Full timing costs and budgets.

Aug 13, 2017
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I know its a 'how long is a piece of string' thread but what are the real costs of fulltiming mainly in the EU but including the UK and elsewhere too. Has anyone kept a real check on expenditure etc that they would like to share please?
have looked back and seen the threads from 2016 but just looking for the more recent view!
We're thinking of hitting the EU etc next year for a couple of years and though we have several 1 month EU trips under our belt we would be interested in what the impact of full timing on the costs is!
 
Feb 22, 2011
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Have a look at a blog by Julie and Jason called OurTour. They don't full time, more like long-term travels but detail very accurately their costs.
Loads of other useful info too
 

SMB

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I have been full-timing for the last five years, mostly in Europe, and until last year I was travelling solo. I have a monthly budget which isn't too hard to manage on with a mixture of ACSI sites and aires. I didn't use to eat out much when travelling solo but that's changed now, as has the budget with the girlfriends financial input (y). Of course it depends what your budget is but I rarely use toll roads but do like using ferries, I do on average 10,000 miles a year. My biggest expenditure is when I'm back in the UK, bloody expensive catching up with friends :drink:

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Oct 12, 2009
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Just to mention one major difference will be the MH insurance for full-time - you could be paying in excess of £1,000, plus more if you want cover for difficult areas in such as Balkans/Morocco etc.

Heating in winter will be more expensive but maybe diesel per month may be less than 1-2 months tour since one might not move so much.

If one uses gas for heating I would think refillable bottles/tank would keep annual cost down.

I know you are looking for annual figures but just some input we just did 5 weeks, some days in UK but mostly France and Germany and, deducting the extra diesel to get back to Poland, we averaged about €240 p.w. but we live quite well, incl. sufficient wine and a meal out per week, but very little for parking, so use of sites would increase cost considerably.

Geoff

P.S. On our style of touring I think that if we were going for a year I would be wanting a fund of €15-20K, giving a cushion for repairs and maybe emergency flights home/storage.
 
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Southdowners

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We aren't full timers but extended stay travellers.... I'd say a lot depends on where you go and how many miles you do. We move on most days and the longest we stay is 2 nights. We don't stay on sites. As an estimate we spend around £1500 a month including fuel.

I know Norway isn't in the EU but it is horrendously expensive... the worst example was £5 for a small bottle of crappy washing up liquid... it was like water! :giggle: Wine is at least double the price as is other alcohol. We spent a fortune there but haven't got back yet to do the figures.

By far our most expensive outlay is fuel.

I'll be interested in following this thread !
 
Oct 8, 2016
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We full time, we had 13 months in Europe from Summer 2017 to late Summer 2018. We spent roughly 12k using mainly aires or off season ACSI sites, we didn’t travel every day so spent up to 4 weeks on an aire or on sites. We shopped mainly at the bigger supermarkets, Lidl and Aldi would have been better options. I am now back at work so we stay on a small CL but have to move every so often due to club regs. We have refillable gas and a small car, but I cycle to work. We much prefer living in the van to all the expense and hassle of the house. We save a fair amount each month too.

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May 23, 2012
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I guess full timers are all different so spending would vary. Some do it to travel others through necessities like divorce or financial reasons so probably do not travel as much etc.
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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we traveled "full-time" for three years and I would suggest you need a minimum budget of £12k

we didn't use expensive sites, rarely ate out, just the occasional treat at a pizza shop.. nor spend on tourist attractions..

We used cheap or free aires and lived as cheaply as possible... and while aires can be free or cheap , moving on regularly eats into the fuel budget, so you have to offset that cost against using a budget site where you can relax for a few weeks.. driving every other day also gets very tiring.. and you have little time to get to know the area, the people and their culture.

"Fulltime" is not one long holiday .. it's a way of life, that few ever really adopt entirely and do for ever

Those who do long trips and keep a base in the UK, come home every year for a few weeks or months, perhaps even work part time or take on a wardens for the summer, are better described as travellers.. or even adventurers, not fulltimers, and IMV that is a much better plan ..

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Jun 30, 2011
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we traveled "full-time" for three years and I would suggest you need a minimum budget of £12k

we didn't use expensive sites, rarely ate out, just the occasional treat at a pizza shop.. nor spend on tourist attractions..

We used cheap or free aires and lived as cheaply as possible... and while aires can be free or cheap , moving on regularly eats into the fuel budget, so you have to offset that cost against using a budget site where you can relax for a few weeks.. driving every other day also gets very tiring.. and you have little time to get to know the area, the people and their culture.

"Fulltime" is not one long holiday .. it's a way of life, that few ever really adopt entirely and do for ever

Those who do long trips and keep a base in the UK, come home every year for a few weeks or months, perhaps even work part time or take on a wardens for the summer, are better described as travellers.. or even adventurers, not fulltimers, and IMV that is a much better plan ..


Having been fulltimers for over 2 years that's bang on, budget wise and the lifestyle, its not as romantic or wonderful as you would imagine.
If we could have afforded it, it would be long trips of a couple of months each and then back to the base in the UK, unfortunately we needed the income from the rental of the house.
 

scotjimland

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A few years ago you could plan on a £14000 per year budget for a normal existance... Less if you never eat out or socialise or set foot on a campsite. .

that's probably more accurate than my figure which was based on prices in 2006 - 2010... when we were full-time,

since then fuel as gone up a lot, ferries are more expensive and the cost of living has also gone up.. and the crap € exchange rate hasn't helped either..

so £12k would be really tight ..

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Nov 25, 2014
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We’ve just finished our 1st month of a 3 month tour down through France, across northern Spain and currently were in northern Portugal. Attached is a breakdown of the months spend. The campsite cost are inflated by 3 nights on a site at 30 euro per night. We’re on a Man chassis so fuel and tolls are correspondingly higher than a sub 3.5 t would be.
Richard D3A1DB5F-BD1D-4ECF-830B-B3D2C79E1389.png
 
May 31, 2015
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We’ve just finished our 1st month of a 3 month tour down through France, across northern Spain and currently were in northern Portugal. Attached is a breakdown of the months spend. The campsite cost are inflated by 3 nights on a site at 30 euro per night. We’re on a Man chassis so fuel and tolls are correspondingly higher than a sub 3.5 t would be.
Richard View attachment 262267

Being a miserable git, I could cut that in half easily...:LOL:

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Feb 19, 2017
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We’ve just finished our 1st month of a 3 month tour down through France, across northern Spain and currently were in northern Portugal. Attached is a breakdown of the months spend. The campsite cost are inflated by 3 nights on a site at 30 euro per night. We’re on a Man chassis so fuel and tolls are correspondingly higher than a sub 3.5 t would be.
Richard View attachment 262267

We seem to spend around 90€ a day over a month, on other discussions some folks seem to spend substantially less, we happily drive lots of miles, eat out, drink in bars, go to museums, and generally try to learn about and enjoy the area we are in.
 
Jan 28, 2008
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we did three months last winter dover to portugal and right round the coast to valencia and back up to dover we payed for about 35 nights on camper stops 20 nights on site and the rest wilding spots we ate out at least a third of the time but seldom large meals more lunches and tapas we spent 4200 in that time
 

Chockswahay

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Crikey:Eeek::Eeek:

We have been in France and Spain for 32 days now. Our total spend so far has been €520 including €186 diesel.

I have excluded the €80 that we have spent in wine to take home for the ‘wine cellar’

So our average turns out to be just over €16 per day. We do not eat out, we cook our own meals, and we see as much of the local environment as we can. We never feel hard done by.

This level of spend does require a certain discipline but we enjoy it.

I’m not suggesting it has to or can be this way, I’m simply saying it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either :D

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scotjimland

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So our average turns out to be just over €16 per day.

daily spend is only part of cost of living in the van full-time.. and should cost little or no more than staying at home in a house, but

on top you have to add annual maintenance and repairs, insurance (about £1k for full-time) , van depreciation, breakdown cover, etc

and if you can't afford fuel and site fees, bearing in mind some countries you don't have free or cheap aires and wilding isn't always easy or legal.. so if you can't afford that you may as well say on your drive at home and pretend you are 'on the road'.

as you say it doesn't have to cost a fortune, and you can cut your cloth to suit your budget but some costs are inescapable..
 
Jan 10, 2013
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Husband keeps a speadsheet for every one of our extended trips and calculates the cost per day. This includes fuel, sites, gas, tolls and, what usually costs the most, the Chunnel/Ferries. It doesn't include eating out as we rarely do this, nor does it include supermarket shopping. I would think the 16 euros per day as quoted by @Chockswahay doesn't include the cost of getting across the sea and back. Obviously the longer you stay the lower the cost per day. We usually do 2 extended trips each year and these have cost between 35 and 49 euros per day.
 

chesterfield hooligan

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We’ve just finished our 1st month of a 3 month tour down through France, across northern Spain and currently were in northern Portugal. Attached is a breakdown of the months spend. The campsite cost are inflated by 3 nights on a site at 30 euro per night. We’re on a Man chassis so fuel and tolls are correspondingly higher than a sub 3.5 t would be.
Richard View attachment 262267
It's not the end of the month yet lol.
:party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2:

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pilatesinavan

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We are full time 10 months now. Our budget is €200 per week and we have averaged that amount quite easily. We have €2k for tax, insurance, mot, travel insurance, full van service and any small repairs at the end of the year. So that's about €12,500 a year.

We shop in Lidl averaging about €80 a week. We always wildcamp or free aires. This may not get you staying in the popular spots but in most cities we stay in a carpark outside and walk or use the bikes to visit. Some cities we have payed for a train/bus/metro like Amsterdam, Montpellier, Madrid, Porto, Lisbon, Turin.
We did spend 10 days on a campsite in Italy last April which cost €60 but that covers the average diesel we spend in a week.
We are currently in a small free Aire in Belgium with all services including electricity free. We will spend 3 nights here.
We also do some geocaching which gets you to see places you would never think to go.

We tend to stay 2/3 nights in each location and travel about 100km or less when we move keeping the diesel cost down. We have 2 x lpg tanks and it's quite cheap to fill. We have 120w solar and 2 leisure batteries but find we are not replenishing our batteries in bad weather days in November. So every week we have been looking for ehu and if not we just drive a little further.

We don't pay for museums or attractions as when you are full time there are lots of free attractions on your travels.

We have visited France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland and Belgium.

Spain is the cheapest place to travel and we could have a menu del dia (€8 each) at least once or twice a week.
Germany was the next cheapest and could eat out at least once a week.
Italy, €4 for a takeaway pizza, can't go wrong.
France is expensive so no eating out. The rest we just maybe get a takeaway when visiting a city.

Generally we found Holland and Belgium a bit of a struggle to get service points whereas the other countries have services in many more towns.

Expenses breakdown.
Shopping - 36%
Diesel - 25%
Extras - 17%
Eating out - 12%
LPG - 4%
Phones - 4%
Laundry - 2%

pilatesinavan (Instagram + Facebook)
 
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pilatesinavan

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Nevele, a new small 2 van Aire listed on park4night. Small quite town but we used it after visiting Bruges. It's a great spot for cycling, jogging or walking.
Bruges 30km and Ghent 15km away.

pilatesinavan (Instagram + Facebook)

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Feb 22, 2011
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Which one is that? Anything interesting closeby?

Lac de la Gileppe GPS 50.586854 5.969171 is a great free aire with free EHU.

It`s on campercontact.
Nice lake and woodland
 

Daninavan

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We have been full time now since March including a 6000 mile trip around Wales England and northern Europe.
Including fuel but excluding ferries, tax and insurance, we have spent on average £1000 per month while on tour. We mostly used free Aires and wild camping to keep sanitation costs down. Fuel was by far the most expensive part, but then again it's a 7L 6ton RV! About £500 per month went straight into fuel.

Now back in the UK and working (but still fulltiming) our costs have dropped significantly. No campsite costs (found a decent layby!) and very reduced fuel costs means we spend no more than £600 per month, again not including tax or insurance.

Tax was £240 for a year and insurance £1100 including unlimited Europe cover and EU breakdown cover.

Compared to renting in our area which used to cost £1200 a month including all bills but excluding food and leisure, this is definitely the way to live.
 
Oct 12, 2009
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We have been full time now since March including a 6000 mile trip around Wales England and northern Europe.
Including fuel but excluding ferries, tax and insurance, we have spent on average £1000 per month while on tour. We mostly used free Aires and wild camping to keep sanitation costs down. Fuel was by far the most expensive part, but then again it's a 7L 6ton RV! About £500 per month went straight into fuel.

Now back in the UK and working (but still fulltiming) our costs have dropped significantly. No campsite costs (found a decent layby!) and very reduced fuel costs means we spend no more than £600 per month, again not including tax or insurance.

Tax was £240 for a year and insurance £1100 including unlimited Europe cover and EU breakdown cover.

Compared to renting in our area which used to cost £1200 a month including all bills but excluding food and leisure, this is definitely the way to live.

So how is the tarmac business these days?:LOL:

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