7 Tips for Living In A Camper To Save Money

Rilor Staff
Update: July 14, 2022

RV camping can be relaxing and a great way to get away for a few days. Camping trailers are great for camping. They are easy to tow, and also easy to live in. They are self-contained, so you don’t have to bring anything with you except food and clothes. 

They are also great for kids because they can be fun to ride on. These campers are great since they let you visit various destinations throughout multiple states. Whether you want to head to a national park or a dreamy state park, these RVs can take you there. 

But with all the rising costs, especially fuel, things are clearly getting expensive for dedicated RV campers. But still, there are ways you can minimize the incurred costs related to RV camping. 

Tips To Save Money In RV Camping

These are some of the tested-and-proven strategies that can help you cut the cost of RV camping. They are doable and fairly straightforward, so you should be able to implement them in your setup. 

Club Memberships

RVs campers are gathering to become communities. That's practically a reason why you should join RV clubs. However, it is not just the community or camaraderie that you are after here. With club memberships, you will be able to acquire various programs that could help you save money. 

Most RV clubs have roadside assistance benefits. They also provide discounts on various RV parks. They might even provide you with insurance discounts. Keep in mind that RV parks may cost a lot of money, especially if you don't stay in them for too long. Usually, campers would maximize the duration of their stay in these parks because of the discounted rates. If you are a member of an RV club, you are more likely to get additional cuts to the price. 

Club memberships are also helpful in reducing the costs of weekly and daily RV parking. Over time, that should help you save money. Of course, the discount percentage would depend on which park you are in. But the gist here is that you can save money on the parking cost if you are a club member. 

List of RV clubs you should consider joining:
SCAPEES/XSCAPERS
Harvest Hosts
Passport America
Family Motor Coach Association
Good Sam
Coast to Coast

Stay Longer

As I've mentioned, it is recommended that you stay longer in a park. Don't just park and hop the next day. Doing so would cost you a lot of fuel. 

Many full-time RV campers would suggest that you would stay in a campground for at least a week. That's the general rule. The fewer the times you need to move, the lesser your expenditures on gas. 

Staying in a month or an entire season is also a good idea, especially if you have the time to dawdle and relax from the stresses of the urban jungle. But don't ever think that this approach is just for the gas. The longer you stay in a park or campground, the better the deals you get. 

For instance, some sites will offer RV campers up to 50 percent discount if you stay there for at least a month. That's a big deal already, especially if you are trying to save money. 

Maintain Tire Pressure

RV camping is designed for mobility. With these campers and trucks, you can take your entire "home" with you wherever you travel. It is a fun pursuit. On the flip side, it can get costly, especially if we are talking about long-distance or interstate travel. 

Of course, you can't avoid spending on fuel--not with RVs. Fortunately, you still have options on how to mitigate the fuel consumption of your vehicle. Among the things that you need to do is to ensure the tire pressure of your RV is at the correct level. 

Accordingly, cars and trucks usually experience better gas mileage (by up to 3 percent) when their tire pressure is correct. Specifically, the tires should be inflated appropriately every time you travel with your RV. At the same time, it makes the journey safer. So that's practically hitting two birds with one stone. 

Here's a simple guide on how to check the tire pressure of your RVs!

Refilling vs. Exchanging

RVs usually have propane tanks. And when they go empty, there's always this dilemma of whether you should exchange or refill them. My recommendation here isn't based on scientific facts. However, they are backed by the testimonies of various full-time RV campers. So there's still merit in what I'm going to say. 

If your propane tank is empty, it is better that you refill it than opt for an exchange. Usually, newly exchanged tanks aren't full. On the other hand, a refilling station would allow you to fill your tank completely. 

For instance, if you are going to exchange a 20-gallon propane tank, there's a probability that what you get is only a 15- or 17-gallon tank. Hence, it is better that you just refill the tank instead. In this way, you can guarantee that it is full and can last long. 

If possible, you should not go to U-Haul refilling centers. According to some RV campers, they are more expensive than their counterparts. 

Search For A Less Expensive Campground

Needless to say, you always have the choice when it comes to where you want to park or camp. Hence, take the opportunity to scout all your options and see which one offers the best deals and rates for you. 

Surely enough, some campgrounds are cheaper than others. But this doesn't mean that they are the best choice for you. After all, you have to take into account the amenities being offered on those sites. Here, you need to check and balance your requirements so that you can pick a location that would provide the things that are not present in your RV. 

For instance, if your tank is still full, then you are free to avoid those full-hookup campsites. You can then select campgrounds that offer basic utilities, such as electricity, water, and bathrooms. Technically, these ones aren't that expensive. 

Make Your RV Sustainable

Investing in your RV is something that you should consider, especially if you want long-term savings. Most full-time RV campers would say that making your RV suitable for boondocking will help you cut costs on your RV-related utilities. 

Of course, there will always be the upfront costs of upgrading your RV. That's completely natural, though. Eventually, you'll realize that these upgrades will ensure that you can operate your RV with long-term cost efficiency. 

So what are the things that you need to invest in for your RV? One should consider solar panels, ceramic heaters, and catalytic. Even if you are not in a campground, these things will keep your equipment running. They are essential amenities if you want to enjoy the benefits of public lands. Since these areas are usually free of cost, the only thing that you have to worry about is the operation of your essential appliances. 

Here's a detailed guide on solar panel installation on RVs

Food Planning

Eating out is one of the prominent causes of RV-related expenditures. Frequent stop-overs in cafes and restaurants will cost you money over time, even though they appear cheap. 

Buying your own ingredients and cooking your own meals are the two best ways to save money on food. With proper meal planning, you will be able to allocate ingredients properly, mitigate waste, and repurpose leftovers. 

It is also essential that you invest in slow cookers. They come in handy if you don't feel like cooking once you arrive at your campsite. These cookers will prepare your food so that once you are in your area, they are already edible. 

Bottomline

Camping with your RV is a great experience. You have a portable home that you can take in the heart of nature. It provides utter convenience, and you no longer have to invest in gear such as tents, sleeping bags, and other amenities--unless you desire to camp and sleep outside your truck. 

However, always keep in mind that RV camping requires cost and investment. Hence, it is essential that you take all the essential measures possible to keep your journey less of a pocket-breaking pursuit. 

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