RV Trip Budget Breakdown: A Music Festival

Kimberly Graham playing guitar on the staris of her RV at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

Attending a live music festival with your RV is a great way to save money and heighten the overall experience. Our favorite music festival is the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Being less than a four hour drive from our hometown in New Hampshire, the journey is relatively easy and doesn't require any overnight stops. Plus, the music is fantastic and the mountains surrounding the festival grounds are absolutely beautiful. In addition to my husband and our two kids, we've been able to host multiple friends and guests in our RV throughout the weekend—having an RV gives us plenty of space and flexibility. With multiple stages, morning yoga sessions, and lots of crafts and activities, our four-day festival weekend is always full of fun.

Our Trip to Oak Hill, New York

Our Trip Budget Breakdown

Below is a breakdown of the various expenses for our family's five-day trip to the the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York. We've provided a comparison of what we estimate the same vacation would have cost without our RV (including hotels, food and entertainment).

Our RV Trip

Without Our RV

  • Fuel




    From our home in Peterborough, New Hampshire, the total distance to the festival is about 157 miles (or 314 miles round trip). We average about nine miles per gallon with our RV, but don't have to drive at all once we get to the festival, which helps us save some money.

  • Campground



    Red truck hitched to Open Range fifth wheel in grassy field

    The festival offers dry camping, or boondocking, which cost us $100 for four nights.

  • Food (Eating in and out)


    Food (eating out)

    Mother and daughter chop vegetables inside RV at kitchen counter

    Our family typically spends about $200 on groceries per week, which comes out to roughly $29 per day. We brought enough of our own food to last us the full four days, plus a little extra, so our grocery total was close to $145. We also budgeted for one drink at the festival per day, and two vendor meals, which totaled $196.

  • Entertainment




    Tickets to the festival cost $275 per person. All of the activities are covered with the ticket cost, with the exception of food. We did budget a little extra in case someone wanted to buy a t-shirt or craft from one of the vendors.

  • Total RV Costs


    Total Cost Without RV


Total Savings: $878.60 (33%)

By owning an RV, we have been able to cut down on traditional vacation costs—allowing us to travel more, stay longer and create more memories together. *"Without RV" trip costs are estimated based on current national averages for airfare, lodging, fuel and food unless specified by contributor. "Without RV" estimate assumes entertainment costs would be identical to what was provided by contributor. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Kimberly Graham's RV parked in a field

Tips and Tricks for Budgeting for Your Own RV Trip

  1. Key Factors and Considerations for Trip Preparation and Budgeting

    Tickets to music festivals are not cheap, but like any great experience, they can be well worth the cost. Saving up in order to purchase the tickets can lessen the financial impact, and choosing a festival that is close to your current location or in an area that you are already planning on being in can help save money.

  2. How RVing Helped us Save Money

    Not having to pay for lodging is the number one way to save money when attending a music festival. Just make sure the festival you want to attend allows RVs to pack on-site or nearby. Additionally, being able to prepare your own snacks and meals is a huge money saver, especially since food vendors as festivals are more expensive than average. If you plan to bring your RV to a music festival, make sure you bring lawn chairs or a blanket and a cooler. If you need to dry camp or boondock, having enough water and power is also critical.

  3. Elevating the Experience

    We've all been caught in a sudden change in the weather. Having a place to dry off or warm up and change your clothes is one of the benefits of being able to camp on-site at a music festival. Not to mention using your own bathroom facilities. And if you're a musician, jamming with your RV neighbors can extend the music experience well into the night.

  4. What to Avoid When Planning Your RV Trip

    For this type of RV trip, it can be easy to miscalculate fuel costs. Take into consideration the terrain, as driving through mountains will decrease your miles per gallon. If you plan on using a generator, make sure you have enough propane for the entire time you'll be at the festival (and a little extra). Not planning for experience-based purchases can really derail your overall budget as well. Budgeting in advance for things like vendor foods or crafts will keep you on track, and you won't have to sacrifice or feel guilty if you do make those purchases.

  5. Our Top Tips for RVing on a Budget

    If you know which music festival you will be attending in advance, you can take advantage of early bird ticket prices. Some festivals also have additional discounts for kids. One or two day festivals will also cost less, and can be a great way to experience your first music festival and prepare you for a larger, longer festivals.

the Crew family hanging out in chairs in front of their RV at a boondocking campsite

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