Thanks for “checking out” the Changing Gears family checklists, budgets and forms! Our online RV checklists are provided to you free of charge.
Other Changing Gears Checklists
- RV PDI Inspection Checklist
- Arrival & Setup Checklist – Motorhome
- Arrival & Setup Checklist – Towables
- Departure Checklist – Motorhome
- Departure Checklist – Towables
- RV Must-Have Accessories List
- New to RVing? – Getting Started
- Road Test Checklist – Motorhome
- Road Test Checklist – Towables
- RV Camping Gear List
- RV Types Pros & Cons Chart
- RV Basic Lifestyle Budget
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Download This Checklist!
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
|Income source (after taxes) 1:|
|Income source (after taxes) 2:|
|Income source (after taxes) 3:|
|Income source (after taxes) 4:|
|TOTAL MONTHLY INCOME|
Examples: Transaction, ATM, check orders, wire transfer, travelers checks, credit card fees, credit card finance charges
|Clothing & shoes||50|
|Dry cleaning & laundry||0|
Examples: movies, video rental, shows, games, amusement parks
Example amount is for diesel tow vehicle with average consumption as follows: 8 mpg towing, 14 mpg not towing. Fuel cost of $2/gallon,
|Gifts for family & friends|
Examples: birthday, anniversary, Christmas
|Home accessories (RV & house)|
Examples: linens, furniture items, dishes, kitchen tools
May be necessary if traveling with small RV, or while RV is in shop.
|House maintenance & upkeep|
Examples: lawn care, repairs
|Insurance: home owners for house||0|
|Insurance: local transportation vehicle|
Example amount is for motorcycle. Other Examples: [an error occurred while processing this directive], motor boat
Example amount is for couple in their mid-thirties, $2,500 deductible per person, no prescription or doctor's visit benefits.
|Insurance: RV & contents||45|
|Insurance: tow vehicle||95|
Example amount is for T-Mobile wireless Internet with unlimited data usage. Other examples: dial-up, cable, DSL, satellite
|Loan payments: tow vehicle||440|
|Loan payments: RV||485|
|Mail forwarding services|
Examples: membership fee, handling, postage, PO box rental
Includes all expenses not covered by insurance. Examples: medicine, doctor's office visits, dental, insurance deductible, co pay, medical equipment
All other small expenses. Examples: toiletry items, kitchen and office supplies, cleaning supplies, bath items
Examples: computer hardware & software, fax machine, printer, laminating machine
Examples: food, medicine, veterinary services, boarding, grooming, supplies
|RV clubs & publications|
Examples: club membership, magazine subscriptions, books
Examples: parts, service
|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.
|RV site rent|
Example amount is for monthly rate and does not include electricity usage.
Storage of the RV while not in use.
|Storage of household & personal items|
Example amount is for a 5 x 5' climate controlled unit.
Examples: telephone line, cell phone, calling card
|Utilities for house|
Examples: water, trash, sewage, electric
|Vehicle maintenance on motor home, tow vehicle, and local transportation|
Examples: oil change, new tires, repairs, all other maintenance
|Vehicle registration & licensing|
Examples: tags, registration, state inspection sticker
|TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES|
Andy Herrick is a blogging nerd, #8 Enneagram, wannabe bread baker, INTJ, RV industry professional, and small business entrepreneur. He can be found hanging out with his lovely wife and family, skiing, cycling, climbing, hiking, and convincing anyone who will listen why dogs aren’t really that great of pets. Also, he runs this website.