If you have been following our blog, you’ll know we spent a year traveling full-time in our Navion RV and other than our favorite spots & must-see destinations, most people seem interested in the costs of doing such a trip.
In recent posts, we have discussed costs from 2 earlier sections of our road-trip: The east coast of the US, April – July 2017 and Crossing Canada July – September 2017.
In this post, we’ll look at the 31 day trip we took heading South from Canada though Washington, Oregon & California and the costs associated with this section.
From an earlier post on costs:
The Big 3
These are the 3 main expenses of being on the road (camping, fuel, food) so, if you can control those costs, you can somewhat control your destiny when it comes to how long you might be able to sustain your adventure and stretch your hard-earned & saved dollars.
- If you pay to camp overnight or if you choose to boondock can make a substantial difference in your monthly expenses (camping)
- If you decide to travel much and cover big distances – having covered over 26,000 miles on our year-long road trip, certainly added up to some serious diesel dollars (fuel)
- If you choose to cook for yourself when traveling or decide to eat out more often – most people are going to have a mix of both (food)
And don’t forget, other expenses – from your regular home life – are going to continue, such as paying for a cell phone, perhaps paying for medical insurance, continuing with online subscriptions such as Spotify, Amazon (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial) or Netflix and of course, your vehicle (if using a car/truck/RV/boat etc.) will need to be registered & insured for any adventure. Speaking of expenses like cell phone, check out Project Fi for great coverage anywhere & everywhere (use the referral code below & we both save some $):
Finally, the miscellaneous costs can’t be forgotten. Things like laundry costs when you are on the road, vehicle repairs (rule of thumb here is 10% of the purchase price annually for maintenance), haircuts, tolls, park entries, activities (seeing a movie or renting a kayak) and any clothing or footwear that might need to be replaced if you are going to be on the road for an extended period of time.
First, here’s a brief snapshot of the trip expenses to date:
- Total – All expenses (every single dollar spent) – for our first 75 days on the road, traveling up the East coast of the US, from Florida to the Canadian border: $6,906 ($92/day average).
- Total – Big 3 only (camping, food, diesel) – for our first 75 days on the road, traveling up the East coast of the US, from Florida to the Canadian border: $5,090 ($68/day average).
- Total – All expenses (every single dollar spent) – for our 84 days traveling across Canada: $7,183 / $85 day average).
- Total – Big 3 only (camping, food, diesel) – for our 84 days traveling across Canada: $4,821 / $57 day average).
What follows are our costs for the third portion of our trip, from leaving Canada and exploring WA, OR & CA, covering the period September 27th to October 28th 2017 (31 nights). These are OUR costs, they will not be the same as your costs; everyone’s adventure will be different. These are just meant as a guideline (all numbers are rounded up for ease of reading).
- Camping $26 (we only paid for 1 night of camping during this 31 night section of our RV road-trip; 5 nights were spent with friends and the remaining 25 nights were spent boondocking)
- Groceries $718 ($23/day average)
- Eating out $190 ($6/day average)
- Combined food spend $908 ($29/day average)
- Diesel $663 ($21/day average)
- Miscellaneous; will vary hugely between different travelers, different locations and between different periods within one’s own trip $4,825 (includes $41 laundry costs & $55 in propane costs; the bulk of the misc expenses ($4,160) were spent on the RV – new suspension, shocks, struts, brakes, batteries etc. – we discuss these RV upgrades & costs in this post.
- Total – All expenses (every single dollar spent) – for these 31 days on the road, traveling South on the West coast of the US, through WA, OR & CA: $6,422 ($207/day average).
- Total – Big 3 only (camping, food, diesel) – for these 31 days on the road, traveling South on the West coast of the US, through WA, OR & CA: $1,597 ($52/day average).
As you can see from the sets of numbers above, the West coast of the US has so far been the lowest cost section for the Big 3 expenses – Camping, Food & Diesel but, the high RV maintenance costs during this period made for an expensive section of our RV road-trip.
Join us next as we head East into Arizona and Utah, before heading South of the border for our Winter in Mexico.
If you would like any further specifics on boondocking locations etc., please comment on this post and we’ll respond with details on some of the great spots we found along the way.
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