Obstacles and budget

Full Time RVing Obstacles

We believe most people never pursue their dreams because they are trapped in a vicious cycle of living beyond their means. Why do we need to have the latest electronic gadgets, the big house, the nice car, and all of the other crap we really don’t need? So many people are living from check to check and are just one unexpected event away from losing everything. Just one unexpected illness, injury or accident could leave most people with nothing. It’s hard to admit but we are probably one of those people, as are 80-90 percent of people in today’s economy. We all get caught up in the day to day grind.

We think it’s time for us to be in control of our lives and have the opportunity to pursue our dreams. We need to get in a position that allows us to live more simply, with less stress and to be able to concentrate on the important things in life, the things that really matter. Wouldn't it be liberating to have no debt and to be able to pay cash for everything and to not be tied to a job you hate just to make payments.

First, we have to look at our current financial situation. Laurie and I have always had a budget and it has always worked very well. We have great credit as this is something we have worked very hard to obtain. It hasn't always been that way, with Laurie's prompt bill paying and somewhat obsessive budget regime we have worked hard to maintain a great credit score. We are not wealthy by any one's standards and we are not prepared to go on the road without a financial care in the world. We will be faced with financial decisions that will have an effect on the amount of time we spend traveling, boondocking and workamping. Boondocking and workamping are terms rvers use.

Boondocking definition; To camp in a locations without power, sewer or water hook-ups, and almost always free.
Workamping definition; To exchanging skills for
a free campsite, usually with utilities included and some additional wages.

Making a Full Time RVing budget
We need to start with eliminating expenses that we will not have on the road.

Our goal is to be left with necessities that we will have no matter what. We will be selling our house so we will no longer have a mortgage payment, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, gas bill, electric bill, water and sewer bill, trash collecting bill, cable bill, land-line phone bill, Internet bill, home maintenance and repair expenses. Keep in mind we will need to replace some of these expenses in our full time Rving budget.

Here is how the items break down in our budget.


I have received a few comments on our budget and need to clear up a couple of things.

Campground and Membership fees: A year ago we purchased a used Thousand Trails camping membership. The membership has dues of $46.00 per month. The $46.00 allows us 50 nights in any of their 53 preserves. After the 50 nights the fee is $5.00 per night or $70.00 every 2 weeks or $140.00 per month. We do have an option in April to pay $92.00 a month in exchange for unlimited camping, this is something we will probably choose to do.
We don't always stay in Thousand Trails Preserves but it does save us a lot of money. We also use Passport America that gives us 50% off the campground fees at thousands of campgrounds. 

Satellite TV: The $21.00 per month satellite fee is the amount we pay a relative to rent an extra satellite box for us on their plan, and a small portion of their monthly bill.

Recently we sold our scooters and have replaced them with a small car. The budget has not been affected.


  1. Hi! We are your age, and plan to start our fulltime adventure in early 2012. Just wondering where your Health Insurance fits into your budget. Also, does your RV insurance cover replacing your "stuff" should you lose it or it becomes damaged?
    We're making a budget, and I would love to cut some more corners. I just can't find those corners!!!
    Thanks! Hope you keep blogging! It is encouraging for the rest of us!

  2. Going on the road with a tight budget does not bother me at all. You just don't need to blow a lot of money to tour the country. But I'd be very, very uncomfortable heading out without perhaps $20,000 in the bank as a reserve - or at least a couple of credit cards with very large upper limits available for emergencies.

  3. Looking at above comment date, I'm not sure when you published your budget. However, it doesn't seem feasible when compared to other comments from full timers that I have read about. First, the campground monthly fees seem too low, even if you are workamping and boondocking to supplement the fees. I, too, would love to get to a better place with living within your means, but, in this economy, my house hasn't sold; I have to have the equity in my home in order to buy RV, etc., etc. I sincerely hope you have been able to obtain your goals together. I am on my own, and I know on one income, it is hard to be debt free. I will keep trying and I hope and pray for the best for you. Linda

  4. We are full timers and have been for the last 9 years. Now retired, we have a limited budget that we must live within. I do wonder about some of the costs in your budget. The campground fees are pretty much what you are stating, but I have found that, with lots of campgrounds, if we stay for a month, we have to pay the electric bill for our lot and, depending on the time of the year and where we are, the cost is $30-$150 per month. In the winter, we heat with propane and that cost is around $100 per month, summer it is less than $10 per month to run the water heater. Our health and life insurance premiums together are close to $2,000 per year. I would love to get satellite TV for $21 per month. Who do you use? We also have to pay for car insurance and that is about $50 per month. You have some services that we don't use, such as campground membership fees, mail service and scooter. The rest of your expenses are pretty much in line with what we pay for each.