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First Year FT Complete

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We recently (Nov) completed our first year of full timing in our current rig combination.  Even though we had the experience of a 2 year stint of full timing previously, there was a learning curve involved this year.  We preplanned our travels throughout the year and relied on our Trucker's Atlas, along with Google Earth, to make sure we could get in and out of places we wanted to go.  Our expenses were about what we anticipated as far as fuel costs and CG fees.

The coach performed great.  As with any new RV there were things to get fixed and adjustments that had to be made.  Nothing I would consider "major" and of course everything was covered with no expense to us.  

I have broke down my figures for the year.    

PLACES:  coming out of SW Florida in the spring we visited St. Augustine, Robertsdale AL, Savanna TN, Pigeon Forge TN, Peoria IL, Coldwater MI, Muskegon MI, Nappanee IN, back to Peoria IL, Lexington KY, Dandridge TN, Bristol VA, Mt. Pleasant SC, Sanannah GA, Robertsdale AL, and back to SW Florida.

RV:  Traveled 5,865 miles.  Spent $2,992.56 for diesel (all at Pilot and Flying J, except for one stop at a rural Shell).  Spent a total of $1,138.38 for annual maintenance (engine, chassis, generator, and Oasis).  Our longest travel day was over 600 miles.  The average travel day was 379.25 miles.  The total average mpg ended up being 6.5.

CAMPGROUNDS:  the total expenses for campground was $11,318, which means our average for the entire year was $31.00 a night. 

WHAT WE LEARNED:  I needed this first year to get familiar with my coach.  I would like to start servicing the generator and Oasis myself in 2019 to keep my annual maintenance costs under $700.00.  Our $31 per night average for CG's can be reduced easily.  The highest we paid was about $500 for a 6 day stay at the Mt. Pleasant KOA on a relative's recommendation.  It was an old park, not worth $25 a day, and we won't return there.  We will be seeking out and taking advantage of more dry camping while traveling from point A to B.  We should be able to get the annual daily average down to $20 to $25 a night.

 

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2,500 bucks will get materials for a 4 panel solar system and the dry camping becomes even more enjoyable. The labor is a piece of cake if you are handy. We were gone last winter for 3 and a half months and spent time in paid sites 23 nights as we went from Arizona to Florida and back. What a hoot, one must think outside the box a bit but that makes it interesting.

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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 4:19 PM, manholt said:

Joe S.  You forgot to keep track of food & Beer, in coach and out.:P Dog eats to.

Carl, didn't know what section to ad that into.  Didn't want to double any of my total annual numbers!

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21 hours ago, rsbilledwards said:

2,500 bucks will get materials for a 4 panel solar system and the dry camping becomes even more enjoyable. The labor is a piece of cake if you are handy. We were gone last winter for 3 and a half months and spent time in paid sites 23 nights as we went from Arizona to Florida and back. What a hoot, one must think outside the box a bit but that makes it interesting.

With my battery bank (eight 6-volt) I can do pretty good dry camping for a couple days without the generator.  Newmars have a small solar panel which keeps the engine batteries charged so no matter what you won't get stuck.  We will see what 2019 travels bring.  Certainly if we found a place to dry camp to a longer extended period of time I would get serious about solar options.

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Joe,

Seems like you spent just over $2000 a month.  I have always figured that traveling would cost up to around $2500 a month, so you did well. My estimate is also based on food.

Now, start adding DW's trip to Macy's, Penny's, Walmart, etc. and watch how fast it climbs.

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Wayne is correct. Even if dry camping in a WalMart parking lot will still cost you $25.00 +, I know from experience. When you go into the store just to ask for permission to park, which i always do, you will end up shopping.

Herman

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I'm not really paying any attention to food, eating out, shopping, or recreational expenses, because those are all funds that we would spend if we were in a S&B anyway.  As we go along year after year full timing I just wanted to gauge basic RVing expenses, or what it actually costs to travel full time in our coach.  Even this first year it was cheaper than maintaining the S&B plus part time traveling in the RV.

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Joe S.  

I have found that over the past 50+ years, we spend less in RV traveling, than we do at home!  Have never been without a S&B, so I can't relate to the full expenses, of full timing in a coach!  Guess it depends on where you go, how often you move and what you do!  I like golf, hunting, 4 wheeling and fishing.  Along with traveling outside the US and taking cruises...don't think, I would save any $$$ ! :lol::ph34r:

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We tend to eat out more when on the road so that is why I include those costs.

There are so many variables. Some like to stay at high end CG's, where others choose the $30 range and then those that stay at discounted RV park, using PPA or similar.

Then consider traveling from point A, to B, To C, To D, and you do that in a weeks time then do it all over again the next week. That is a lot of fuel burned whereas if you travel those points and spend a week or more at each the fuel costs go down considerably. My costs for CG's are considerably less when I stay at military RV parks. RV Parks vary in price based on the time of year and that can make a difference. Overall average is about $2500 a month if moving around. FT Stationary would be less.

Joe, search on the words "full time rv cost breakdown" without the quotes and you will get a whole bunch of varying answers. Some iin the low $3000 and others in the low $2000. Depends (not wearable) on lifestyle.

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One difference I didn't count on that effects our expenses is the simple fact we are in a tag axle coach this time around compared to pulling a 5th wheel.  

When we were in our fiver and heading out west we would take several days because I always capped my daily miles around 350 or so.  I could take my time and it was just about right.  The fiver wasn't set up all that good for dry camping so at the end of every 350 mile day we would of course stay at a CG for between $25 and $35 usually.  

Now with our current coach I have found that I can easily run 600 to 650 miles in a day and not be tired at the end.  We can dry camp because our coach is set up better for that.  So if we are just heading somewhere 1600 to 1700 miles away with no points of interest along the way it used to take us at least 5 stays in campgrounds.  Now we can do it in 3 easy days with only the middle day staying in a campground.  

We used to average right at 11mpg pulling our 39' fiver (F350 SRW 4x4).  This year we only averaged 6.5mpg with our coach pulling our 24' trailer (Mini + Harley).  At first glance it would seem that our total fuel usage would be higher for the year.  Not so.  With the F350 and fiver all of our transportation needs were met by driving the 1-ton truck.  We not only towed the fiver but drove it everyplace while camped.  Now we either use the Mini Cooper (32 - 40mpg) or the Harley (30 - 38mpg) for all transportation needs while camped.  This has cut our total diesel/gas cost down considerably.

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Joe, should you want a tutorial on maintaining that coach take a ride up the coast to PA. I’d be happy to walk over the chassis and generator with you. We can even do the service together here, just bring your oil and filters, I’ve got the tools. You could make a list on necessary tools after completing the service if you do not already have them.

I don’t recommend doing this until April. The weather and the caustic stuff on the roads will ruin that beautiful coach.

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JS.  My coach got 6.23 mpg, then when I got to 86,000+ I got 7.4 mpg.  Now I'm at 91,316 and still getting the same 7.4 avg. guess it's broke in....you got something to look forward too! :o:wub:

We can do 600+ a day.  Don't want to!  Average is 300, we like secondary roads, look at country side, no matter how many times we have been there, always something new or we didn't notice before...smell the flowers! :) Leave at 9 or 10 am, set up by 4 pm...dog demands a couple of stops! :D Since Linda is diabetic, lunch is mandatory! 

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On ‎12‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 6:49 AM, jleamont said:

Joe, should you want a tutorial on maintaining that coach take a ride up the coast to PA. I’d be happy to walk over the chassis and generator with you. We can even do the service together here, just bring your oil and filters, I’ve got the tools. You could make a list on necessary tools after completing the service if you do not already have them.

I don’t recommend doing this until April. The weather and the caustic stuff on the roads will ruin that beautiful coach.

We were coming up your way, sort of, this fall.  We even had made a couple reservations but a certain hurricane changed our east coast plans for 2018.  But who knows, I may be reaching out to you in 2019 or 2020 for some on-the-job training!  Thanks.

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I agree with the 300 miles a day Carl.  When we do our normal planning I try to stay between 250 and 350 a day.  Early in 2018 we were going from Pigeon Forge to Peoria, a little over 600 miles.  Our grandson was having critical open heart surgery in Chicago and we wanted to get closer just in case things didn't go well for our little 3 year old fighter.  I decided to do it in one day and we discovered that compared to pulling a fiver, or even trying to do that in our gas coach, this was a breeze.  Since then if we have an issue not locating a good place to overnight I will extend my miles out.  We have done the 600 plus a couple other times in 2018 and it was fine but I don't make a habit of it.

I would be thrilled to even see 7 or 7.5 miles per gallon for 2019.  I will end 2019 with only 18,000 or 19,000 miles on so probably won't see that much of an increase.

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Joe S.

At that rate, give it another 3 years+.  You will know when it's broke in!   We normally, would find a full stop around 550 miles and take about 85-90 gal.  Coming back from Gillette, WY., on secondary roads, Linda asked me, when do we need to fill up?  I had not looked at my tripometer in a long time...beautiful scenery around and in the Badlands of South Dakota was a distraction, I looked and it read 727 miles!  I puckered up and all kinds of thoughts went thru my mind, as I calmly asked Linda to find a fuel stop on her computer.  At 816, I pulled into a local, no name, fuel stop in Imperial, Kansas...Took 110 gal of diesel. 

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ISPJS, I have a grandson that was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.  He had a total of 4 open heart surgeries before he was 4 and is now 19 and in college.  Hope your grandson is doing well.

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