Exploring the Southwestern deserts on the cheap

author image

October 28, 2011

buenos_aires_nwr_campsite2

By Bob Difley

Thursday’s stock market rally–in fact the whole month of October–have been good for investors. However, for most of us buy-and-hold investors, we still have a long way to go to get even, let alone get ahead. Fortunately, as RVers–especially if you are a fulltimer or long-termer like a snowbird–there are ways we can keep expenses down while waiting for our portfolios to recover.

Here are some ideas for keeping expenses in check heading into snowbird season:

  • If you are heading soon for your winter snowbirding roost, take time to plan your trip so that you are able to spend your travel nights without paying for a campground. Get a list of Walmarts, Kmarts, and other stores that permit overnight stays, or plan to arrive every afternoon in public lands where you can camp free. You could save almost enough in campground fees to pay for your fuel.
  • Once in the desert, plan to camp in central locations, like the hub of a wagon wheel, where you can leave your rig by day and explore out the spokes of the wheel with your tow or toad to save fuel.
  • Buy a couple guide books so you don’t have waste time and gas. Mike and Terie Church’s Southwestern Deserts book is among the most informative. And buy a desert places-to-go-and-things-to-see, wildflowers and plants, and birds and wildlife handbooks as well.
  • Unless you particularly like big cities, avoid them for camping destinations. Yes, they have lots of entertainment options, but so does the natural desert–and the city locations will be a lot more expensive.
  • Entertainment that is either cheap or free includes mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, searching for petroglyphs and Native American ruins, birdwatching, wildflower walks, star gazing, visiting historic mining sites, ghosts towns, and cattle ranches, tracking wildlife, and visiting state and national parks.
  • Don’t be in a hurry. Drive 55, accelerate slowly, reduce speed by coasting, keep tires properly inflated, and perfect hypermile driving.

Learn to enjoy the desert for what it is, and not just a place to escape the rain and cold. Like everything else, the desert will be much more interesting the more you learn about it.

Check out my website for more RVing tips and destinations and for my ebooks, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (or the Kindle version), Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (Kindle version), and 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang out of your RV Lifestyle Dollar (Kindle version).

Leave a Reply

17 comments

  1. Avatar

    julie rea

    casinos also often have free overnight spots. Some provide free shuttle service to the casino, and have good food.

  2. Avatar

    Paul LeSage

    I have generally found that, all things considered, Casino camping usually ends up costing more than a 4-star hotel. Don’t let the free shuttle fool you.

  3. Avatar

    butterbean carpenter

    Howdy Bob,

    Great article and good info.. Thanx…..

  4. Avatar

    D. Schlagel

    Casino’s cost my wife (me) more than any Resort RV Park by far. Avoid playing just use the restaurants…Usually good buffet’s.

  5. Avatar

    D. Schlagel

    Just a note…Most churches allow free travel thru overnight parking (not service days)…But please ask permission…We found we were more than welcome.

    Also most county fair locations will also allow overnight parking (not multi-night unless they had facilities for such stays)…For safety reasons we also asked permission with the local police so they were aware that we were there (never a problem)

  6. Avatar

    Connie

    Where can you purchase Mike and Terie Church’s Southwestern Deserts book?

  7. Avatar

    D. Schlagel

    Their books can be purchased on Amazon.com, Half.com, some Walmart stores etc….

  8. Pingback: site

  9. Avatar

    Good post. I learn something more challenging on completely different blogs everyday. It will at all times be stimulating to learn content material from other writers and follow a bit something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my weblog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a hyperlink in your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Avatar

    Great post. I am a regular visitor of your website and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a frequent visitor for a long time.

  11. Avatar

    You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  12. Avatar

    I enjoy you because of each of your efforts on this web page. My daughter really likes getting into investigation and it’s really easy to see why. I know all relating to the powerful form you convey invaluable tips and hints through the web site and even increase participation from other people about this matter so my child is in fact understanding a great deal. Take advantage of the rest of the new year. You are doing a powerful job.

  13. Avatar

    I have not checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  14. Avatar

    Great info and right to the point. I don’t know if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thanks 🙂

  15. Avatar

    I haven’t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last handful of posts are really good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend. 🙂

  16. Avatar

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this blog. I really hope to view the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own website now

  17. Avatar

    This is a good style for me. thanks for the hard work.