Most of us live within the constraints of a budget. Making those budget dollars stretch as far as they can go means you may need to be creative. You’d be surprised at the money you will find that you never knew was lost! Here are a few thrifty road trip tips to help you find some of your “lost” money.
Before You Go
- Check tire pressure regularly; improperly inflated tires means more money for fuel.
- Do preventive maintenance on your vehicle. This saves you money in the long run.
- Check the weight on your loaded RV. Keeping the rig to the recommended weight will save on both maintenance costs and fuel.
- Buy your groceries and supplies at a regular store in your town and use coupons whenever possible. Purchasing items at a camp store or convenience store is crazy expensive. You pay a premium for convenience.
On the Road Again
- Whenever possible, take advantage of free overnight parking, offered by Wal-Mart, Sam’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kmart, and some Flying J Truck Stops. It’s also a good idea to know the state towing laws to avoid tickets or towing.
- Gas prices are always a factor, so find places that won’t hurt your pocketbook. Apps, like GasBuddy, can help you locate cheap gas prices.
- Find inexpensive or free RV campsites along the way.
- Supplement your RVing by finding a hobby that pays. You could make and sell crafts or take extra photographs and sell them. You could use your love of fishing to become a fishing guide. You could teach someone your hobby skills, either individually or in an adult education class. The possibilities are endless
- Remember to be kind to your RV engine by idling it the proper amount of time at your starts and stops, but never idle for excessive amounts of time. Besides polluting the air and wasting your fuel, this will cause your valves, pistons and injector to build up with carbon…which will hurt your pocketbook in the long run. Check your owner’s manual for recommendations related to your model.
At the Campsite
- Consider cooking over campfire instead of propane; it’s easy with grilling baskets, skewers and other tools.
- State parks, KOA sites and private campgrounds such as Thousand Trails typically offer free activities for the kiddos traveling with you.
- If you’ll be parked for a long stretch, you may want to check and see if there is an option to become a member of the campground and pay a flat fee for water, electricity, cable, etc.
It’s easy to save money when you have a few extra tools in your bag of tricks. Now you can expand your horizon and stretch your hard-earned dollar along the way. Enjoy!