Renovations & Travels to the South

Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler
December 2013

Full Time RVing – Cheaper RVing?

Winter Traveling and Renovations

December – A cheaper month but we are not very low yet

Clean RV

No Graphics on this rig!

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! 

December 2013: Where Are We – Traveling from Nevada to California to Arizona.

Expenses: For the Month of December: I am hoping that this year we will stay under the $30K for the expenses for the year. This month hopefully will do that. HAHAHAHAHA well we tried!

Expenses for December 2013

  • Food, Food and Household: $367.91
  •         , Out to Eat: $178.22
  • Household, Laundry: $20.25
  •                  , Propane: $21.04
  •                  , Tools: $11.42
  • 5th Wheel, Upgrades: $28.04
  •                 , Campground: $380.00
  •                 , Maintenance: $120.00
  •                 , Insurance: $100.00
  • Transportation, Diesel: $0
  •                        , Gasoline: $81.00
  •                        , Maintenance, Truck: $10.78
  •                        , Maintenance, Motorcycle: $3.23
  •                        , Maintenance, Scooter: $3.23
  •                        , Insurance: Truck: $185.98
  •                        , Insurance: Motorcycles: $103.00
  • Communication, Cell Phone: $44.49
  •                          , Internet: $59.99
  •                          , Hardware: Monoprice Tablet: $32.96
  •                          , Escapees, Membership: $60.00
  •                          ,                 , Mailing Service: $105.00
  • Health, Both Insurance: $117.72
  •            , ANPR, Membership: $90.00
  • Recreation, Books/Map: $15.00
  •                  , Gifts: $62.12
  •                  , Charity: $1.00

Total Expenses = $2,203.28

December Expenses – Oh Please Oh Please OH Please! 

We really want to have lower expenses this month so that we do not hit the holy grail – the $30K mark for expenses for the year. We are close, but because of really good non-spending, I hope we will not have too much more expenses for this month. Ack, not going to happen, because I forgot about our insurance for the truck and trailer, it always comes at the end of the year. Sigh!

I do know we will be getting a six month pass to be on BLM land in California and Arizona. Not that we will be in either state for that long but that is how it works for the “Long Term Parking” in Bureau of Land Management areas. More on that later though.

Out To Eat when checking new places 

We have been buying food every week. Although usually at the way end of the next week. And we bought some foods we thought would be better for boondocking and then we weren’t boondocking yet, so we ate them. And these foods are mostly convenience foods that we can use in the microwave. The solar panels do a great job of powering the microwave so might as well use it.

We want to minimize the amount of water we use especially in boondocking situations. We will be trying it out starting December 15th (once we leave the campground) and we want to go for long term boondocking. This will be a fun experiment.

We went out to eat a few times – a couple of expensive ($20 – $30) ones, which we are not going to do again. The only one that I might consider out to eat for Christmas or New Year’s but the prices will be outrageous then, so maybe not.



We paid for 13 more nights ($200) in Northern Las Vegas at a Gun Club RV Campground. We were able to get a little bit of a deal by going for the month, and so the previous payments were part of that month, so we only needed to pay $140 for 10 days, and we had already paid $60 for three days. Really is interesting – so it costs $540 for a month. So really, you could stay there 27 days and break even or get 3 or 4 days free.

The main reason we stayed there was for the huge projects we did. Since we were doing these projects and we were quite spread out, it worked out well for us. We could not do these projects in a regular campground. So in a sense, it was perfect.

Would I suggest this campground? Yes, especially if you are going for a week or a little more. It is close to major shopping, and easy access to Rt 215. Plus, you get great views of Las Vegas at night and cool stars. And during the day you see some unusual aircraft. But they have no amenities unless you like to shoot.

You have to be totally self contained, and there are no extra bathrooms except for the club house which is a bit of a walk. When the wind blows, it blows hard. There are no trees so no shade. And finally, it is all gravel for your spot, so no barefeet 🙂 We liked the utility hookups, they were state-of-art with downward lights and plugs for 20, 30, and 50 amp. The water had its own turn-off switch, and the sewer was easy to find.

Quartzsite & Yuma, AZ Long Term Visitor Areas

We paid for six months living in the desert. We are not going to live in the desert for that long, but whether it is 15 days or 6 months, it does not matter, it is $180. We get a spot somewhere and water and sewer stations to dump and refill the water. We have noticed people have these huge 100 gallon containers for water, where they fill up and bring back to the rig. The hardest part though will be the sewer. We will have to move the rig to dump each time. So that should be interesting. We will talk about the sewer dump we did at the end of the month.

Laundry: We have been paying for laundry now. We went three times, different prices in different places but more to wash than dry. With projects we got sweaty so lots of laundry.

Insurance, forgot that is what we pay for at the end of the year. Oh well, only went up a little. Have to have when living in a home.

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…

Upgrades: Our ceramic heater finally stopped working during a Las Vegas cold spell, so we got a new one. WOW does it work. Generates enough to really keep us warm.

Transportation: Diesel: have not filled up yet, and have gone almost 1200 miles on a tank of diesel. Pretty amazing. We will see how far the tank takes us.

Gas was for the generator and fueling station. We will see how much we use for our motorcycles.
Insurance for half a year for all vehicles.

Maintenance was split up between the Truck and motorcycles for a cleaner for the truck and moto engines. Helps them run cleaner.

Communication: Memberships have their price – at the end of the year usually and this is true for Escapees. So that was $60. Regular charges for everything else, except, we got a tablet for $32.96. You would think it would be more expensive, but through Monoprice, it is not. A great online store for all your needs. This tablet is so that I can “write on screen” when I am doing tutorials and videos. I think it will come in handy. * Present Day Laura: Nope, while it came in handy for a couple of months, we hardly use it anymore. Plus we have the iPad now.*
Health: Normal expenses but wait, there is more! Because we have a membership with Association of National Park Rangers (to get a group rate for health insurance) it is time to re-up for this year. Our health plan is grandfathered in as one for the Affordable Care Act. While it does not cover much, we feel we can still use it for 2014 and then go to ACA stuff in 2015.

Recreation: December means gifts and charity so that is where the money goes.

We bought a membership to the libraries in Yuma county so that we could borrow books and magazines. I don’t know how many books we’ll read, but we are spending some serious time in there, I think it goes to a good cause.

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