8 Easy Ways to Cut Your RV Travel Costs
Saving money is a common new year’s resolution. But in order to make sure you actually follow through with your promise to yourself, you’ve got to get more specific.
How are you going to save money?
What luxuries are you going to rid of, or what corners are you going to cut to end up with a thicker wallet at the end of 2018?
There are countless ways to save money. From trying your hand at making your own white chocolate mocha instead of splurging on Starbucks everyday, to ridding of cable TV and going all-in with Netflix, there are options galore.
As an RV traveler, you know that costs involved with this luxury can get expensive.
However, instead of having to cut out of your life one of the things you enjoy most, there are a number of easy ways that you can lower your RV travel costs. This way, you can still enjoy your travels, and possibly enjoy them even more than ever knowing that you’re saving some serious dollars!
How To Save Money in Your RV Travels
1. Travel during the off-season
While few things feel greater than going out on the open road in your RV with the warm summer sun shining, your feelings of bliss can quickly get smashed when you hit bumper-to-bumper traffic, or an over-packed campsite.
Camping during the spring and summer certainly has its perks — warmer weather, more accessible sites, more outdoor activities — that’s just the beginning.
However, RV camping during the fall and winter is something we are sure you’ll love, especially with the money it’s going to save you.
Here are just some of the reasons camping during the off-season is so great:
- Excuse to have cozy time around the campfire with big sweaters
- Opportunity to indulge in your favorite comfort foods, cooked around the fire
- Chance to experience different activities outdoors including apple picking, skiing, snowshoeing and more
- Forget about the nuisance of bugs
- Ability to take in stunning views and photos that not everyone else has already seen
- Avoid congestion with smaller crowds and fewer people
- Enjoy lower prices
You’ll find your savings during this time extend to time saved on the road, lack of AC costs, finding joy in simple activities such as bundling up and reading your book, and so much more. To find a campground that’s open all year, click here.
2. Discount RV Camping
Discount RV camping memberships or loyalty programs can take your RVing to the next level with the opportunity to save on every trip. Because we love camping (and know you do too), and believe that all RV travelers should be able to spend more time doing what they love, we created the KOA Rewards program.
This premium KOA offering give you access to discounts on a number of camping-related things. And for an annual cost of just $33, you can save thousands of dollars.
As a KOA Rewards camper, here are some of the deals you’ll have access to:
- 10% off daily registration rate every KOA across North America
- Reward point earning that can be used on future KOA stays
- Free night of camping during KOA Rewards Appreciation Weekend
- Exclusive offers and discounts from KOA partners
This merely skims the surface of the savings you’ll experience as a part of KOA Rewards. Avoid expensive RV resort memberships and invest in a flexible rewards program that works for you, learn more here.
3. Shop around for fuel
While it seems that going out of your way to save a few extra pennies per gallon of gas seems absurd, truth be told, RVs are notorious gas guzzlers.
Even the most advanced of these vehicles eats gas like a kid eats candy.
Plus, many RV gas tanks can hold up to 150 gallons of fuel, so when you’re talking about a few pennies per gallon in a 150-gallon tank, you are talking some serious money.
So what’s the best way to find the cheapest gas?
Use the GasBuddy app. GasBuddy allows you to look up gas prices by city or zip code, and tracks the most affordable fuel in your surrounding area.
4. Spend more time cooking
Whether you’re dining at five-star restaurants or going through the drive-thru, the costs of eating out while traveling in your RV will add up.
Not to mention the fact you’ve got a great kitchen right there, waiting for you.
You can save money on groceries, and chances are you’ll have leftovers to enjoy for tomorrow’s lunch.
If you’ve got a slow cooker, bring that along with you. This little pot is the definition of convenience and budget-friendly meals.
The added bonus to this one is that cooking in your RV allows you to stay on better track with your health, as you’re able to pick and choose every ingredient that goes into your belly.
Check out the hundreds of recipes on the KOA blog to find some tasty ones to give a try on your next trip!
5. Learn how to DIY
While heavy-duty RV maintenance should be left to the professionals, there’s no reason that you can’t handle the small issues on your own.
Invest a bit of time in studying your RV and basic maintenance, and some money in a set of inexpensive tools.
Here are some tips on how to learn basic RV maintenance:
- Explore YouTube. There’s a reason this platform is so popular and no, it’s not just for the next Justin Bieber to make his appearance. YouTube is full of instructional videos that will be a massive help in teaching you how to perform basic maintenance on your RV.
- Visit manufacturer’s website. Almost everyone these days has a website, so surely, the product in your RV that needs maintenance can be found online. Heading to that website is a great way to ask questions and get input on how to handle problems.
- Join online forums. Forums are where subjects of all types are discussed, and information of all sorts is shared. Since RV travel is so popular, there are countless people who want to share their knowledge and ask their questions to fellow RVers. You can find all those things on RV forums. Simply Google “RV forums,” and you will be on your way to a whole new world.
6. Plan ahead of time
While spontaneity is one of the best perks of traveling via an RV, it can end up costing a lot of extra money.
Going back and forth between places, and making a last-minute decision to head to a destination far away will require coughing up some more cash.
You can avoid this, and still have a lot of fun, by planning your RV travels ahead of time.
There are a few ways things you’ll want to include in your planning:
- Spend more time at each campsite — moving from place to place increases costs
- Take day trips in your towed car (if you’re bringing one) — leaving the RV parked when possible is a great way to save
- Avoid routes that include lots of hills — longer and flatter can oftentimes be cheaper with the giant load you’re pulling
Plus, planning helps build anticipation for your trip, so you’ll have reason to look forward to it even more.
7. Bring a GPS
With modern technology, you likely won’t need an extra gadget — most smartphones have GPS built into them.
Just be sure that you use it.
If you go with your gut on a route to your destination, you may end up getting lost and, as a result, spending extra money to get back on track.
Also, GPS systems typically help to find the shortest route, so you’ll be saving gas money with this technology as well.
8. Make Money Renting Your RV
Did you know you can actually make money from your RV when you’re not out on the road? Outdoorsy allows RV owners of all types to create extra income by renting their rig directly to users.
Sound intriguing? Here are a few details:
- Feel safe with Outdoorsy’s one million-dollar insurance policy
- 24/7 roadside assistance and customer support
- Tireless vetting of renters, which includes a full DMV background check
- Convenient and secure payout methods
Safe, easy and the ability to make extra income? Sign us up!
Saving money this year without having to cut down on your RV travels isn’t so hard, is it?
In fact, implementing the above easy tricks will give you some extra cash that you may just find yourself spending on a bonus RV vacation later in the year.
To plan that trip you’ve worked so hard to earn, head on over to Find a KOA to discover where your next camping adventure will take you!
Leslie, a.k.a. Copy Girl, is a copywriter who gets butterflies from telling stories through words.
Her voice comes from a place filled with passion, dreams, and lots of sugar. “Cake over steak” is her go-to motto.
With over 10 years of experience in crafting words, and years of embarking on travels that have taken this Montana girl to some incredible places, Leslie love the adventures of both body and mind her writing takes her on.
Everywhere she goes, she takes this advice with her:
“Hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown.” – Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
To see what Leslie’s up to in the writing world, visit her website here.