPG)
'Toad' Fuel, .05 to .15 x estimated miles per month

Space Rental with utilities 0 to $1000 (The low end requires going without utilities and/or 'workamping' and high end does not include luxury resorts or 'overpriced' localities) If you only go to the 'cheapest' parts of the country, you should be able to keep this under $500 and still be comfortable.

Household goods - about what you spend now
Food - $150 (if you mostly cook and bargain shop) to $1200 (eat out a LOT)
Propane - $10 to $150 except in the coldest climates
Health Care - Insurance plus Co-pays, Deductables/12, Medicine costs
Laundry - .50 to 2.00 per load (unless you have washer/dryer in trailer)
Mail Fowarding - I don't use it, so don't know, but should be easy to find
Internet - $10 (for dial in, use it as you can) to $120 (satellite)

So its all up to you. Could be anywhere from $500 to $5000 or more.
'Entertainment & Hobbies'
0 to infinity :)
full timer cost, ? from newbie

Here is some info on using RV PARKS. I don't go "camping" or boondocking, so I can't help you there.

Most RV parks are about $300 per month with some being as cheap as $50 and some as high as $600 per month..

If you stay in a park that has no bells and whistles, that is, no nearby tourist attraction, no fishing lake, or is located more than twenty miles to a town,,, they will be cheaper..

My friend stays down in Arizona each winter and pays $56 per month for a full hook-up and cable tv.. The TV and utilities are extra of course..


Here is a rough breakdown of my expenses.

Total monthly income = $1148.00 Social Security

Monthly expenses =

Rent ....$265 in winter / $305 in summer (just went up $15)
or $25 per night for "over-nighters".

The park that I am currently in is right in town, walking distance to everything from grocery stores to movies, to restaurants ...to .. to ..well, everything !! And Carson City is a medium size city..

Electricity ......$30/40 per month

Propane ..........Cost $1.75 per gallon

Summertime: $3/5 per month because I'm gone so much.
Winter time: Daily cost for propane is under $2.00

Truck fuel .......$10 to $20 depends on how active I am that month

Truck (2) insurance ..$485.30 for 6 months "Full coverage with CSI ins. company ($485.30 divided by 6 months = $82 per month)

Trailer insurance ...$289.00 for full year complete "Home Owner's" policy with Foremost Ins.($289 divided by 12 months = $24 per month)

Food ............$125.00 includes lots of steak and seafood items ... the trick ?? make a list for the entire month and
stick to it. Do not buy anything that is not on your grocery list

Medical ....full coverage by VA for FREE. including all medicines, operations, tests, etc..

Phone (land line).........$10.00 with unlimited local calls and unlisted number..

Phone (cell) ............. $19.95 with 60 minutes of talk time

Laundromat ...... including soap, bleach and dryer cloths ...$4.50 month

Personal things .... toilet paper, razor, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, etc about $3/5 per month with toilet paper as the most expensive at about 20 cent per roll X 5 rolls per month

Haircut ..... $5.00 ( no thats not a misprint, it only cost $5 )

Cleaning supplies .... Dishsoap, scouring powder, etc: .. (+-)50 cent per month

Internet access... $9.95 JUNO.COM

As you can see I get by very comfortable with money left over for foolish things like eating out a couple of times a month and fishing on the weekends.
My trucks and 5th wheel are ten years old.. But they both are in excellent shape.. and paid for...

Because the RV and trucks are paid for, I get by very cheap..

I don't travel around a lot, 6 months here ... 6 months there .. But I always winter in Carson City, Where the winters are about medium ... nighttime -5/30 degrees and daytime 20/50 degrees and most important... all the confounded tourist have returned home and left the big casino jackpots for me... (harrummp, don't I wish)

The trick is not to try and keep up with the Jones's.. live your own life on your own terms. Do what you want to do... Just because the rich folks jump into their $200,000.00 motor homes and drive all over America at $3.00 a mile doesn't mean you have to..

You are just as much a "full-timer" as they are.. just do what "YOU" want to do... and don't try to fly with the flock when summer comes around ..

Hope this helps

full timer cost, ? from newbie

Will be starting fulltiming within next 90 days. Don't have all cost answers yet, but do know our resort memberships will really help with overnight, weekly, etc. costs. We already have seen return on investment and membership is just two years old. Initial budget for our living style suggests about $3000 to $3500 month. Scary, huh?


New Member
full timer cost, ? from newbie

"My friend stays down in Arizona each winter and pays $56 per month for a full hook-up and cable tv.. The TV and utilities are extra of course.."

I am just exploring the arena of becoming a full-timer to get away from Maine. I am thinking of the So. West in order to setup for working and move around.Not having alot of $$ to start on this venture I would like to know what one would buy for a good Cl.A MH for around $20-$25K.

I would want it to be
*low mileage
*Atleast 32'
*Dependable Engine
*2 AC's
*Be able to tow a Hyundia Sonata accross Country

I would probably be willing to fly out west to pickup the unit and just work on upgrading whatever I did purchase so I was looking at AZ.,NV.,NM. or FL. as possible destinations for purchase.

I am somewhat mechanicaly inclined so I think I might be able to get by with something that needs alittle work.

What would you consider as good MH's to look for?

Lastly I am wary of 454 only because of they show up on the used market in big #'s and I like Chevy's.Is there a reason for this and should I consider looking into a Ford Engine instead. Fords are more costly to maintain in my experience.

If I could live economically in something I own instead of renting that is a plus and to beable to be mobile sounds good. The RV Park rates and mild SW winters with better employment signs seem to be what I need at the moment. I am single so that makes it even better economically also.

Any suggestions?



Senior Member
full timer cost, ? from newbie

While it is true that the minimum expense for fulltime RV life really does vary widely, I can offer you some ideas. If you visit our website you will find a listing of three years of actual expenses for fulltime living in our menu under "Fulltiming." While there you may also want to check the links to other RVers personal websites since there are several there that also list their expenses and they have very different lifestyles than I do.

Some things to consider. RV sites vary widely in cost from one area of the country to another. If you stay near a major tourist attraction you will pay far more than if you stay in a small rural town. Also, you can save a great deal in parking if you join the Passport America club as it will get you half price camping in the affiliated parks. Also, if you stay for a week you can usually save about 20% or if you stay for a month it will save about 30% or more depending upon how long you stay. Most snowbird parks give greater reductions if you stay more than one month. And there are also other ways to save camping fees. Wal Marts usually will allow you to spend the night if you do not abuse their hospitality.