You might have seen my hints in the Facebook group or my post over on MicroAdventure In A Box about my first little MicroAdventure in my new RV. Over here on MicroAdventure gear, I want to keep track of the cost involved in this venture. One of the core concepts of MicroAdventures is that it doesn’t have to cost a ton of money – you don’t have to spend your life savings and take all of your vacation days in order to have an adventure.

This mini RV definitely cost me more than I would normally spend on an adventure (I’m all about free adventuring!) but I think it’s going to still work out to be an incredibly good deal.

The RV is an 18′ 1984 Toyota Dolphin. It has the Toyota Pickup 22R motor in it, which is known to be rock solid and last forever. It has every service record since Day One. We know from those records that in 2004 it had 44,000 miles on it. When we bought it a couple weeks ago, it had 47,000 miles on it and we know that those 3,000 miles were put on it in the last 6 months by the most recent owner. So it literally sat in a garage for 10 years. Our trusted mechanic checked it out and said he would feel totally comfortable driving it down the coast as is – no major repairs needed.


We bought it for $4000. We spent about $100 on tune-up parts, $50 on the mechanic checkup, and $660 on 6 new 6-ply tires (because you can’t drive your RV around on 10 year old tires, even if they still have plenty of tread).

  • Total initial investment: $4810

We took our first long weekend trip last weekend, and here’s the cost breakdown on 4 days:

  • 560 miles @ 16mpg = $133
  • Food: $70 (plus some food brought from home)

Money we did NOT spend:

  • 3 nights hotel (figuring cheapest dog-friendly hotels in the area): $280
  • Eating out (figuring 10 meals for 2 people eating moderately cheap but not fast food): $210
  • Gas for the more fuel efficient car: 560 miles @ 32mpg = $68

So, to date, our RV MicroAdventuring has cost us $5013, and saved us $558, for a net cost of $4455. At that rate, we should break even on our initial investment in just 13 more long weekend trips.