Are you taking a RV road trip? Do you want to keep costs down? Us too! We are hitting the road in one week on our longest RV road trip to date . We have been brainstorming on ways to save money on this trip and hope some of our strategies help you as well.

Food Costs

One of our biggest expenses is food! We love eating out, supporting local bistros (which sometimes means expensive), drinking coffee, trying out new craft beers, and frequenting local wineries…all food budget busters! So, to limit some of these costs, we are planning on limiting our food stops on our travels to and from locations. We are embarking on a road trip from Georgia to Colorado…so that’s quite a bit of meals – 20 hours driving. We plan on using a soft-sided cooler that can easily fit inside our truck. We can fill it up with ice (cheap) or resuable ice (cheap in the long run) and then add waters, snacks, sandwiches, and anything else we can think of. We want to avoid picking up foods at restaurants along the route. This can really save us a lot of money. If we eat out each meal we can spend $60 or more a day!! We also have a compact coffee maker that takes up very little room in our RV (read about the coffee maker here)…we will be using it a lot on our trip to save money.

RV Road Trip - Cost Saving Strategies
Chateau Meichtry Winery

Fuel Economy

We have a diesel truck and try to fill up at truck stops. When we are somewhere for long periods of time we can easily¬†find cheaper fuel, but not when we are on the road. We plan on using to help us save on fuel, but we’ll need to weigh the price and the distance just to get to a cheaper gas station. So our biggest thing, is to just keep an eye on the speedometer and our MPGs. We tend to get 10 MPG (truck + RV) and always strive to find ways to increase that. When possible we try to take the routes with fewer stops and go and try to keep elevation changes to a minimum. Otherwise, we just go with it.

RV Road Trip Planning - Our Money Saving Strategy
Truck Stop = Convenience & Fuel

RV Camping Fees

Another big expense are camping fees. We plan on reducing our costs by boondocking (dry or wild camping – no hookups) for about about 7 days – this can save us upwards of $280. We have routed our trip, found free campsites along the way, and reached out to friends with long driveways. Between the free sites and friends, we will be able to save a lot of money. Sure it isn’t as convenient, but definitely worth the money savings…besides…if we are just overnighting, we will not make use of most of the campground amenities – like the laundry room, common spaces, etc…we will already have water on-board, restroom facilities…and that’s all we really need to overnight. Our major concern is electricity… our RV doesn’t¬†have solar panels or a generator, so no electric hookup, no ability to charge our laptops, tablets, or phones. We are planning to charge these things in the truck while we drive and when we boondock with friends. It’s not for everyone, but we are budget traveling and counting every penny.

RV Road Trip Planning - Our Money Saving Strategy
Nicest boondocking locations to date

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RV Road Trip! Here are great ways to save money.

Want to know more? Check out our video below. As always, thank you so much for reading and let us know if you have any other RV money saving tips!

I’m a blogging, YouTubing, RVing, roadschooling mama of two who is married to the fantastic Robert (the other half of Exploring the Local Life).

Jessica – who has written posts on Exploring the Local Life.

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2 thoughts on “RV Road Trip Money Saving Strategy

  1. On the ice – don’t forget you can freeze water bottles! They keep cooler items cold and then as they melt you’ll have ice cold water. Definitely a trick we use while tailgating!

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