August 2017 Travel Costs

Greetings from a hot and very smoky South Dakota! 98 degrees here today and some serious haze from southeastern Montana forest fires, but we have had a great time in this state regardless. And it’s going down to the 70s starting tomorrow so YAY.

We made some serious ground west during the month of August (which you’ll see reflected in our gas expense!) to get out to federal land for free camping. Our total number below is much bigger than what we typically see per month, but I should note that my parents flew out to join us for a week in August and very generously picked up the tab for the majority of our camping and sightseeing expenditures while they were here. Thanks Mom and Dad! I’ve still factored in the costs of those parentally-covered activities below as not to be misleading about what’s free and what isn’t – hence the bigger number.

August 1-31, 2017

States traveled: Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota


  • 3 nights, Ojibwa Recreation Area, Baraga Michigan
  • 1 night, Sunday Lake, Wakefield Michigan
  • 6 nights, Bashaw Lake Resort, Shell Wisconsin
  • 1 night, Doubletree Hilton parking lot, Minneapolis Minnesota (this was incognito….shhhh)
  • 1 night, Painted Canyon Visitor Center, Medora North Dakota
  • 9 nights, Scoria Pit, Medora North Dakota
  • 1 night, Bell Fourche Dam, Belle Fourche South Dakota
  • 2 nights, Southern Hills RV Park, Hermosa South Dakota
  • 6 nights, Nomad View, Wall South Dakota
  • 1 night, Southern Hills RV Park, Hermosa South Dakota

Cost to Camp:

  • 12 nights paid camping, 19 nights free camping
  • Total amount paid for camping: $231.00
  • Nightly average cost to camp, month of August: $7.45
  • Nightly average cost to camp for the 12 paid nights: $19.25

Cost to Travel:

  • August fuel expenses (truck and generator): $469.30
  • Daily average fuel cost: $15.14
  • Dump stations: $8.00 (two dumps total)
  • Propane: $15.83 (20 lbs)

Cost to Sightsee (2 people, attraction costs only):

  • Michigan:
    • Keweenaw National Historic Park, Keeweenaw Peninsula: $0
    • Copper Harbor: $0
  • Wisconsin:
    • Northern Wisconsin is devoid of all activities. So we ate a lot of cheese.
  • Minnesota:
    • University of Minnesota Raptor Center: $10.00
    • Paisley Park, Chanhassen: $92.00
    • Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: $0
    • SS William A Irvin tour, Duluth: $16.00
    • Lake Superior Maritime Center and cargo ship docking, Duluth: $0
  • North Dakota:
    • World’s Largest Buffalo, Jamestown: $0
    • Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora: $0 (with national parks pass, $25 without)
    • The Enchanted Highway, Regent: $0
    • Solar Eclipse: $0 (thanks for the free glasses, TR National Park!)
  • South Dakota:
    • Mt. Rushmore, Keystone: $10.00
    • Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer: $22.00
    • Non-stop drive through of Custer State Park, Custer: $0
    • Wall Drug, Wall: $0 (the #1 roadside stop in America, for those curious)
    • Badlands National Park, Wall: $0 (with national parks pass, $20 without)
  • TOTAL: $150.00

TOTAL TRAVEL COSTS, August 2017: $874.13

This report does not include other necessities of full time travel: insurance, food costs, truck and camper payments, cell phone and internet, etc. But these are all relatively fixed costs that are highly choice-based, so we’ve chosen not to include them in our report. Camping and travel can be viewed as a daunting, expensive endeavor. We are aiming to demonstrate that we can camp, travel, and sightsee on a budget that is significantly less than a typical rent or mortgage payment for two people.

2 thoughts on “August 2017 Travel Costs

  1. Thanks for another comprehensive report, so could I request you give mileage traveled too? Geez!! I’m never satisfied HUH?? Mile traveled pulling ‘Escape’ and just the Toyota, then I can see how to ‘guestimate’ my costs while pulling as to while not pulling TT. Thanks again for all the info.

    1. Hi Larry,
      Thanks for the comment and apologies for the slow reply here, we have been on the road a lot lately. That’s a great suggestion and we will start including some of that information in the monthly reports. Until the next report, some quick estimates for you. Mileage travelled will vary depending on where you are at, but you can get an idea on the distance travelled between our stops on the trip statistics tab. We try to limit to about 250-300 miles between stops. Overall mileage is probably about 50/50 when hooked to the trailer and when driving the truck separately. However, percent time use of just the truck is much higher (maybe 80-90%), because we hook up, travel, and unhook when we get to the next stop. The mileage between stops accounts for a lot of miles in a short period of time, but we drive all week or more without the trailer. Hope that gives you a better idea!
      Happy travels!
      p.s. gas mileage with the tundra (if you’re interested) is usually about 17-18 without trailer and 14 with, it doesn’t drop very much. We drive usually between 55-60mph.

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