Tips to Help Make RV Travel Cheap and Affordable
We love to travel in our Recreational Vehicle as much as we possibly can. Even though traveling by RV is a great way to save money, especially with a family, the expenses can however, add up very quickly.
If you are like our family, living on a tight budget, there are ways to help reduce the cost of travel particularly when on your way to your chosen camping destination. Here are few tips and things we do to help reduce some of those travel costs the next time you set out in your camper. Below is an example of what we did on our recent journey down south into the United States from Canada.
A Look at Some Cheap RV Travel Tips and Tricks
The two major costs associated with RV travel are of course Fuel and Campgrounds. Let’s have a look at fuel costs and the best way to save money.
We travel in a 25 ft. Class C Motor home and when loaded, I am lucky to average 14 miles per gallon. For those of you with larger and much heavier rigs, your miles per gallon and cost of fuel can be significantly higher. The best way to save money is to make sure your unit is serviced prior to departure and your tires are properly inflated.
Under inflated tires can reduce your miles per gallon rating and cause more serious problems such as blow outs on the road.
As well, if you are not already using the website GasBuddy, then you should right away! This is an excellent travel website where you can check the latest prices of gasoline at stations all throughout North America! On average by checking gas prices here, we save at least 10 cents per gallon on average during our trip. The site updates constantly with viewers submitting the price at the pump in their area. Detailed information and maps will direct you to the station offering the lowest prices at that time.
Free and Low Cost RV Camping
Within the last few years, we have started staying at Casino Resort Hotels as well as some friendly shopping centers for overnight stays while en-route to our chosen destination. A great way to save money which definitely helps offset the cost of travel on the way to your intended final destination.
As well, many major Casino Resorts have onsite RV Parks attached and offer excellent overnight rates for full hook-up sites. A little added incentive to entice travelers to perhaps enjoy a little gambling, as well as food and drink in their resort. We now have our favorites and always look forward to their Vegas style buffets when stopping over.
On our recent trip home from the NASCAR Races in Phoenix this fall, we decided to head home by way of the California and Oregon Coast this time, to avoid the Interstate Highway traffic. Were we shocked to find out the cost of a stay in California’s State Parks! $35us funds for a dry campsite! Hellooo California, it’s no wonder people are looking for alternative camping when traveling such as Wal-Mart lots, shopping centers and such!
Oregon State Parks are by far superior to most found in the Nation! The Parks are beautiful, well maintained and affordable for family camping. As well, most of their parks include water and electricity at all sites and are open year round! Way to go Oregon! J
There are many camping resource sites on the internet and I always use a few camping forums to gather a huge amount of helpful tips from where to stay, what to see and best way to travel to a specific destination.
As a Good Sam Club member, they have an excellent forum to ask questions to other members pretty much about anything to do with RVing. A great resource for campers!
Below is a quick example of our recent trip leaving from British Columbia Canada making our way South at a leisurely pace to our final destination the Phoenix International Raceway!
Day 1 Home to Tulalip Washington
We started on our way in the late evening as usual, to avoid lineups at the Canada/USA Border. Our first stop is the Tulalip Resort Casino Hotel located in Tulalip Washington just a 2 hour drive south of the border. A beautiful resort that offers free overnight parking for self -contained RV’s in a designated area behind the hotel. Here you can enjoy all the amenities the Casino Resort has to offer should you choose.
Camping Fee Day 1 – Free
Day 2 Tulalip Washington to Eugene Oregon
As a result of suggestions received on the forums, we decided to make our way to the Valley River Center Mall in Eugene, Oregon. A relatively easy but noisy drive down the Interstate 5 Highway for about 325 miles for the day. There were two reasons for choosing this destination. First, the shopping center offered free overnight camping in a designated area complete with 24 hour security patrols on site and the second reason that of wanting to do some shopping the next morning in Oregon, as they have no sales tax!
A perfect overnight stay with a lovely walkway along the river directly behind our RV! Security staff were very friendly and checked you in upon arrival.
Camping Fee Day 2 – Free
Day 3 Eugene Oregon to Klamath Falls
Our chosen destination for the next leg of the trip was the Kla-Mo-Ya Casino located approximately 22 miles north of Klamath Falls, Oregon. A simple overnight stop at a small Casino located directly off the highway. This was a relatively small Casino compared to all the others, with service station and store on location, but with a huge parking lot for overnight parking for your self-contained unit. During our stay, the Casino restaurant offered a 97cent breakfast special for the month of October!
Camping Fee Day 3 – Free
Day 4 Klamath Falls to Reno Nevada
Moving right along the next morning, we were headed for Nevada’s Biggest Little City … Reno! This was another easy drive of about 254 miles or about 5 hours to get there. After searching the internet we discovered the Grand Sierra Resort Casino Hotel that offered a very affordable full hook-up campground located on site. To make things even better, the campground was offering a wonderful discount at the time of our stay.
Because of this amazing deal and the wonderful facilities, we opted for a 2 night stay to enjoy the area and relax. The resort allows registered campers to use their outdoor pool facilities as well as the fitness room in the hotel. Be sure to check out my Grand Sierra Resort Hotel Review for more detailed information and pictures of our stay.
Camping Fee Day 4 & 5 – $44
Day 6 Reno Nevada to Las Vegas Nevada
On our way to visit family and attend the NHRA Drag Races in Las Vegas! This year we chose to make our way via Las Vegas as other family members were holidaying here at the same time, as well as to attend the races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
As in recent years, we always choose Sam’s Town Casino Hotel and RV Park, located away from the busy Las Vegas Strip and because of conveniences the resort has to offer. This year, the park was taken over by KOA (Kampgrounds of America), so we’ll see if the rates still stay as affordable as in years past.
The Hotel offers a free shuttle bus service to the Strip and to Freemont Street which is a wonderful addition and perhaps the main reason for staying at this excellent facility.
The park offers full hook ups but with no Wi-Fi access which was disappointing compared to most other full facility RV parks these days! Be sure to check out my pictures and videos of our day at the NHRA Toyota Nationals Drag Racing Event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway!
Camping Fee Day 6 thru 9 – 4 nights stay $100
Two Free Days in Laughlin Nevada
Laughlin Nevada Skyline
Having lots of time, we decided to make our way to Laughlin, Nevada just 100 miles to the south of Las Vegas. Here we enjoyed 2 free nights of Casino Camping at two different resorts located in the area.
The first night was out of town just to the south called the AVI Casino Resort Hotel. A beautiful property located on the Colorado River complete with Movie Theaters and more. There was an open lot for self- contained RV’s where we even enjoyed complimentary Wi-Fi in our motor home. There is also a KOA full facility campground on the property at a very reasonable cost compared to other parks in the area. A great stay!
The next night we opted to head into town for a look and enjoyed parking at the Riverside Resort Casino Hotel where you can register and park your RV in a designated parking lot complete with a river view.
Camping Fee Day 10 & 11 – Free
Phoenix International Raceway
From here, it was on to our final destination in Arizona, the Phoenix International Raceway! This is about a 215 mile drive or about 4 hours in length. Here we enjoyed the weekend of racing at the race track having a reserved designated camping space for 7 days total if one wishes. Our stay included 5 nights.
From here, we made our way west to the coast with overnight stays at a County Park on the beach for self-contained units only alongside the road for $28 and a California State Park as mentioned earlier for $35! Our final night was at a beautiful Oregon State Park on the coast for just $24 including water, power and free shower facilities! Be sure to return and check out our pictures and videos of the Oregon Coast and Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon State in upcoming posts.
So as you can see, with a little planning, you can make travel in your RV more affordable with a little planning before departure and making use of some of the excellent resources available on the internet.
Have you got a few tips to help make RV Travel less expensive that you would like to share?
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