The other day, a member of the Cool RV Stuff Facebook group made a joke. He said, “Our loan was just approved! Pretty soon, we’ll be able to afford to fill our entire gas tank.” Unfortunately, this is not far from the truth. If you’re like most RVers, the high gas prices have got you feeling down.
After shelling out several hundred dollars over the last couple of days on our latest trip, I have to say I agree. Fortunately, there are some gas-saving memberships for RVers that can help you stretch your money a little further this camping season.
Escapees Discount Program for RVers
An Escapees RV Club membership by itself provides plenty of perks. You can get mail forwarding services, discounts on products, access to member-only events, and more. But for an additional fee of $4 per month or $40 per year, you can also join their fuel discount program. The Escapees fuel program is a newer benefit for members but is already accepted at over 5,000 participating gas stations.
On average, the Escapees program can save 10-50 cents per gallon on diesel and 5-15 cents per gallon on regular unleaded gas. You’ll typically save the amount of your membership after just one fill up each month.
The program includes an app that shows locations and expected discounts, but check their websites for more details and program terms
Get Upside App
Another gas saving membership for RVers (and non-RVers) is the Get Upside App. I just used this app today to save around $16 on my gas fill-up. With Get Upside you can save at many participating gas stations. It isn’t RV specific, so unfortunately some of the participating gas stations are inaccessible to larger RVs. It is worth adding to your arsenal and checking on, though, especially since it is free to use.
When you make a purchase, you earn cashback through the app. I have seen anywhere from 3 cents per gallon cashback to 27 cents per gallon cashback. Sometimes they also have bonus deals, like the extra $7 on unleaded fuel I got today. Get Upside offers cashback on both regular and diesel fuel. It is important to note that you have to “claim” and offer before filling up. Then, you must upload your receipt to the app and wait a few days for the cashback to post to your account.
Use this referral link to get an extra 15 cents off per gallon on your first fill-up!
Family Motor Coach Association Diesel Gas Saving Membership for RVers
The Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) offers many benefits to RVers as well, including roadside assistance, discounts on tires, and access to an unlimited data hotspot from T Mobile for an additional fee.
One additional benefit worth noting is the TCS Fuel Discount Card. This gas saving membership for RVers card allows members to pre-load and use it at many participating gas stations. Unfortunately for those of us with gas RVs, the discount only applies to diesel fuel. However, diesel users can score an average discount of 34 cents per gallon (ranging from 5 to 70 cents off per gallon).
Open Roads Gas Saving Membership for RVers
Open Roads is a fuel discount program run by the trucking company TSD Logistics that is completely free to use. It currently provides discounts only on diesel fuel but, according to its website, they are looking to add savings for gas users in 2022, so stay tuned.
The Open Roads program receives 10% of the total gas savings you get, which is why the program has no upfront costs. Even with Open Roads taking some savings, users on average save 30-40 cents per gallon. When you drive a large vehicle like an RV, this can easily add up to hundreds of dollars in savings at no cost to you.
It is important to note that you need to fill up at the commercial trucking lanes at participating gas stations. Since getting in and out of the regular part of the gas station in an RV can be tricky, this shouldn’t be a problem, anyway.
Because they originally designed the program for commercial truckers, many large travel centers and truck stops, like Loves, Pilot Flying J, and Travel Centers of America, participate.
Gas Buddy offers several ways to save on gas. The first is using the app to search for the cheapest gas in the area or along your route. Sometimes RVers will miss out on the cheapest option since we can’t easily get into and out of every gas station.
When I use Gas Buddy, I search for the lowest prices. After finding them, I head over to Google Maps to use the satellite view and check out the parking lot. If it looks like we can make it in and out, then we go for it. If not, I keep searching for the lowest price station we can get into. On our most recent trip, doing this helped us find a gas station that was 30 cents cheaper than everywhere around. When you have a 50 to 75-gallon tank, those savings can really add up.
Gas Buddy also has a free gas discount card that works at almost every gas station in the country. You can load money onto the card and then use it to fill up at the pump. Using the free card can save you up to 25 cents on gas. The major downside for RVers and our enormous tanks is that Gas Buddy caps you at getting the discount on up to $75 in a single day and $300 in a week. So if you’re doing a long haul, you may not save at every stop.
Local Gas Station or Grocery Store Fuel Savings Perks
Many local gas stations also have membership cards that let you save at least a little on each gallon. Another option to look into is grocery stores with gas stations. At many such grocery stores, you can earn fuel points based on how much you spend in store.
You can often add points together over the course of the month to save a pretty good chunk of change. At the grocery store we used to frequent before we became full-timers, we could even get bonus points for using reusable bags. Using our reusable bags alone would usually save us about 10 cents per gallon on top of the grocery points we earned.
This is most helpful for nationwide grocery stores if you are a cross-country trecker. If you travel more locally, you might just get in the habit of filling up at the local gas station that lets you earn grocery store points at the start or end of each trip.
Final Tips to Save on Gas
Other ways to save on gas include driving more slowly, traveling more slowly, and unsurprisingly, staying closer to home. You’ll also be better off traveling in certain areas of the country. (Sorry everyone who lives in California!) Even if you aren’t taking cross-country road trips all summer long, though, you can still enjoy the good life that RVing offers.