RV Life: Costs and Experiences during 62 Days on the Road

We got home from our 62-day RV trip on June 26th, and although we’ve already been on another 5-day outing to Kluane Lake, I want to finish off the story of the big trip by giving you a global look at the trip, including a summary of costs that may help you with RV trip planning.

The Route

We travelled 4,432 miles (7,091 kilometers) in the motorhome, another 3,270 in the Tracker. That’s almost 1,000 km less in the motorhome but almost 2,500 km more than last year in the Tracker. The map below shows our basic route – click on it to open an interactive version in a new window.

Map of 62-day BC RV trip

The Costs

We spent $2,959.96 for 2,623 liters (577 Imperial gallons) of gas for the RV, which got 7.7 miles per gallon. That mpg is less than last year’s 8.3 mpg, and I’m not sure yet what to make of that. We also spent $383.02 for 316 liters of gas in the Tracker, which gets much better mileage, though I have no idea what. The average price of gas was $1.137 per liter, with the lowest (not counting our commercial cardlocks in Watson Lake and Whitehorse) being Dawson Creek and Prince George at $0.999, and the highest being Lillooet at $1.299.

Ferry costs were substantial, at $687.30 for the 4 sailings. When Cathy was with me, driving the RV and Tracker on to the ferry separately saved about $50, and buying an Experience card saved about $26.

We stayed at rest areas, pullouts, parking lots and at friends’ homes for 16 nights – costing a total of $0
We stayed at a Municipal campground for 3 nights, costing a total of $100.50.
We stayed at Provincial Park campgrounds for 8 nights, costing a total of $203.00.
We stayed at a National Park campground for 3 nights, costing a total of $107.90.
We stayed at commercial campgrounds for 31 nights, costing a total of $1,133.80.
The total cost for 61 nights accommodation was $1,521.20, an average of $24.93 per night.

For more information about our overnights (pullout locations, park names and prices, etc., I’ve created a pdf (29Kb).

Attractions and tours: $536.96 – much of that was on 2 boat tours that I took without Cathy, to Hot Springs Cove at Tofino, and Princess Louisa Inlet at Egmont.

We spent $1,026.75 on restaurant meals, $225.83 on beer and wine, and $485.76 on groceries for meals we cooked ourselves (the motorhome was very well stocked with food and wine when I left home).

At the start of the trip I had some plumbing issues with the RV that I spent $203.86 on parts to fix. I had to have an exhaust hangar on the Tracker fixed in Terrace, which cost $68.95.

“Working”

I spent about 160 hours writing 64 blog posts with over 1,500 photos (of the 7,256 photos in my folders after editing). The first post of the trip was on April 28th.

The Experiences

As happened after last year’s big trip, Cathy and I have discussed what the best experiences were, and can’t even come up with a short list. Really the only place that I just wanted to get through was the Fraser Valley – it’s just too busy. Having only 3 campground reservations for the entire trip (Saanich, Long Beach, and Port McNeill) allowed us to stop and stay wherever we wanted for as long as we wanted. We averaged 167 km (104 miles) per day, slightly more than last year but still a nice pace. There really is never enough time, though. There were many places that we’d like to have stayed for a week at.

This year, unlike last year, there were no negative experiences with either wildlife or people.


Murray and Cathy fishing at Port McNeill, BC

The RV & Toad

In my summary of our 56-day trip last year, I talked about the RV and toad – those thoughts haven’t changed, but I’ll repeat some of them here.

After 2 solid months in it, Cathy and I are convinced that the motorhome we chose is perfect for us – the only thing that I plan to add is a hydraulic lift to carry my motorcycle. The motorhome is a 2007 Fleetwood Terra LX 31M, a 31-foot-long Class A with 2 slideouts. It’s powered by an 8.1-liter Chevy Workhorse gas engine, with an Allison automatic transmission with overdrive. You can see a full tour of it as well as a discussion about our lengthy shopping process here. The photo below was shot at Teslin on our first day, April 26th. I bought the kayak for this trip – it’s much more practical than the 18-foot canoe I’ve hauled around on some trips. Although Cathy bought a new Jeep Cherokee to replace the old Tracker, which she bought new in 2001, it continues to be perfect as a motorhome toad/4×4, so we’re keeping it.

RV, Tracker and kayak on the road
Although I’m not finished with BC yet for this year, we’ll be in the Yukon for most of the rest of the summer.

Murray and Cathy at Kluane Lake, Yukon


Comments

RV Life: Costs and Experiences during 62 Days on the Road — 8 Comments

  1. What a fantastic trip. Thank you for the posts, it was fascinating to read over the last month or so.

  2. Thanks for the posts and the cost summary. I haven’t been keeping detailed records for anything except fuel. Maybe on the next road trip. I’ve enjoyed following your trip. Especially for places that I’ll probably never venture to like Vancouver Island. (The ferry is too expensive)

    • I rationalized the ferry on a cost-per-day basis. When I looked at the $687 for 5 weeks travel, it made sense – an extra $20 a day basically to experience the beauty of the Island and Sunshine Coast seemed like a good value.

  3. Murray, thanks for sharing your two month trip with us. We will not be able to get up to the north country again this year so we can experience your trip in our minds. You are a master of words and pictures in explaining your trips. I have a question. I realize it depends on how much snow falls during the winter but what is the earliest date one could expect to be able to drive up to the Salmon Glacier? Can a 25 ft. Class RV make it to the Glacier? Thanks again for sharing your travels and keep RVing.
    John & Marion Kelly
    Frederick, Maryland

    • Thanks – I’m really pleased that you enjoyed it. In a “normal” year (whatever that means now), don’t count on reaching the Salmon Glacier until late June – as you saw, there was still a lot of snow and it will depend on the annual budget and will to open the road. A 25-foot can definitely make it, and I may take my 32-foot and toad up next time – as many times as I’ve seen it, it would be a pretty amazing place to wake up in the morning.

  4. beautiful tour with beautiful couple of day awesome photography dear.