Our Up-Front Costs To Go On The Road

This page is another window into our personal affairs to better help those considering full-timing determine what expenses may be incurred in the preparation for the lifestyle. Remember, we didn't have an RV and had never RVed before so it was like purchasing and furnishing a new home. In fact, that's exactly what it was. :)

We were fortunate to have a good deal of equity in our house and paid cash for everything shown here. Many of these expenses are not necessary to the full-timing life and we may have spent more than others in some cases and less than others in some cases. One of the keys for us was purchasing these items while we still had a very good income before our resignations took effect.

Even though some of these expenses may seem extravagant or unnecessary, hopefully this page will at least be helpful in identifying expenses you may not have thought of or give you a ballpark idea of costs you can expect.

Our Rig

2006 Keystone Cambridge

2006 Keystone Cambridge 358RLS Fifth Wheel $61,904.00
Four Seasons Package
Safety Package
Additional Options:
12 Cubic Ft. Refrigerator
Central Vacuum System
5100 BTU Electric Fireplace
Fantastic Fans (2)
Power Awning
Slide Tray in Basement (We later removed)
Dual Pane Safety Glass Tinted Windows
Sofa Table

Onan Marquis Gold 5500 Watt Propane Generator $4,900.00

Carefree of Colorado Sideout Kover II Slideout Awnings (4) $1,825.00

Vent & Fantastic Fan Covers (3) $400.00

Cabinet & Closet Space Modifications $2,830.00

$71,859.00 Total RV Set-up

Note: The Keystone Cambridge was discontinued after its first and only model year due to lack of demand. It's a great rig - too bad.

Tow Vehicle

Ford F450

Ford F-450 Lariat Supercab in Arizona Beige $46,351.00
6.0L V8 Turbo Diesel
4 X 2 Dual Rear Wheels
4.88 Axle Ratio
High Capacity Trailer Tow Package
Fifth Wheel Towing Capacity - 21,600 pounds
Gross Combined Weight Rating - 30,000 pounds
Dual Fuel Tanks

Mud Flaps $175.00

Spray-in Bed Liner $275.00

Custom Bed Cover To Go Around Fifth Wheel Hitch $650.00

$47,451.00 Total Tow Vehicle Set-Up

Fifth Wheel Hitch

Husky 24K Double Pivot Fifth Wheel Hitch

24K Husky Hitch Installed $1,561.00
(Special Welding Was Required For F450)

RV & Tow Vehicle Service Agreements

Freedom Care 7 Year Full System Coverage $1,894.00

TireGuard 7 Year Road Hazard Tire Coverage $499.00

Coachnet 3 Year 24 Hour Emergency Roadside Assistance & Technical Hotline Plus RV Warranty & Service Appointment Assistance $199.00

$2,592.00 Total Service Agreements

Satellite Dish Internet & TV Installation Datastorm F1

Datastorm .74m Satellite Dish Installed $5,245.00
Roof Mount
Auto Search
LinkSys Wireless Router
D-Link Wireless Card (2)

DirecTV DVR R10 Receiver

DirecTV R10 80 GIG DVR Receivers (2) $200.00
TIVO Capable
($100 after $50 mail-in rebates on each receiver)

$5,445.00 Total Satellite Dish Internet & TV Installation

Satellite Internet Service & DirecTV Service

Direcway Broadband Satellite Service $1,129.00
One year of service
5% Discount for One Year Up Front Plan
Regular Monthly Rate was $99.00
Purchased through Motosat (manufacturer of the Datastorm dish)

Note: Direcway became Hughes.Net. In January 2006, we upgraded equipment and moved the dish on our roof at the recommendation of Mobil Satellite Technologies (Mobilsat). We then bought the Hughes.Net satellite internet service through Mobilsat rather than Motosat. Than annual cost has been $798 since that time.

DirecTV Total Choice Basic $588.00
Lowest Cost Basic Plan ($43.00 Monthly)
Plus Additional Receiver ($5.00 Monthly)
Plus DVR/TIVO Service ($5.00 Monthly)
Plus Distant Network Service to get Broadcast Network Channels from New York & Los Angeles - ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX - 8 Channels ($9.00 Monthly)
Total of $62.00 Monthly
(We got discount on first 3 months)

Note: We still have the same DirecTV features as when we started, but the prices have increased quite a bit. As of 2010, we are paying about $85 per month.

$1,717.00 Total One Year Service For Satellite Internet & TV


Due to our situation, we decided to pay all insurance costs up front for one year. That is why we included insurance for the first year in this section. It may be wiser to pay for insurance on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual plan, but we liked the peace of mind of making sure these large expenses were paid in full for at least the first year.

Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO Health Plan with Health Savings Account Option; (80/20 Plan with $4,800 Deductible) $2,366.00
($197.00 Monthly)

Note: Though we still have Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, we've changed plans twice. As of 2010, we have what is called a Lumenos plan with a Health Savings Account feature. It is a 100/0 Plan with a $10,000 deductible and a $155 monthly premium. In 2007, we changed to a monthly payment rather than annual.

MetLife $250,000 30 Year Guaranteed Level Premium Life Insurance for each of us. Total of both policies: $953.00
($79.00 Monthly)

RV Insurance - Drive Insurance By Progressive with 250,000/500,000 person/accident coverage with Full-timer personal liability coverage $897.00
($75.00 Monthly)

Truck Insurance - Drive Insurance By Progressive with 250,000/500,000 person/accident coverage $729.00
($61.00 Monthly)

Umbrella Policy - RLI Insurance with $1,000,000 coverage $200.00
($17.00 Monthly)

Note: We are still paying Life Insurance, RV Insurance, Truck Insurance, and Umbrella Insurance annually.

$5,145.00 Total Insurance For One Year
($429.00 Monthly)

Camera Equipment & Binoculars

Nikon D70 Digital SLR Camera - $1,700

18-70mm lens
70-300mm lens

UV filters
Camera Bag

Note: Loving photography and wanting to document and share our experiences on this website, we decided to buy some topnotch camera equipment while we were still working and could afford it.

Swarovski 8 X 20 Pocket Binocular - $800

Note: Being birders, we wanted to get a top pair of compact binoculars for hiking - agian, while we could still afford it. This pair was a great addition to the Eagle Optics Ranger model ($400) that we already had.

$2,500 Total Camera Equipment & Binoculars

RV Furniture

La-Z-Boy Pinnacle Rocker Recliners (2) - $1,200

Note: We replaced the swivel rocker recliners that came with our rig with La-Z-Boy Pinnacle Rocker Recliners (leather fabric - Cobblestone). We found that the recliners that came with the rig were not good quality, and because they were swivel rocker recliners, there were heavy and hard to move when preparing to stow them for travel. The La-Z-Boy recliners are narrow, lighter, and the backs come off which made them easy to get in the door. In our travels and talks with many full-timers, it has become pretty clear that buying your own living area furniture is a good idea. Later, we took out the sleeper sofa that came with the rig and replaced it with another identical La-Z-Boy recliner.

  • Books on RVing & Fulltiming $70.00
  • Escapees RV Club Membership $70.00
  • Good Sam RV Club Membership $19.00 (We've since canceled)
  • Good Sam Golf Club $30.00 (We've since canceled)
  • Passport America Membership (3 years) $114.00 (We now renew annually)
  • Workamper News Subscription $37.00
  • Caretaker Gazette Subscription $30.00
  • Solo Build It (RV-Dreams.com website host and construction guide) $399.00 (Annual renewal is $299)
  • MyTripJournal (RV-Dreams.com Journal) $59.00 (We no longer use - changed to Typepad for our Journal)
  • Smugmug (Our photo gallery webhost) $30.00
  • LaFuma Outdoor Loungers (2) $200.00
  • Olympian Portable Gas Grill $80.00
  • Grill Stand $20.00
  • Folding Table & Bench Set $70.00 (Now gone)
  • Bottle Jack & Jack Stands $70.00
  • Fishing Gear - Bait-casting and fly-casting rods, reels, and assorted tackle $500.00
  • Power Inverter for truck (to run laptop from truck battery) $40.00
  • Sewer hoses (10 & 20 ft.), sewer connection and splicing kit, fresh water hoses (25 & 50 ft), water pressure regulator, garden hose (75 ft), y-connector, furnace vent mud dauber screen, interior step stool, exterior step stool, step ladder, extension cords, power cord adapters (50-30 amp & 30-20 amp), folding dish drainer, shower drain hair trap, rubber roof cleaner, slideout lube, slideout seal conditioner, assortment of RV light bulbs and batteries, space bags, etc. - $200.00

    $1,958.00 Total Miscellaneous

    Total "Preparing For The Road" Costs From December 2004 Through July 2005: $141,428