September 2017 Travel Costs

We hit every weather extreme for the month of September. At the beginning of the month, we had to abandon our boondocking spot in the Badlands of South Dakota because it was too much for us to ride through 100 degree temperatures. Mid-month, we said goodbye to Yellowstone earlier than anticipated in order to escape a snowstorm and below-freezing temperatures. And finally, we rounded the month out with perfect coastal weather in California. Alas, it appears we skipped over fall. Guess we’ll have to try harder next year, as fall is my favorite season.

Our experience in the Badlands was too much for our fridge, and we lost all of our refrigerated and frozen food. It was all I could to keep Clay from ripping the fridge out of the trailer and throwing it off the cliff we were camped on. That was the final straw for us, so we made general plans to head towards California and station with Clay’s family to do the fridge upgrade. We’ve picked up an awesome Vitrifrigo compressor fridge and 180W of solar we’re in the process of installing. We’ll document the upgrade on the blog in more detail once it’s complete, but HOORAY. We’re going to have a real fridge again!

September 1-30, 2017

States traveled: South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah (driving through), Nevada (driving through), California


  • 3 nights, Southern Hills RV Park, Hermosa South Dakota
  • 7 nights, Upper Teton View, Jackson Wyoming
  • 6 nights, Bill Frome County Park, Island Park Idaho
  • 1 night, Walmart, Levi Utah
  • 1 night, Wagons West RV Park, Fillmore Utah
  • 12 nights, moochdocking with family, Rancho Palos Verdes California
  • 1 night, moochdocking with friends, San Diego California

Cost to Camp:

  • 4 nights paid camping, 27 nights free camping
  • Total amount paid for camping: $89.12
  • Nightly average cost to camp, month of September: $2.87
  • Nightly average cost to camp for the 4 paid nights: $22.28

Cost to Travel:

  • September fuel expenses (truck and generator): $518.95
  • Daily average fuel cost: $16.74
  • Dump stations: $0
  • Propane: $0

Mileage Traveled: Approximately 2600 miles driven this month. Not only did we start the month in South Dakota and end in Southern California, but we also tackled some big national parks that made for a lot of driving. I’m going to try and remember to log our mileage a little bit more precisely and break down towing vs. non-towing mileage in future months.

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

  • South Dakota:
    • Custer State Park: $20
  • Wyoming:
    • Devil’s Tower: $0 (with national parks pass, $15 without)
    • Grand Teton National Park: $0 (with national parks pass, $30 without)
    • Yellowstone National Park: $0 (with national parks pass, $30 without)
  • California:
    • No ‘sightseeing’ as of yet, we’re blowing all our money on camper renovations instead 🙂
  • TOTAL: $20.00

TOTAL TRAVEL COSTS, September 2017: $628.07

Our fuel expenses were high again for September as we covered a lot of ground, but now that we’re back out west and there’s federal land aplenty, we’ve cut down camping costs and have been saving sightseeing money by exercising our national parks pass.

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.

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