Many consider a family RV vacation because it can be more affordable than staying at a luxury resort. However, the cost of an RV adventure can add up. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to easily cut costs.
1. Look for the Cheapest Places to Park. It’s possible to find parking for $25 per night in some locations, including both national forests and private campgrounds. You can even find free parking if you’re willing to go on an RV adventure without hook-ups.
2. Take Your RV Trip During the Off-Season. You’ll almost always save money if you are able to avoid traveling when everyone else wants to travel and take an RV trip during the off-season. When you do, you’ll be much more likely to find lower rates on RV rentals and campsites.
3. Seek Out Low-Cost Activities. Staying at a less costly campground means there may be trade-offs, like there may not be a swimming pool or a children’s playground. That noted, there are loads of ways to enjoy the outdoors that don’t cost a penny, like hiking, biking and fishing. And be sure to bring your favorite ghost stories to tell around the campfire.
4. Determine What Size RV You Really Need. Don’t get lured into renting an RV that’s bigger than what you really need. In fact, a smaller RV rental can save you a bundle of money. As a bonus, a smaller RV can be easier to drive and park, so keep that in mind as you decide which is right for your family.
5. Cook Your Own Meals. If you’re cruising around in an RV, you’ll have everything you need to cook your meals with you, including a stove, microwave and refrigerator. So skip the restaurant meals and opt for pasta or hamburgers instead by cooking inside your RV. Or, cook outside your RV.
6. Consider Staying in One Place. If at all possible, consider staying at the same campsite for the duration of your family RV adventure. You can save money on the cost of fuel by not traveling to other locations. This could be a good option if you’re staying at a large National Park, like Yellowstone or Grand Canyon.
7. Seek Out the Best Fuel Prices. An RV can use a lot of gas, so do your homework and seek out the best fuel prices. Fortunately, a free app like GasBuddy can do that for you as you’re driving down the highway. Gas prices can vary considerably from state to state too so keep that in mind before you cross state lines.
8. Join an RV Discount Club. If you’re planning to visit multiple locations or if you think you might take more RV trips in the future, a discount club can help you save money. They can help you find great rates on campgrounds, which can save you money in the long run. One to check out is Passport America.