Cheap RV Living

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Cheap RV Living - Living the Frugal Life with Cheap Housing

live in an rv and save money
Cheap RV living.

Sort of sounds like an oxymoron, right?

While my lifestyle of full-time travel seems like a dream to most people, the fact of the matter is, I am living the frugal life with cheap housing and utilities.

I have found a way to look outside the box and do something totally unique, while saving a fortune.

My name is Rayven Perkins, and I am living the frugal life in an RV.


You heard me right.

I actually LIVE in a 38" travel trailer with my husband, my children, and two cats.

Our square footage is approximately 340 sq ft.

My son and daughter share a bedroom in the front of the RV, there is a living room and kitchen between us, followed by a bathroom (complete with bathtub!) and a back bedroom for my husband and I.

Presently, we are traveling the USA in the RV, which our F350 pickup truck is able to pull.

We are able to do cheap RV living for a lot less than we would be able to live in a stick house, and we get to explore the country doing it!

If you are able to figure out your income stream, full-time traveling is a very fun, simply frugal alternative lifestyle.

So how much do we save with cheap RV living?

Before moving into our first RV, we were living in a two bedroom apartment in an "OK" neighborhood of Orlando (at the time, we considered it cheap housing). We were paying $895 per month for the apartment, plus $35/mo for water, sewage and trash.

Our electric bill was another $200-250 a month. Our internet service was $40, and cable TV another $40, for a total of $1,235 (when averaged to $225/mo electric). Then we found out that rent was going up $30 since our lease was coming to an end, and simultaneously, my husband lost his job.

This was long before I had started this website. I was simply a stay at home mom, selling on eBay, homeschooling my kids, trying to be living the frugal life. The apartment complex required us to sign another year lease, and without knowing where my husband was going to be working, well, I didn't want to get sucked into it.

I had just read a book called Educational Travel on a Shoestring which went through scores of ideas on how families can travel cheaply. In it, one family had decided to travel full-time in an RV. I thought to myself, "Well, if they can do cheap RV living traveling place to place, maybe we can do it in one spot!"

It's ironic that I thought I was the first person to come up with this idea for cheap housing. As I started to explore the possibilities, I found that many families were living full-time in local campgrounds in their RV without traveling. I found scores of RV parks charging $300-500 per month for lot rental, and having the same types of amenities as the apartment complexes that I was used to. Some even provided free WiFi and cable TV!

On all of the monthly rentals, residents were required to pay their own electricity, but when you are talking about such a small space, that bill was cut in half. Our bills went from $1,235 per month to $450 per month. Talk about cheap housing savings! We decided to do cheap RV living, figuring that we could put that extra money into savings and eventually use it for a down payment on our dream home. Such was the simply frugal life.

So, I went about the process of literally selling everything we owned. Big items like furniture I listed on Craigslist, and put up flyers on the bulletin boards of neighboring apartment complexes. Everything that could fit in a box I sold on eBay. In six weeks, we had come up with almost $10,000. We took that money and paid $7,000 cash for our RV, spending about $2,000 more renovating it. We ripped out the carpet and put down linoleum. We painted the walls and got new blinds. We bought a new sofa.

With savings of almost $800 a month, our lives changed. Sure, it was an adjustment living in a small space. Not everyone can do cheap RV living. But my outlook on what we want vs what we need has completely changed. When I started this, I wanted to save up money to buy a home like everyone else had. Now, living the frugal life, I want to buy land and build a small home, mortgage free, of my own. This is, of course, when we are done traveling.

Yes, we started off stationary, living in one campground, practicing a simply frugal lifestyle, while my husband had a regular job. And anyone in a southern state can also do this cheap housing. But during this time, I discovered SBI and started to build this website. Soon, we got the! Our retired neighbors would come in and out of our park, and we longed to hit the road next to them!

Now, what I'm about to tell you next will probably shock you. But we save EVEN MORE money traveling full-time in our RV than we did living stationary in it! Now, our rent and utilities are a total of...$55 a month. Yes. I said $55.

Let me tell you how this works. Once we had our income handled, and were not dependent on one location, we looked into the cheap RV living campground memberships we had heard praised by other travelers. We found that the best such membership was a Thousand Trails membership. The one we wanted allowed us to stay in any park in the system (there were around 100 nationwide) for three weeks at a time. Then we either had to leave the park system or go to another park in the system for at least a week.

It was sort of like a timeshare for campers, but instead of getting just one week a year, you could go from park to park with cheap RV living. The parks had nice amenities like swimming pools, walking trails, and recreational activities. They offered free WiFi and electricity was paid for as well. You simply had to pay your annual maintenance fees, which were around $600. Not bad.

The only problem? The initial membership fee for the membership we wanted was around $13,000. OUCH! But then I heard some people telling us that they had bought their memberships "used" from previous owners. So, living the frugal life, I started to look into the possibilities. And where did this former eBay Powerseller look? You guessed it. EBay.

I kept my eye on memberships for months on eBay. The one I wanted was going for around $2,500, consistently. Thousand Trails tacked on a $750 fee to transfer from a previous owner to a new owner. So, we waited until we found the right deal.

And there it was: someone started the bidding on the membership I dreamed of, on eBay, for $1. Another bidder got to the bidding before I did, so I waited until the last minute to bid. My husband and I had discussed it, and were willing to spend a total of $2,000 on the membership, so at the last minute, I put my bid in at $2,014.59. And I won it!...for a grand total of $1.25! (I cannot imagine the curse words coming from the other bidder's mouth the following morning.)

So I paid my transfer fee and winning bid, and for a grand total of $751.25, I got the ability to live out of the system for $55 maintenance fees a month. Now, the parks are not everywhere. They mainly hug the east and west coast, with a few in Texas, but you can live out of the system if you need to. If you want to explore other parts of the country, it does cost more in camping fees.

But, overall, compared to everyone living in apartments and rental houses? Cheap RV living is a fraction of the cost to travel. Yes, there is gas involved, but when you stay in one spot for a few weeks, its comparable to commuting to work and back daily.

This lifestyle is not for everyone. But it should get you thinking about living the frugal life. And that is the point of this entire website. Think outside the box. Don't get sucked into the norm. Find ways to do what you want on your own terms, even if it's not "cheap RV living". And live frugally.

Would you like to travel full time? Could you handle cheap RV living? Why or why not?

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Related Pages

  • Money Saving Challenge - Reduce Housing Expenses
  • Live Mortgage Free
  • Buy Cheap Houses
  • Live Cheap in an RV
  • Should You Rent or Buy?
  • Home==>Easiest Ways to Save Money==>Cheap RV Living

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