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Old 05-15-2007, 04:54 PM   #1
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Default Whats it cost to be a Snowbird for 4 months ?

Ill be semi retiring soon and wish to escape the brutal illinois winters from Nov. thru Feb . in Texas and/or Arizona where i have friends. Would like some idea as to how much it costs to live 4 months continuously in a Class B. assuming going to restaurants occasionally, staying at low cost CG and State Parks , budget spending, conservative living . One person (male) . Any ideas.? Thanks.
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Old 05-15-2007, 07:50 PM   #2
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Well Dave I really don't have any idea since there can be a lot of variables. I would say to track all of your expenses for a month the way you expect to live and start calculating. You can make adjustments when you find out cost of campgrounds and anything you may use where you are staying. When the month is over you can see where you might want to make other cuts or splurges.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:08 PM   #3
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Mark, I shall do exactly as you suggest. But, as a guess, I would think $300 per month would be adequate (not including health care insurance or RV insurance costs) and assuming non extravant spending coupled with staying overnight free often ; for the Snowbird who desires to be mobile alot during those 4 months, no doubt gasoline will be the major expense.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:37 AM   #4
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Like g1g says - it will vary depending on your needs.

It might be worth buying this spreadsheet. (you'll need Microsoft Excel on your computer)

http://www.roadtripdream.com/budget-worksheet.html

I hope to do what you're planning some day. I think it would be great to spend the winter in a warmer climate.
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:58 AM   #5
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This budget is also on the site referenced above. It's probably not as detailed but it should still be useful.

http://www.roadtripdream.com/Trip_Budget.xls

Right click, save target as........
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:02 AM   #6
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Thanks Mark for the links. By the way, i think youve done a super job with this Class B. Forum.
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:16 PM   #7
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Hi there guys,
Just came back from 3 weeks in Mexico with my wife (not in our RT) after spending some 60 days in South Carolina. I went through my SC travel expenses and if I consider my basic expenses, (gas, camping fees, food, propane), it came down to an average of 45$ US/day. I love to cook my own food and have 1 cocktail and 1-2 glasses of wine with my dinner. Never ate at a restaurant, nor went on a tour or amusement activity. So this cost is very conservative. Coming down from Quebec City and getting back totaled a little over 2400 miles and must be considered as one of my major expenses. I stayed in State Parks which costs between 25-29$/day (water, electricity).

300$/month gives you some 10$/day which I believe to be under the average per diem cost of staying home and only spending on food and gas (getting a video, grocery, etc.).

You should not only provide for unexpected expenses (RV repairs, non covered health expenses) but also for unplanned expenses you would carry under a normal lifestyle (gifts, useful stuff for your RV and for your home) given the opportunities a travels often brings you). As an example, it cost me some 900$ to repair my Onan and get a new battery. Even if I had a Skype Internet phone (15$/year, I had to move around in my RT to find a WiFi access point and spent some 150$ on long distance phone calls (made and received) on my cell.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:34 AM   #8
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YEs...now ive done some rough calculations, I was way off on my '$300 per month' ; I now figure once ive reached my destination(s) , without going crazy spending...its going to take about $150 "per week" minimally for just myself. Most likely more , even considering no-cost overnighting when possible . Good thing im on a diet and i dont drink anymore !
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:19 AM   #9
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Hi again,
Just to give you an idea, I stayed at the Huntington and Myrtle Beach State Parks from February 9 until May 10 alone with my dog which cost me 1150$. While getting there and coming back home for a total of 6 days, I slept at various Walmarts (0$). Food cost me some 800$ (including wine and vodka - I usually had a Bloody Cesar per day). I packed as much dry and canned food stuff from my home before leaving to reduce the cost. Propane cost me some 60$ mainly for the heather used during the cold nights of February. I found it cheaper to use my generator and an electric heater when not connected to electrical services on a campground. Gas cost me some 800$ Every 3 days, I would go at Starbucks in down town Myrtle Beach for a free WiFi access (some 50 miles back and forth) to get my email and make Internet phone calls. It all comes down to some 46$ per day or 1380$ per month.

Food would have cost me the same had I stayed home. So I don't really consider it to be a specific travel expense. Same goes for a portion of the cost of gas I would have spent here at home (80$ per month) since I use public transportation. Given that, the extra cost for my travel was close to 30$ per day.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:54 AM   #10
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Jard, $800 every 3 days for gasoline tells me you were on the move alot ; or, did you mean $80 ? Im sure you meant $80 . Anyway, I sure hope i can do it , on average, for less than $30/day for 4 months.
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:47 PM   #11
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I think gas cost him $800 for the trip and he went to Starbucks every three days.

Great to hear from you Jardiner. You've sure been traveling a lot. I'm jealous
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:29 PM   #12
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Hi marcopolo,
You got it correct, it cost me a total close to 800$ for all my gas expenses. Going to Starbucks every 3 days was costly in terms of gas since there are a lot of traffic lights on highway 17 and 17 Bus between Huntington and downtown Myrtle Beach. Urban traveling on a loaded RT 200 is expensive. I seriously think I will buy a Broadband card to connect directly to the net wherever I go, the overall cost would be lower. Don't forget what I mentioned : it cost me an additional 200$ on cell phone expenses for calls friends and family placed to talk to me during those two months!

As for moving around, things will be slow this summer, my wife only has 2 weeks of vacation left and will keep them for this Xmas. If she retires, it's going to be a completely different ball game.

The cost of traveling is directly related to the lifestyle you maintain. For example, in Mexico, we moved a lot East, West and South of Guadalajara. We rented a car instead of traveling by bus (some 3000 Km at 0,68$ a liter). The car rental cost some 1300$ Can. (full insurance coverage, 0$ deductible, unlimited mileage) = cost+. Instead of going to hotels, we rented small apartments and I cooked the meals = cost-. On location expenses for 3 weeks cost some 2400$ Can. including gas, gifts for the kids etc.

There is a possibility for They call me Dave to save money by staying on public lands (free) and state parks in the West which are less expensive than those in the East.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:32 PM   #13
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Jard, In another 2-3 years, Im going to be going up the southeast coastline starting in Savannah, GA going up to at least Boston area. Have you gone this route at all , and, can u tell me any major things to do/see along the way ? Also, ill be detouring along the Outer Banks of N.C. thru Kittyhawk, so, if you have any tips and info regarding the Outer Banks...id sure appreciate it. Thanks , Dave.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:04 AM   #14
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Hi They call me Dave,
Can't help you a lot since I haven't been further South than Charleston, SC. However, one thing I know about Boston is that moving in the city with a class B is something you must avoid. Imagine going on a series of one way cow trails where you can't park. And this is just the beginning. Take a second mortgage on your house if you want to have enough $ to park! What we do is leave our RT at one the parkings in a town and get to Boston by using the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority train (MBTA). For example, if you're coming from the South, you could take the Providence/Stoughton Line along I-95 (the map at this link gives you the names of the towns and cities having a terminal and free parking).

If you have any specific questions on some areas starting from Charleston, I try my best to help.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:32 AM   #15
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Thanks for the tip on Boston. Have you been to Hilton Head, S.C. ?? How is that for one or two overnighters ? And... have you done the Outer Banks of N.C. ? Is it worth going there ? Thanks, DAVE
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