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Old 11-02-2014, 11:19 AM   #1
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Posts: 2,522
Full Time Monthly Budget

I tried searching, but can't find what I'm looking for. Maybe you can reference a thread for me.

Can you full timers in Airstreams advise me on my monthly budget?

Site rentals at $30 per night, 30 nights is $900 per month
Fuel costs at 20 gallons per week at $4 is $320
Food for two at $100 per week is $400
Phone and internet hot spot per month is $120
Propane cost at 20 pounds per week at $2 is $40

Maintenance allowance per month is $100
License costs allowance per month for vehicle and trailer is $30
Insurance costs per month for vehicle and trailer is $50
Health insurance cost per month is $300 (assume no network)
Clothing allowance per month is $60
Cash miscellaneous items allowance per month is $160

Monthly budget to full time = $2480
Then add:
Tow vehicle payment (if)
Airstream payment (if)

Rainy day savings account minimum $10,000

Is this realistic?


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Old 11-02-2014, 11:36 AM   #2
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, Kentucky
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Subscribed as I'm also interested to know.

Hope to be an Airstream owner Sooner than Later.
Tow Vehicle-2013 F-250 6.7L Powerstroke Turbo Diesel 400HP/800LB-FT TQ
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:42 AM   #3
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Normal , Illinois
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Whether it is realistic depends on what you want and feel you need.

We have a spend less, do more philosophy. Were never full timers, but 6-9 months a year.

You could easily budget $20 per night for site rental, and seldom pay even that much, which is what we have done for 7 years. If you don't need 5 point, or even full, hookups every night.

Public campgrounds tend to be less expensive than private, and Passport America almost always less than a state or county park. There are restrictions on Passport America, but the membership is still a great cost cutter.

If you are 62 or over, disabled, or retired military, the national parks passport gets you 50% off federal campsites, including corps of engineer campgrounds.....which are almost always beautiful, have water and electric, and are very well maintained.

Nightly savings can then be stashed for a splurge on a full hookup campground someplace where you want to sight see or just have all the amenities for a few days.

Just my 2 cents.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:50 AM   #4
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2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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I think your propane allotment is very, very high....20lbs a week is a lot of propane.

If you went thru that in 2 weeks, I think it would still be high.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:57 AM   #5
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Gonna do anything while you are out and about? Add $$ for that.

Should you have a health incident, you will need copays, deductibles, and probably temporary lodging costs. Same if you have a vehicle or trailer breakdown.

And the fuel cost seems low to me if you are traveling a lot.

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Old 11-02-2014, 12:06 PM   #6
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2015 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Aston , Pennsylvania
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Fuel costs at 20 gallons per week at $4 is $320
I think your fuel budget is low if you are full time AND traveling. 20 gallons per week at 8 miles per gallon (just a guess) is 160 miles per week. That's 3 hours on the highway per week (not including errands and sightseeing). If you're doing a cross country trip, it would take around 17 weeks to get from point A to B at that rate (if you're in no rush, maybe that's not bad)

If you're just parked in one location, it may be more realistic for fuel... but then you shouldn't take $30 a night and multiply by 30 nights to get a monthly lodging #. Most places will offer a significant discount if you stay either weekly or monthly.

On the insurance, mine is $150 combined for trailer and TV. Then again, mine are new and currently insured on the east coast amongst a major city (probably high).

Are you going to be putting anything into storage when you fulltime? That needs to be budgeted for.

Lastly, you mentioned food for two in your budget. Does that mean your health insurance and misc. budget of 160 a month is for two people? If so, I think they are too low. Your medical looks right for one person. 160 a month for two people is $20 a week per person. I wouldn't be able to full time with a 'fun budget' of $20 a week, and not $40 either...

For full disclosure, I'm about 4 months away from taking a year off from the corporate world, so I've been budgeting, but have net vetted my own #'s yet.
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Old 11-02-2014, 12:27 PM   #7
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I like to follow:
They all post their monthly budgets so it gives you an in idea on different fulltime lifestyles, boondocking vs campgrounds etc and some realistic budgets. Hope this helps
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:52 PM   #8
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I would think this would vary greatly depending upon a number of different variables.
- Scott.
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Thanks folks! I think I over estimated the campsite rental. I'm used to three nights here, three nights there. I don't have experience with full timing extended stay rates. But I'll bet a person could rent a site for closer to $500 a month, not $900.

My fuel costs were too low probably. I figured three days of hard traveling, and then extended stay for three weeks or more. So I'll plan on more $$ for that. Maybe $300 a month in fuel costs.

Health insurance is huge, and getting bigger. I'm over 65 so I'm required to be on Medicare. Then we buy a supplement. Medicare is cheap as it is heavily subsidised. But if you are younger than 65 (don't I wish!) then the cost will be higher. I should have asked my wife as she pays the bills. I'm increasing my budget to $400 for both of us.

I figure if I was full timing I would limit the discretionary expenses. I'll take a walk instead of a movie. We'll eat in instead of eating out. That kind of thing. I'm going to limit my fun money for now. We'll splurge if we don't have a maintenance event.

I didn't have a feel for propane usage. I've done some March and October camping in our northern climes and was running for propane quite often. The old 34' has two furnaces and the water heater.

Thanks everyone for your review.

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Old 11-02-2014, 03:37 PM   #10
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We just returned from 12 months on the road. We splurged on eating out. We spent approx. $2,500.00 a month.
However, our trailer & tow vehicle is paid for so I did not include that cost, which I probably should have, & my wife and I are covered 100% by VA health care so I did not put any thing in for that.
James Rudd
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:56 PM   #11
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Posts: 2,522
Thanks Mr. Rudd. Your experience is helpful.

Okay, where am I?

I'll take my $2480 per month minus 400 rent, plus 150 more fuel, plus 240 more health insurance I'm at $2470.

I'm thinking I need $2500 a month to full time similar to Mr. Rudd.

Is that your experience too?

Thanks everyone for your help.

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Old 11-02-2014, 04:33 PM   #12
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These variables vary so much from person to person, how they live, their choices, etc. It's very difficult to pin down numbers. We've done a lot of research into this. One factor for example is where you stay. Some people just stay at nicer places and end up spending mortgage rates each month. We know others who spend less than 200 a month on camping. Insurance will depend on so much, age, health, employed, self employed, medicare. Our insurance is not 300 a month, it's far far far less. So does that make my information useful or less useful? I don't know.

Fuel varies a lot too, vehicle, how much you travel, etc. We just traveled from Clearwater, FL to Chicago, IL and back, all thru the smokies and spent $530 in fuel. That's a lot of miles driven.

As well as food prices. We feed our family of 3 on $300 a month and I know others who can't do that.

We'll be going full time on a budget of $2500 a month on fixed expenses. This is about 35% of our planned monthly income minus investments.

I think your budget is reasonable.

We've been following and interested in a lot of folks who travel with much less and for less.

Everything comes down to your choices.

I have a friend who always says the reason the average American just dreams and can never afford to travel is because they travel like tourist. They eat every meal out, stay in expensive hotels and spend every last dollar. But if you traveled and behaved like you lived at home, you wouldn't do that stuff.
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:49 AM   #13
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Monthly costs

I have a friend who pays $300 per month in Hot Springs ARkansas. We park 5 days in BLM, then splurge on a park and dump, do laundry and etc. Also, figure in weather. If you need AC, you may need to be hooked up. We have solar, so no AC or microwave BLM camping. We never eat out either. Way too much fun to camp cook, using Dutch ovens!
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:21 PM   #14
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Springfield , Missouri
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We went out in July and came back in October.

Every expense went on the credit card except for incidentals.

We spent over $8,000 for everything which worked out to about a buck a mile.

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