Plan & Save

With no end in sight of the current increase in fuel costs, the common question is, “can we still take our RV vacation this summer/year?” Before you answer this question, are you taking advantage of all the discounts available?

Two of the above excursions were free, hike up Flag Mountain in Desert Hot Springs, CA and fun on the beach in MS. Fanning Springs cost $2 per person.

WEEK with Disc (200 miles fuel, 10 mpg)WEEK without Disc (200 miles fuel, 10 mpg)MONTH (4 weeks) with Disc (800 miles fuel, 10 mpg)MONTH (4 weeks) Without Disc (800 miles fuel, 10 mpg)
Fuel$5.38 x 20=$107.60$5.62 x 20= $112.40$430.40$449.60
Lodging $270$315$1,080$1,260
Groceries$119$147$476$588
Entertainment$25$50$100$200
Cell$35$35$140$140
Wifi($0) using Weboost/hotspot$500$50
Totals$556.60$709.40$2,226.40$2,687.60

By planning smart and taking advantage of discounts you can save an estimated $153 in a week or $461 over a month. Obviously the above changes with your specific MPG, grocery needs, etc but it gives a idea of how much applying discounts can help.

Fuel (diesel)- Discount shown is using the Open Roads /TSD Card (membership is free). This is what we’re currently seeing on our route from Florida to Maine (when we look at the app). Obviously fuel prices will change but we generally save .30 a gallon.

Lodging- this is using the “length of stay “discount. A week without a discount would be 2 or more places within a 7 day period and a month is several places in a 30 day period. Current average for 1 night in an RV Park is $45 (plus tax). Discount would be one night free for a week stay. Assuming 4 nights free for a month (generally what we’ve experienced). This monthly discount rate wouldn’t apply for a 3-6 month commitment, those are *typically* the lowest for monthly rates. We apply the following logic, we don’t stay anywhere without a discount such as length of stay, Good Sam or military. We also try to use HipCamp whenever possible as they’re typically a better experience and price.

A few pics from our current HipCamp in Fort McCoy, FL

For our food comparison we’ll use Walmart and Publix based off this article published in 2019 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/which-us-supermarkets-offer-the-best-value/. The article shows the same basket of groceries cost $147.02 at Publix and $119.44 at Walmart. Since we generally spend around $100 a week for 2 of us, these numbers look good. We’ve saved a lot of money shopping at the discount grocers along our routes. RV Trip Wizard is awesome for finding them.

Entertainment is calculated as 2 paid attractions vs 1 paid and the rest free. We’ll use park entrance fees for paid estimate based on wheat we’re seeing for this (2022) summer. For non paid entertainment check out the local chamber of commerce website for free events. We didn’t take into account dinners out, movies, etc.

Cell is what we pay per month, AT&T unlimited, 2 phones

Wifi- using a Weboost with unlimited data vs adding wifi. We have AT &T unlimited data and a Weboost and haven’t had issues with connectivity. In one place it wasn’t fast enough so I worked at the local library (quiet and really fast wifi). The initial cost for Weboost will run around $520. We also bought one of those handy screen hole things to eliminate having to put any holes in our rig.

Other ways to save:

  • E-bikes for groceries, errands and site seeing (burn calories not fuel)
  • Search coupons for tourist attractions and go during off times/days
  • Hit the happy hours (if you’re planning a night out)
  • Stay on top of RV maintenance to avoid costly repairs (hopefully)
  • Do your best to stay healthy, OTC meds are expensive and having to extend your stay somewhere or visit doctors can really add to the weekly/monthly bill.

Hope this helps add a little help and insight into your summer RV planning. Stay tuned for our interactive RV budget planning tool!

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