A Year of Fulltime RV Living, by the Numbers

Before 2018 gets into full swing, we wanted to take some time to update our maps, calculate our costs and really think about what we want out of this next year of travel. 

Our Google map helps us keep track of all of our stops. Which state are we in again?

Our Google map helps us keep track of all of our stops. Which state are we in again?

Where did we stay?

We parked the Airstream in 98 places in 2017! That kind of blew us away when we tallied it up, and it explains why we were feeling totally burnt out by October, plus why our focus in 2018 will be on fewer states and slower travel

Here’s the break down of our rv parking:

  • 2 National Forest campgrounds
  • 2 Rest Stop overnights
  • 3 Boondocking stays
  • 6 Moochdocking spots
  • 6 National Park Campgrounds
  • 7 Harvest Host overnights
  • 13 County Parks
  • 21 Private Campgrounds
  • 38 State Parks

Our favorite kind of camping? National, state and county park campgrounds were really good to us. State Parks can be a mixed bag, so do your research, but there are some truly amazing ones out there, and we’ve only come across a few we really felt “meh” about. 

We had a high number of private campgrounds due to a lot of easy on/off highway overnighters, and a lot of these we’d be in no hurry to stay at again, but there are a few gems out there. Two of our favorites were Rose Valley Ranch in Silver City, NM and Taos Valley RV Park, where we recently spent two months.

How much did it cost?

Our total costs for campgrounds for the year was $11,500.79, for an average of $31.50 a night. Since we spent so much of the year on the East Coast where you can’t boondock, and there aren’t as many cheap camping options we feel pretty good about that number, but we’d like to get it a little lower in 2018. 

We’re doing that in two ways. 

  1. We expect to do a lot more boodocking this year now that we’re back in the West. 
  2. We’ve been adding some monthly stays at RV parks both to slow down, and to save. 

We’ve done monthly rates at RV parks since mid-October and we’re averaging about $22/night for full hookups, which is cheaper than a lot of state parks. There are downsides (like having to drive to trails, and closer neighbors) and we’re excited to get the Airstream back into nature later this month, but it’s been fun to mix it up, take all the showers and have the amenities of town (like a grocery store we've been to more than once — it's the little things). 

What were our favorite places?

In no particular order, our top 5 campgrounds this past year were:

  1. Gilbert Ray campground, Tucson AZ
    Otherworldly beauty and tons of trail access for $20 a night, yes please. We’re headed back that way for another 7-day dose this winter. 
  2. Lake Powhatan campground, Asheville NC
    I could seriously live in this park, and I think it would take a lifetime to do every combination of trails by foot and bike, and for Shoam to taste every beer in Asheville.  
  3. Jumbo Rocks, Joshua Tree National Park CA
    Going here is like visiting another planet, and it was one of our favorite places to watch the sun rise or set. 
  4. Schoodic Woods Campground, Acadia National Park ME
    Acadia was my first National Park and it will always be my favorite. This beautiful, new campground on the quiet side of the island was a perfect retreat for a week with bike trails where we rarely passed another person. 
  5. Angel Valley Rd., Sedona AZ
    We’re so glad we got to spend a week in this boondocking spot before they changed the rules. Waking up to hot air balloons sailing past red cliffs each morning was pretty incredible. 

For more pictures and places we loved, you can check out our sentimental update from our one year nomadiversary back in October.

What else do you want to know about?

Part of the reason we wanted to slow down this year was to focus more on our business and have more time to hike, write and draw in our down time. Our big goal with this blog has always been to inspire other people’s adventures, so we’ll be posting more regularly here as we ease our feet off the gas pedal. 

We’d love to know what kind of posts you’d like to see. Do you want to know more about how we make a living or budget for life on the road, how much full-time rv living costs, the places we visit and things to do there, or….? Leave us a note here (don't be shy!) or a comment on Instagram and let us know.  

Happy travels, 

Find our favorite places on Pinterest

We've started collecting towns, campgrounds, hikes and other must-see-sites by state on our Pinterest account. Head on over to see our New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and California boards and follow us to keep up as we catch up with where we've been. 

Celena Carr