Today diesel is selling for $2.76 a gallon in our part of town. During our travels this year, we paid as much as $5.60 a gallon one time in a resort service station. The standard for quite a while was $4.19 a gallon. So today's price looks really good.
We have been asked how (or why) we can travel with fuel prices so high and the economy in such a state. One part of the answer is we aren't getting any younger and how do we know it won't be worse next year or the year after that?
But the expense of our type of travel isn't much. From March 24 to November 4, we drove 10,700 miles and only about 7,000 miles were driven towing our trailer. Many people drive at least 15,000 miles a year just going to and from work and driving around town. We went from Colorado to New Mexico, then Arizona, then California, on to Oregon, back down to California, then Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, before returning to Colorado.
We were on the road for 228 days. Four months—119 days—we were volunteering and didn't pay anything for our RV site. In addition, we had four free nights at Pilot Knob in Yuma, AZ, in return for a sales presentation, and three free nights at Alpine RV in Morgan Hill, CA, while we waited for some work on our new RV. We were also reimbursed for a week-long stay in California while our truck was being repaired The total cost of our RV sites for the seven plus months was $ 2759, averaging $11.59 a night.
When we are away from our house for that period of time, we spend much less on gas and electricity at the stick house. We do budget billing with Public Service for these expenses. Before we began our extensive RV travels, we paid over $200 a month for these utilities. Today we pay $98 per month. That offsets part of our travel expenses.
When we add up RV sites, fuel while towing the trailer, propane, and RV maintenance, our travels cost $5,185. That doesn't include food, but we have to eat wherever we are and almost all our meals are prepared in the RV kitchen. It also doesn't include the driving we do in the truck where we aren't towing. We spent a total of $3300 on fuel during the months we were on the road for all our driving. We spent more for one week of luxury cruising in the Caribbean in 2000 than we spent for seven months of travel this year. We prefer this type of travel.
Obviously, I haven't included the cost to purchase our RV in these calculations. But if we choose to own an RV, why not travel when we can do it this inexpensively?