Is living in a caravan cheap? (15 money-saving tips)

In this article, we answer the following question: Is living in a caravan cheap? We also give you 15 money-saving tips if you want to live in a caravan or motorhome.  

Is living in a caravan cheap?

It is usually the most common question and doubt of those who want to have a caravan or motorhome to live alone. Also, for those who want the whole family to live there.

The answer is that it will depend on several factors. For example, if you install solar panels you will not need electricity or something similar. The same if you decide to have internet in the motorhome itself or use your phone as a modem.

There is also a lot of price difference between the cost of spending the night in one campsite and another. And another thing that influences here is the season because in winter it is much cheaper.

To have a clear answer, it is best to calculate each of the basic expenses that we named above. Thus, you will know if it is an outflow of money that you will have or not depending on the type of motorhome and your lifestyle.

If you don’t know how much these services cost, do your research or talk to other people who own motorhomes. You will be able to get an approximate idea of what your monthly cost would be.

We are sure that you will love being able to say “I live in a caravan” to your friends. To do this, if you have decided that this is the case, we are going to leave you 11 tips so that you take into account what it is like to live in a caravan or motorhome.

Basic expenses for living in a caravan

The fact that you are going to live in a caravan does not mean that you will not have expenses. There are some basic questions that you will have to take into account to calculate a monthly budget for expenses. Some of them are for example:

  • Gasoline (may vary depending on where you are moving with your caravan).
  • Food.
  • Water.
  • Electricity.
  • Laundry.
  • Tolls
  • Gas.
  • Motorhome insurance.
  • Life or general insurance.
  • Repair/maintenance of the motorhome.
  • Internet.
  • Mobile phone.
  • Various extras (parking, restaurants, etc).

Of course, some of these expenses are fixed expenses while others are variable. The latter is where you can save some money. Think very well how you want it to be, if you are going to stay in a campsite or if, on the contrary, you want to spend a few weeks in one place and others in another.

14 money-saving tips if you want to live in a caravan

As in all cases, each person will have their tricks to live in a caravan according to their style and type of life. It is important to know that there are options or resources where you can save some money per month.

Set a maximum mileage

If you also want to travel with your caravan, the ideal is that you establish a maximum daily mileage. That way you will have clear control of expenses when it comes to gasoline.

You can save some money by staying in the free public motorhome areas.

Weekly laundry

In summer it is good that you have the habit of washing things by hand. Of course, you can do this when you are installed on your site without water problems. This makes it possible to save money in the long run.

There are also places to wash your clothes for about 6 to 12 euros. It all depends on the quantity and whether or not it includes a dryer.

Control extra expenses

As happens when you live in a traditional house, one of the things that drive the economy out of control are the extra expenses.

In the case that you live in a motorhome, the extra expenses may come for meals in restaurants, whims, etc. Also in terms of some exclusive services that you want to have within the place where you are living.

Some can do without cafeteria coffee in the morning and others who consider it essential. Each one must adapt to their lifestyle and economy.

Have an accounting sheet

So that the above is not a headache, it is best to keep everything on an accounting sheet. Today some apps can help you control expenses. There you will have a clear idea of all this.

Also, keep in mind that it will greatly influence where you are living. Living in a motorhome in Amsterdam is not the same as in Los Angeles. The basic costs will be different and that is where you should value it.

Where you should not skimp on expenses is insurance for a motorhome. It is something essential and that will protect you in case of an accident, theft or similar according to the coverage contract. If you have doubts about it, read your policy and ask for an extension if necessary.

Install solar panels

One of the best tips for living in a motorhome is that you decide to install solar panels on the roof. It will be an investment, but it will allow you to save in the long term in energy consumption.

Have backup batteries

Also, invest in good backup batteries. They can help you at any time. You never know when you will need them.

Test before making the decision

No one can make such an important life decision without having previously experienced it. That is why the ideal is that you spend a long time living in your motorhome before getting rid of your house and other objects.

It is not about spending an entire weekend or a week, but more time. In addition to that, try different styles, being in camping or living travelling in a motorhome to find out what kind of life you prefer.

Decide on the type of motorhome

It is not the same to go on a vacation in a motorhome for a few days than to live in a motorhome. The need for space and objects changes a lot. This can make you see the need to change the type of motorhome.

Of course, if you already bought your motorhome before having this idea, it will be difficult for you to think about changing it. However, I think that it is something very important to feel comfortable. So it may be convenient to sell it and buy another one in your style or simply adapt to the one you already have.

The essential objects for a motorhome

Disassembling a house and eliminating old objects is something very complex that can take months. Maybe you can leave some valuable things for yourself at the house of a relative, a friend or rent a storage room.

What it is about is that you can think about what are the essential objects for you. Those who must accompany you in this new lifestyle.

Learn about the maintenance of a caravan

Just as in your traditional house you learn to change a light bulb, to see what problem your bathroom cistern has, etc., the same will happen to you with your new home.

One of the tips that they will tell you in the forums about living in a caravan is that you learn how to maintain your vehicle well. Of course, it is not about being an expert in it, but the auxiliary power or repair some basic things.

Get an internet plan

The fact that you decide to live in a motorhome does not mean that from now on you have to isolate yourself from the world. Hire a good internet plan that is useful to you and that allows you to be connected with your family and friends.

Also, if you work online it will be essential to be able to earn money and survive.

Decide what your lifestyle will be like

Maybe you want to spend some time in a campsite and then move to another so you can continue to be in your country and keep your job. Or maybe, your life change is radical and you want to take advantage of living travelling with your motorhome, without any pressure.

Generally, living on land is one of the first options chosen and then, little by little, it changes. Some people travel for more than a year and decide to settle in a place and others travel with the same frequency as they did before.

Meet other people like you

Another tip for living in a motorhome is to participate in a motorhome forum. This would be ideal to be able to meet other people like you. They could tell you about their experience. They will also be able to advise you in case you have questions about something particular and of course, it is a place to make friends.

Many of them like carpooling. So do not hesitate to join the world of motorhome and those who decide to live in this vehicle.

Motorhome insurance

Another tip for living in a motorhome that everyone will tell you is to pay close attention to the type of insurance you have contracted.

Maybe when you bought your motorhome you will think about making a few trips. And that you have decided on a basic type of insurance, but now things are different. With which you have to review your policy and if necessary, request the advice of an expert to be able to have the insurance with the greatest amount of coverage. All this will give you peace of mind, just as it happens with classic home insurance.

Final thoughts

Deciding to live in a motorhome is not easy, but those who have done it do not regret the experience. Some people take this type of life for a few years, while others will not change it for anything. What it is about is that you experiment if it is what you are looking for and it adapts to you.

For everything else, you already know that with these tips to live in a motorhome it will be easier and that you have to pay close attention to the organization of expenses and the legal part. As it happens when you manage a home, in that aspect, there is not much difference.

Of course, another point that we do not comment on is that you bear in mind that if you decide to travel with your motorhome living in it. Surely you will receive a visit from more than one family member and friend, who will want to accompany you for a while and try what it feels like to be in that new lifestyle.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Is living in a caravan cheap?

Can you live permanently in a caravan?

You can live permanently in a caravan as long as you have a type of static caravan known as a park home. If the caravan is on private property, you will also need the local council’s permission. In the US, Texas, Florida, or South Dakota are all friendly to RV living.

Do I have to pay council tax if I live in a caravan?

Yes, you have yo pay council tax if you live in a caravan permanently. If the caravan is considered your main home/sole residence, you will have to pay tax for it.

Can I live in a touring caravan?

Technically you can live in a touring caravan, but you need to prepare your route in advance. In most places, you are allowed to spend up to twenty-eight days on one caravan site before moving on to another. Make sure you have space during high seasons or winter when most of the sites close. 

Can you get housing benefit if you live in a caravan?

Yes, you can get housing benefit if you live in a caravan, in order to help you pay rent and caravan site fees. If you live in a universal credit area, you will have to claim housing costs under universal credit instead.


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