RV Travel Budget

We have a travel budget that we try to stick to when we are on the road. The first one is overnight accommodations. Our budget is $50 a night max for full hook up (water, electricity and sewer) We’ve been known to boondock a few times at a WalMart in a pinch but DH isn’t comfortable most times that we do. There’s always the fear of “crazies” nearby so we look for a quick stay at any nearby campsite for around $30.


Next comes food. We prepare most meals in the RV, especially breakfast and lunch. If we’re in a special location, such as Bar Harbor Maine, we’ll go out to a special dinner of lobsters or whatever specialty the location is known for. We buy most of our food at an Aldi or WalMart supercenter. They’re more of them around America than you realize. The food products are safe and fresh. We stick to our $500 a month budget. Going out to eat follows our $100 to $150 a month budget.

Since we are on a quest to visit National Parks across America, I have a Senior Pass ($20) that gives us free access. Our main activity inside these parks is hiking, so again our activity costs are zero. Many of the towns that we visit have several free things to do, such as concerts, flea markets, art shows. We very rarely pay for any activity.

On our current trip right now, I’d have to say that Bar Harbor is a very, very expensive tourist trap. Our KOA campground, charges $110 for a site along the shore. Beautiful but expensive. An ocean view will set you back $92. The inner circle with full hook up, no view and no shade is $82 but since we booked for after Labor Day the price dropped to $72. Throw in our KOA member discount and we got our site for $65. It’s a better price but well above our $50 budget.

Bar Harbor is known for their lobsters and clams. I had recommended to DH that we could buy live lobsters at a local grocer for $5.99 with free steaming but he refused. So, we went out for an authentic dinner of one lobster($19), one order of steamed clams ($17) and one bowl of clam chowder ($16) and our total bill came to $57. Ouch. Hubby will go to the supermarket next time.

We had one lunch out on the day we arrived in Bar Harbor.  We were too tired to prepare anything and we had a hankering for halibut sandwiches. Two of those set us back $32.50. The week prior we went out for a fish dinner. DH insisted on salmon. That cost $21. I had battered halibut for only $10. Nonetheless with taxes and tip that meal out cost us $62.  We’re done with eating out!

We’ve been hiking and walking our days at Acadia National Park. I get free admission thanks to my senior pass. The trails are well marked and easy to do. We’ve been clocking 4 miles a day with 7 or so flights of stairs! So far Cadillac Mountain has been the most photogenic. From our campsite shoreline I’ve gotten some spectacular sunsets. In the evening many of our neighbors sit around their campfires. Us? A quick hot shower, a fast stir fry dinner and right into bed.







    • Hi Lisa. The prices are ridiculous. $17 for a bowl of clam chowder? Are they for real? And it was soooo watered down. Sad. Thanks about my pictures. My little iPhone takes some great shots.
      Thank you for your comment.


  1. It’s funny about eating out on trips. We had a friend who went to New England, in part because he was absolutely crazy about lobster and wanted to eat it every night. He was so disappointed, none of the restaurants were as good as his favorite lobster place here in So Cal.

    I’m sure there are great restaurants there, though. I have noticed that restaurants that cater to tourists are often sub par because they know you are just passing through and they won’t need your repeat business. It can be so disappointing.

    Next week we head to Kentucky and Tennessee. We are hoping for some great barbecue.


    • Actually Anne my husband said it was the best lobster he ever ate. The steamer clams were also very good. The soup however was mediocre. I think that was due to the fact I’m used to chunkier clam soup up north. We ate at a lobster shack outside of town. I’m hoping locals ate there too. I was shocked to find out that fishing was banned in Maine 20 years ago by the Federal govt. the Feds even seized all the fishing boats to make sure no fishing could occur. Only lobsters and clamming is allowed. I couldn’t buy a filet if I wanted to.
      Tennessee has some really good BBQ. Enjoy. Have no idea about Kentucky. Life is an adventure for sure! Have fun. If you get the chance, let me know what Kentucky is famous for.
      Thanks for your comment.


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