Originally Posted by Mike OReilly
Beautiful pics, great looking van. Any thoughts on cost comparison. I can really see a future for us of living 1/2 year on the boat
and the other 1/2 in a similar van as yours.
Thanks! much like cruising through Caribbean
islands, we found exploring by van to be an endless supply of epic views and photo
We've been talking a lot about this recently, and to be fair, we're only 6months into full time cruising in the caribbean
and its probably WAY TOO early to make any real judgements. But that won't stop me from at least taking a shot.
First, it should be noted that our time in the van was intentionally uber-minimal.
We didn't stay in campgrounds or pay for hotels. When we were out of urban environments we were lost
in the woods for days/weeks at a time. When we were in the city, we stealth camped (yes, homeless style sleeping on the side of a street with the black out shades)... has a certain stigma for certain, but to us it didn't feel any different than pulling into a busy bay dropping anchor
at sunset and exploring ashore in the morning. Maybe not our first choice, but what you sometimes have to do in order to be close to the things you want/need.
At least the way we did it, vanlife is literally one of if not the most affordable ways to live I can imagine, and is also a very large part of how we afforded the boat
and are able to do this now (despite thinking our entire life we'd never be able to).
Notice I also drew a line and said van rather than RV. If you're in a 32' RV than you can't get into the city without a hotel
or other arrangements and your time out exploring means paying nightly for campgrounds and services (and also lints where you can go/explore). Its like trying to describe the average cost of cruising but using the cost of a morning ball in the BVIs as your nightly expense, whereas we tend to look for the small bay to drop a hook in almost all cases. Problem on the boat being that depending on the island we cant exactly go choose the budget
grocery store... were forced to use the only one that has groceries just like everyone else.
My very crude assumption this early on is that (at least the way we did/are doing them) traveling by land is probably about half the monthly expenses as by boat. Provisioning
is obviously far easier and when repairs
are needed its obviously not only less critical/safety related but you've simply got more options and less "boat markup". The gas/diesel bill goes way up and isn't insignificant, but depending on how often you need to move can be easily controlled.
For us, I think that the real question is how you want to live in either lifestyle and what you're willing to give up or where your comfort level is.
As has been proven by many cost sharing forums
here (and on RV forums), you can put 2 different couples on identical boats and in identical places and one will live off almost nothing and be plenty happy while the other can blow through countless thousands and still feel like something is lacking.
For us... boat life is clearly more expensive so far, but we're also lounging on remote
caribbean beaches rather than sleeping on the street in the rainy PNW. Not exactly a fair head
comparison... but whats that worth? If you live meagerly in a van but still find yourself craving a vacation
to somewhere sunny every winter, i'm pretty sure whatever saving were built in just evaporated...
Hope that's at all helpful (certain its not)...
We are looking forward to being able to get a better handle on cost comparisons as time goes on and as we try to figure out how to have some of both in our lives moving forward.