Having a rig on the road for that bucket-list-road-trip can be as exciting as it sounds. But it could also turn out to be extremely expensive. If you are an adventurous person who also wants to get the most out of the money they spend, you will want to learn about how you can save some money and still have a great time RVing.
Keep a well-maintained RV
It would be a nightmare to get stuck in the middle of nowhere because your rig developed mechanical issues that could have easily been fixed if it had been well maintained. Before you decide where to go for the road trip, make sure that your vehicle can handle it. After all, this will be your ‘moving home’ for the duration of your travel. Regular servicing, oil changes, and fixing those seemingly small issues in your rig could make all the difference here. Remember it can be very expensive having your rig towed and looking for a mechanic in unfamiliar territories.
Make sure state inspections are up-to-date as well.
If you pick up a copy of our RV journal, you can not only record your camping memories, but there is also section in the back specifically for logging all maintenance you do or have done to your camper.
Every time we go camping we see people pulling campers with inadequate tow vehicles. Make sure you are pulling your rig with a capable tow vehicle. Here’s what to know before you buy.
Have a budget- and stick to it!
The thrill of finding beautiful places to explore, cool looking souvenirs to bring back home or even some good ‘ol impulse shopping can weigh heavily on your wallet if you are not careful. Sure, treat yourself a little and bring some adorable gifts home for your memories, but operate within a certain pre-determined budget if you want to save some money. Try to avoid tourist traps and impulse buying. Always consult your budget if you are tempted to splurge before spending the money on something you probably don’t need.
Look for cheap camping options
If you are the adventurous type, I would suggest you try boondocking. Boondocking refers to primitive camping sites that do not offer water, electric or sewer hookups. Typically a boondock campsite is much cheaper per night than a site offering hookups.
If you do not want to explore this option, look for campgrounds that offer discounts to RV campers. If possible, go RVing when its off-season. (See why we LOVE fall camping!) You get great rates at almost every camping ground and the crowds are fewer. The weather may not be that accommodating though.
Cook, instead of eating out for meals
You brought a kitchen with you – you might as well use it. Eating out at restaurants can be fancy, but it becomes very expensive in the long-run. If this is not in your budget, the best way to save money would be to cook your meals. Shop before you leave home in stores that you are familiar with and where you know you can get a good discount. While on the road on longer trips, use services like Walmart grocery pickup for quick and easy restocking.
Here are some of our favorite RV outdoor kitchen essentials to have in your camper.
Save on gas
Even the smallest RV can turn out to be a gas guzzler. Gas is probably what will make up the largest portion of your budget. To save on fuel, avoid filling up at gas stations along the highway unless you need to. They usually mark-up their prices and for a budget-conscious traveler, it can add up to a considerable saving over time. You can download an app like GasBuddy that tells you where the next petrol station is along the way and the prices they charge for gas. This will help you plan your journey. Some stations also offer discounts or cashback if you use specific credit cards to top off.
Stay in one place longer
You will find that when you stay longer in one place, you can save more because many camps offer discounts to campers who stay longer. You also get to save on fuel because your movement will be limited.
Join a membership club
If you plan on spending a lot of time on the road, you can save some money by joining a membership club. You need to find a membership club that has campgrounds along the
route that you plan on spending your time traveling.
Ask your campground if they a gas saver program
Some campgrounds offer a gas saver program during off-peak shoulder seasons (Spring and Fall) to save you some money and fill up their sites. Typically, the deal is that you can drop your camper for several weeks in a row for one flat rate. Then you head to the campground each weekend during your gas saver program for camping. This option gives you a few weekends to camp without having to tow your rig back and forth each weekend.
Do you have more tips for saving some money while on the road with your RV? We’d love to hear them! Drop us a comment and let us know!