Four Steps to Afford the RV Lifestyle


The following information is courtesy of Michelle from the finance and lifestyle blog Making Sense of Cents

Many have dreams of buying an RV. Whether you plan on living in an RV full-time or if you are only interested in the occasional getaway, there are many ways for you to afford one so that you can start living your RV dream.

One of the many factors holding back a potential RVer is that they are unsure if they can afford the RV lifestyle.

The answer: Yes! Do research, prepare finances, and above all, be realistic.

There are four main components that go into affording the RV lifestyle. By evaluating them, you can determine how much money you need to save or earn. These include setting an RV budget, creating a monthly travel budget, finding ways to save money while on the road, and lastly, earning money on the road.


There are many options when it comes to RV types, starting with choosing motorized or towable. Motorized come in three types: Type A, Type B, Type C, depending upon the size and layout that fits your style. If you already own a suitable tow vehicle (pickup truck or SUV) consider a travel trailer, fifth wheel, folding camping trailer or truck camper. For those who don’t want to tow or move their RV frequently, there are park models. Prices can vary greatly, which makes it a good idea to analyze the various options to see what is best for your budget. To learn the difference between RV types, go here.


Some fixed expenses you will want to calculate include how much you will spend on:

  • RV payment (if you have one)
  • Entertainment
  • Food – groceries and restaurants
  • Gas or diesel
  • Propane
  • Laundry
  • Campground fees
  • Internet
  • Health insurance
  • Clothing
  • Phone
  • Household items such as toilet paper, soap, etc.
  • RV insurance
  • RV maintenance and repairs


There are many ways to save money so that you can afford the RV lifestyle. Just because another RVer spends a lot of money doesn’t mean that everyone has to spend the same. In fact, most RVers have quite affordable budgets and are still able to enjoy their time on the road..

The many different ways to save money include:

  • Choose campgrounds and RV parks that only have amenities you plan to take advantage of during your stay. Generally, the more services and amenities a campground has, the more it’s going to cost. Campsite fees don’t have to break the bank. State parks are a great low-cost option, as are many RV parks. Look here to find a campground or consider travel apps to help you find the campground that best suits your need.
  • Travel at the posted speeds. Fuel is usually one of the largest parts of an RVer’s budget. Traveling at posted speeds cuts down on fuel consumption.
  • Limit your impulse or unbudgeted purchases. It’s somewhat easy to limit purchases while traveling. RVs can only hold so many possessions. Before buying extra gadgets and “stuff,” it’s wise to think whether or not an item is really needed.
  • Make meal preparation a new shared activity. Shop local farmers markets for fresh in-season options, try new foods, and share meal preparation with campground neighbors. Cooked-by-you means healthier eating because you control the ingredients. Dining out is fun and convenient, but to save money, making your own meals will be the best decision for your budget.


If you are not retired but you want to RV travel a majority of the year, find ways to fund your travels.

There are many ways to afford the lifestyle if your dream is to own an RV. By setting an RV budget, creating a monthly travel budget, finding ways to save money while on the road, and earning money while on the road, you should have no problem living and enjoying the RV lifestyle.