Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

RV10 Cost of Ownership

by Brian Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Over the last 4 years we have averaged $12k per year on all expenses for our RV10. This includes Fuel, Hangar, Insurance, and Maintenance. This is for an average of 82 hours flying per year. This comes out to about $147 per hour without factoring in any money set aside for engine overhaul one day in the far future. It's startling how much we spend on hangar rent, but the options are limited around here if we want to be within 15 minutes of the plane. One of these days we'll end up at an airpark and roll that hangar cost into a house. 

RV10 Cost of Ownership

Insurance update 3

by Brian Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The first year we got insurance for the hull it was a staggering $4100 due to my very low flight hours. The 2nd and 3rd year of insurance was better at $2800.  Now that I am at around 700 hours, 500 of that in the -10, we're down to $2200. So far from what I've seen/heard from others, it typically doesnt get much lower than $2k/yr +/- for -10 owners with full coverage no matter how much experience the pilot has. 


Edit April 2017: glad to say I'm wrong - we have had $1500 insurance on 150k hull value for the last couple years now. Woohoo!

Mexico boarder crossing

by Brian Wednesday, December 03, 2014

We made it back from our trip to Guaymas Mexico without much incident. The only exciting thing that happened during the flight, which happened to us last time we went to Mexico as well, was that we had a hard time reaching ATC/FSS while trying to re-enter the US. We climbed up from 9,500 to 11,500 feet and finally reached FSS to relay for us and get us a squawk when we were about 2 miles from the boarder near KPRS. It really surprises me they dont have a radio tower closer to the boarder. The closest one was 40 miles from the boarder so trying to hail someone at a reasonable distance out was no joy. 

Our experience at the Guaymas airport was much better this time since we knew what to expect. Plus the agents there spoke a little English this time which helped a lot. I made 3 copies of all paper work - aircraft registration, airworthiness, pilots license, etc and stuck them in a folder. The Customs process in Guaymas seems a little unorganized as you bounce from area to area and paying fees and doing paper work. Overall, it was a good experience. 

We paid approximately the following costs: 

$130 for a multi entry permit (good for the airplane for 1 year) 

$30 for 4 days of parking

$7 for landing fee

$24 per person (not pilot/crew) entry visas

$5 per person exit visa (non pilot/crew)

$4.82/gal fuel

+tip for the nice guys who helped with baggage.

Insurance update 2

by Brian Monday, June 03, 2013

Insurance renewal cost after about 11 months of flying and a little over 200 hours came out to be about $2700/yr. Just wanted to give a data point for anyone who is doing planning and wanted to know the rough insurance cost estimates. Initially, insurance was very expensive for us ($4100/yr) because I had only 135 hours total time and of that only 10 hours RV-10 time. Time in type makes a big difference. 

RV-10 stuff to buy

by Brian Monday, June 03, 2013

In helping a friend pool together an order of items to buy for his -10, I figured that it might be helpful to have a centralized area where people could reference a few common RV-10 'to buy' items. Of course this is not an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other sources and products out there. This is a sample of a few items to think about and where to find them. Leave a comment if you have another good source for one of these items, or any other item that is specific to the -10 that would be handy to have here.

Stick grip:



Have you decided to order the 3rd latch for the door or not? If yes, buy it here:

Highly recommend the angled door pins and delrin pin guides as well.


Seat belts: Crow, hooker harness, or other? If crow, buy four seatbelts here:


Headphone jacks:


Tow Bar for RV-10:


Transponder antenna:


This helps: Bolt assortment kit:

204-piece Undrilled Assortment

 P/N 04-00105 $53.75


Andair fuel selector:

part#05-29505   FS20X2F               LEFT/RIGHT/OFF (90 DEGREES BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT)     


FS20X3F 180 degrees style:  


Consider this if using andair and want a little easier time plumbing:


Brake fluid (higher smoke point than normal - important!) buy this: 


McMaster-Carr door seal:

Part # 1120A411 1 Each Edge-grip Rubber Seal Bulb Opposite Grabber, 1/4" Edge, 3/8" Bulb Width, 50 Ft. Length (~$75)


McMaster-Carr rubber seal for baggage door: 

  Part # 93085K67 10 Ft. Adhesive Back Foam Rubber Bulb Seal, 3/8" O'all Width, 7/32" O'all Height, 10'length (~$7)

Taxes :(

by Brian Friday, June 22, 2012

Dont forget to budget for taxes. The state/county does not waste any time to hold their hand out upon seeing someone receiving an air worthiness certificate. They want their 6% of the value of the plane. After spending our own hard earned (and already taxed money, by the way) to build something from nothing it is a disgusting notion to have to pay the government a large sum of money in this manor. Oh well, what can you do...

Insurance update

by Brian Friday, June 22, 2012

First year insurance costs are pretty high but they are sure to come down next year once I have some RV-10 time under my belt. We ended up with a $4100 annual cost this year and I expect that to drop by at least a grand or more by next renewal. At the time I got coverage I had about 135 total flight time. Insurance mandated that I get 5 hours of transition training, which I would have done anyways. We went through NationAir and our agent, Jenny, is fantastic.

RV-10 Cost Planner

by Brian Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I took some time to consolidate a couple different spreadsheets I had, which helped me to track costs and anticipate when I needed to order certain items. This helped me also figure out when I needed to establish a loan because we tried to make it as far along as we could before we had to borrow. I hope this spreadsheet can be helpful for future builders. Enjoy and feel free to modify and use as necessary. You can plug in your own values and everything dynamically updates. 

Download here

Insurance cost

by Brian Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I was terrified that I would build this RV and not be able to get insurance for it once I was ready to fly since I was such a low time pilot (100 hours). I was pleasantly surprised that I can get insurance and all they want is one arm and a first born child :) Joking aside, below are some estimates of what you can expect to pay for annual insurance costs to cover an RV-10. Rates tend to fluctuate from year to year so this is as of mid 2011. Usually sign off from a CFI or 10 hours in type is required to initially get the insurance. 

For me, I got quoted around $3400 for the first year and the cost should drop 'significantly' after the first year, is what I was told. What is significantly? Not sure - maybe around $1k. I was told having 50-100 time in type is the key to drastically lower rates. Get a quote of your own for more precise costs of course. This is just to give ball park estimates to keep in mind. 

Here are some other quotes from other RV-10 owners courtesy of Matronics:

$2795 for $140K hull, $1M/$100K liability. 

Pilot: commercial/instrument/cfii 
2000+ TT/1000+ high performance/20 hr time in type (at the time



$150,000 Hull 

Discount for TAA 

I had >700 hours last year with 150 in RV-10…..Commercial/Instrument ticket 

I insure myself and my flight instructor..when I added him it did not affect my premium.


$175,000.00 hull and 1 Mil liability for $2295.00


Update 2/9/2012: more discussion on the topic here:


by Brian Friday, December 09, 2011

Here are some things that we bought. These are things not included in the kit.

Item Cost Purchased from Notes
Duckworks HID lights (2) $440 Duckworks Aviation We went with the 35 watt lights.
Heated pitot/AOA $450 Aircraft Spruce Non-Heated was $250 less but we opted to get heated.
Gretz Mount for pitot $110 Aircraft Spruce  
SafeAir tubing for pitot/aoa/static $110 Cleaveland Aircraft Tool This is an optional upgrade to the aluminum lines. Glad we did it.
50' wiring conduit $15 Van's Aircraft Would avoid corrugated conduit in future if possible (wires snag too easy).
Proseal $60 Van's Aircraft Has a shelf life of a few months so dont buy too early. Can be kept in freezer to prolong.
Andair Fuel Selector $200 Van's Aircraft Most people opt for this optional upgrade.
Bonaco brake lines (at gear legs only) $70 Bonaco Upgraded brake lines that run up gear legs only at this time.
Fuel Transducer (red cube) FT-60 $200 Aircraft Spruce  
Foam insulation $300 Aircraft Spruce Sound dampening from 3/4"-1/4" thick and generally thicker fwd and thins out going aft.
Stick Grips (Tosten) $250 Tosten Manufacturing 2-axis trim + 4 other buttons. Will setup as: com swap, PTT, AP cancel, Dynon feature.
Trim relays for stick grips (2 total) $100 Aircraft Spruce Need relays if you want both sticks to have button functionality.
Molex/Dsub/connectors $50 SteinAir DSubs for dynon skyview network cables that we built, molex for other plugs we used.
Headphone + MIC Jacks (4 pack) $30 Aircraft Spruce  
Epoxy + fiberglass $150 West Marine - Local store We discovered that it's cheaper to buy West Systems epoxy and hardener from Aircraft Spruce.
Electrical components per aeroelectric Z-13 $500 B&C Specialty Products aeroelectricconnection - Bob Nuckolls is the man!
Electrical (Vans basic electrical kit) $300 Van's Aircraft In hindsight would buy wire needed from Stein instead.
Electrical (wire) $125 SteinAir #2 gauge ground and power wire - gets expensive due to the long runs needed in the -10
3rd door latch system $450 Plane Around Help prevent our doors from logging their own separate flight time.
Lord adhesive (instead of weld-on) $175 Krayden Don't forget the caulk gun adapter!
Bob Archer VOR $100 Aircraft Spruce Not as good as whisker annetna but we're going to try them. Should be ok to start us out.
Ignition switch+door locks $150 Aircraft Spruce Used ACS. Could use a push start button but I like the extra deterrent of a keyed igition.
Transponder antenna $18 Aircraft Spruce Nice and cheap
2 comm antennas $100 eBay Saving a buck or two by getting used antennas.
Overhead Console $1,000 Aerosport Products An EXCELLENT upgrade. Especially in GA heat, the overhead air will be well worth it.
Fiberglass Headliner w/out fabric $245 Aerosport Products Makes finishing interior cabin top much easier.
Headliner Fabric (2.5yds) $18 Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft  
Matco Nosewheel $130   Vans has redone their nosewheel recently tho so upgrade might not be needed.
Scat tubing for overhead console $40 Aircraft Spruce There are different temp ratings you can buy. In this case, the cheap stuff is fine.
Aveo eyebeam touch overhead LED light $160 Aircraft Spruce Splurged to get a nice eyeball light to go in the center of our overhead console.
Overhead air vents (4) $350 Aircraft Spruce We went with Aveo vents. Stein air vents are a good option too.
Airgizmo 696 panel dock $165 Aircraft Spruce  
Total $6,561  

New Costs $ category

by Brian Friday, December 09, 2011

A very important aspect of the build is cost. There isnt a ton of information out there that gets into exact specifics of costs towards an RV-10. Probably for good reasons too. Consider all the obvious things that would have to be said like "prices vary, you can buy used equipment, different products come out, everyone outfits with different accessories, might be able to get package deals, the date of the data becomes outdated so inflation has driven prices up, etc, etc". There are some decent estimates floating around the internet such as the vans cost estimator, however, it has been important for me to know more specifically what and when I need to buy certain things. 

With all that said, I will boldy go where most do not go by creating this new category called 'Costs $'. I hope this will be helpful for future builders to give some things to think about while planning your budget for your plane. In addition to simply stating how much things cost, I will try to outline some time frames of when general things should begin to be purchased. These are opinions so take them for what they're worth. 

Tools - Part 2

by Brian Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We've bought several tools since the last tool post. Heres a list:

Needed From Cost
Tap Set Harbor Freight $9.00
Air Die Grinder Harbor Freight $15.00
3M Vapor Masks Home Depot $30.00
Air Cut-off Tool and Blades Harbor Freight $20.00
Mini 4v Cordless Screw Driver Home Depot $11.00
Debur Hex Bit Adapter and 3 Blade Tip Avery $28.00
StripMaster Wire Strippers Used eBay $30.00
Scotch-Brite Wheels and Mandrels for Die Grinder Avery $40.00
Total $183.00


by Brian Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We started out with very few tools so most of the things needed to do this project had to be purchased. Theres a lot to be said about nice quality tools. Theres also a lot to be said about saving a buck. With that said, a lot of the things that I would consider ancillary were inexpensive tools purchased from Harbor Freight. I think most of them will be fine.

Here's a list of what we bought and the rough cost. These prices were as of 2010 and of course would change over time. Take this for what its worth. It's just to give a general starting idea of what tools were needed and roughly how much someone could spend on the cheap side (with the exception of the Isham tool kit). We got the more expensive tool kit from Isham that included the pneumatic squeezer and other nice goodies.


Needed From Cost
Air Compressor Harbor Freight $137.00
Isham Tool Kit $2,550.00
Bench Grinder Harbor Freight $34.00
Scotch-Brite 6" Wheels   $48.00
Drill Press - 12 speed Harbor Freight $124.00
Circular Saw Harbor Freight $34.00
Folding Saw Horses (2) Harbor Freight $20.00
Rolling cart Harbor Freight $55.00
Air Hose Reel/filters/adapters Harbor Freight/Home Depot $125.00
Toolbox Harbor Freight $140.00
Misc Harbor Freight $100.00
Clamps (various size and types) Harbor Freight $40.00
Adjustable Set Holder for Squeezer Avery $60.00
Rivet Spacer & #30/#40 Reamers Aircraft Spruce $35.00
Digital Caliper Harbor Freight $10.00
Torque wrench (in lbs) Harbor Freight $20.00
Total $3,532.00