As the saying goes “A penny saved is a penny earned”
Well today we are going to share with you ways to potentially save hundreds of dollars while RVing so you can enjoy do more of what you love.
Do you have a great money saving tip for RVers? Please let us know in the comments below!
RV Fuel Saving Tips
- Research and find the best gas card for your driving situation.
- Use the Gas Buddy app to find the least expensive gas along your route.
- Calculate fuel costs with Gas Buddy trip cost calculator.
- Plan trips based on how much fuel you want to spend, try the TripAdvisor tank of gas tool.
- Check tire pressure on vehicles. The TV show Myth Busters found that tires that were 15% under inflated ended up wasting 1.2% more fuel. That can quickly add up when you are doing a lot of miles. – source (Buy tire pressure gauge on Amazon)
- Cruise at slower speeds when you can ( 40 mph = 29 mpg, 80 mph = 21 mpg). – source
- Coast to a stop to conserve the gas you used to get you the speed you are going.
- Bicycle or scooter those short distances around town.
- Combine shopping trips and errands to be one big trip and save gas.
- Do a periodic clean out of your RV to make sure you are not carrying unnecessary weight.
- Travel during the off peak traffic hours to avoid wasting fuel sitting in traffic.
- Plan your route so you don’t lose fuel while being lost (unless you enjoy getting lost).
RV Maintenance & Upkeep Tips
- Get tire covers for when you are parked and they will last longer. (Check out tire covers on Amazon)
- Shop around for well rated tires (rated by users) and then talk to your local tire guy to see if he will match prices possibly avoiding shipping costs from online sources.
- Replace tires before they give you problems on the road, even if you have emergency road service it can cost you and be very inconvenient.
- If tires are still okay, sell them cheaply to someone who might just need something to last a short time or for traveling locally.
- Wash your RV yourself at home or at a coin operated station where your rv will fit. Hire a kid off of Craigslist if you need to.
- Participate in an online forum to learn everything you can about your motorhome or trailer. Here is a list of forums to check out.
- Park your RV or trailer in-doors when you can to pro-long its life.
- Find quality used parts. Some areas of the country have used rv parts (think rv junk yard)…Florida is one of these.
- Clean out the air filter – A dirty air filter, even after just 5,000 miles after a change, can cost you up to 7% of your gas mileage. If you are driving a car that normally gets 20 miles per gallon, your car is now getting 18.6 MPG. Over the next 10,000 miles, that’s an extra 37.6 gallons of gas, which with gas at $2.10 per gallon, costs you $79.03! (Source) (Check out RV Air Filter on Amazon)
- Shop for and buy an RV that is easy on the wallet such as maintenance costs, gas mileage, ability to wash it yourself, repair costs (diesel…do you really need it).
- Surge Protectors keep your batteries and technology safe. (Check out RV surge protectors on Amazon)
Parking Your RV
- Join a RV Club to get discounts at RV Parks (Good Sam, Passport America, RoverPass, Escapees).
- Join a speciality RV club (Harvest Hosts, RV Golf Clubs, BoonDockers Welcome, Casino Camper).
- Good Sam & Passport America both offer lifetime passes which can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Getting Great Rates Parking Your RV
- Travel during the off peak hour to take advantage of campground discounts, less crowds.
- America the Beautiful Pass – Covers National Parks and other fed operated sites–a steal at $10 if you are over 62; otherwise $80.
- Use public lands because you pay for them. BLM lands, national forests, dispersed camping anywhere it is allowed.
- Time = Money, Save time sending RV reservations requests in 1 click with RoverPass (it’s free!).
- Get set up to dry camp, boondock. You do not need a generator or solar panels to do a few nights here and there if you are frugal with your tankage/batteries. (Check out Solar Panels & Batteries on Amazon)
- Look for ways to overnight for free: rest areas, Walmarts (only some), etc. Remember you get what you pay for sometimes.
- Stay at farm stands, wineries, etc. When you are out and about and stop to purchase something, ask if you can overnight at their place. Do this only if it is later in the day and tell them you plan to leave by 8 or 9 am. Just don’t over stay your welcome.
Food & Cooking Tips To Save Money
- Bring a portable hot plate/one or two burner stove and small electric heater and use those at campgrounds where they will pay your heating costs and cooking costs. (Check out hot plates on Amazon)
- Cook and eat in most of the time and save those fast food dollars for the best local spots (Check out crock pots on Amazon)
- Have a garden to save you money at the grocery store.
- When you are cooking up a meal, make more and freeze a nights worth – saves cooking time and you can buy in bulk.
- Get a water bottle and use it – drinking water is healthy, but bottled water is expensive! Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice glass of wine at dinner. (Find great water bottles on Amazon)
- Brew your own…coffee or tea.
- Some casinos offer buy one get one free meals when you sign up for a players card.
- Patronize farmer’s markets, flea markets for good deals on produce, staple items, and needs.
Saving Money On Entertainment
- Cancel subscriptions you don’t use (Cable, Netflix, Magazines, Audible, RV Clubs, etc).
- Invite Friends over instead of going out.
- Check out free events in the area.
- Use Groupon or Living Social, to get discounts for local activities and restaurants.
- Borrow DVD’s and books from the library.
Finance Tips For RVers
- Use a bank account with no fees.
- Use credit card with no fees, unless they are really worth it.
- If you have stocks or mutual funds, use a low cost provider such as Vanguard.
- Make a travel budget – Examples by Gone With the Wynns, Technomadia
- Build a spread sheet to track your finances.
- NEVER pay interest on credit card bills. Emergencies are okay, but always avoid interest.
- Compare RV Insurance, Road Side Assistance, Mailing services, etc.
- Negotiate rates with credit cards, insurance, etc for lower terms.
- Create visual reminder of your debt, savings goal, etc ! This will motivate you!
- Utilize automatic bill pay to avoid late fees.
Frugal Tips To Save Money RVing
- Shop at discount stores like Family Dollar, Good Will, etc.
- Barter your services for services you need, (baby sitting with friends, etc).
- Change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Turn your hot water down to a temperature that is more than adequate for showers.
- Camp longer in one place. Some campgrounds offer special pricing for multiple nights or weeks.
- The change jar – put all your loose change into it and save up to spoil yourself on something.
- Turn down that thermostat at night! Make it 50 degrees and pile on the blankets.
- Get rid of your contract cell phone and go prepaid and you will save money.
- Sign up for a voice over IP phone (example Vonage).
- Quit expensive habits (Lottery tickets, Smoking, etc).
- Learn how to do expensive services yourself (haircuts, pedicures, etc).
- Don’t Speed = No Tickets 🙂
- Always ask for fees to be waived, It doesn’t hurt to ask & you’ll be surprised.
- Use your age – student discounts, senior citizen discounts.
Health Tips That Save Money
- Get more exercise & eat healthy! Save on a myriad of health costs (including doctors and medications).
- Lose the gym membership; buy free weights on Craigslists to save money.
- Walk or bike to errands or when exploring a new spot.
- Wash your hands to keep yourself healthy.
Shopping Tips That Save You Money
- Walmart will match sale prices from competitors…use it well!
- Comparison shop and ask for discounts.
- Wear your clothing until it wears out.
- Buy in bulk when you buy paper towels/toilet paper – they really don’t go bad!
- Make a list of what to buy before you go shopping. This limits you buying more than you need.
- Make it yourself when you can – Use Pinterest to find amazing DIY ideas.
- Avoid Shopping Therapy – Have a 10 day buy rule.
- Buy used when you can.
- Remove credit cards from online so you can’t do 1 click buys (Amazon 1 click, Google 1 click, etc).
- Try generic brands to get the full benefit without the cost of the brand name.
- Avoid buying souvenirs that will clutter up your rig.
RV Technology Tips
- Use OverDrive – Free app to get books & audio books from your local library where ever you are!
- Limit Technology – Do you really need a landline and cell phone? Do you need two cell phones? Do you really need an Iphone – try straight talk.
- Use Google Documents instead of buying Microsoft Office.
What Are Your RV Money Saving Tips?
We are always looking for more RV money saving tips, please let us know your favorite tips in the comments and we will add it to our Ebook.