Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How much does it cost to live in an RV?

5th Wheel RV
One of the main reasons we decided to live in our RV was to save money.  It sounded like such an affordable option - only $670 month for the RV space (garbage, water and sewer included).  In addition to the space rent our only other regular monthly costs were electricity, propane and cable for TV and internet.  We had our own electric meter which was read once per month and the usage rate of the local electric company was 9 cents per kilowatt hour.  So here's a breakdown of our average monthly cost to live in the RV Park:
  • RV Space $670
  • Electricity $40
  • Propane $25
  • Cable TV and Internet $115
    Total:  $850
But then we had some additional expenses we hadn't thought of....
We discovered that we needed a longer RV sewer hose and connector for our sewer hook-up and to keep a downhill flow, a set of sewer hose supports that makes the whole thing resemble a giant caterpillar.

RV Sewer Hose and Sewer Hose Supports
After a couple of weeks we noticed that we had a humidity problem.  The Pacific Northwest doesn't have an arid climate anyway, cooking and heating with propane releases moisture into the air and we had two humans and two dogs living and exhaling moist breath in a small space.  We noticed condensation forming on the walls and mold was starting to grow in places where there wasn't much air circulation.  So we tried to solve the problem inexpensively by purchasing several small Vornado fans that we hung in each area.
Vornado Personal Fan
Alas, the fans helped, but didn't solve the problem to our satisfaction.  We stopped using our propane furnace which releases a lot of humidity into the air and switched to portable electric space heaters.  Yes, we ended up with a lot of Vornado products.  We like them because the fans are quiet, but do a good job of circulating the air.

Vornado Electric Space Heater
We talked to one of our neighbors at the RV park and they recommended getting a dehumidifier. We're not talking one of those inexpensive little convection units that sell for about $60 and are used in the winter when an RV isn't in use.
This is a big unit that can be set to maintain a set humidity percentage and can literally suck almost 9 gallons (70 pints) a day of moisture out of the air.  Just what we needed - another large item to take a hit on our wallet and more of our minimal space.  However, it did do the trick - it is amazing how much it has reduced the humidity.

And finally, since in the past  for the most part, we had only used our trailer for boondocking where there wasn't any TV hook-up, we had never used the ten-year old TV that came with the trailer except for an occasional DVD movie.   Now that we would be living in the RV full time, we wanted cable TV and that old TV wasn't digital. Time to buy a new  32" Visio flat screen TV - ca-ching!

32" Flat Screen TV
So our transition to RV life wasn't quite as simple or inexpensive as we had imagined, but after buying a few extra items, we thought we were all set to be comfortable for the next few months.  Stay tuned....

Camping World

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