The Price of Camping

A recent 'Question for Thom':  "Hey buddy, do you and Dar keep track of how much you pay to stay in campgrounds and RV parks? If so, could you share some of your experience?"

I'm glad you asked that question since I just finished getting caught up with our expense tracking spreadsheet. I have a real propensity to procrastinate on stuff like that and the longer I wait, the larger the job becomes... which just causes more procrastination. It turns into a spiral that's hard to escape from. A small task quickly turns into a huge project. That's where I was... way behind... like two months or more, and the only way I pulled out of the dive was to dedicate a day, do nothing else, put my head down in the PC, and just grind it out. I feel much better now that that's done. Goodbye tension.

So back to your question... what are our camping expenses? Let me share some statistics from our first few years of fulltiming...

1) number of camps and average number of days per stay:
  • 2007 (half year only):  33 camps; 5.3 days average
  • 2008 (full year):        59 camps; 6.2 days average
  • 2009 (full year):        54 camps; 6.8 days average
  • 2010 (first half only):   21 camps; 10.8 days average
 2) average cost per night: (includes nights we stay for free, boondocking, etc)
  • 2007:  $14.16
  • 2008:    13.07
  • 2009:    14.60
  • 2010:    11.26
3)  average cost per paid night: (just nights we paid for camping)
  • 2007:  $17.03
  • 2008:    18.78
  • 2009:    18.13
  • 2010:    19.08 
We have three places we stay for extended periods of time... near Portland OR. to see family and grandkids; along the coastal bend of Texas during the core of Winter, and in Wisconsin during the summer. These longer stays skew some of the stats, but it is what it is. When not in one of the three extended camps we're pretty much in explorer mode and moving every few days.

As we move into the future the objective, especially when in explorer mode, is to stay longer and "smell the roses".


Slightly Better than Most