Headed South for Fun, Sun, and Cheaper Living

Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler
November 2013

Full Time RVing – Cheaper RVing?

Major Projects & Seeing Family

November – Not Cheaper Because of Campgrounds, Projects and Stuff

Taking pics on the sly

Taking pics on the sly

Four months of Volunteering at Lake Mead, followed by working for the US Forest Service in Washington State: Mount St. Helen’s National Volcanic Monument, then dealing with a sequestration and ultimate Government Shutdown, then headed to areas to boondock for the winter. A crazy life awaits for those who decide to say YES! I am up to the challenge! 

November 2013 – Where are we – Traveling from Washington State to Nevada and visiting with some of Sasha’s family.

Expenses: For the Month of November: We hope that the work done on the truck and rig during the season will now help us as we travel and met old and new friends and family. We will boondock and stay in campgrounds as we head south. (Well, not too much boondocking….Hopefully more in December.)

Expenses for November 2013

  • Food, Food and Household: $241.63
  •         , Provisions: $1.79
  •         , Out to Eat: $115.54
  • Clothing, Sasha: $5.00
  • Household, Laundry: $11.00
  •                  , Propane: $28.69
  •                  , Tools: $80.99
  • 5th Wheel, Upgrades: $24.80
  •                 , Campground: $511.89
  •                 , Hotel: $10.00
  •                 , Maintenance: $195.80
  • Transportation, Diesel: $628.97
  •                        , Gasoline: $6.16
  •                        , Maintenance: Scooter: $4.30
  •                        , Maintenance: Motorcycle: $4.31
  •                        , Maintenance: Truck: $626.58
  •                        , Upgrades, Motorcycle: $21.60
  • Communication, Cell Phones: $44.49
  •                          , Skype: $10.30
  •                          , Internet: $59.99
  •                          , Hardware: $36.96
  •                          , Hosting: $52.38
  • Health, Both Insurance: $117.72
  •            , Dentist: $228.00
  • Recreation, Books/Map: $10.00

Total Expenses = $3,078.90

Traveling, Meeting, Visiting

I am hoping that this will not be like October – where we had an OK amount in the middle of the month, but will not know until the end. Well, the end is here, and yes, we spent way more. But we are doing some major work on the rig so there is a reason.

Having Fun With Family

Food: We did not do as much grocery shopping this month because we were with family, and they tend to buy the groceries. It is not that we don’t want to help out, but it just works that way. I think too, (and I could be wrong) that we tend to buy fruits and vegetables more, and not too much meat. Both of our parents eat meat every night, so they have to buy it to eat it. We don’t do that as much. We eat out and have our meat then. But otherwise, fruits, veggies, and grains. Plus chips, salsa, and dairy products. We love Greek yogurt and granola.

Clothing: We were given some clothing by Sasha’s Mom. So I got a nice shirt for evenings out and a sweater vest and Sasha got a beautiful Ralph Lauren sweater, one that can be worn all year.

We did get a pair of jeans for Sasha at a thrift store. Amazing, he got a great pair of jeans and I did not. I went for me but found a pair for him. Sigh.

We Are Ahead of the Times

Household/Shelter: We headed down to Reno at the beginning of November, and stayed for five nights in Reno ($99.95), two nights in Pahrump ($71.94), and seventeen nights ($340) in Northern Las Vegas at a Clark County Shooting Range RV Campground. We heard about this campground via Escapees forums and decided to check it out. $20 a night, taxes included for full hook-ups and a extremely long site. I think they only have about 10 rigs here in this 80 site campground. You occasionally hear the gun range, but on Mondays and Tuesdays the course is not open to the public, so it is pretty quiet. We are close to Nellis Air Force Base too, so we see unusual planes and jets flying.

Laundry: We have been paying for laundry now. Got the first one when we were in Reno, then two more in the hotel laundry. The hotel was not as expensive as Reno campground, but the dryer took longer to dry the clothes so it was a wash (haha!)

Propane: Filled up after Reno, but it was a total rip-off. We went to a national store called united rental, and for 7 gallons it cost almost $4 per gallon! And then had to pay tax on top of it. I just do not understand how there can be tax, when propane itself, just like gas or diesel, has the tax included into the price.

Hotel: No, we did not go to a hotel for $10, although that would be real nice! The hotel we stayed at with Sasha’s parents was Homewood Suites in Henderson, NV. It is off the strip but that is OK, there is space galore for talking and enjoying each others’ company. A very large living room/dining room and kitchen, then two bedrooms and two baths.

The only thing we did not understand is WHY do we have to be out of the room in order for them to clean? Sasha’s Dad gets up late, usually after breakfast, and liked to stay in the room when we went down for breakfast. He could certainly go out on the balcony to read the newspaper or something like that. Housekeeping said it was its policy where the guest had to be out of the room. So while we did not always get the room cleaned, we got other stuff, like extra towels and other stuff.

I don’t think the parents did the tip to the maids, so I felt like we could do something. We ultimately had 6 people in the suite, and I think it was fair to give them that.

Fifth Wheel Maintenance: This was for the major project we were doing on the rig – Wax, comet, acetone, rub off materials, and more acetone. We underestimated the amount of materials needed for the project and therefore had to get more in expensive stores. sigh…

But we have a great video to show you at the end of this expense log of what we did. Lots of views on an excellent, massive project.

Upgrades: We purchased a new dishpan for storage under the sink and a new chair for Sasha as his other one broke. We will see how long this lasts.

Traveling All Different Ways = All Different Pays

Diesel, the cost of traveling distances. We see an increase in filling up and a Decrease in the prices. The price decrease is with less need and plenty of natural gas up north, but I am sure with a colder winter this year, we will see the prices edge up.

Our last mileage was 9.91 miles per gallon; we were on serious hills through Oregon, California, and Nevada. Full tanks of water, gas, and propane makes for poor mileage.

Sasha got gas for his motorcycle in Death Valley National Park.

Maintenance: Sasha bought oil filters for the truck so that when we are boondocking, he can change the oil. You really can not do that in an RV park but out there, in the desert, it is not a problem. We do not get oil on the ground, and we take the old oil to a recycling place like Walmart or other store.

Sasha bought foam stuff for the motorcycles to keep the engines running smooth.

The Motorcycle upgrades are two milk crates to hold the motorcycle up when traveling.

Truck Maintenance is high because we got the transmission fluid changed. We go to Underground Diesel in Las Vegas for major stuff because Sasha does not have the equipment or the lift needed to do the maintenance.

Everyone Get Same Phones, No Skype Needed

Communication: Two things that never really change – cell phones and internet. Occasionally, we up the amount on the cell phones, but since we have been at campgrounds, we use skype or Facetime to talk with family.

I re-upped Skype this month, as it was getting low, and found out afterwards, they are in Luxembourg. I guess I realized that before, just never really thought about it much. So when I upped for another $10, there is a $0.30 surcharge called a “foreign service charge.” Hmprh. I’m not sure how many more times I’ll be Skyping.

Everyone get on Apple products so I can Facetime instead! 🙂

We bought a IOGEAR Multimedia Wireless Keyboard to keep ourselves happy when watching shows on the Vizio monitor.

Hosting for 6 months – the price went up, but I think it is still worth it in the end.

Figuring Out How to Get Dental Care Cheaper

Thankful here too, just our normal expenses of health insurance and we have been healthy.

We went for our 9 month check up on our teeth. Cleaned and good to go, but we shelled out two $50 fluoride treatments. We will not do that again. I am pretty sure I can find fluoride some other way.

Recreation/Fees: I bought a donated book at the Reno conference (kind of like a donation but get a cool book too.)

We will be traveling soon, as November is over. We might be boondocking in December, and we hope the expenses are way low then.

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