It might seem impossible to afford to RV. With increasing RV park fees, high gas prices, and expensive repairs you might wonder if RVing is even worth it.
Luckily there are some easy ways to save money on camping. If you travel full-time or even seasonally, the trick is traveling slowly. Here’s why.
Weekly RV Park Stays Save Money on Camping
Usually, if you stay at an RV park for at least a week, you’ll basically get the 7th night free. Doing this for four weeks out of the month could save you anywhere between $120-$200 a month on RV park costs.
Honestly, staying somewhere for less than a week is more hassle than it is worth as a full-timer. With all the work to set up and tear down camp, you’ll be exhausted after a short time. So not only do weekly stays reduce the cost of RVing, but they also make it more relaxing and enjoyable.
Monthly RV Park Stays
Why stop at weekly stays. You can bring the cost of RVing down even further by staying for a month. Instead of getting a few days free, you’ll drastically slash your campground fees by staying for a month.
My husband, Joel, and I have had monthly rates at RV parks cost as little as $395 in Port Orford, Oregon to as high as $1,300 in Vacaville, California. The monthly cost (like the nightly rate) will vary depending on where in the country you travel. But by staying somewhere for an entire month, we cut our RVing costs by as much as 40-50%.
An added benefit of long-term stays is that you have so much more time to really explore. When you stay somewhere for a week, you miss out on a lot. But monthly stays are a whole different ballgame. You can do all the things!
A two-month stay is what let us see the entire Oregon Coast. (One of the best vacations one could ever have. Seriously check it out!)
Membership Programs The Help Reduce Campground Costs
Another way to lower your monthly and yearly RVing costs is through membership programs. These programs can save you anywhere from 10%-50% a night at their member campgrounds.
Not all campgrounds will be in membership. But RV membership programs have low fees and usually pay for themselves after just one week. They are an easy way to save money on camping. The most popular programs are Good Sam , Passport America , Escapees RV Club, and Thousand Trails.
If you’re a full-time or seasonal RVer, you can also reduce the cost of RVing by workamping. You can use workamping to reduce or eliminate campground costs. All it requires is an agreed-upon amount of work at the RV park each week. In exchange, you might be able to camp for as little as $0 a month.
If RV costs still seem too high, why not camp for free? What’s that you say? Free camping? Yes, free camping! Boondocking is a great way to save money on camping. The only catch is that you usually won’t have hookups. This means you’ll need to outfit your RV for off-grid living.
You can boondock on most public land for free. Or you can buy a low-cost membership to Harvest Hosts or Boondockers Welcome for even more options. Some of the free sites on these memberships even have hookups! Boondocking is by far the best way to affordably RV.
- What tips do you have for making camping in your RV more affordable?