Rving for next to nothing.

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by marstrings, Apr 20, 2008.

  1. marstrings

    marstrings New Member

    PLEASE POST TIPS HERE FOR RVing FOR NEXT TO NOTHING!

    We've barely made it into our third week with our motorhome and realise we are not going to make this trip to the US and Canada last six months, let alone a year at our current spending rate.

    Our 1997 Born Free 24RB is currently doing about 10mpg. I admit that we've done a lot of travelling in just a couple of weeks (Iowa to Colorado to Utah and back to Colorado). We need to reign ourselves in on the mileage (big time!), but the other major cost at the moment is campsites. We're averaging about $28 per night.

    So can anyone offer tips on:

    a) how to improve fuel consumption.
    b) how to camp for very little or even for nothing.
    c) any other way to save money?

    Martin and Strings.
     
  2. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Just a thought. Stay at one campground that is reasonable and then use your toad to do all your sight seeing from that central location. Guess you do have a toad. From a central location you can drive about a hundred miles or maybe a little more and then still have time to drive back for the night. You can then go that distance East, West, North, South and all middle directions.
    Just a thought.
     
  3. rjann

    rjann New Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    1. Stay in national forest campgrounds for about $8 a night. Many of these have a sanitary dump.
    2. Spend some nights free in national forest sites which aren't campgrounds but which set along national forest roads and probably don't have a picnic table or a grill.
    3. Once in a while, in the middle of a long trip, stay the night in a Wal-Mart or Cracker Barrel for free.
    4. Never eat fast food. Never. Go to a grocery store and buy what you need to eat and spread it on the bread yourself... or cook it.
    5. Slow down for better mileage. Stay off the Interstates.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Bob
     
  4. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Bob, we eat off of the value menu at most fast food drive thru's. We eat lunch for under $4.00 for the 2 of us just about everyday. We can't make lunches much cheaper. We are high protein types so we buy double cheeseburgers/chicken sandwiches and throw the bun away

    Hey marstrings, I understand your problem, it is costing us a fortune to get back out west. $365 in diesel to travel 877 miles so far. Campgrounds prices have gone up big time in the last 2 years. We are in a campground right now that we stayed in 10 years ago for $17/night and it is now $33/night.

    Try to stay each place for a week and get a weekly rate. It is usually pay for 6 nights and get the 7th night free. Do you have a passport membership? If not you may save some $$ with a membership. As Bob posted, out west you can park cheap on BLM, Forest Service, Nat'l Park and other Federal lands.

    Good luck reducing your costs. We will all need some luck this year to survive our RV lifestyles.
     
  5. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Stay longer in sites. Told the wife last night we are going to drive from one state to another, hoping to use one tank of fuel to do it than stay for two weeks to a month and site see using the truck for all we can see in and around that area reaching out no more than a 4 hour drive by truck to site see. Figure my cost at 280 for tank of fuel on rv, 400 a month for camp site and 300 dollars for siteseeing and traveling around area. We shall see come next January cuz thats when I plan to implement this plan.
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Campsite fees are helped a grate deal by joining Passport America which is good for 1/2 price sites. You won't be staying in the highest demand campgounds but the older ones that tend to be a bit farther from the main roads but they are always at least adequate and at times very nice.

    You may want to consider spending a month in one location where you can volunteer at a state or county park to be the campground host. That can get you some really nice places to stay and with a few hours per week of service, you get full hook-ups for free.

    Drive slowly and do not make sudden stops or starts. Doing such wastes great amounts of fuel.
     
  7. rjann

    rjann New Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    DL

    LOL You just eat the fat and throw away the carbs. To each his own. I'd rather have hummus on a carrot. And for $4, I can eat a lot of hummus and carrots and throw in a club soda. But you're probably thin and in great shape, and I'm overweight. Life ain't fair.

    BOb
     
  8. DARLING

    DARLING New Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Hey DL

    Our McDonalds is running a promo for Big Macs.
    Buy one regular price & get the 2nd one for a penny till April 30, 2008.
    Don't know if it nationwide or just Fla.

    Darlin :cool:
     
  9. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Hey Darlin :cool:, thanks I'll check it out. Been eating high fat, high protein for 10 years and my triglycerides have never been lower. My cholesterol count came down. We eat eggs and sausage every morning. mmm good. When you buy low fat products they just take out the fat and replace it with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. BAD stuff. :laugh:
     
  10. DARLING

    DARLING New Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    McDonald's had a grand opening promo for the first 100 in line on the day the store opened you got a punch card for 1 free Big Mac or Egg McMuffin per week for the whole year but only at the one store.

    Well Honey being a high protein man & knowing that I love Big Macs got up at 2am to get in line. He was #13. By 5am the line was all the way round the block & down the street. The cops showed up for traffic control. The employees had a hard time getting in the store to open. When they opened Honey ordered 2 big breakfasts & 2 of the new breakfast burritos to try.

    Well when he got to the window, with CC in hand, They told him the he was LUCKY #13 & the entire meal was FREE.

    So every Sunday afternoon we ride(motorcycle) over to get MY free Big Mac & whatever he want.

    He was offered $100 for "his" punch card but he said it was not his to sell but mine & I'm not selling.

    Darlin :cool:
     
  11. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Wow!
     
  12. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    double wow, wish I had that kind of luck :dead:
     
  13. marstrings

    marstrings New Member

    RE: Rving for next to nothing.

    I've signed up to Passport America, which really makes a difference. Full hook-ups for around $16 per night is more like it.

    I phoned for information about the public campgrounds around the Cache La Poudre area in northern Colorado and was quoted $22 per night, rather than $8 - which seems like a big difference.

    We tend to be as light-footed as possible when driving and tend to stick to around 55-60mph on interstates. I don't think we can save much more with our driving style, although I'm not at all sure that the tyres are correctly inflated. Are gas station air pressure guages considered to be pretty accurate? I've got the tyres inflated to the correct pressures according to the air-pump guage, but they look soft to me. Any tips?

    As for food - we're not big fast food fans and are trying to eat healthily most of the time, but we do often have Ramen noodles for a light lunch. The packets are 16c each! That allows us to go for something more healthy as an evening meal.

    Thanks for the tips folks. We'll be using Wal-Marts from time to time I'm sure. One thing we're finding is that a lot of Americans are very kind - several people have said to us on first meeting, "Come and stay with us for a few days" and then getting in touch with their friends and family in the direction that we're traveling so we get to stay with them too! That helps the budget a bit also :)

    Cheers,
    Martin and Strings.
     
  14. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Good luck to ya Martin. I had PA for three years and felt it was not worth the money. Dropped my membership like a hot potatoe. I have found many places I can get into anytime for a good price and never sweat the small stuff.
     
  15. marstrings

    marstrings New Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Well the price looks good to me. Is it that you could never find a PA campground when you needed one or that they were always booked up? Or just that there are so many cheap alternatives?

    M.

    "She still dreams of separating shoals with a dagger and a tan,
    but like a pearl, the oyster is her world"
    'Middle England Cross' from 'Love and Other Vices' by Stryngs
     
  16. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Well first off most were way off the beaten path of normal travel so took time and gas to go to them. Second over half the parks are total dumps. Third could not get into a lot of them cuz they were full and one had to call six month in advance for reservations. Lastly I have found that if one were to pay for a month or even a week or two at a park one can get prices that are cheaper. Yes in traveling that is not the best but if you full time and have time and say pay for a month at a park and stay two weeks or more the prices are great. Last twelve months of paying for parks cost me 2655. Thats 7 dollars a night average.
     
  17. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Hey Lee, we use the PA parks when traveling to an from an area. They work great if you don't go out of your way and you just happen to find one where you plan to stay overnight. Most of them have limitation times so we don't bother with them on long term stays. I've found that a lot of Good Sam Parks are also PA membership parks. I usually get my money back within a month of purchasing the membership. After that it's gravy, if you can use it you save.
     
  18. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Hey DL in six month of the year the wife and I traveled while we had PA it was rare to find a PA park near major highways and also near the parks we went to visit. We broke even one year on the cost to use. During that same three years we had good SAM and we had koa. Seemed to have used good SAM and koa a lot more often. We just drive 7 to 8 hours a day when we were traveling and site seeing and stopped at the first RV park we came to. We did try to plan on using pa and koa when we were making them travels. 9 out of 10 times one could not find a pa or koa anywhere close. We could have drove out of our way and found them but not worth the extra traveling. And than of all the pa sites I have seen in my travels I have only seen two that I would recommend to anyone. The rest were OK or dumps. Than on top of that with the 50%, now add the extra for having a pet, than extra for 50 amp, than extra for pulling a toad one paid regular price for camping with no discount and with most of those campsites costing more than others on average where does one make his money back. I stayed at a dumpy pa by chance in Albuquerque in Feb they put us way up in the back of this park in mud and the price there with other discounts was 50 dollars. The regular price had to be 65 a night. Half that and thats 35 that is the average along most areas I am familiar with.
     
  19. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    Lee, I hear you. We only use PA IF it looks decent (not dumps) and if it's on our travel path. We do look ahead to see what's available. We usually travel about 200 miles/day, so the night before we check the road ahead with TrailerLife and PA Campground Directories. We usually look for Cable TV and wifi so that rules out 80% of the RV Parks. Then we check the ones we think we like with the RVparkreviews.com, that usually rules out another 10% of the parks. If everything looks good and we don't at the last minute go a different direction we usually find a decent RV park. Sometimes it turns out to be a PA. We bought a 3 year membership last year and it's paid for itself already.

    My biggest complaint with them is the nickle and dime approach they use in trying to charge for every extra amenity. When they list the extra charges in the restrictions part of the PA Directory for the particular campground, we just rule it out and go elsewhere. Besides my wife likes to go through looking the parks up on the RVparkreviews after she finds them in the Campground Directories. Keeps her busy/happy. Who am I to complain.

    Bottom Line: We use PA when convenient. We are planning on using a PA park in Idaho for a couple of days and It just happens to be a Good Sam park and it is advertised at 50% of the Good Sam cost.
     
  20. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Rving for next to nothing.

    We try to drive 8 hours a day which can be 400 plus miles. I never plan a campground until lunch, cuz I never know where I might end up for the night or how far I might travel should I decide to stop and do some site seeing enroute. We really dont want to have to plan on any place or like making reservations have to be someplace at a certain time or a certain place.
     

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