Costs of Full-Time RVing – October 2019

October 2019 began with leaving our family in Minnesota and embarking on the long trek south with the eventual goal of reaching Arizona in December. 

During the first two weeks of the month we continued with our slow travel pattern while making our way from Minnesota, through Wisconsin and Illinois and ending in St. Louis, Missouri. While in St. Louis we completely changed up our plans as we decided to take a winter camp hosting position in Arizona. Instead of the original plan of taking at least two months to cover the 1,500 miles to Arizona we drove it in three days. See posts in the “Monthly Travels” section below for insight on the change in plans. 

Because of the abrupt travel plans change, our RV fuel expenses for the month were significantly higher than anticipated and almost double our $263.25 average cost for the first nine months of the year. Keeping in mind that the RV will be kept stationary for the remaining months of the year and we won’t likely be purchasing any more fuel, our average costs should decrease to $239.77. 

Our total expenses for the month of October came in at $2,199.53, our third highest month for 2019 pushing up our average outlay to $1,835.02. Besides the added RV fuel costs, the expense categories of food, general, and RV/Auto saw increases. 

During the month of September we did a major pantry/refrigerator/freezer clean and reorganization causing the need for a large staple item replenishment in October and pushing our expenses $50 above average. 

The general expense category this month includes $189.20 for airfare for an upcoming trip to Minnesota to celebrate the holidays with family. Roundtrip tickets from Phoenix to Minneapolis for $95 each were a definite steal. 

The two big expenses in the RV/Auto category were a new battery for the Kia Soul and an awning shade for the RV. The car battery was an obvious necessity while the awning shade was more of a want but also a necessity to be able to enjoy the outdoors during the daytime in Arizona.  

See the complete October 2019 detailed expense breakdown below.


monthly travels

Monthly Expense Breakdown

Below is a breakdown of our monthly expenses along with an explanation of what is included in each category. We track our spending via the free app “PERSONAL CAPITAL” and publicly share it to help others estimate their potential expenses for life on the road.

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Detailed Expense Breakdown

Campground Fees – $0

No campground expenses were incurred this month*. Overnight stays included two nights at Walmart, three nights at Harvest Hosts sites, four nights at a Boondockers Welcome host site, eight nights at casinos and fourteen nights at Fiesta Grande RV Resort in Casa Grande, AZ. 

*Fees are incurred at the resort and then reimbursed through camp hosting efforts. 

Communication – $190

Verizon phone plan shared with family, unlimited AT&T and Verizon data plans and UPS mail box costs are included in this category. Expenses were also incurred for postage and mail forwarding. 


Entertainment – $40

Expenses include entrance fees to the Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria, Illinois and parking at the Saint Louis Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri along with our monthly fees for Netflix and Hulu plans. 


Food – $424

Includes all food and beverage expenses for the month. $15.10 was spent on meals eaten out and $409.11 for food and beverages prepared and consumed in the RV. 


Gas (Car) – $32

Total miles driven in the Kia Soul for the month was 410. Fuel prices ranged from $2.15-2.49 a gallon.


Gas (RV) – $508

Total miles driven in the Thor Vegas RV was 2,222. Fuel is also used to operate the on-board generator. Fuel prices ranged from $2.00-2.49 a gallon.


General – $334

Purchases included cooler bags for the ebikes, clothing items, phone case, airfare for an upcoming trip to Minnesota and miscellaneous household items such as toiletries, paper products and cleaning supplies. 


Harvest Hosts is a network of wineries, farms and attractions that invite self-contained RVers to visit and stay overnight. Since starting our journey we have enjoyed the hospitality of many of these locations.

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Laundry – $9

Expense includes two trips to the laundry room at Fiesta Grande RV Resort. Washers are $1.49 per load and dryers are $0.25 for ten minutes. 


License/Insurance – $113

Full-time RV and tow vehicle insurance and licensing. 


Medical/Dental – $139

Expense includes our monthly health insurance premium.


RV/Auto – $394

Expenses include a battery for the Kia Soul, an awning sunshade, magnets and tape for window shades, electrical supplies for two new outlets and two replacement heavy duty drawer slides for the large kitchen drawers. 


Utilities – $17

Expense includes one propane fill of 5.4 gallons at Holiday in Lake Elmo, MN. Propane was $2.99/gallon plus tax. 


Expense Breakdown

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