Costs of Full-Time RVing – September 2019

September 2019 marked the end of our summer circle tour of Canada and the New England states. We started the month at Keewadin Casino in St. Ignace, Michigan where we completed the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk. Our entire summer trip was planned around being back in Michigan for this event and as expected, it was a great time. 

After completing the Bridge Walk in Upper Michigan, we drove to Green Bay, Wisconsin to visit friends and family. We were anxious to arrive there as our new Lectric XP e-bikes had been delivered and were waiting for us at our son’s home. We ordered these bikes in June and were excited to finally receive them. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to ride them much in Green Bay as it rained steady all week. 

From Green Bay we traveled west to our former hometown in central Wisconsin to visit more family and friends. During our time there we did a suspension and solar upgrade to the RV, basic maintenance including oil changes on both the RV and Kia Soul and washed and waxed the RV. Scrubbing an RV from top to bottom and then waxing was a big job but the results were worth it. We also took our bikes out on several trails in the local area. The Lectric XP e-bikes are a total blast to ride!

The last two weeks of the month were spent just across the Wisconsin/Minnesota border in Woodbury, Minnesota at the home of our son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. In addition to lots of family time we spent time riding our new bikes, visited the Minnesota State Capitol, test drove a Chevy Colorado truck (new tow vehicle in the future??), took a tour of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Shakopee, Minnesota and planned out the first two weeks of our trip south for the winter that began October 1.

All stays this month were free ones with ten nights spent at casinos and twenty nights at the home of family and friends. Interestingly, this marks our twelfth month in a row with zero campground fees. We didn’t set out purposely to go an entire year without paying for a campground but it just worked out that way. 

Our total expenses for the month of September came in at $1,876.71, slightly above our 2019 average of $1,794.52 but less than the amount spent the previous three months when we were actively touring Canada and New England. Much of our September discretionary spending was related to RV solar upgrades ($244.53) and e-bike upgrades and accessories ($452.78). Without those purchases we would have spent $1,179.40 and been well below our average monthly outlay. 

Our food expenses for September were much lower than average as we focused on using up our stock on hand. Wasting food is not something we like to do so a good clean and purge is needed once in awhile. We also did a thorough reorganization of our pantry space and cleaned and defrosted the refrigerator/freezer. We will have to do a large replenishment of staple items sometime in early October. 

See the complete September 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 ten nights at two casinos, nine nights at the home of friends and eleven nights at a family members home. 

Communication – $183.10

Verizon phone plan shared with family, unlimited AT&T and Verizon data plans  and UPS mail box costs are included in this category. 


Entertainment – $86.34

Expenses include parking and shuttle fees in St. Ignace, MI for the Mackinac Bridge Walk, parking and shuttle fees in Madison, WI while attending a Wisconsin Badger Football Game, a fun evening out playing Singo at Stadium View Bar in Green Bay, WI and family hayride tickets at Aamodt’s Apple Farm in Stillwater, MN along with our monthly fees for Netflix and Hulu plans. 


Food – $221

Includes all food and alcohol expenses for the month. $77.50 was spent on meals and beverages eaten out and $143.03 for food and beverages prepared and consumed in the RV. 


Gas (Car) – $66

Total miles driven in the Kia Soul for the month was 823. Fuel prices ranged from $2.33-2.42 a gallon.


Gas (RV) – $183

Total miles driven in the Thor Vegas RV was 559. Fuel is also used to operate the on-board generator. Fuel prices ranged from $2.35-2.42 a gallon.


General – $522.71

Purchases included a usb cord and miscellaneous household items such as toiletries, paper products and cleaning supplies totaling $69.93. An additional $452.78 was spent on e-bike accessories including mirrors, locks, bike alarm, gel seats, phone holder, tie downs and Sena Smart helmets. 


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Laundry – $0

No expenses were incurred this month as we utilized laundry facilities at family members homes. 


License/Insurance – $113

Full-time RV and tow vehicle insurance and licensing. 


Medical/Dental – $139

Expense includes our monthly health insurance premium.


RV/Auto – $345

Expenses include oil changes for both the Thor Vegas and Kia Soul, two solar panels and installation items such as brackets. dicor and UV zip ties. 


Utilities – $18

Expense includes one propane fill at Cenex in DePere, WI. 7.3 gallons of propane at $2.29 a gallon + tax. Propane is used to operate the refrigerator, stove, water heater, furnace, grill and fire pit. 


Expense Breakdown

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