I am about to embark on a new adventure with my husband. We are both retired and have purchased an RV. I don't know how many RVers are on this site but does anyone have any advice for frugal RVing? Or RV tips in general? Thank You, I love the site.
Verna from Orange County.
You'll save lots of money if you cook most of your own meals and avoid eating out. We usually eat breakfast and supper at our campsite and occasionally eat lunch out if we run across a special restuarant. We also find it's cheaper to camp at the national park campsites, parking lots of large stores (Walmart, etc), public land pull offs. It's nice to have a variety of spots to camp. Also, get out the map and plot where all your friends and family live. You can stop by for a visit but not be a nuisance as you're self-contained and can fix your own meals. People will be glad to see you as you'll be a botherfree guest. As gas is so high, try to stay put a few nights or more in each spot. Stop at the Chamber of Commerce right away to find out about area sites. We use public transportation or our bikes whenever possible to avoid gas expenses.
Check into cell phones to keep in touch. Have a wonderful time!
We are 55 and have been RVing for about 26 years. We've never owned a motor home, always trailers. Our best advice is to attend the week-long session of classes put on by Gaylord Maxwell's "Life on Wheels" conference. Check out http://www.lifeonwheels.com" rel="nofollow" target="new">http://www.lifeonwheels.com for more info. and helpful articles.
Two more really good sources of information would be to log on to any of a number of RVing forums through Yahoo! Groups. Lastly, go to your public library and check out all the books you can on camping. That's how we learned everything at the beginning. We attended the Life on Wheels conference after we'd been RVing for over 20 years, and still learned lots.
Other than that, yes, please make use of the cheaper parks, like state parks, join Good Sam Club for 10% discount at their parks, subscribe to "Motorhome" magazine for wonderful ideas, and shop around for best prices on camping stuff like Bi-Mart, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, GI Joes. You will find a huge difference in prices over the stuff in the stores owned by the RV repair places!
Buy cheap toilet paper rather than pay for the expensive RV stuff. Cook all your meals in the RV; don't eat out. You can make dishes ahead and keep in your RV's refrigerator freezer. Ask for senior discounts everywhere. If members of AAA, see if any campgrounds give discounts. Look at a "Trailer Life Campground Directory" at your local library to compare camping fees. It may seem overwhelming at first, but soon you will learn all the tricks.
Plan, plan, plan. Enjoy your new lifestyle!! We do.
I don't RV full time but plan to, but one thing i have that i love is a credit card from Capitol One called Octane. i hope it's still available to get because it gives you 10% off of gasoline purchases (probably covers diesel too, but i never checked into that, i believe it's for "fuel") anyway. with the amount you will spend on fuel, 10% is huge.. check into it!! can't hurt to ask. it does have a $59 annual fee, but with gas prices now, i could make that up in normal driving without including my travel. good luck!! i can't wait till i get to RV full time too!!!! blessings to you!
The state parks are the cheapest, and in my opinion the nicest even though they might not have any hook-ups. This should not be an issue with a motorhome.
If you like outdoor barbequeing, get one of those portable gas grills (about $20) we use ours all the time, even for breakfast using a griddle. We NEVER eat out.
With the internet now available, it should be really easy to plan where you will be going and finding plenty of points of interest in between to visit with nearby campgrounds.
We bought an old pop-up in the 70's to take the kids to Disney World (who, by the way, has a beautiful campground) and did so every year until the mid 80's. That was our first family vacation and we are still camping with the grandkids today.
You will love it!!!
We have always found it cheaper to purchase staples like toilet paper and canned goods for our trip before we leave home. It is more expensive to purchase them at the campground stores or even in grocery stores in tourist cities. Also, if you purchase them at home you can buy ahead and get the items on sale.
Don't fill your water tanks full before you leave home. Most campgrounds have a filling station and always dump your sewage before you leave a campground. You will save a lot in mileage by not carrying the extra weight.
Wasn't sure if you were going full-time rv'ing or lots of trips, but I will mention a few things. Thinking about all the mistakes and things we have learned, makes me smile. First of all, do get a book about rv'ing. Also know that campers are the friendliest people in the world and will be happy to give you advice. Got a problem, ask your neighbor. We have laughed that if you put up the hood of your vehicle, there will be 5 people there to help you with your problem. Love that. Other thing-Army Corp campgrounds are inexpensive and numerous. Lastly, Golden Age/Golden access card. If you are 62 or disabled you can get this card and get in half price at Army Corp and some other places. Full-time rv'ing is the smartest thing we ever did. Good Luck and Enjoy!
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