The Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler!
Road Trip West
On the Road For a New Rig!
November – Most Expensive Month EVER!
November – The Month We Bought The Rig!
Our expenses will be high this month as we are buying the new RV – new to us anyway. Ours is going to a nice man in Idaho, and we are getting his 5th Wheel Toyhauler. He is also getting our trailer too, so it was interesting to try and place everything into the toyhauler. I found space for everything.
We are also going to be experimenting with trying to live off of our “grid” by getting enough food, water and fuels to last us at least a month. I do not think the water will last that long (because of Sasha’s long showers, hint, hint) but not having to go to the grocery would be a good idea. We shall see if it works.
Expenses for November 2009
- Food, Food and Household: $216.27
- , Provisions: $231.86
- , Farmer’s Market: $14.00
- , Out to Eat: $279.17
- Clothing, Sasha: $66.79
- Transportation, Diesel: $848.92
- , Truck Oil Change & Tools: $120.03
- Camper Utilities, Propane: $55.41
- , Campground: $54.00
- , Laundry: $10.00
- , Motel: $87.30
- , Generator Fuel (gas): $108.60
- Camper Supplies, Inside: $274.40
- , Outside: $47.39
- Communication, Cell Phone (L): $55.00
- , Verizon: $60.07
- , Hosting: $29.94
- , Postage: $0.80
- Health, Insurance (L): $152.00
- , Insurance (S): $192.96
- Recreation, Fun Stuff: $45.81
- , Books: $0.53
- One Time Costs, Truck, Bought/Install Brake/RPA: $3,469.03
- , , Bought/Install Fuel Tank: $1,753.82
- , , Bought.Install Tires: $753.82
- , , Install Hitch: $625.00
- , Fifth Wheel, Bought: $16,350.00
- , Fifth Wheel, Bought/Install Solar Array: $9,578.00
Total Expenses = $35,655.03
Without One-Time Expenses: $3,125.36
Yikes, but we knew it was going to be an expensive month. This just puts it into writing.
WE BOUGHT A NEW (to us) RIG!
I am going to go a little out of order here, because quite honestly, the camper was the first purchase of the month – we actually gave Norm a check on November 1st, after getting to the house on October 31st. So what we did was trade our camper and trailer for the toyhauler fifth wheel. We get a bigger camper and Norm gets a smaller one for short jaunts and a trailer for hauling. Total Win-Win situation.
So, because our camper and trailer did not cost the same as his toyhauler, we paid Norm a very fair price. That was the first major expense of the month on the first of the month.
What was very cool was this: we stayed with Norm and Lou for over a week to get the hitch rails installed. They were very gracious to allow us to be in their home and on their parking area for that time. We spent a good 10 days with them. You can read about that on their page: Norm and Lou. So along those lines, while we were there with them, we also had a few more expenses.
We had bought the hitch rails back in September so the price you see was just for the installation.
Out To Eat More Often with New Friends
We also went out to eat more, now that we had another couple to eat out with. Norm and Lou have an interesting way of eating, no lunch, just a nice breakfast and dinner. Which is ok for us, but you have to get used to it. It took a while for me to get used to it. But we went out to some awesome places, some that we would not have thought about before. The senior center was the first – of course, we are not seniors but they had very nice food and you could go back for seconds if needed.
We also treated a few times – again this one place was something we had not seen before – they make the pizza but don’t cook it there, you have to cook it at home. Costs more but tastes better too! We went to Flying J’s for breakfast – unusual because there was no buffet like they usually have, but the place had good food.
Out to Eat: Anyway, the rest of the time, we did eat out more than when we stayed in one place, because, while doing breakfast and dinner in the rig is easy, and then sort of grazing snacks for lunch, but while in theory that is good, it does not always happen that way.
Most of the eating out was done at dinner – because we were driving during the day. At least we went to some interesting and relatively inexpensive places. A couple of Denny’s and some buffets. Not the best way to eat, but there you go.
From the regular expenses, we also found the store WinCo, a most excellent store, similar to Aldi back east, but with bulk bins. So we went in Oregon, and got ourselves tons of provisions. So that is what is showing up there. We also went to a farmers market and got apples and cider, very good stuff indeed! So we spent a bit this month, but hopefully next month we will not be needing as much. We just love a good apple and tasty hints of fall.
Buying for Inside and Outside the Rig
Before the rails were put on, we got a few things for the camper so that is the inside of the camper expenses. We also had to do a few things on the outside, like plug some holes and other stuff like that so that is the outside camper expenses. We went to Walmart and other places to get linens and other stuff.
So after the rails were put on, we hitched up, and got new tires for the toyhauler – four new tires. They are G Rated, meaning a weight rating of 3750 lbs per tire which is more than the axle rating of 7000 K (3500 per tire). This is good, because even though we do not go high speeds, we want to make sure we do not have blowouts, the death of a good RV.
Solar Array System
The next on the big list was heading down to Oregon to get the solar array. But first we stayed at a campground, notice the campground fees – we only spent two nights in Washington state park. The rest of the time was not in a campground of any kind. So two nights out of 30 – not bad on the statistics. But two nights at $27 a night for only electricity, well that is a high price for this time of the year. But we got our act together there so it was worth it.
In Oregon we had the Solar Array done, it took two full days to get it done. This meant staying in a motel the night between working on the camper, so they did not have to clean up while working on it. You can check out what we did on the Oregon page. This was one of the higher expenses for the month – for 6 panels and four AGM batteries. We had saved up for this, and once done, could have power whenever the sun was in the sky. Present Day Laura: We also received a tax credit for 2009, saving us even more money at the end of the year.
From there we went to Southern Oregon to get an Exhaust Brake and an RPA – Road Performance Assessment at Henderson’s Lineup. This checks the weigh the truck and toyhauler, each axle individually so that you know how much everything weighs. But the big expense was the exhaust brake, a very necessary piece of equipment for the truck now pulling so much weight and going down (and up) such large mountains.
From there we went to Northern California to get an extra external fuel tank so that we could pick and choose the place where we get diesel. Much better than cans of diesel, it works with the truck to continually fill the internal tank.
We got Sasha some clothes – finally finding after a long search a pile jacket and other stuff that he needed.
Using Every Kind of Petroleum Product
Diesel was not as bad as last month, partly because we did not move as far, I guess, and partly because we were getting good prices, usually around $2.79 to $2.89, not bad, even in California. I think we paid $2.96 in Yakima, Washington one time. Along those lines, Sasha got supplies for doing an oil change for the truck, total price was around $120, but when you consider it cost more to get an oil change for the truck, that was not too bad.
You also notice the propane – we are spending a little more on propane because it was cold in some areas this time of the year and we are using it more. However, if we were at a campground, the campground fees would cost more than the propane. So we figure the propane is a small cost. Of course, the tanks are larger so we have to get used to that, as well as when one tank is done, we have to manually go out and switch to the other. So something new, but hopefully we do not need to switch in the middle of the night.
We are also getting fuel for the generator. That is a new expense, but boy, having a generator comes in handy. We would not have thought of it being a good idea, but if we want to run the space heater, it is better than using the solar power, as the space heater would drain the batteries pretty quickly.
There was also a pin box repair. This is the pin of the fifth wheel, somehow it got mushed, don’t quite understand it, but anyway, it was cleaned up and now there is no grinding noise.
Little Expenses Adding Up
We spent a bit on communication this month, I having to make more calls and stuff, so got more minutes on the pay as you go phone, plus the 6 month bill came due for the hosting of this site
A way to help is by not using an ad blocker on this site. We get residual or passive income from it. Plus I am sending out more postcards to the nieces and nephews of our family. Let them see where we are too.
Yikes, Health Insurance
Health Insurance, same old same old. Come on Congress, get the health insurance bill passed already. It has got to make the prices less. We will be going to Texas soon, and hopefully the prices will go down for that. We can only hope.
Not Too Much Fun Stuff
We are having fun doing normal stuff, but I bought a bottle of wine for Norm and Lou when we went to a winery. That was really fun and they seemed to enjoy it.
I also am into a game – Free Farm Game, while the name says free, if you want to really advance without causing pollution to your farm, you need to buy organic fertilizer. Can’t do that without farm credits so, I have been buying. Hopefully will be able to lay off that buying soon, but I REALLY like the game.
I also got a couple of books at a thrift store, read through a couple already. Have to find a swap store, so that I can bring some in and get some. They seem to be harder and harder to find.
Check out Next Month: December, will we be homesick for the east coast and friends and family or will we be having the time of our lives?! And Still on the Road Trip West.