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How to Cut Full-time RV Expenses by 63%

Can you believe it? When Barry and I first hit the road as full-time RVers, we had no idea how quickly the expenses would add up. It seemed like every time we turned around, we were shelling out money for camping fees, fuel, groceries, and more. But we refused to let our budget put a damper on our adventure. So, we put our heads together and started brainstorming ways to save in an RV without sacrificing our fun or our comfort. And boy, did we come up with some game-changers!

Get this: by implementing just a few simple strategies, we managed to slash our RV living costs 63%. Yes, you read that right – 63%! We’re talking thousands of dollars saved each year, all while still living our best lives on the road. And the best part? We’re ready to spill all our secrets with you. So, if you’re ready to take control of your RV budget and start saving big, keep reading. Trust us, your wallet (and your sense of adventure) will thank you!

 

Slash Your Camping Fees by 75%: How to Find Affordable Alternatives to Expensive RV Parks

When we first started our full-time RV journey, we quickly realized that camping fees were consuming a significant portion of our budget. Staying at expensive RV parks and resorts was costing us an average of $1,600 per month, which simply wasn’t sustainable for our lifestyle. We knew we had to find more affordable alternatives.

RV Lost Dutchman State ParkOur first step was to explore camping options like state parks, national parks, and Corps of Engineers campgrounds. By making this switch, we were able to reduce our camping fees to an average of $10-$30 per night, effectively cutting our monthly camping budget down to around $400-500. These alternative camping locations often provide beautiful, spacious sites at a fraction of the cost of private RV parks.

To further reduce our camping expenses, we decided to embrace boondocking as our primary camping method. Boondocking, also known as dry camping or dispersed camping, involves camping without hookups on public lands, such as Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas or national forests. By investing in solar power and learning to conserve our resources, we were able to enjoy extended stays in stunning, remote locations without the need for expensive campground fees.

The impact of boondocking on our budget was truly remarkable. We went from spending $1,600 per month on camping fees to just $200 or less by primarily boondocking. This 87.5% reduction in camping expenses allowed us to allocate more funds towards other aspects of our RV life, such as experiences, upgrades, and savings.

To make boondocking work for us, we did have to make some initial investments, such as installing a robust solar setup and upgrading our batteries. However, these investments quickly paid for themselves through the savings we achieved by avoiding expensive campgrounds. Plus, the immense freedom and breathtaking views we enjoyed while boondocking made the experience all the more rewarding.

For RVers looking to significantly reduce their camping expenses, we highly recommend exploring affordable alternatives like state parks, national parks, and Corps of Engineers campgrounds. And if you’re ready to take your savings to the next level, consider embracing boondocking as your primary camping method. With the right preparation and mindset, you can slash your camping fees by 75% or more, all while immersing yourself in the beauty of the great outdoors.

Maximize Your Savings with Credit Card Rewards: A Savvy RVer’s Hack

One of the smartest financial moves we made as full-time RVers was to maximize our credit card rewards. By strategically using credit cards for our everyday expenses, such as gas, groceries, and camping fees, we were able to accumulate significant cashback rewards. In 2023, we earned a total of $1,817 in cashback across our three main credit cards.

The key to making this strategy work is to pay off your credit card balances in full each month to avoid interest charges. We use a combination of cards, like the Discover card and the Costco Citi card, which offer rotating categories with higher cashback percentages. By staying organized and utilizing the right card for each purchase, we’ve turned our everyday spending into a valuable source of savings.

Fuel Savings Strategies for RVers: Cut Costs at the Pump and Keep Your Adventures Rolling

Fuel is one of the most significant expenses for RVers, especially those with larger rigs or who travel frequently. To save money on fuel, we rely on a combination of tools and strategies. One of the most valuable resources for diesel RV owners is the TSD Open Roads card, which provides significant discounts at truck stops nationwide. In 2023, we saved an average of $0.15 to $0.89 per gallon, totaling $189 in savings for the year.

However, it’s important to note that the TSD Open Roads card requires users to provide their Social Security number and bank account information. For some RVers, this may be a concern or a barrier to signing up for the program.

That’s where the Techno RV Fuel Saver card comes in. This newer fuel savings program offers similar discounts at a wide range of truck stops and gas stations, but without the need to provide sensitive personal information. The Techno RV Fuel Saver card functions more like a traditional credit card, making it an attractive option for RVers who value their privacy and security.

In our experience, having both the TSD Open Roads card and the Techno RV Fuel Saver card has been beneficial. By using these cards at different locations, we’ve been able to maximize our fuel savings and take advantage of the widest possible network of participating stations. This has been especially helpful when traveling through areas where one card may have limited coverage.

Another helpful tool for saving on fuel is the GasBuddy app. This app allows you to compare gas prices at nearby stations and find the best deals. It’s a great resource for both gasoline and diesel fuel, and it can help you save money even when you’re not using a fuel discount card.

In addition to using discount cards and apps, we also recommend implementing fuel-efficient driving techniques. These include:

  • Maintaining a steady speed and using cruise control when possible
  • Avoiding rapid acceleration and braking
  • Keeping your tires properly inflated to improve fuel economy
  • Planning your route to minimize backtracking and unnecessary miles
  • Reducing your vehicle’s weight by decluttering and avoiding overloading

By combining these strategies and tools, we’ve been able to keep our fuel costs under control while still enjoying the freedom and flexibility of the RV lifestyle. Whether you choose to use the TSD Open Roads card, the Techno RV Fuel Saver card, or a combination of both, taking a proactive approach to fuel savings can help you cut costs at the pump and keep your adventures rolling.

Trim Your Food Budget Without Sacrificing Flavor: RV Grocery Shopping and Dining Tips

Food is an area where many RVers struggle to control costs, especially when it comes to dining out. To keep our food expenses in check, we’ve implemented a few key strategies:

  • Plan your meals in advance and stick to a grocery list to avoid impulse purchases
  • Shop at local farmers’ markets or discount grocery stores to find fresh, affordable produce
  • Use grocery store apps to take advantage of digital coupons and loyalty programs
  • Cook meals in your RV kitchen instead of relying on restaurants or pre-packaged foods
  • When dining out, look for happy hour specials or split entrees to save money

By following these tips, we were able to reduce our monthly grocery and dining budget from $1,500 to around $800-$1,000 per month. While it takes a bit of extra effort to plan and prepare meals in your RV kitchen, the savings are well worth it – and you might just discover a new favorite recipe along the way!

Save Big on RV Tank Treatments: A Simple, Low-Cost Solution for Maintaining Your Holding Tanks

Maintaining your RV’s holding tanks is crucial for a pleasant and odor-free camping experience. However, many commercial tank treatment products can be expensive, with some costing upwards of $1 per treatment. To save money on tank treatments, we learned a simple, low-cost solution from the Kleen Tank Guys: using a combination of Calgon bath beads and Pine-Sol or Fabuloso.

By mixing 8 ounces of Calgon and 40 ounces of Pine-Sol or Fabuloso in a gallon jug and adding water, we create a highly effective tank treatment solution for just $0.26 to $0.55 per treatment – a savings of 79.2% compared to commercial products. This DIY solution has kept our tanks clean and odor-free, without breaking the bank.

Discover Free and Low-Cost Entertainment Options on the Road: Enrich Your RV Life Without Breaking the Bank

One of the joys of RV life is the opportunity to explore new places and engage in exciting activities. However, entertainment expenses can quickly add up, especially if you’re constantly booking tours or excursions. To save money on entertainment, we’ve learned to seek out free and low-cost options that allow us to experience the beauty and adventure of the great outdoors.

Some of our favorite free or low-cost activities include:

  • Hiking and biking on scenic trails
  • Visiting national and state parks with our annual pass
  • Exploring local communities and attending free festivals or events
  • Enjoying hobbies like fishing, photography, or birdwatching
  • Participating in free ranger-led programs or nature walks
  • Museum free days

 

By embracing these activities and finding joy in the simple things, we’ve been able to significantly reduce our entertainment expenses without sacrificing the richness of our RV life experience. In fact, some of our most cherished memories have come from these low-key, budget-friendly adventures.

Now, Get To Saving!

Phew, that was a whirlwind of money-saving tips, wasn’t it? But can you believe how much of a difference these strategies have made in our RV life? By getting creative with our camping choices, fuel savings, and entertainment options, Barry and I have managed to cut our monthly expenses by a jaw-dropping 63%. And the best part? We didn’t have to give up a single ounce of fun or adventure along the way.

In fact, I think these money-saving techniques have actually made our RV journey even more fulfilling. By embracing a more minimalist mindset and seeking out the simple joys of nature, we’ve found a deeper connection to the world around us and to each other. And isn’t that what the RV lifestyle is all about?

So, if you’re ready to start saving big on your own RV adventure, don’t hesitate to put these tips into action. Trust me, it might take a little bit of effort and creativity at first, but the payoff is so worth it. And who knows? You might just discover a whole new way of living and traveling that you never knew was possible.

As always, Barry and I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. If you have any other genius ways to save in an RV, be sure to share them in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, don’t forget to give it a like and share it with your fellow RV enthusiasts. We’re all in this together, after all!

Well, that’s it from us for now. Until next time, happy trails, and remember – life’s too short to let your budget hold you back. So get out there, start saving, and never stop living Like There’s No Tomorrow.

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