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Old 10-21-2019, 08:13 PM   #1
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The Fuel Factor

This is not a question, more of an observation. Please feel free to comment. After maybe a 12 year hiatus from camping we bought a 5th wheel last fall. Prepping and planning we took of on a 2 month trip this June. We were headed from north central Florida to northern Michigan. The first 1400 miles were a straight shot, no sightseeing. I had not anticipated how much the cost of fuel would be. How naive. At maybe 10 mpg It would cost us about $70 to drive 250 miles. This was a daily expense when traveling. We extensively used Boondockers Welcome. If not available, campgrounds could be readily found for $30 - $40. As it was, in two months we put about 8K miles on the truck an close to $6K on the credit card. I have not actually crunched the numbers but guessing at least $2500 was the cost of fuel. Is this a fact of life? Do you people live with it? Thanks for listening.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:17 PM   #2
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What you are seeing for fuel costs is normal for towing a trailer. It usually costs about $125 PER DAY for fuel and a campsite plus food. That is a fact of life that I deal with and try to find places where I can sit for a month or so at a time.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:41 PM   #3
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Yes, this is the cost of camping in today's economy. Although I think this is cheaper then staying in a motel and eating out plus the cost of fuel.

I usually spend between $75 and $85 a day for fuel, with camping sites ranging from $ 45 to as high as $60 a night. When I am on the road and traveling to an area with more than one night stop. I will use a pull throw site which usually cost more. Why? I do not unhook the truck from the trailer so, we can pullout in the morning easily.

Another thing you need to consider is you are sleeping in your own bed, using your own bathroom and cooking you own meals! Which too me is healther then staying in a motel and eating out every day you are on the road.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:47 PM   #4
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Yep that is the current state of affairs. WE probably spend $3500 a month between fuel, camping fees, food and entertainment.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:05 PM   #5
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Having spent years traveling by car and staying in motels and eating 3 meals a day in restaurants. Gas cost alone is cheaper then staying in a hotel and eating 3 meals in resturants. RV ing is less expensive when you start looking at other means. Just my observation.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:18 PM   #6
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Yes, that sounds about right. I allot $500 a month for fuel costs. Some months, I go way over that if I travel a lot, but other months I'm way under. I like to stay in one place for a month at a time or more. When I'm towing, I get about 11 mpg if I'm careful. 500 miles a day is typical for me when I'm not in a hurry, and I fill up every other day. Costs me $250 to $300 depending on fuel price to fill up since I have 110 gallons in total. So, yea $70 for 250 miles is pretty typical for me too.


The longer you stay in one place, the lower your bills become. Staying a day or two in one place, and constantly moving around gets expensive quick. Monthly rates are usually much better than 30x the daily rate. Miles add up quick too when you do 100 a day.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frizfreleng View Post
This is not a question, more of an observation. Please feel free to comment. After maybe a 12 year hiatus from camping we bought a 5th wheel last fall. Prepping and planning we took of on a 2 month trip this June. We were headed from north central Florida to northern Michigan. The first 1400 miles were a straight shot, no sightseeing. I had not anticipated how much the cost of fuel would be. How naive. At maybe 10 mpg It would cost us about $70 to drive 250 miles. This was a daily expense when traveling. We extensively used Boondockers Welcome. If not available, campgrounds could be readily found for $30 - $40. As it was, in two months we put about 8K miles on the truck an close to $6K on the credit card. I have not actually crunched the numbers but guessing at least $2500 was the cost of fuel. Is this a fact of life? Do you people live with it? Thanks for listening.


Itís a fact of life you need money to play. I also have a small boat that Iíll burn about $70 just putting around on a Saturday then about $50 at lake restaurant. So that $120 a week nearly $500 a month during summer months. So you either use your toys and pay the price or get rid of them.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:06 AM   #8
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Can't help much with your sticker shock but for the future you can get a better estimate of fuel costs by dividing your anticipated cost per gallon by your miles per gallon.
Our diesel RED actually gets about 9 mpg on flat lands but I figure trip costs at:
$3.00 CPG / 8 MPG = $.38 CPM
That gives you a decent cost per mile for your planned trip.
I always use my past fuel mileage -1 mpg and figure interstate fuel prices even though I try not to use them. That way my anticipated trip cost is more than actual and I have a bit left over for a just in case situation.
No more sticker shock.
Fun = $$$$$
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by frizfreleng View Post
This is not a question, more of an observation. Please feel free to comment. ....... I have not actually crunched the numbers but guessing at least $2500 was the cost of fuel. Is this a fact of life? Do you people live with it? Thanks for listening.

At 10mpg I think you get better mileage than many. There's that.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:25 AM   #10
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We absolutely live with it, and can't think of a better way to travel.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:50 AM   #11
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This kind of got my interest so did a little research.

In 2008 winghich was about 10 years back and about what the OP said was the last RV he had done. Gas price average was $3.15/ gallon. In 2018 it was 2.72/gallon and July 2019, $2.82/gallon. These averages are skewed higher by a few states like Calif. Diesel has for the past few years run 25 cents or so higher/gallon. I hope your truck had an overall average higher then 10mpg when you include sightseeing trips.

https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_gas_price and https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_retail_diesel_price

I believe what you are seeing on your credit card is the dramatic increases in COL other then fuel - food, entertainment and campgrounds. The CG where we spend most of the summer has gone from $30 for a 50 amp site to mid forty's. The cost of eating at a fast food joint in the last year alone has gone up about 2 bucks for a Quarter Pounder. Grocery stores - we have gone from less then $100 a week in the past few years to $150 or more for just two of us. We recently returned from a lengthy New England trip. OMG - a lobster roll is $20 and up. The seafood platter that I paid $16 for two years ago was $26,The $45 CG, same site was now $51=9% Tax etc.,etc.,etc., That 23 day trip cost $1600-$1700 including everything but grocery store food which we would have bought anyhow.

RVing is no longer an inexpensive pasttime with the costs of your capable tow vehicle and trailer plus that ever increasing cost of just living your daily life. It will not get any cheaper
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:47 AM   #12
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As full timers, we only ave 10k miles/year and stay at CG's with monthly discount rates along with rarely eating out. For us it's not a vacation, but a lifestyle like life was in our S/B house, only now in different spots.

As a vacationer, you are driving more miles and making the most of your vac which is normal but expensive. Any vac has the potential to be expensive, just figure the cost of flying/touring a family to Disney for a vacation. Now that is sticker shock!

People still have the option of traveling in a economy fuel car, tent, and cooking over a campfire in boondock areas. But the more luxury you want, then the more you pay for it.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:07 AM   #13
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Fuel costs for an RV run 2x-3x that of a car. That's the price of bringing your own home with you as your travel.


Campsite costs are approaching that of a motel room, but you can save money on food if you eat-in rather than restaurant dining.
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