RV Roadtrip Costs Wrap-up: 1 Year on the road through the US, Canada and Mexico

Hopefully you’ve been following our blog, as we traveled throughout the US & Canada and overwinter in Mexico.

For each stage of the journey, we published our expenses (as well as tons of photos etc.) and in this quick blog post, we’d like to present the entire years budget.

We looked at 2 different kinds of costs – (a) total costs (ie. every dollar spent along the way) and (b) the ‘Big 3’ expenses of camping, food & fuel.

For us, we left home in April 2017 with a 12 month & $40K budget in mind; $3K for each month on the road & $4K for repairs.

Most of our months on the road were under $3K BUT, we did spend more than anticipated on RV repairs. The general rule of thumb is to budget ~10% of the cost of your vehicle for annual maintenance and since our Navion is worth ~$40K, we thought ~$4K could be expected in maintenance/repairs. However, we took some bigger hits than anticipated with replacement shocks, struts, brakes & batteries while on the road (and we did a solar install too) and if you want to do high mileage (we did over 26K miles on this trip), you need to be prepared for those kinds of expenses. In fact, since we’ve been back in FL (post-budget tracking for this blog) we’ve spent an additional ~$2,500 on RV repairs. Now a lot of you might be thinking that it sounds like a ton of money and the RV work could be done by yourself (rather than using a mechanic or RV shop) for a lot less etc. but, don’t forget that doing big jobs (like suspension) while you are on the road, away from home and your own workshop, ramps, tools etc. (other than what you have brought on your trip) makes things a bit more difficult and also, most campgrounds will not appreciate you doing any mechanical work on their premises.

DAILY SUMMARY: 

Daily (Big 3 – camping, food & fuel) expenses:

  1. East coast US $68/day
  2. Across Canada $57/day
  3. West coast US $52/day
  4. AZ & UT $49/day
  5. Mexico $43/day
  6. Southern US $69/day

 

So, here is the summary of our year on the road, split into 6 trip-sections:

  • 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).
  • Total – All expenses (every single dollar spent) – for 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 31 days on the road, traveling South on the West coast of the US, through WA, OR & CA: $1,597 ($52/day average).
  • Total – All expenses (every single dollar spent) – for 46 days on the road, traveling through AZ & UT: $3,688 ($80/day average).
  • Total – Big 3 only (camping, food, diesel) – for 46 days on the road, traveling through AZ & UT: $2,237 ($49/day average).
  • Total – All expenses (every single dollar spent) – for 82 days in Mexico $5,393 ($66/day average).
  • Total – Big 3 only (camping, food, diesel) – for 82 days in Mexico $3,533 ($43/day average).
  • Total – All expenses (every single dollar spent) – for 21 days traveling home from Arizona to Florida $1,778 ($85/day average).
  • Total – Big 3 only (camping, food, diesel) – for 21 days traveling home from Arizona to Florida $1,453 ($69/day average).

 

Summary of 6 travel sections – total spend – as detailed above: $31,370

To this total of year-long expenses, we add $800 for cell phone during the 12 months on the road & $520 for our RV insurance.

Everything else is included above…fuel & snacks, toothpaste & haircuts, dog treats & engine oil…everything we needed to keep us traveling (in comfort).

Could it be done for less…absolutely…less moving means a lot less diesel spending (we spent $4,500+ on diesel over the course of 12 months, getting ~ 15 mpg in our 5 cylinder diesel Mercedes engine – our RV weighs just over 10K lbs); less eating out obviously saves money; less upgrades (such as the new suspension & Sumo Springs) equal more money staying in the bank. There are many choices that each traveler will have to make, each day of their trip.

For those who are interested, total camping spend was $4,952 and total food spend was $9,393 over the course of the 12 months.

 GRAND TOTAL:

Cost of living on the road, traveling fulltime in our Navion RV for (almost exactly) 12 months: $32,690, let’s call it USD $33K, which comes out at just under $3K/month, pretty close to our original budget of $40K for 12 months. This was for 2 adults, traveling with 1 dog, with no tow vehicle (toad).

 

We’d love to hear your comments & questions. Thanks for following us on this amazing adventure and keep up with us, as we’re on a bike tour currently (since the RV trip came in under budget!).

If you are enjoying this blog, please consider supporting us by clicking here.

Please follow us on our blogs:

  • Florida Adventures blog
  • RV Road Trip blog
  • Cycling Adventure blog

Check out more of our photos here and keep up to date with our Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s