What It Cost Me to Live in My RV This Winter

I'm getting ready to leave here in just a couple of days and I wanted to share with you what it has cost me to spend my first retirement winter here in the south in my RV.

A lot of people have questions about the cost, is it affordable, is it doable?

So many people feel like they can't afford to retire but I wanted to share these costs with you. I’ve mapped out those costs and will share how affordable it’s been for me.

I’m the daughter of Depression-era parents and I live frugally so I can live comfortably. But everyone has a different idea of comfort and my idea may be different from other people’s idea of what defines comfort.

I want to share the costs of how I wintered in the Rio Grande Valley so I can show you how affordable it was for me to do this and live comfortably.

Lot rent $2,200.00 (for 6 months)

Average electric $54.00

Internet $34.95

Food $122.50

Care insurance $36.00

Car gas $25.00

Phone $60.00

Gas to get down and back $800.00

Hulu subscription $10.99

Amazon Prime $11.58

Car tags $7.08

Home property taxes $82.81

Snacks $50.00


Total $994.91

Plus home electric $65.00

Home internet $61.95

And if we eat out $50.00

Budget in Texas $1,171.86 per month

RV park
RV park
RV park

Affordable housing is a hot topic and people here can afford a second home for the winter. This is common across the United States, especially for many retirees. Living here does not mean that people are low-income or have money saved. They live here because they enjoy the experiences and make lifelong friends.

Many people here have side businesses for extra money. Retiring now and working an extra side job is the norm going forward. People like to stay busy and have extra spending cash. So let’s take a look at how people here afford winter homes.

Here’s how they do it. They rent or buy a place just for the winter so they pay rent on the lot or own their RV. Some people store their RVs down here to save on gas costs. It’s only a couple hundred a month to store your RV here so that’s one way they cut costs.

My best advice is to do your research. I looked into the climate. I knew I wanted to live in temperatures consistently around 70 degrees for the winter. I looked at the crime rates, costs, amenities, and events around the area, and I looked at the quality of the beaches. Some beaches may have weeds or scum on top of the water. Here we mow our own lots so that’s something to think about.

I know a lot of 55-plus communities always get bad reviews on social media. But there will always be a group of people who are negative, complain, or are nosey wherever you live. Just don’t hang out with them! Just hang out with the fun crowd like I do.

Over 50,000 people winter in the Rio Grande Valley every year. But there are 55-plus communities all over the country, not just here. There are so many choices based on your criteria.

I’m also asking myself if I want to return here every year or go to different places every winter. I want to explore new places. I don’t necessarily like to travel to the same places over and over again. And I am not the youngest person here, either. My husband and I are 58 and we met some people younger than us here. But we don’t even feel like the older people are old. We have met people from all walks of life and they are so fun.

I have a very low cost of living in my home in Kansas, which allows me to live there and here very easily. I have overheard people talking about how the Baby Boomers are lucky because they don’t have to sell their homes to afford an RV. After all, they have pensions that pay better than 401K plans that younger folks have who have to sell their homes to afford this life. I thought that was a very interesting point.

Cost of living in an RV

I hope this was good information for you if you’re considering retiring or moving to another location in the wintertime. I don’t think the idea of retirement is to have a mansion with a pool.

I think that’s an exception and not the rule although we all picture those beach or mountain houses as our retirement homes.

When we think this way, we believe we don’t have enough to retire but I’m hoping this talk showed you it’s possible to make your retirement dreams come true.

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