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Old 08-07-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
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Daily Travel Costs

We've been on the road for about 61 days traveling from VA to Oregon and now in NE. I have been keeping a log and am curious to compare our average daily costs to what others experience. Certainly there are many variables such as vehicle used, using Walmart vs RV parks, etc. Our DP is getting from 7.4 to 9.0 mpg, we have only used Walmart two nights, opting to stay in RV parks most of the time (we did stay free for 10 days at Country Coach while getting service). We've visited a zoo, another wildlife park, the Arch in Nebraska and went to the movies once. My average daily cost including fuel, meals out, groceries (provisions), RV park fees and miscellaneous entertainment costs is about $120 per day.

Obviously these are the direct costs and don't include the indirect things like insurance, maintenance, etc.

'07 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit #31578, Cummins ISL 425; 2014 Ford F150 toad; Air Force One Toad Brake.
Glen Allen, VA; Smith Mountain Lake, VA.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:26 PM   #2
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I really don't pay that much attention to the costs. I figure that if we are going to travel, we need fuel, food, a place to park, and so on. Just let the kids fight over what is left.

Keith & Drena with Casey & P-nut (dogs) & Gabby (cat)
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:33 PM   #3
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That is interesting. Thanks for sharing. It is good to get an idea of what others are spending.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:40 PM   #4
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We have done some similar calculations but not for such extended period of time. Our last trip of 24 days came in at a very similar figure (in Canadian however most of which went into fuel). We spent quite a bit of time in mountains crawling up big hills which hurt the fuel economy somewhat. We also did quite a bit of driving in that time rather than just sitting. I have found that if you really are just parked, costs tend to be lower per Diem depending on how long you stay put.

We were able to cut our costs with some boondocking (some by choice, some not). Meals out tend to be controllable costs too. Sometimes while in transit, it isn't always convenient to prepare but once settled down, we tend to prepare much more of our own food. We also don't bring a toad. We use bikes which forces us to be independent for food.
1999 - National Tropi Cal
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:48 PM   #5
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Same here, we just completed a 2500 mile triip and averaged $100 a day. Of course we stayed in Passport America parks a lot. Had to buy some sweats as it was cold in Big Bend.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:03 PM   #6
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Our costs are about $100 a day also. Depending on the day the truck gets 9 to 12 miles/gal when traveling, a headwind or hills make a difference. The 5'r weighs 19,400 so the truck has a big job to do. We have stayed in a Wal Mart lot only twice in 8 years. We use Passport America, city & county parks, Cabela's and casinos. We like to be cheap when heading to a destination and save our $$ for activities at the destination.
Jan & Thomas
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Old 08-10-2014, 04:14 PM   #7
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When we're planning a trip I use Microsoft Streets&Trips to plan the route. It provides a trip summary for fuel costs so I set my mpg at 7 and the fuel cost at $5 per gallon. This gives a pretty decent estimate for fuel costs.

For lodging costs we look for Thousand Trails parks, Good Sam Parks, parks recommended by friends, or KOA parks. So, once we decide where we want to stop I check the park's website for their rates.

Then, I create a spreadsheet including fuel costs and lodging costs. On this spreadsheet I add in $50 a day for "other" costs - food, admissions, etc. This has worked out well for us for several years.

People will say that $50 a day is unrealistic, and it may sound low to many, but when you consider we have some days where all we do is drive from point A to point B and then make our own meals rather than eating out it averages out. For instance - we are currently planning a trip from San Jose, Ca to Norfolk, Va and back next year. We're going east on I10 to the east coast, then up the coast on I95, and finally returning home on I70. The total trip will be on the order of 7200 miles and 59 days. We're planning on spending money at many attractions along the way in places like San Antonio, New Orleans, Savannah, Williamsburg, New York City, etc. and they all add up to $32 per day for two of us. So that leaves us $18 per day for food and "stuff" - not unreasonable for frugal ("cheap!") people like us!

Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
2007 Bounder 35E being pushed by a 2008 smart fortwo Passion
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