RV parking expense—Our first 6 months

David and I left Richmond, Virginia and headed west on July 6, 2016. Since then we have been living in our motorhome, Stimpy. During our first 6 months of RVing, we stayed mostly in private RV parks (147 nights or 83%). We were in public campgrounds for 20 nights or 11%. Only 11 nights or 6% were spent on free dry-camping, either Walmart parking lot camping or boondocking.

We had planned to be doing more camping in public lands like national parks, state parks, and BLM lands. But multiple RV and truck services caused them to be cut short, like the time we had to shorten our boondocking in the Alabama Hills or the time we had to prematurely leave Death Valley National Park.

During the first 6 months, we moved Stimpy 17 times. It seems to be the pace that we’re happy with, not too often. We want to pace ourselves so that we don’t get burned out from constantly being on the go. For more info about where we have stayed so far, check out the Travel Maps page.

For private RV parks or RV resorts, we always stay in one place long enough to get weekly or monthly rates. It helped bring down the cost per night. A figure below shows average nightly cost of our first 6 months by the type of campground. On average, we paid about $30 per night at private RV parks and about $24 per night at public campgrounds.

RV Parking Expense: July - December 2016

Average nightly cost. Electricity paid is included in monthly rates.

Some notes about the number above:

  • We don’t belong to any RV camping clubs. There were no additional expenses associated with maintaining memberships.
  • The side trips with Ren, our truck camper, weren’t included.
  • I didn’t track the cost of fuel used in running the generator when we weren’t hooked up. It’s a very small portion in our first 6 months as we hooked up with electricity most of the time.

What about you? Is your experience similar to or different from ours?

5 Comments

  1. We plan to travel the same speed you do since i will still be working and setting or taking down my workdesk will be a pain in the neck. We rather stay 1 or 2 month in an area so we have the ability to visit the area more. Safe travels

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  2. So I guess I win since my nightly expenses are $0.18 per night. You read that right! I only paid for 4 nights this year – in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. 🙂

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