9 Tips For an Affordable RV Trip

RV season is in full swing, but many feel a tight squeeze due to current economic difficulties. With rising costs, including gas prices, many RVers have tempered their travels.

The truth is, RV trips don't have to break the bank. We are here to help you get back on the road, even in these challenging times. Let's look at nine tips for taking an affordable RV trip so you can get back outdoors.

Cut Out Unnecessary Costs

Before you even hit the road, look at your RV and travel budget. Where can you cut corners to save a few bucks? For example, you may not need that extra insurance coverage or satellite TV package. If you're not using it, why pay for it?

You can find free or cheap overnight spots using apps like Campendium or Allstays. You can also save by cutting back on the number of nights you stay in paid RV parks.

Start by looking at what costs you can cut before you even leave. This will help free up some cash for other aspects of your trip.

Look for Free Camping Options

One great way to save money on your RV trip is to find free camping options along the way. National, state, and local parks offer primitive camping for a meager fee or sometimes even free. You can also try boondocking on public land.

Dry camping, or boondocking, is camping without hookups. This means you are not connected to water, sewer, or electrical services. This can be a great way to save money while RVing, eliminating the need for these conveniences. You will need to be more self-sufficient while dry camping, as you will need to bring your own water and food and generate your own power.

This option takes some research and planning, but it can be a great way to reduce travel expenses.

Way's Elite brand has many solutions for off-grid power. Solar panels and backup generators help build a trusted boondocking power system that will power not only your necessities like lights but even your 12-volt fridge while unplugged.

Check out our boondocking FAQ for more information

Plan Longer Trips

If you can swing it, take longer trips. The daily costs of RVing go down considerably when you are on the road for a more extended period. This is because many of your fixed expenses, like your RV payment and insurance, stay the same regardless of how long you travel, so you'll get your money's worth.

Of course, this isn't always possible, but if you have the time, try to plan a more extended trip. Not only will it be more affordable, but you'll also get to see more of the country.

Another reason to lengthen your trip? Cheaper stays. If you aren't ready to try boondocking, it can be easier on your wallet to stay longer at the campground. Weekly and monthly rates are much lower than daily rates and can save you upwards of $100 a week to book weekly and closer to $1000 if you book for a month at some campsites, according to the RV blog: Free As Wheel Ever Be

Find Ways to Earn Money While RVing

If you want to make your RV travels more affordable, look for ways to earn money on the road. There are many opportunities to make some extra cash while RVing. 

Use odd job apps like Swagbucks or Fiverr to find some quick money making, whether that be manual labor or freelancing. You can work as a campground host or get paid for your skills no matter where your adventures take you. You can also start a blog or YouTube channel about your travels to generate income. Many RVers have turned into content creators to fund their travels.

Of course, you'll need an internet connection to make money while RVing. There are many ways to do this, including using a mobile hotspot or RV park WiFi.

Another potential stream of income is using your home property as an Airbnb or some other type of rental while out on the road. Even a week of renting your space can earn big dividends, so any amount of time out on the road can provide income. 

Earning a little extra money can go a long way in making your RV trip more affordable. It can also help you travel for a more extended period.

Plan Your Route Carefully

When planning your RV trip, take some time to map out your route. Look for places where you can save on gas. For example, gas along the interstate and toll roads tends to be substantially more expensive than in other areas. Maybe there is a scenic byway that will add some adventure to your trip without adding extra miles (and, therefore, extra cost).

Planning your route carefully can help you avoid those costly areas and stick to your budget.

Another tip about your route? Avoid tourist traps. As you get closer to touristy areas, the price of everything from food to fuel will increase. Staying off the beaten path is a sure way to keep costs of necessities low.

Fill Up Your Tank in Cheaper Areas

If you are traveling through an area with expensive gas, try to fill up before you get there. This may mean making a slightly longer drive to get to your destination,  but it will be worth it when you see the difference in price at the pump.

You can also look for gas stations that offer discounts. For example, many truck stops provide substantial discounts to RVers who are members of their loyalty programs. Or check out cheap gas apps, like Gasbuddy, to seek the best deals around you. 

With the rise in gas prices, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify RV trips, so getting as much fuel for your buck is essential when out on the road.

Cook Your Food

Another way to save money on an RV trip is to cook your food. Restaurants can be expensive, especially when you are traveling with a family.

Cooking your meals will not only save you money, but it will also give you more control over what you are eating. You can avoid processed foods and unhealthy restaurant choices by cooking for yourself.

It doesn't have to be complicated either. Many easy recipes can be made in an RV kitchen. And of course, don't forget the campfire classics like s'mores and hot dogs.

Way's appliances, including 12-volt fridges from Everchill and ranges, cooktops, and portable griddles from Greystone, help keep RVer's food fresh and cooked to perfection even off the grid.

Take Advantage of Free Activities

When you are RVing, there are many opportunities to find free activities. Visiting state and national parks is a great way to explore new areas without spending much money.

Many campgrounds offer free activities like movie nights, hayrides, and concerts. And of course, there is always hiking, biking, and swimming that you can do for free.

Do some research before your trip to find out what free activities are available in the areas you will be visiting. This can help you plan an affordable, fun, and exciting RV trip.

Stay More Local

One way to make your RV trip more affordable is to stay more localized. Staying local doesn't mean you have to stay in one place the whole time, but consider staying within a few hours of your home or even touring many locations in your home state.

Many camping benefits are enjoyed whether you're across the country or even across town from where you live. Beautiful outdoor sites, hiking trails, and a sky full of stars can be enjoyed anywhere. 

Great campgrounds and RV parks are all around you, many within a short driving distance that will limit gas and other resources. The best part? When your trip is over, you will be home in no time without the lag of extended travel.

Final Thoughts

RVing is a great way to see the country and spend time with family and friends. However, with the rising costs of gas and other expenses, it can be more challenging to afford than ever.

There are ways to make RVing more affordable, though. By planning your route carefully, filling up your tank in cheaper areas, cooking your food, taking advantage of free activities, money-making on the road, and staying more local, you can have a great RV trip without breaking the bank.

Way is here to help you take your home on the road. Check out our high-quality and affordable RV appliances, electronics, and power solutions so you can make the most of your time outdoors. Happy travels!