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Saturday, June 5, 2010


It's only money, right?  The stuff that makes the world go round.  Never enough.  Income on the road, work camping, campground hosting.  Pensions, 401K's, CDs, being independently wealthy (wouldn't that be nice!), a lifetime of savings.  Full time or part time, traveling on the road in a RV takes money.

Marti and I have been wrestling with what we'll need to travel on our full time adventure.  I've been researching the websites of those full time RV folks that are willing to share what they spend.  I've looked at simple lifestyles with limited travel to exorbitant champagne and caviar, oysters on a silver platter travel to only the best, five star lifestyles in the multi million dollars rigs.

We don't want to live eating dog food and staying in the most run down of trailer parks or staying on city streets one step ahead of the local police trying to run you out of town.  On the other hand, we're not to fond of caviar and champagne, well, don't hate me but I'd probably use it for carburetor cleaner. ;c)

We want to be middle of the road, able to go where we want, when we want and have the ability to spoil the grandkids along the way.  Fancy vacations are not necessary, but an occasional trip to Disney World, okay, an annual visit to Disney World would be nice.

I'm fortunate that I've had tremendous experience in mechanical and electrical fields, thanks to my Coast Guard training and hands-on work.  I can fix a lot of issues and I'm limited only by not having a big enough place to work on our Journey or the large tools I'd need to perform the required repairs because there is only so much room in a motorhome to carry things.  I'll do what I can do, this will be a big plus to our budget.

We're not drinkers, so we will realize a cost savings there.  The big Kahuna benny for us will be retiring from the military, which will provide a pretty good income from my pension, cover our medical insurance costs with Tricare, (the military health care provider) and we'll be able to use commissaries for food shopping.  Also, many military bases around the country have very nice campgrounds that are available to retirees at almost unbelievable rates as compared to private, county, state or federal campgrounds, a huge savings.

We don't really want to be in a position where we need to workcamp on the road, maybe someday we'll volunteer somewhere to be in an area where we want to stay for an extended time.  That we'll play by ear.

So it boils down to our first draft of a monthly full timing budget.  We'd appreciate your comments, feedback and suggestions!

Fuel (diesel) - $750 (estimating $3.00/gal.  Our Journey averages 7-8 mpg, so based on 7 mpg, that would give us a range of  about 1750 miles/month.  This is a padded figure, giving us a "slush fund")

Fuel (gas) - $100 (estimating $3.00/gal.  Our Honda Element averages 21-24 mpg, so using 21 mpg, we'll have a range of  about 693 miles/month.)  We may use some of this gas for the scooters which get 95 mpg.)

Campgrounds - $750 (based on $25/night)

Food -$400

Insurance (vehicles) - $100

Cell phone - $60

Internet - $70

TV (DirecTV) - $75

Mail - $50 +/-

Vehicle registrations - $15

Maintenance - $50

Hair care - $25

Clothing - $25

Entertainment - $100

Gifts/tithes/donations - $300

Emergency fund - $200

Misc - $300 (Club memberships, subscriptions, Disney trips, air fare, etc)

Total: $3370 per month or $40440 per year

Again, this is a draft, we will adjust things based on more input and once on the road, the real world "Beta-Test".  I've built in large amounts in the fuel and campground categories that will be flexible based on our travels. Use of military campgrounds, boondocking and reduced camping fees from Passport America type clubs will also hold down camping costs.

We are looking forward to being able to travel and not have Marti getting tracked down by the latest crisis at her job because we'll be RETIRED!

Thanks for visiting and please feel free to leave a comment.


  1. I guess you already saw my expenses, but if not, here it is.

    I don't stay in private campgrounds very often, and I'm single, so those would be big differences.

  2. Thanks, Diana. I did look at your budget carefully, and it gave me good ideas... I appreciate your feedback/comment. By the way, you have a great blog! ~Paul

  3. Looks like you got a good hold on your budget ideas and catagories. We are starting to track every penny now in our household budget, in practice for when we are retired on a pension and have to be more careful then too.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard