There are many reasons to hit the road full-time. Most do it for the adventure. Some go full-time to give minimalism a try. Meanwhile, there are a few out there who decide to move into an RV in order to save money.
Many may say it isn’t possible to travel full-time and save money, but I know from experience that with careful planning, it is 100% possible. Not only that, it is quite possibly the most fun way to live on a budget!
So what’s the trick to it? Well, there are several tricks to RVing full-time on a budget. Below are my top tips for saving money while RVing full-time.
Camp For Less
My first and most important tip is to find ways to save on camping costs. This is actually easier than you might think.
First, be sure to invest in at least one camping membership or pass. We have and can definitely recommend Thousand Trails, Passport America, and Boondockers Welcome. However, there are several others out there that might be a better fit for you, so do your research.
Another way to save on camping is by taking advantage of free boondocking locations and even full-blown campgrounds all over the country. I like to find these on freecampsites.net.
More information on saving money on camping fees can be found here.
If you need to save money on gas, GasBuddy is your friend. This tool is available in app form, making it super easy to check gas prices in whatever area you find yourself in. This way you can head to the gas station with the cheapest gas every single time, something that could save you quite a bit over time.
Look Into TSD Logistics
For those who drive diesel trucks or RVs, there is also the option of TSD Logistics. This super cool program saves members money on diesel fuel at certain truck stops all over the country. It’s a pretty significant savings, and though we don’t own any diesel vehicles ourselves, we feel comfortable recommending it based on the fact that many friends of ours use the service and love it.
Cut Back on Propane Usage
Honestly, propane isn’t too terribly expensive. That said, if you use it to run your furnace all the time, you’re going to blow through it pretty quick.
Cut back on propane usage by opting to use electric appliances such as electric space heaters, electric cooking appliances, and (if you have it) the electric side of your water heater. whenever possible.
This is especially good advice if the park you’re in includes electricity in your camping fees.
Buy Reciprocal Memberships
Traveling without seeing any of the sights is no fun. At the same time, sightseeing can get pricey pretty quickly. You can, of course, look for free attractions and discount days, but these options will only get you so far. This is where reciprocal memberships come into play.
At any given time, our family has at least 2 or 3 reciprocal memberships. These give us admission to national parks, museums, zoos, aquariums, theme parks, and other attractions. To learn more about reciprocal memberships, check out this post.
There is also food to consider. Clearly, you are going to need to buy food no matter where you live. That said, when you’re traveling often and out sightseeing on a regular basis, it can be really tempting to eat out—a habit that can be incredibly expensive.
To avoid this problem, you have to plan ahead. Pack sandwiches for lunch, and start a soup in the slow cooker so that dinner is ready as soon as you get home. If you have other options for food, you are much less likely to indulge in food from a restaurant.
Purchase Roadside Assistance
My final tip is to make sure you purchase good RV-specific roadside assistance before taking your first trip. Coach-Net is my absolute favorite option for this. We’ve used the service a number of times, and every single time we do it saves us a boatload of money, making our Coach-Net membership an excellent investment that easily pays for itself.
Have a money-saving tip you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!
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About the author: Chelsea Gonzales
Chelsea has the amazing opportunity to take part in full-time RV living and traveling with her tiny tribe. She homeschools her five-year-old son as they travel, and takes full advantage of their unique situation by using the entire world as her son’s classroom. A group of total Disney fanatics, Chelsea and her family often find themselves in the Orlando area in order to visit the Disney parks, but they have also visited over 25 of the 50 states with plans to see many more along the way. No matter where her travels take her, Chelsea enjoys riding bikes, gazing at beautiful sunsets, finding new coffee shops, Irish dancing, and sitting around a campfire with her family.
You can join her adventures through her blog, Wonder Wherever We Wander.
Grimshaw Y. ~ “Coach-Net has always shown exceptional service in all levels of customer service. We have received the utmost service from the call person who works over the telephone to the gentleman who comes to give us roadside assistance. They keep us well informed and certainly ease our stress when our vehicle/RV is in need of repairs. I am always praising your company!”