RV Budgeting: Cost and Expenses

RV living seems like a good way to save money while living in a natural setting. While saving a chunk of money on rent and bills monthly, and with the possibility of re-selling the home at an equivalent price, there are costs and expenses to be aware of before purchasing a mobile home.

Cost:

-Trailer: ( $5,000) 

Our budget was on average $4,000. We knew we wanted a trailer with slide-out, 25ft+, and in a decent shape (no mold, no leaks). After several weeks of research, we realized that we had to raise up our budget a bit in order to get something closer to what we needed. We found our home on wheels on Craigslist. After driving a couple hours to see it, we realized that pictures aren’t always accurate and sometimes it is a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” kinda deal. The trailer was listed at $5,500 and we managed to get it at $5,000.

Expenses:

-Insurances and Transfer Fees: ($150)

Insurances always depend what kind of vehicle you have and what you need. Insuring a trailer for a year is normally very cheap.

-Towing: ($350)

Since we are parking our trailer at the same location for a few months, we didn’t feel the urge on installing a fifth wheel itch on the truck. Instead, we hired someone from Craigslist that charged a flat rate to tow our fifth wheel to our town (200km). It was cheaper than buying and installing the hitch, and it was done professionally and safely.

-Repairs ($225 so far)

You never know what to truly expect when you purchase a used recreational vehicle. So be ready for the unexpected!

  • Floor: wood laminate on Craigslist: $75
  • Fix leaks (yeah, there were leaks!): plastic cement+ tools: $50
  • Replacing fridge: $100

-Making It Home: ($400)

  • Coffee table: $25
  • Closet and shoe organizers: $40
  • Fluffy blankets, and pillow cases: $20
  • 2 Electric heaters: $135
  • Electric fireplace: $150
  • 2×4 for deck and stairs: 30

-Propane tanks: ($16/mth)

We have 2 propane tanks. They seem to cost about $16 each to fill up where we live. We estimate that we will use one a month for cooking and water heating. As we have full hookups, we will try to solely heat with electric heaters to save on propane.

-Winterizing 

My partner works construction so he has leftover material and gets good deals. He got sheets of plywood that we put around the trailer, as well as foam panels to insulate. We still need to cover the pipes and protect the roof. To be continued…

Total: $6,000

In all, so far, we spent just over $6,000 for our new home. We are realizing that owning and living in an RV during the winter months could become an expensive lifestyle. We already spent over $1,000 just to make it ready to move in and we haven’t put a roof on it for the winter yet. That might be the next thing to be put on our list. This is all new and exciting and we are always aware of possible complication. Life in a RV will definitely be quite an adventure!

Stay tuned!

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