Trying to cut costs while RVing full time and saving money is a bit different than cutting costs while living in a typical home. Whether you live in an RV full time, plan to one day, or you just want to justify going camping more often, check out these money-saving tips.
Before I dive in, I first want to remind you that RV life can be very expensive if you’re not careful. The budget for RV living for anyone looking to make this a lifestyle varies greatly, and going out on the weekends can too.
You may need to change your mindset when it comes to RVing if you want to keep the costs down. Just like anything else you do in life where you’re trying to do it for cheap.
Okay, let’s dive into 9 ways to cut costs while RVing.
Staying longer in one place will reduce the expense of gas or diesel, which can eat up your RV budget quickly. In addition, if you’re paying for a campsite at a campground, then you’ll often find that you can receive a discount if you stay at least 1 week (often 1 night free) or even 1 month (1 week free).
Even if you are planning on boondocking or dry camping on BLM land, you’ll save on the gas to travel to the next destination if you choose to stay longer.
Not only will you be much safer in your RV, but by slowing down on the highway you’ll also notice savings in gas or diesel again. It’s a simple way to save money while taking your RV out.
If you’re new to RV travel, then try to avoid buying everything you see online right away. Start with just the RV accessories you need to get going, and then you’ll see once you get a few weeks of RVing under your belt which other camper accessories you may need or want.
We have so many posts where we suggest some of our favorites, but this one is our main RV must-haves post.
When you get to your location, avoid feeling like you have to see and do it all. Find ways to enjoy your time out without spending extra cash that you just don’t have in the budget.
Use your National Park pass, if you have one, and check out the hiking trails. You don’t NEED fancy hiking clothes to get started, just hit the trails. Or, if you have kids and bikes then find fun bike paths to explore together.
It might be tempting to stop on a long travel day at a restaurant for a quick bite to eat. Yet, this is one thing you can plan ahead for to help save you money. Make your meals ahead and plan to stop at a rest side stop to eat in your RV kitchen. Or, if the weather’s nice, you could have a picnic.
One of the benefits of having your RV with you is by having your own kitchen along for your trip. Plan to use it regularly so that you don’t have to budget more for eating out. This tip will help you save money as a family even if you aren't in an RV.
If you are full-time RV living and looking for ways to cut costs, consider investing in a camping membership to receive discounts. Click here to take a deep dive into camping memberships that might work for you.
You can use the app called Gas Buddy to help us find real-time prices at gas stations coming up while you’re traveling. Just be sure to check on Google Map’s satellite view before pulling off to an unknown gas station, because some are small and not made for RVs.
If you have a great camping generator or solar, and you’re set up to dry camp, then a great way to save money while RVing is to go boondocking. There are many places to camp for free around the US. Click here to learn more about boondocking.
Off-season travels can always help you save money on campground fees and activities. If you can’t make it during the off season, what about the shoulder season?
For example, Fall is a great time to visit Yellowstone National Park and the campgrounds just outside the park are much cheaper in the Fall than the Summer.
Camping and RVing can be a great way to take a cheap vacation. Now, if you’re considering launching into full-time RV living then you might be looking for a digital nomad job or a way to earn money while traveling. If that’s the case, check out our list of digital nomad jobs here.