Often-Overlooked Costs of an RV Lifestyle 

Last Updated on July 5, 2023

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Did you know that close to 46 million Americans intend to go on an RV trip in 2021? Switching to a mobile lifestyle is an easy decision for the adventurous and free-spirited. Should you check with die-hard RVers, they’ll talk about the sense of freedom offered by the open roads, making new friends, traveling to see the country, and skipping hot summers or cold winters. If this is something you want to do, you’ll start by researching the possible costs of the entire trip. Read ahead for information about some of the often-overlooked expenses that RVers should know about. 

Costs of Parking the RV Every Night

While you’ll spend days driving and traveling or sightseeing, you must find a camping ground to spend the night and park the RV. You could stay at a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) site, public land, or rest areas at no cost. Several Walmart and Cabela parking lots also permit RVs to park for short intervals. 

However, you must also plan for the days when you don’t have access to such sites. Get a membership with clubs like KOA, Passport America, or Thousand Trails and save 10% on each overnight fee. You’ll save close to $4 of $5 at each site by paying a membership of $50. Some packages also permit you to stay for up to three weeks without paying any additional camping fees.

Stops with Amenities

Every 7 to 10 days, you’ll check into a dry camping ground for housekeeping. That includes laundry, emptying your tanks, getting a freshwater supply, and cleaning up the RV. Having spent long hours on the road, you’ll want to take hot showers, shop, and relax before taking off again. State parks may charge you around $30 to $40 per night, while private parks cost $20 to $120. Of course, these costs depend on the season, location, and amenities provided.


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Storage Facilities for Your Belongings

Before leaving for your RV trip, you’ll rent storage facilities for your personal belongings. Expect to pay around $150 per month for heated storage to keep your things safe while you travel. A good way to cover some of the costs would be to rent out your home as a short-term rental. List your property on platforms like Airbnb, FlipKey, Vrbo, OneFineStay, or HomeToGo. These are only a few websites where people look for private homes to rent for their holidays. 

You’ll also get short-term rental management software to help you connect with guests, confirm bookings, receive payment, and schedule cleaning and maintenance. The amount you earn can be used to cover some of the expenses of your RV trip. 

Insurance and Incidentals

Depending on the distance you intend to travel, factor in the fuel cost, insurance premiums, including liability insurance for coverage against road accidents, and buying food. You’d also plan for unexpected incidentals that come up, such as repairs after stormy weather or regular equipment breakdowns. 

Going on RV trips or switching to the lifestyle is, no doubt, an exciting adventure for the whole family. But, do keep an eye on the costs and take advantage of all the hacks you can use to lower them.

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