RVing is a great way to explore amazing places throughout the country. Whether it is a national park, beach, or scenic location, there’s a place for anyone to enjoy.
Though RVing may not be as expensive as other travel modes, it’s like everything else: you can go all in, find a middle ground, or go for cheap. How much you spend while RVing depends on different factors, including: the length of your journey, what campground you book, activities you participate in, and where you eat.
Here are 6 easy ways to save money on your next RV trip:
1) Avoid Peak Camping Dates
If you want to cut back on RV travel expenses, consider camping on weekdays or during the off-season to avoid peak rates. Prices can increase between 10-15% for weekends and up to 20% during the holidays.
- Sweet tip: Everyone wants to travel during the holidays. Instead, try booking the week before or the week after for a better rate. You’ll also avoid the crowds.
2) Research Campground Rates Before Booking
Before booking an RV site, compare several different campgrounds of interest. You’ll notice that other than the campground location (and the length of stay), the cost is also determined by the amenities provided.
The more amenities you have, the more expensive the nightly rate will generally be.
Analyze what extras you can do without and forgo them for a better rate. Just remember, RV camping is as expensive as you make it to be.
If you need inspiration for finding some amazing camping spots throughout the country, the creators of The RV Atlas, put together Where Should We Camp Next?: National Parks, an incredible planning guidebook. It helps you find the hidden gems of the National Park Service.
3) Buy a Campground Membership
Campground memberships provide perks that lower the cost of RVing. Each membership has its own set of discounts and incentives.
A couple of the most popular campground memberships include Thousand Trails and Passport America.
- Thousand Trails: They have a network of over 200 RV resorts and campgrounds within 5 regions across the U.S.— Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast.
The Thousand Trails camping pass allows you to camp without paying nightly fees. This is particularly beneficial if you are an avid RVer and see yourself making multiple trips over the span of having the camping pass.
- Passport America: Provides 50% off camping fees at participating RV parks. It is one of the largest discount clubs. There are over 1,100 participating parks throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With Passport America, you’ll save half of the nightly rate at participating campgrounds.
Be sure to explore other campground membership options too to maximize your savings!
4) Save on Gas
These apps are free to download, so there’s no reason why you can’t explore the cheapest places to fuel up at. You can find these apps on the Apple Store or Google Play.
Here are some other things you can do to conserve fuel:
Keep your tires filled at the suggested PSI.
Over and under-inflated tires will negatively impact your gas mileage.
Go the speed limit.
The harder you push down on the gas, the worse your fuel economy will be.
Avoid unnecessary idling.
If you need to make a sudden stop or pullover, turn off your engine, instead of keeping it running.
Fill tanks near your destination.
Full water and propane tanks will place extra weight on your vehicle, affecting the gas mileage. Wait to get near the campground to fill up these tanks.
5) Save on Activities and Food
The activities you choose to do and the food you decide to eat will play a huge part in how much you spend during your RV trip. Once at your destination, you can enjoy different free activities, such as: biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, etc.
Or if you want to explore the area, you can visit a local museum or participate in other activities that are inexpensive.
Make a food budget before embarking on your journey and have a general idea of what you’ll be doing in advance. A trip to the grocery store for supplies will likely save you money than going out to restaurants every day. You can always budget for a middle ground!
6) Protect Your Exterior Accessories
Safeguard your equipment to prevent unpredictable expenses. Your RV or tow vehicle’s exterior accessories can get damaged by the elements, debris, and wear & tear. Luckily, there are many types of covers that minimize damage while you are out on the road. Whether it’s RV covers, spare tire covers, propane tank covers, or even tote tank covers, these simple accessories will keep your items well-protected for more years of reliable use.
Enjoy AFFORDABLE RV Adventures!
Make the most of your RV trip without breaking the bank. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a full-timer, these cost-saving tips can help minimize your expenses and help stretch your dollar.