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Old 01-18-2016, 05:57 AM   #85
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I think campground fees would never exceed $1,200 per month, though, and we would likely spend from $400-$650 per month on campground fees-


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Old 01-18-2016, 08:07 AM   #86
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When we first retired in 07, and began taking extended trips in the Interstate, I initially tracked every...single...expense....fearing we would overspend, overextend, etc.

We learned quickly that reasonable attention to expenses, and diligent attention to keeping campground costs down, kept us between $1200-1500 per month for traveling costs.....fuel, campgrounds, groceries, occasional meals out, etc.

This doesn't include insurance, medical, Verizon, etc.....just travel costs.

Our "spend less, do more" approach kept us, now me, solvent.

If you want to do it, it can be done, at the lower or higher end of expense.


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Old 01-18-2016, 08:15 AM   #87
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We learned quickly that reasonable attention to expenses, and diligent attention to keeping campground costs down, kept us between $1200-1500 per month for traveling costs.....fuel, campgrounds, groceries, occasional meals out, etc.

I'd like to know your strategies for doing this, when you have time--either here or e-mail, your choice.

Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:44 AM   #88
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Sure, Mimi.

Skipping grocery expenses, because those are so individualized, the biggest travel expenses are fuel and campgrounds.

Stay off the main highways, keep your speed down as you enjoy this beautiful country, meandering thru old towns and historic areas....stopping to look more closely at anything that interests you.

Decreased speed = greater fuel economy.

We latched on to Passport America very early on, have maintained it, and I still love it for overnight stays. Not every campground takes it, but it has a low annual fee and 50% reduction in price can be $12 a night. Almost always less expensive than a state park.

When we wanted it, we splurged on a high end campground for a weekend or special event requiring TV signal....like the Super Bowl....or so we could explore a nearby city or area.

Some of the PA campgrounds are less than exciting, but we never felt unsafe.....close your blinds and you are home, in your beautiful little house on wheels.

Others are the expensive, full service campgrounds...at 50% off. Restrictions as to stay almost always apply, but it helps a great deal.

Hard to beat PA prices, but for federal sites of all kinds, particularly once you have a Golden Age Passport. We got one of those on Doug's 62nd birthday.

Again, 50% off already low prices. I am at a COE campground right now, on a beautiful lake, with a paved pad that has a little deck, with W/E, hot showers, and a dump station....for $15/night. NPS sites at 50% off can be under $10/night.

As we got our sea legs over time, we began doing some boondocking..free..when weather permitted, or an occasional overnight at WalMart.

If we needed heat or AC, we almost always found a campground...but for beach camping at Padre Island NS one February....running our furnace the entire time, but it was so worth it.

We did a lot of roaming the country those first 3-4 years, and found these were the best ways to keep costs down.

I have done a fair amount of boondocking by myself, and had no problems. Lots of threads on this, and it can be a controversial subject, but we/I have simply have never had a problem. Common sense applies.

We also worked for decades with low income populations, and are not generally fearful of people who don't look or live like we do....and that makes a big difference.


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Old 01-18-2016, 08:49 AM   #89
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Maggie's "travel" numbers work for us, according to Debbie.
gas/mo 362
grow 300
dining 200
site 600
Total 1,462

Except, our average nightly site cost over past five years is under $14, so site could budget downward to $420, making monthly costs under $1,300. Debbie records every expense, always has, in Quicken so she has good handle on what we cost. Remember tho, Maggie's $1,500 is direct travel costs only. We cost an additional $2,000 to $2,500 monthly to live.
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Old 01-18-2016, 06:44 PM   #90
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Thank you all for sharing your expense histories. It is very helpful for those who are considering full timing or just budgeting a 6 week long trip. This thread is gaining considerable credibility for the dreamers and planners among us.

I think it is reasonable to document that living in or traveling with our Airstreams is not necessarily "cheap".

Maybe others want to share their budgets in the interest of helping newbies.

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Old 01-18-2016, 07:14 PM   #91
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We were all once dreamers and planners, too.


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Old 01-19-2016, 02:03 PM   #92
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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

The most we have spent camping is $595 dollars our first month on the road. Otherwise, on average we have spent about $250+/-

We've been stepping up the boondocking game every month. A lot of dry camping, we haven't had hookups since July, but looking to make 2016 the year spending no more than $100 a month to camp.
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:21 PM   #93
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I could totally full-time upon retirement-
Wish I could get a paid gig to full-time now-
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:43 PM   #94
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I've met some work campers who full time and generate some income in the process. I worked in a county park for two summers as a retired person "temp" and found it enjoyable mainly because I enjoy being outdoors. We serviced one of the better campgrounds in the area. This is one way to augment going full time.

I see many "full timers" in the various RV parks we have visited. These folks seem to migrate from high paying job to job building roads, buildings or harvesting crops and the like. A RV makes a very flexible home.

I think retired folks have an easier time of it going full time as debts are usually less, obligations are usually less, savings are usually higher, and the dream to do something completely different in retirement is strong.

I think we are learning from people's experiences that $3500 plus or minus a month is not out of line for a total budget to full time in an Airstream. Seems like a lot, but when you starting adding up everything you need it seems about right. It is important information to know when we start making our dreams happen.

I know I can live for less cost in a small town, working in a small factory, and living in a small house. Full timing isn't necessarily the cheapest way to live, but it may be one of the more enjoyable ways.

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Old 04-02-2016, 12:26 AM   #95
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My wife and I are in the planning stages of our fulltiming dream. We're aiming to start May of 2017. I will be working as a travel nurse and my assignments typically last 3 months but can be as short as 4 weeks. I'll be receiving a weekly tax-free housing stipend which will obviouisly be a big help with our budget. Thank you to everyone who has contributed their experiences and knowledge to this thread! You're helping me put a plan to my dream!
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:08 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

The most we have spent camping is $595 dollars our first month on the road. Otherwise, on average we have spent about $250+/-

We've been stepping up the boondocking game every month. A lot of dry camping, we haven't had hookups since July, but looking to make 2016 the year spending no more than $100 a month to camp.
Mike - How and where do you do your black water and grey water dumps?
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:33 AM   #97
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Thanks for reminding me to update our Google Doc.

Starting on Nov 21st, we camped for 128 days straight for free. Broke our streak when we moved into town to buy the new truck. Boo.

We have a composting toilet, no black. We dump where ever there is a dump station. Free or paid. Finding free is the priority. If paid, then look for the cheapest. I'm willing to pay for convenience, however.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:10 PM   #98
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Budgets vary greatly, as do expenses. Last month we were on the road a great deal, so our fuel and campground costs were higher. This month (April) the MH fuel costs are $37.98 because we're parked here for about 6-7 weeks. Campground fees for the month are $0.00 since we're workcamping. We got a COE park for one night when we were traveling for $7, since we have the pass and there was just electricity at the site.

There are quite a few of us who workcamp, trading some time and effort for a free FHU site. Habitat For Humanity Care-A-Vanners is a great way to help people, make new friends, and get free/reduced cost camping. One of the reasons why we are switching from a MH to an Airstream is that we DO like to volunteer, and often that means that we're spending several weeks to several months in one place (just like now). Yes, that also saves the budget, but we generally have a lot of fun.
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