By Bob Difley
There hasn’t been a better time in the last few years to hit the road in your RV than now. The economy is moving ahead–if a bit sluggishly, Spring is almost here, and the RV industry is on the rebound. You can make your RVing lifestyle even better by saving money on the road to further extend your camping days. Try some of the following cost-cutting measures to reduce your overhead while not constricting your RV lifestyle. Most are just changing your old habits for new, more efficient ones.
- Drive 55. Lower speeds means more miles-per-gallon. Relax, and you will enjoy the scenery more and have less stress at lower speeds.
- Avoid fast starts and quick stops. It’s all about torque and kinetic energy, which with the proper use will save fuel.
- Keep tires properly inflated. It can save up to 3% on fuel mileage.
- Stay longer at campgrounds or boondocking sites.
- Check out campground weekly rates, sometimes significantly less expensive than the daily rate.
- Boondock more often. Save campground fees, and losses at the weekly rec. room poker games.
- Install a solar system. Provides renewable free power to enable camping longer off the power grid–and you can save on campground fees by staying at no-hookup campgrounds.
- If traveling and staying only one night in a campground, pay less by choosing a non-hook-up site (sometimes called a tent site) or stay at lower-priced regional or state parks, or at businesses that welcome over-nighters like Walmart, Kmart, and Cracker Barrel Restaurants.
- Eat in restaurants less. Save on food costs by preparing your own meals in your RV kitchen. You don’t really have to send the waiter’s daughter to college.
- Reduce food costs by bypassing the middle man. Buy from farmers markets, roadside farm stands, U-Pick farms and orchards, and other local food producers and ranchers. You can find these resources wherever your are with a little online searching.
- Reduce cost of food packaging. Buy in bulk from stores that offer this option.
- Eat healthy and get plenty of exercise and you might be able to cut down on meds and doctor visits–and you’ll feel better.
- Volunteer or become a camp host, which usually comes with a free campsite, and gives you something new, interesting, and constructive to do.
- Take a caretaking position. Subscribe to the Caretaker Gazette for nationwide opportunities to trade out your presence or skills for free rent.
- Shop for quality-label–but slightly used–outdoor wear at St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, or other charity stores—and you will be helping worthy charitable institutions while at the same time buying quality labels at far below retail prices.
- Some libraries have used magazine exchanges where you can get current or one month old magazines for free–you might be able to cancel your current magazine subscriptions as well as save money by having them re-shipped to you on the road–where you pay the postage.
- Be creative. As RVers we are in a unique position to find ways to cut our road expenses. And you’ll save enough money to put a down payment on your next rig.
- Buy my ebooks (shameless plug coming) that will guide you along to boondocking and saving money on the road (see links below).
Thanks for reading, but since the comments section below is not working, if you have any questions or comments I would like to hear from you. Email me directly at: hrvlcontact at gmail dot com (you know how to write that correctly).
For more RVing articles and tips take a look at my Healthy RV Lifestyle website, where you will also find my ebooks: BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (PDF or Kindle), 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang for your RV Lifestyle Buck (PDF or Kindle), and Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (PDF or Kindle), and my newest, The RV Lifestyle: Reflections of Life on the Road (PDF or Kindle reader version). NOTE: Use the Kindle version to read on iPad and iPhone or any device that has the free Kindle reader app.