RVing on a Budget

You may want to go camping, but think you don’t have the money for it — but that is not necessarily true. You can go RVing on a budget if you know what to look for. First, you have to find a spot with reasonable rates. Not all parks charge $30 and up and not all camping spots are in parks.

One of the things you should do, even if you are on a budget, is to stop by Leisure Time RV to service your RV if you haven’t done that this season.

Finding a Reasonable Camping Spot

If the spot you want to camp at is more than a day’s travel, you can stop at many different stores to dry camp – just make sure you fill the water tank before you leave home unless you know of a place where you can fill it on your arrival. Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam’s, Cracker Barrel, various truck stops and other places will let you stay overnight in parking lots unless the town has an ordinance against it. You should always check with a manager, first.

If you want to camp in a park, you can get a site with limited utilities – electric and water only – instead of paying for full utilities. You might even ask if the park has primitive sites that are large enough for your RV. Rates at primitive sites and sites with fewer utilities are almost always cheaper.

Furthermore, you can “boondock.” This means you dry camp at a place with no hookups. This could be on private land that you or a friend owns, or even in some state or national parks.


If you plan your meals ahead of time, you can pack groceries for up to a week, even if you have a smaller fridge and freezer. Take food out of store packaging and use freezer bags with zippers to save space in the freezer. Fill a cooler with ice for drinks – and you can put frozen meat for the first two or three days of meals in there – it will stay cold and might even be frozen on the first and second day. Pulling groceries from your own freezer or garden helps with the cost of food.


If you would rather not spend the days at the campsite, look around the area for free events. Often, a town will have free events or if you prefer hiking, look for parks that do not charge admission for the day. You can swim, fish, hike and do tons of other things to keep yourselves busy at national and state parks.

Before you head out, stop by Leisure Time RV to have your RV serviced or to pick up any accessories you might need, especially those to help with food storage.

Image by Serolynne via Flickr Creative Commons

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