RV Trip Planning & Money Saving Tips

Use the RV Adventure Budgeting tool below to be sure your planning withing your budget. This tool will allow you to create a budget with or without a trip, print,export to excel and share.

RV Adventure Budgeting Tool


Discount Programs

FUEL

  • Open Roads/TSD, free to join, this is what we use and save about .30 a gallon at participating stations
  • Good Sam, costs $29 year, will save about 10% on fuel at participating stations
  • FMCA , cost $85 year, you should save around .30 gallon at participating stations
  • Escapees , cost $50 year save an average of .12 on gas & .29 in diesel at participating stations
  • Mudflap free to use, claim you can save up to .50 a gallon at participating stations

CAMPING

  • Good Sam cost $29 year, 10% off at participating CG’s. We made our money back in a week.
  • Passport America costs $44 year, can save 50% off at participating CG’s
  • KOA , costs $33 year, save 10% at KOA’s. Not sure that it’s worth it as KOA’s seem to be the most expensive (in our travels so far).
  • Happy Camper , costs $40 year, 50% off at participating CG’s
  • Escapees costs $50, save 10% to 50% at participating CG’s
  • FMCA costs $85 partners with Passport America, 50% at participating CG’s
  • Thousand Trails cost varies on location pick your “zone” and pay one flat rate.
  • TOGORV costs $30 year, will get Harvest Host discount and list of 100’s of free parking spaces.
  • One of the best discounts is the week or month long discount, the most expensive camping you can do is weekend and/or less than 7 days.

Grocery

**Check back for the top grocery discount programs**

Planning & Tips

Location, time of year, duration of stay and type of site all impact your cost.

RV Trip Wizard, HipCamp and Harvest Host all contribute to saving money.

(Commissions may be earned from links in this post, at NO cost to you (?))

RV Trip Wizard

With the ability to view your route in it’s entirety, you’re better able to see costs. Use this tool to create your route and tweak it to fit in as many CG’s as possible that offer long stay (week/month) discounts. Also a great resource for finding the best RV route/roads, point of interests, gas stations, etc

HipCamp

Kind of obvious but if you want to set up in Florida , Arizona or any warm place for the winter, plan on spending top dollar. We did however find a solution, HipCamp. Land owners tend to use HipCamp as a source of additional income so we’ve found that they don’t hike up the prices like typical RV parks. It’s also a better, non crowded experience.

Harvest Host

We plan pretty far in advance to accommodate our 4 dog family and 45′ RV. With Harvest Host, we can leave a place we’re currently at and have paid for to spend a day somewhere else without losing any money. It’s also a great way to detour on the way to a destination without adding cost to your trip.

Plan Ahead

Avoid the Crowds

Take the Detour



Lifestyle

How you live your RV’ing life can have a direct impact on your wallet.

Budget

Create a reasonable budget and stick with it. Here’s a general list of what to include:

  • Fuel
  • Lodging
  • Groceries (food, tp, cleaning supplies, etc)
  • Connectivity (phones, internet, TV etc)
  • Maintenance (all vehicles and RV)
  • Entertainment
  • Insurance (health, vehicle, RV)
  • Savings (very important to build a buffer)

Health

Stay healthy. Nothing will derail your plans and cost you more money than getting sick. Over the counter medicine, driving to doctors and/or being forced to stay somewhere unplanned can all get very expensive. The best way to stay healthy is to not treat RV life like a vacation. Use your entertainment budget for excursions rather than restaurants where food is over oiled, over salted and oversized. Create an exercise routine, (we have an exercise program on our new *free* app) and make it a priority.

Excursions

There are many ways to enjoy a location. Some cost nothing at all while others can consume your entire entertainment budget. Pick one paid excursion for each location and research events in the chamber of commerce websites for other things to do. There’s almost always free events to attend, great hikes and multiple other ways to enjoy a destination. We site-see by e-bike as much as possible. Doing this allows us to burn calories rather than fuel.

Thoughtful Spending

Exercise

Burn Calories, Not Fuel