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10 Money Saving Tips for RV Camping

Save Money Enjoying RV Camping

By Wendy Dawn

You’ve invested in an RV, now get out and enjoy it. Use the following money saving tips for RV camping to make your RV trip more affordable and more enjoyable.

Save money by checking tire pressure before setting out on your RV camping trip. In the midst of high gas prices of 2008 everyone was encouraged to check tire pressure. Riding on improperly inflated tires can cost more money in gas. Checking tire pressure became a bit of a joke, but the truth is that tire pressure matters. You can waste a lot of gas driving on improperly inflated tires. Save money by taking a few minutes before your trip, and throughout your trip, by stopping to check tire pressure.

Save money by taking advantage of free offers for overnight RV parking when you are traveling.If you have been RV driving for any time, you know that you can’t just pull over anywhere and park for free overnight when you are traveling. You may end up with a ticket, a locked boot, or towed. A handful of businesses recognize the value of RV customers. Some offer free overnight parking while you are in transit to your getaway location. Walmart, Sam’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Kmart allow free overnight RV parking. Check with local store managers to be sure there are not local ordinances prohibiting overnight RV parking. Many Cracker Barrels have extended parking spaces for RV’s, but it is up to the store manager whether overnight parking is allowed. When you go inside for dinner it is a good time to check the store manager’s policy. When they see that you are a customer and know that you are likely to get a good breakfast in the morning, as well, they may be more inclined to let you park. Some Flying J Truck Stops will allow you to park, but may direct you to a specific part of the lot, so be sure to ask. Other retail centers with large parking areas, like Target, may also allow you to park for free, but always ask to avoid unpleasant consequences.

Save money by buying groceries and supplies at a mainstream grocer or retailer before you reach your destination.Regardless of where you are going, camp stores and retailers associated with a vacation location are going to be more expensive. Once you have set up your RV camping site you will spend too much money on even the most basic supplies if you buy them from a camp store or convenience store. Spend a little time in a grocery store or Walmart to stock up on everything you need before you park. The only other option is to tow a car so that you can reach nearby towns for reasonable prices.

Save money RV camping by knowing state towing laws.How can knowing state towing laws save you money? It will help you avoid getting a ticket. Some states have outdated laws that have not kept up with RV development and the towing of vehicles, motorcycles, and boats. Don’t waste money on tickets. Do your research before hit the road.

Find inexpensive RV camping at state and federal parks.Save money with inexpensive RV camping at state and federally maintained parks. Fees are inexpensive and amenities are generally well cared for including clean showers, restrooms, and waste dumps for RV campers.

Cook over a campfire instead of using propane to save money.Set up at a campsite where you can cook over an open flame, rather than using your expensive propane stove or grill in the RV. It’s easy to cook over a fire, especially with camping equipment like grilling baskets, grilling tongs, kebab skewers, and extended hotdog forks. Gathering firewood will not only save money by saving propane, it will also keep the RV from getting hot when you cook. A slow cooker or Dutch oven can also be plugged in outside to electrical hookups.

RV Camping Money Saving Tip: Spare the air conditioner, but not the cool breezeDon’t sit outside your RV and sweat, and don’t sit inside running the motor to keep the AC on. You aren’t traveling to stay trapped inside your RV. Being outside, with the AC off inside, will give your battery and converter a break.Scout out an RV campsite without a spot with nearby shade. The shade doesn’t have to be right outside your RV door, but within your campsite. Set up your chairs in the shade and plug an oscillating fan into the campsite’s electrical hookup. Don’t forget to throw a couple of extra extension cords in the RV when you pack to go camping. You should also carry a three prong adapter.


State Parks and KOA campgrounds can save you money by offering free activities for children at the campsite.When traveling with children you have to keep in mind how you will keep them entertained. Plan ahead. Check out state parks, which offer inexpensive RV camping, to find campsites that offer free miniature golf, pools, and other activities. KOA RV camping sites often have an activity room with a pool table or other games to help keep the children occupied. You’ll save a bundle of money by having access to free activities. Don’t forget to enjoy other activities like hiking, biking, and swimming in local swimming holes or beaches.

Save money RV camping by traveling out of season.If you are free to travel whenever you like, take advantage of off-seasons at the beach, in the mountains, or other tourist spots. You will save on gas and likely find off-season rates at RV campsites. Very often seasonal rates are built around the traditional school year. This gives you lots of options, when the weather is still ideal for travel, for RV camping at discount prices.

Money saving tip to keep your RV clean.There are all kinds of special products on the market for cleaning your RV. While it is true that you have to be cautious using harsh chemicals on rubber roofed RV’s, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on special solvents to keep your RV clean and shiny. Regular dish washing detergent is an inexpensive A+ cleaner for RV’s. Dish soap will wash away dirt and grime from the sides and top of the RV. Use a slightly more concentrated mixture of dish washing detergent to clean the front windshield and grill. A little elbow grease will remove bug splats and even tar spots.

Sources:Free Overnight RV Parking