Friday, January 28, 2022


Cut your RV lifestyle expenses!

By Bob Difley

It seems the theme of every election is something like cutting the deficit, eliminating waste and becoming more efficient, that soon become the focus of every new government as it takes control. New ideas will be proposed, changes made, and the economy will continue, one way or another, good or bad, depending on your viewpoint.

So for my two cents I thought I would offer the following list of money-saving ideas, tips for reducing costs, and becoming more efficient – just like at the bigger House in D.C. Add yours in the comments section.

• Stay longer at campgrounds or boondocking sites. Check out the weekly rates, sometimes significantly less expensive than the daily rate. You will also reduce your annual mileage driven and fuel used.

• Drive 55. Lower speeds produce more miles per gallon, and you will enjoy the scenery more at lower speeds.

• Avoid jackrabbit starts and quick stops. It’s all about torque and kinetic energy.

• Keep tires properly inflated. It can save up to 3% on fuel mileage.

• Install CFL or LED interior lights. These bulbs not only last much longer but use less energy.

• Boondock more often. Save campground fees and grid electricity usage.

• Install a solar or wind turbine system. Provides renewable free power to enable camping longer off the power grid.

• If traveling and staying only one night in a campground, pay less by choosing a non-hook-up site (sometimes called a tent site) or stay at lower-priced regional or state parks, or at stores that welcome overnighters like Walmart, Cracker Barrel Restaurants, and Kmarts.

• Eat out less. Save on food costs by preparing your own meals in your RV kitchen.

• Reduce food costs by bypassing the middle man. Buy from farmers markets, roadside farm stands, U-pick farms and orchards, and other local food producers and ranchers.

• Reduce cost of food packaging. Buy in bulk from stores that offer this option.

• Eat right and get plenty of exercise (at least 1/2 hour per day) and you might be able to cut down on meds and doctor visits – and you’ll feel better.

• Volunteer or become a camp host, which usually comes with a free campsite.

• Take a caretaking position. Look at The Caretaker Gazette for opportunities to trade out for free rent.

• Shop for quality – but slightly used – outdoor wear at St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, or other charity stores – and you will be helping worthy charitable institutions while at the same time buying quality labels at far below retail prices.

• Start a book exchange at your favorite campground, or encourage the camp host at RV parks to set one up to cut down on the cost of your reading pleasure.

• Some libraries have used magazine exchanges where you can get current or one-month-old magazines for free – you might be able to cancel your current magazine subscriptions and save money having them re-shipped to you on the road.

• Shop Quartzsite for all kinds of bargains offered by RVers cleaning out their lockers, hard-core flea market sellers, and other interesting folk.

You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.

##RVT829 ##RVDT1406


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1 year ago

RV Fuel Club motto is “Make RVing more affordable. Real discounts on diesel fuel at hundreds of truck stops.

1 year ago

My comment is in reference to: “traveling and staying only one night in a campground, pay less by choosing a non-hook-up site or stay at lower-priced regional or state parks, or at stores that welcome overnighters.

I suggest signing up for PASSPORT AMERICA – We use it quite often for “one nighters” as we can STILL GET FULL HOOK-UP SITES, but for HALF PRICE. The yearly cost pays for itself, with one or two night stays!

1 year ago

As Dave G noted, check with your library .. we too here in Oregon can check out MP3 audio books from anywhere there is an internet connection. Akso, ask about free book exchanges at campgrounds and look for them in your walks around beachside and resort communities.

Dave G
4 years ago

We buy bulk and repackage it into user friendly sizes with a vacuum sealer.

My library allows me to check out kindle books for free. Download them for 2 weeks at a time.

Gene Bjerke
4 years ago

We have a Flying-J discount card but rarely us it because diesel at truck stops is more expensive than at the usual service stations. Why?

4 years ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

Federal government fuel tax on over the road trucks.

1 year ago
Reply to  Alvin

The fuel tax applies regardless of where you purchase it. There are actually two taxes on each gallon of fuel, the federal tax, which applies wherever you buy it, and the state tax, which varies from state to state. Some places have tax free fuel for agriculture, but it is dyed red and you dont want to get caught putting that in a road vehicle. If one place charges more for fuel than another, it’s because they can.

1 year ago
Reply to  Dan

And, if they’re high volume users (the stations, not the trucks), they also get a deep discount on the fuel.

1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Bjerke

Flying J is always higher. Check out the RV Fuel Club website for real discounts on diesel …. like 60 cents per gallon at hundreds of truck stops.

4 years ago

Use byways and scenic routes….they usually are wind-protected and have lower speed limits that align with the 55mph-60mph for gas savings …and save a boat load of gas from the (often) much reduced wind sheer. Plus, the scenic routes go through great historical sites/towns. The interstates are great for fast, when required.

4 years ago
Reply to  Terry

PS… I was driving I-29N, getting poor mpg in windy conditions …then the road turned westerly for ~ 5 “… My mpg DOUBLED during that 5″… And I wasn’t fighting the road, which is tiring.

Leo Suarez
4 years ago

Your 55MPH comment may well apply to gas engines, however it does not necessarily apply to diesel pushers. At a recent Camp Freightliner class I attended the instructor actually advised us on best fuel milage for our pushers, In my case I had been driving at 60MPH and he advised me that (for my particular rig) if I went faster, ie between 63-67MPH my fuel mileage would improve. I found it hard to believe until I tried it and was pleasantly surprised to see that he was right.

Eric Ramey
4 years ago

Plan the maintenance on your vehicle! As much as we pay for our RV’s they should maintain themselves.

1-Maintain your vehicle to the best of your ability. Utilize You Tube videos and manufacturers manuals to help.

2-Search around for service specials. For example some repair shops may have a special going on ?? service if you bring your vehicle in on Tuesday.

Eric Ramey
4 years ago

Search for EVERY discount program available.

Sign up for EVERY discount program that you know that you will use.

For example: Pilot/Flying J/Camping World fuel discounts, senior or retired military discounts on center days at certain grocery stores, coffee rewards at local convenience stores.