Checklist – RV Lifestyle Budget

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Hey, great news! If you want to create an RV expense budget in real time, visit our new RV Lifestyle Cost of Living Calculator! 

The calculator helps you enter, estimate, add, and understand your monthly expenses. It works for everyone from weekend warriors to full-time nomads.

Supporting your RV lifestyle can be relatively inexpensive or it may require a small fortune. Where you end up depends on your financial abilities and plenty of careful planning.

Below is a sample budget to assist you in identifying relevant income and expenses. We believe that this budget is representative of a typical household, but you should not assume that it is comprehensive for your specific needs.

To further assist newcomers, we have included the “Example” column with realistic expenses based on our experience as fulltimers living on a limited income. Note that some items have a zero amount—this indicates an expense that we do not have, but it may be applicable to you.

Some expenses come in spurts. For example, vehicle maintenance may occur only a few times per year. In these cases we have included the monthly average from the past year.

This budget includes recurring expenses only. It does not include one-time expenditures like the following:

  • RV down payment or out-right purchase
  • Tow vehicle down payment or out-right purchase
  • Land or time sharing membership purchase

Want More?

If you’re looking for more information on RV budgeting and cost of living, please see our RV Cost of Living interactive calculator!

Budget ItemExample
$ Monthly
Your
$ Monthly
INCOME
Income source (after taxes) 1:
Income source (after taxes) 2:
Income source (after taxes) 3:
Income source (after taxes) 4:
TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME
EXPENSES
Bank fees
Examples: Transaction, ATM, check orders, wire transfer, travelers checks, credit card fees, credit card finance charges
3
Charitable contributions160
Clothing & shoes50
Dining Out200
Dry cleaning & laundry0
Entertainment
Examples: movies, video rental, shows, games, amusement parks
20
Fuel
Example amount is for diesel tow vehicle with average consumption as follows: 8 mpg towing, 14 mpg not towing. Fuel cost of $2/gallon,
345
Gifts for family & friends
Examples: birthday, anniversary, Christmas
125
Groceries400
Home accessories (RV & house)
Examples: linens, furniture items, dishes, kitchen tools
100
Hotel
May be necessary if traveling with small RV, or while RV is in shop.
0
House maintenance & upkeep
Examples: lawn care, repairs
0
Insurance: dental0
Insurance: home owners for house0
Insurance: life30
Insurance: local transportation vehicle
Example amount is for motorcycle. Other Examples: [an error occurred while processing this directive], motor boat
40
Insurance: medical
Example amount is for couple in their mid-thirties, $2,500 deductible per person, no prescription or doctor's visit benefits.
255
Insurance: RV & contents45
Insurance: tow vehicle95
Internet service
Example amount is for T-Mobile wireless Internet with unlimited data usage. Other examples: dial-up, cable, DSL, satellite
35
Loan payments: tow vehicle440
Loan payments: RV485
Mail forwarding services
Examples: membership fee, handling, postage, PO box rental
35
Medical
Includes all expenses not covered by insurance. Examples: medicine, doctor's office visits, dental, insurance deductible, co pay, medical equipment
65
Miscellaneous
All other small expenses. Examples: toiletry items, kitchen and office supplies, cleaning supplies, bath items
90
Mortgage0
Office equipment
Examples: computer hardware & software, fax machine, printer, laminating machine
50
Pet care
Examples: food, medicine, veterinary services, boarding, grooming, supplies
45
RV clubs & publications
Examples: club membership, magazine subscriptions, books
10
RV maintenance
Examples: parts, service
10
RV propane40
RV site electricity
Example amount is averaged over a year, two air conditioners running in summer. Some RV parks include electricity usage in the rent fees, but most will bill for electricity separately when paying rent monthly.
60
RV site rent
Example amount is for monthly rate and does not include electricity usage.
385
RV storage
Storage of the RV while not in use.
0
Storage of household & personal items
Example amount is for a 5 x 5' climate controlled unit.
55
Souvenirs20
Telephone
Examples: telephone line, cell phone, calling card
100
Utilities for house
Examples: water, trash, sewage, electric
0
Vehicle maintenance on motor home, tow vehicle, and local transportation
Examples: oil change, new tires, repairs, all other maintenance
60
Vehicle registration & licensing
Examples: tags, registration, state inspection sticker
15
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:
Other:
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES
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