Gas costs for your particular "pace" and style of Fulltiming - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-05-2015, 01:49 PM   #1
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Name: Bryce
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Gas costs for your particular "pace" and style of Fulltiming

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...ub?output=xlsx

I put this spreadsheet together in 5min and I am pulling some of the #s out of my you know where. Looking to others to make my spreadsheet more accurate with MPG figures, purchase price costs, and ratios of amount of time pulling your trailer vs. staying put and using your TW or Toad to explore.

Basically I am comparing some of the costs between different types of vehicles and trailers and this also considers (poorly, no idea how actual full timers do it) the amount of time you spend in camp and using your TW or Toad to explore vs. pulling your entire rig.

Assumptions:

- Avg gas as of 8/5/15 is 2.61 nationally, I bumped it up for inflation over time.
- My purchase price and replacement costs are for used vehicles. I am not full time yet, thus the selection of 2015 vehicles as they will be well used by the time I get out there.

If there are any other related expenses (maybe maintenance? And how would I estimate that?) I should have in this spreadsheet that are in the same category please let me know.

Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:58 PM   #2
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You didn't include average maximum driving speed. Those that drive 65-70 will get substantially poorer MPG's than those that drive 55.


But I think that there is already a sheet with this information started.


BUT... In My Humble Opinion, it of little value because there are so many variables that are not included.


It's axiomatic that:
Big TV's take a smaller % hit on MPG's when towing, often as little as 10-15% when towing.
Small, economy TV's take a bigger hit, often upwards of 40%+ when towing.


And some will post that they get better mileage towing than the basic EPA rating for the vehicle.


Tell us what you really want to know.....
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:06 PM   #3
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I would use the same constant speed for all vehicles and assume I'd do the speed limit as I'd be retired and no need to rush.

I'm trying to calculate (within reason) the cheapest way to go full timing while still having the items I need and some of the ones I want (maybe a kayak or bicycle).

The concept of pace intrigues me in that if u stay in a spot long enough (not counting purchase price, repair costs and campground fees which are HUGE variables), you ~could~ have a luxurious Class A and Toad and have lower fuel costs.

Having a large RV has it's Pros and Cons, but if you enjoy space perhaps the gas hit wouldn't quite be so bad if you stayed in one place and explored with a toad.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:18 PM   #4
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The taxes on my house are actually higher on a per day basis than my average cost of lodging for my Scamp when traveling.
Utilities,such as water, sewer, and electricity are pretty much included in the Scamp lodging costs.

Groceries are about the same as at home.

Retired, I now save 15000miles per year from back and forth to work driving which could now be applied to towing while fulltiming.

Driving while detached at location would be about the same as local driving at home.

What we now spend on utilities at home could be spent on entertainment and upkeep on the trailer.

There are many other things to consider, but these are mentioned just for perspective and may not fit into a spreadsheet.
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:21 PM   #5
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In my situation my costs will go up when fulltiming (long story, but I've got a good gig going for my costs right now), so I'm not exactly able to trade one costs full timing for another while living in a traditional dwelling. I'm trying to calculate (with a safety margin) how much full timing will cost for my version and then I can figure out how much of a nest egg I need to retire. If there are any other spreadsheets out there where folks have figured this stuff out previously with regards to gas costs and mileage, please let me know!
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:33 PM   #6
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Costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bster13 View Post
I would use the same constant speed for all vehicles and assume I'd do the speed limit as I'd be retired and no need to rush.

I'm trying to calculate (within reason) the cheapest way to go full timing while still having the items I need and some of the ones I want (maybe a kayak or bicycle).

The concept of pace intrigues me in that if u stay in a spot long enough (not counting purchase price, repair costs and campground fees which are HUGE variables), you ~could~ have a luxurious Class A and Toad and have lower fuel costs.

Having a large RV has it's Pros and Cons, but if you enjoy space perhaps the gas hit wouldn't quite be so bad if you stayed in one place and explored with a toad.
Lets see.... The towing speed limit in the US varies between 55 and 80 mph, those will give you substantially different MPG numbers. A rule of thumb.... Full timers hereabouts drive 55-60

Parking a "Big Luxurious Class "A" will cost the same as a 13' Scamp, except that you will usually always have to have 50 amp power and full hook-ups. And every day that rig ages it also depreciates, where as the FGRV can actually appreciate.

Having a Tow'd also means two insurance policies and even more depreciation, not to mention two power trains that will require periodic maintenance and repairs. And if you haven't had repairs done on a big Class "A" you have missed a real treat..... BIG $$$$ for any repairs, even windshield wipers can cost $30 each, and tires... fergetit.

About 10 years ago we bought a used Class "A" Coachman and a Suzuki X-90 for a Tow'd. We tried that for less than 3 months and tossed the entire idea when costs went crazy.

The entire idea behind our FGRV's is to have a home we can park and a reasonable sized TV for towing and touring.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:31 PM   #7
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Bryce, I too have been pouring over some of the same numbers as you for the past year or so. Your spreadsheet looks OK but I want to point out that depending on how you want to travel I think you may be overestimating your total mileage. Remember your not going to be commuting to work anymore. From following several different blogs published by folks who full time I think your total annual miles might be closer to 10,000 rather than 20,000.

Look at it this way. If you spend your winter in Yuma AZ and your summer travels take you all the way to Glacier N.P. and along the way you divert to Denver and on the way back travel along the Pacific coast. You would travel only 4000 miles. Now double that for trips to town, laundry runs, taking the scenic route when available etc and you are still way less than you projected.

Like you all my information at this point comes from internet lernin' but from what I can tell most full timers are logging <10,000 miles per year. I hope this helps and hopefully someone with more experience can chime in here.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:54 PM   #8
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Here are some sites that I have run across that you might find interesting. I tried to choose a variety of options from folks who travel with a Class A plus toad, a van, a class C and of course a couple of eggs (options 2 and 5).

You can check out their blogs for more details about how they travel and where. Some travel pretty much 12 months a year, one takes camp host gigs for several months every year, one works part time at places like Amazon. Lots of different way to "live the life". Only you know what will work for you. Good luck and enjoy the process.

RV Budget & Expenses - What does it cost to RV full-time?

Money 2014 | rvsue and her canine crew

Sample Budgets For Full-timers

So How Much Does it Cost? | The RV Nomads

The Cost of Full-time RVing (by stages) | Interstellar Orchard

The Costs of Full-Time RVing – Wheeling It
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:14 PM   #9
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We had the same tow vehicle for 10 years, our 2004 Honda CRV. Over 10 years we put 250,000 miles on the CRV, averaging 25,000 miles a year (10 is a nice number). We were on the road about 8 months a year, home for 4.

When home we use a tank of gas a week, probably driving 4000 miles while home. That leaves 21,000 miles for our travels. In a typical year we would tow 7-10,000 miles a year, enough to make a loop of the USA. We would get 21 mpg towing our Scamp 16 with the Honda CRV with our manual transmission at 55-62 mph. (62 would be our top Interstate speed)

At 21 mpg and we would buy about 500 gallons over 8 months towing or about $1000 to 1500. We would typically spend an equal amount driving about. Depending on price of gasoline, and our trips we'd spend about $3,000 over 8 months or less than $400 a month.

Now gas is a big expense but not deathly. What can be deathly is maintenance. We go for the most reliable tow vehicle we can. In 250,000 miles we never had a driveline repair, same clutch. Gas can cost $3000 but you can blow through a $1000 in repairs in an afternoon. We only brought the Honda into a dealer a couple of time over 10 years. We get the lowest cost oil change we can.

We are not high pressure drivers, not looking to race up hills or pass anyone. We generally tow no more than 3 hours a day and start early. You never find us driving in the heat of the day, reducing the pressure on the tow vehicle and trailer.

We now have an Odyssey. It gets less mpg towing (19 so far) but better mpgs driving about. We think it will be a wash compared to the CRV. Our hope is it will be as reliable as the CRV.

There are numerous ways to reduce your cost. For example we made 6 loops of the USA, we used to do it every other year. You can make one slower loop, not travel so far and see as much as we did. You can focus on Nat parks and forests and COE parks and spend dramatically less on campgrounds. You can get a Maryland pass as a senior that allows half price camping, ..... You can spend longer periods in commercial campgrounds and get the monthly rate.

Of course the most obvious is to travel with someone else and split the costs, the best discount you'll find.

We're selling our home base in NH this year, though not for financial reasons, however it does cost us $800 a month to own and it's mortgage free. That's a lot of gasoline.....


A reliable cost effective vehicle is a key choice. Many vehicles get good mpgs this week, not all of them are reliable, not all will stand-up to 10 years of towing.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:09 AM   #10
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truer words have never been spoke.....

"The entire idea behind our FGRV's is to have a home we can park and a reasonable sized TV for towing and touring."

I can't believe I'm agreeing with Miller.........LOL...

as I've said before...in the boat world they say: "The smaller the boat... the more it gets used, the more interesting places it gets to"

go for as small as you can stand it....
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:58 AM   #11
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Go for as small as you can stand it.... Franswa

"Stand it" suggests "as much as you can take". We're obviously into small, but not smallest. I'm sure we could stand a 13. To me it has a lot to do with 'you' and in my case Ginny. Though Ginny is a happy person and may be able to 'stand' no bathroom, she wants and more importantly, needs one.

I think there's a series of simple questions to ask yourself.

The list is not necessarily complete or arranged in order of importance. For us it would be amount willing to spend and a related question 'tow vehicle available', particularly as beginners since we had never towed a trailer and only planned on owning one for a short time.

The questions:
1. Do you need a full sized bed?
2. Do you need a permanent bed?
2. Do you need a bed without 'climb over'?
3. Do you need a shower?
4. Do you need a toilet?
5. Do you need a microwave?
6. Do you plan to boondock extensively? (solar panels, LEDs)
7. Do you have a CPAP machine? (Batteries, Solar panel, Generator, Inverter)
8. Are you a cold weather camper? (thermopane windows, insulated/heated tanks)
9. Do you camp in high temp/humidity? (AC)
10. How many sleeping in the trailer?
11. Do you have pets?
12. What do you have for a tow vehicle? (May seem backwards but affects some)
13. How much do you want to spend for the trailer and tow vehicle?
14. Vacation/weekend camper or extend traveler?
15. Additional toys? (Bikes, kayaks,...)
16. Inside or outside cooker?
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:42 AM   #12
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actually sort of the reverse....

small as you can stand it means trying your darndest to keep it small AFTER you've drawn up your list of "must haves"....

once you start travelling there will lots of instances where your size will be a concern/problem....from getting into tight little "perfect" camping spots....to navigating cities and parking lots...

so "small" (relative term) should always be top of mind when shopping

"small" for me had to include a bath with shower (13s out)...a single axle was a priority for short turning radius in the bush.....a permanent bed was not on my list of must haves...don't have a tv or microwave

as the comic said: "you can't have everything...where would you put it?"
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:50 AM   #13
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Yep... for some "As small as they can stand it" is like my good friend across the street with a 28' Toy Box and a Dodge diesel TV. But that criteria includes everything on Norm's list being a "Yes", plus space for 4 (count em' 4) Quads inside, sleeping for 8, and a 50 gallon Gas Station with pump built in.


But he has said that he wishes that he could get by with an FGRV, but then said "What would the other guys think if I showed up with one of those?" I guess in his cadre that "Size matters" LOLOLOL
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:00 PM   #14
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If anyone is interested, here is the gas costs for my trip up to day 58 of a trip from NY to Alaska and back as far as Idaho as of today, using a RAV4 V6 towing an Escape 17B (3100 lbs) at a peak speed of 59MPH (includes a fair amount of slower towing on gravel & secondary roads):

8643.3 miles (US)
$2364.90 (US)
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