Four Easy Ways to Save Big on RV Travel

Love to travel by RV but don’t have a big travel budget? Lucky for you, we’ve found four easy ways to save big money on every RV camping trip. Use these ideas on your next RV vacation and watch your travel budget stretch in surprising ways.

  1. How to Save Money at Campgrounds

Most private campgrounds offer special rates, especially if you’re traveling ‘off-season’ or planning an extended stay. Do a little research on campground websites to learn when peak season ends, if they offer multi-day discounts and whether midweek campers save on the regular campsite rate.

Another way to save money on campsites is to camp in state or national forests. Many offer water and electric sites at minimal cost, and the proximity to outdoor recreation can save travel dollars, as well. Oh Ranger park finder app can help you locate state and national forests and other recreation areas across the US.

A third option is boondocking on public lands. You may wonder, if you normally camp in RV parks, what, exactly, ‘boondocking’ means.  The term boondocking in its most basic form means camping on public lands with no amenities or defined campsites. With some preparation (filling the RV water tanks, using solar or some other alternative form of power) you can camp free in some wild and gorgeous places.

To find free, dispersed campsites on public lands, check the BLM website and locate wilderness areas you’d like to visit. Call the closest BLM regional office (on the website) to make sure an area is accessible by RVs. The camping app Campendium is also a good source of information on dispersed camping areas. 

Palisade State Park

Palisade State Park

  1. How to Find Free Overnight Parking

Ever need somewhere to park the RV and sleep before moving on down the road? Wondering if you can park an RV anywhere? The big answer is ‘No’, but there are places where RVs are welcome to park overnight for no charge. Some Walmart stores allow RVers to park in specific areas of their parking lots overnight, but you need to check with the store first. Highway rest stops and casino parking lots may also allow free overnight parking. You can use a travel app such as AllStays to search for ‘Overnight Parking’ or ‘Walmart Ask to Park’.

  1. How to Save Money on Meals While Camping

One reason RV travel saves money is that you have an on-board kitchen to cook meals. Come up with standard menus that are RV-travel friendly. Stock your RV kitchen with staples like pasta, rice, canned sauces and beans. Buy meat in bulk if there’s significant savings and make meals ahead to freeze. Heating premade chilis, soups, sloppy joe mix, homemade pasta sauces, pre-cut stir-fry veggie and meat mixes and so forth will help you save big dollars over restaurant meals.

  1. How to Save Money on Fuel for RVs

Every RV traveler likes to save money on fuel. With today’s handy travel apps, it’s easy to find the stations with the cheapest gas along your route. Here are just a few of the top fuel price tracking apps to try.

GasBuddy provides user-based reports on the latest gas prices in each area. RV travelers who help other drivers by posting gas prices have a chance to win a $100 gas gift card each month.

Gas Guru posts prices provided by the Oil Price Information Service, and offers directions from your location to the cheapest gas in the area.

Fuelio is a way to track mileage, fuel consumption and maintenance costs. It also displays the cheapest fuel prices based on your GPS location. If you’re one of those RVers who loves to keep a log of all costs connected to your vehicle, this is an app to consider.

MapQuest app is well-known for giving travelers directions from point-to-point, but did you know if you click the ‘Nearby’ button and the gas icon, it displays current price per gallon along your route? 

What if I Don’t Own an RV?

RV rental companies often offer specials based on season, number of days you’ll be traveling or membership in travel-related clubs. Before you rent an RV for your next trip, be sure to ask what specials are currently available.

Saving money while RV camping is easy, once you learn the apps and hacks that smart RVers use. Whether it’s discounted campsite rentals or feeding your fellow campers economically, you’ll soon be saving big money on your RV camping excursions.

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