How To Afford Full-Time RVing: Money Saving Tips
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Introduction To How To Afford Full Time RVing
Have you ever dreamed of RVing full time? How cool would that be? You could travel all over the country and never have to worry about a thing. The only problem is, we live in a society where money matters. How can you afford such an expensive lifestyle when your income is limited? In this blog post I cover some simple ways to save money so that someday, hopefully soon, you’ll be living your dream! This post will show you everything you need to know about how to afford full-time RVing.
How To Save Money While Traveling By RV? How to Afford Full-Time RVing
People tend to think that living in an RV is expensive, and it can be. However, with some simple planning, you can save money while on the road!
There are quite a few things that can be done. Here is just a shortlist of some ideas on How To Afford Full-Time RVing while saving money.
Ways To Save Money
Free Overnight Parking
Take advantage of free overnight parking while traveling from one destination to another. Most Walmarts allow overnight parking, as do many grocery stores and truck stops.
RVers can use the Walmart parking lot overnight in some places and situations. The number of stores that continue to allow this is becoming fewer and fewer. In order to apply this option to your travels, be sure to know some basic rules first. Check out this article for more information about boondocking at Walmart!*****
Moochdocking is when you park your RV on someone else’s property or in their driveway. This is a great way to save money when traveling from place to place.
Truck stops are a great place to get free wifi and spend the night. Most truck stops have food, showers, laundry facilities, and groceries available. Be sure to check in advance. Some truck stops charge a nightly fee. Some do not have RV parking. Make sure that you are not taking up valuable space from the big trucks.
Boondocking: Saving Money: How To Afford Full-Time RVing
Dry Camping or Boondocking are terms that mean you are camping somewhere without hookups. It is very similar to primitive camping in a tent, but you have your own shower and toilet on board! There are many places for RV’ers to boondock. They need to be traveling in a self-contained RV (own bathroom facilities and power source).
The term BLM is the acronym for Bureau of Land Management. BLM has over 400 areas that are free to camp at and do not require reservations. Some have electric hookups, water, restrooms (varies), dump stations (not all) throughout the country in high-traffic camping locations!
For more information on boondocking and how to locate places to stay, check out this article!
Memberships: As A Way to Save Money
Joining camping or RV clubs and memberships is a great way to save money. How it works is that you pay for the membership and get a certain number of nights free or at discounted rates throughout the year which can then easily be extended into months if not longer depending on how long your road trip will last!
A camping membership with Thousand Trails allows you to stay at over 500 private campgrounds across North America. For more detailed information about a Thousand Trails membership, check out this article!****
This club is great and gives you access to nearly all the privately owned RV parks in North America, where 50% or more of your overnight rate will be deducted from the normal nightly fee! How awesome does that sound? I know, right!
A camping membership with Good Sam has access to around 2000 campgrounds across North America and is a great choice if you have kids as they also offer discounts on things such as theme parks.
Escapees is a popular membership with full-timers as it offers great value on things such as laundry and dump stations.
This one isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy the company of other RV-ers offering free camping then Boondockers Welcome could be an option to consider.
This membership gives you access to more than 2000 wineries, museums, breweries, and vineyards across North America, which allows RV owners to camp on their properties for free. How cool is that?
For more information about Harvest Hosts, check out this article!!
Membership Tips: How To Afford Full-Time RVing
Be sure that the clubs are going to be useful for where your road trip is taking you! How much time will you spend in each area? How much will you be traveling around?
In some areas, it may make more sense to find free camping rather than paying high campground fees, while others might have a lot of paid or private sites available.
If you plan on visiting an area for just one night then buying a membership probably won’t save you any money! But if your travel plans are flexible and you might be spending a few nights in the same location then it could save you big time!
For more information about available RV and camping memberships, check out this article!
Get America The Beautiful Pass
The America The Beautiful Pass is available for purchase online or at any federal recreation site. A one-year pass costs $80 and comes with a $20 coupon to be used toward your next visit to national parks, so you actually save money if you plan on visiting more than two sites in the following year. They even have discounts for seniors and disabled vets.
Stay Longer at Each Place
Part of the joy involved with the RV lifestyle is finding and appreciating a slower pace in life. Stop, enjoy, and explore each destination longer. The longer you stay at certain campgrounds and RV parks, the more you will save (generally). Most locations have weekly, monthly, or seasonal rates. Check with each individual park to find out details on extended stays.
By Staying Longer In Each Place You will:
Reduce fuel costs
Save money on nightly fees
Put less wear and tear on your vehicles
Cook At Home: How To Afford Full-Time RVing
One of the greatest benefits of owning an RV is having a kitchen to use for meals. By purchasing groceries and cooking your own meals as opposed to eating out at restaurants, you will save a ton of money on your travels.
Benefits to cooking your own food include:
Saving more money than eating out at restaurants
Enjoy spending time together as a couple or with friends or family in the kitchen, sharing stories and recipes. This is also an opportunity to teach kids about healthy living by preparing their favorite meals from home (even if it’s macaroni and cheese).
Enjoy a healthier lifestyle
For more RV kitchen and cooking tips, check out this article!
Find The Best Price on Fuel
Planning your route and gas station stops ahead of time will allow you to find the cheapest gas prices. You can use an app or a website (such as Gas Buddy ) that lets you search for local gas stations based on price, location, brand, etc., so it’s easy to compare all available options in one place before heading out.
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes time to fill up. First, be mindful of where the cheapest gas prices are compared to your location – you probably don’t want to drive out of your way just for a cheaper price if there’s one closer by that will save you money too (but do consider how much extra mileage this adds to your trip). Second, watch out for small local gas stations that can sell fuel at a higher price than the major brands – these are usually found in rural areas.
Finally, if you have time to fill up and don’t mind waiting around while it happens, choose off-peak hours (usually early morning or late night) when prices tend to be the lowest.
Driving at a slower speed, taking your time to arrive at each destination will not only save you money on fuel, but it will keep you and your vehicle safe.
Don’t forget to drive conservatively. Yes, you want to get where you’re going as quickly and safely as possible, but driving at a high speed will use up more gas than necessary – try your best not to go over the speed limit if it’s too risky for road conditions or traffic volume. Driving at a conservative speed will also save wear and tear on your tires, saving you more money in the long run.
Solar panels can be a great way to save money, as they help you generate your own electricity.
If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck out of solar power, consider investing in high-efficiency appliances. These products tend not only to require less energy than older models and other similar devices – saving you on fuel costs during everyday use – but they are also more environmentally friendly.
Don’t Forget To Stay Frugal Too!
While it’s important to take the steps above, don’t forget that there are other ways you can save money and still live a comfortable life on the road. Be sure not to overspend on unnecessary items – this can be tough to avoid if you’re not careful, so set only a certain amount of money aside for spending “fun” funds and stick with it. It is always important to stick to a budget when trying to save money.
For a list of important RV accessories, check out this article!
Do Your Own Maintenance
Keeping your RV in tip-top running shape requires regular maintenance. It is always better to perform necessary maintenance rather than waiting until something gets damaged and is more costly to fix.
Regular maintenance on an RV includes:
Checking tire pressure with an accurate tire gauge
Checking fluid levels: coolant, oil, transmission, and brake fluids (depending on what type of RV you have)
Wipers are another obvious item that needs regular maintenance to ensure clear windows in all weather conditions. Before winter sets in is the best time to replace your wiper blades with high-quality ones. Don’t wait until one of them gets damaged from using old ones.
Lights should also be checked to ensure that they are all working properly and not just one light is out causing you to miss the turn or stop too close to another vehicle.
Keeping your tanks properly emptied and clean will prove to be super important and helpful for the overall upkeep of your RV.
Make sure to do a regular walk around and inspect all appliances, slides, underbelly, and more.
Learning to do upkeep and maintenance yourself will save you money annually. There are many classes and videos to assist with this type of learning.
Wash It Yourself
Skip taking your RV to a truck cleaner and opt for cleaning it yourself. This will save you tons of money. Even if the campground rules do not allow for “washing” your vehicles on site, there are kits that you can use to clean the outside without using the park’s water.
The term Workcamping means that you work for a campground in exchange for free camping. There are some that require you to live onsite and others do not. In these cases, find out what is required of you with the potential employer before saying yes to their offer as it may include living expenses or other fees (i.e.: Electricity).
For detailed information on workcamping and how to find these types of jobs, check out this article!
Enjoy Free Activities
When you are finally at your destination, engage in free activities. The best part of RVing is seeing and exploring new places. Go for a bike ride, walk, or hike.
Make use of the RV park’s amenities (if available) during your next RV trip. Many have game rooms, pools, and other activities. There is so much to do for free! This is a great money-saving tip that will help you create lasting memories and protect your bottom line.
Conclusion To How To Afford Full Time RVing
If you want to enjoy the freedom of full-time RVing, then it’s important for you to find ways to save money while traveling. Saving money will go a long way toward helping with your financial flexibility and peace of mind as well as making life on the road much easier. Start by cutting back on expenses like eating out or going to bars-both cost more than cooking at home anyway!
For more information on the actual cost of full-time RV living, check out this article!!
Hello! My name is Cortney. I am 45 years old. I live full time in a 33 foot airstream trailer with my husband of 21 years. I run my own business out of my tin can and love living small. I have two grown kids and three pets. I have worn many hats including mental health counselor and truck driver. My husband is prepping for retiring from the Navy in the next five years. He has been serving for over 22 years faithfully.