The idea of RVing may seem very expensive if not completely unaffordable. From buying orrentingan RV to filling it up with gas to eating out to paying for campsites, not to mention all the gear and equipment, and souvenirs. It all starts to add up extremely quickly, especially if you expect to hit up all the tourist attractions along the way. If you want to RV but, at the same time, want to save money there are a few things you can do to help save you some cash while still allowing you to make memories with your friends and family.
Consider what kind of camper you want
There are so many different types of campers out there from small ones that pop up and can be pulled behind a car to luxury motorhomes with Jacuzzis and wine bars. Motorhomes are more expensive than smaller trailers and airstreams. If you want an RV that can fit a lot of people, look into ones that have different options to suit your travelling needs.
If you start with your end result, an exciting trip to remember, then you can plan for a romantic getaway for two in a cozy teardrop trailer or a family reunion on the road in an RV that sleeps 10 and everything in between. The options that are more extravagant and have higher end finishes are going to cost you more than those that are a bit more modest. You can choose a simpler style with a bunk room so there are more beds and less bells and whistles. That way you can sleep more people in the RV on a smaller budget.
Boondocking is free camping, usually with no utilities included. So, you have to bring your own food, water and power source. But it doesn’t cost you a dime and there is nothing is better than that, right? National parks and forests love to charge you for primitive camping, usually packed side by side with other campers, close enough to touch your neighbor. But there’s usually a secluded spot only a mile or two away that you can park the RV and camp legally.
To make your life easier, download the Public Lands app. It’ll show you a map of all the public lands and has links to the government website that manages that land. You get to camp for free all while away from crowds and rules. There are also other websites that share the best free camping sites. This option, although a little more adventurous, can save you the most money, especially if you usually stay in more expensive campgrounds. The greatest part about boondocking is you get to stay for free in some stunning locations, from sandy beaches to forest hideaways. You get the beautiful views and nature at its finest, which is something people usually pay a premium for.
Purchase campground membership
If you prefer staying at a campground that has amenities, look into getting a campground membership. Thousand Trails, Passport America, and Good Sam all offer up to 50% off of participating RV parks. Other vehicle insurance and savings clubs have deals and partnerships that can really cut down your campground cost, leaving more of your budget for more exciting and delicious options.
Make your own food
One of the best parts about an RV is having a kitchen. While it’s easy to go out and eat every meal, that can quickly add up. Especially if you’re traveling with a large group. You can save yourself a lot of cash all while cooking yourself healthy and nutritious meals. And what’s better than a picnic in the great outdoors?
The RV fridge and cupboard space allow you to shop, at a discount or wholesale store, before you leave and stock up on your favorite treats. You can also cook meals ahead of time and freeze them, then heat up in the oven or on the stove for a delicious, home cooked meal on the road. Saves money and tastes great!
Look into free activities
While ATVing and kayaking are fun, renting equipment can be pricey. There are so many free activities that you can do while RVing and camping. Hiking, bike rides, swim in nearby lakes, or playing some board games outside are great activities that everyone can do all while spending no money.
Also, look for campgrounds that include activities and amenities in the price of your stay. If you are paying the same for a camp site, you might as well get the benefit of a pool, playground, clubhouse and other exciting attractions. This way you get free entertainment out of your accommodations budget.
Save on fuel
While it may convenient to stop by the gas stations off of the interstate, they aren’t always the cheapest. Instead, download the Gas Buddy app. It’ll tell you what the cheapest gas stations are around your area and it’ll help gauge whether or not stopping at the nearest gas station is worth it. Reducing your speed by even a little bit to just under the speed limit instead of just over it, is a budget saver that people do not realize. That small difference in speed and air resistance adds up to big savings on your gas bill.
Another great way to get your gas to last longer is to stay in one spot for longer periods of time. So, choose a destination where you can explore a lot, from one central site. Jumping from one spot to another eats up a lot of your gas. If possible, stay for a couple of days before moving around.
There are a lot of different ways that you can save money while still enjoying your RV vacation. With proper planning, you will not lose out on fun and excitement while still maintaining and affordable budget. When planning out your trip, take into gas, food, and destinations into consideration to get the most bang for your buck.