Friday, June 2, 2023


Inflation is soaring…still! How to stretch your camping dollars

As inflation is still impacting all of us, knowing how to stretch your camping dollars can come in handy. Summer RV trip planning may begin to look a little different.

Gas prices, grocery prices, and campground costs are cutting into our travel plans again this year. I can’t even hit the multiply miles by miles-per-gallon button on my calculator.

As inflation soars, how can we stretch those camping dollars and still have a great time? Here are a few suggestions.

Stretch your camping dollars

  • Camp close to home.
  • Plan your route with the shortest distance from point A to point B rather than meandering.
  • Use your tow vehicle instead of your RV when possible.
  • Keep tires properly inflated to increase gas mileage. More on saving on gas here.
  • Find free tours. Try Free Tours by Foot and other self-guided tours.
  • Try Groupon for deep discounts at local attractions.
  • Remember to ask for any available discounts, not just senior ones.
  • Stay in one place longer and take advantage of weekly or monthly camping rates.
  • Alternate between boondocking and campgrounds with hookups.
  • Going for a day trip? Pack a lunch rather than eat out. Sharing a sandwich at the top of a mountain can be much more rewarding than a drive-through.
  • Prepare meals in the RV and eat in. Make enough for leftovers the next day.
  • Work camp and volunteer in exchange for a campsite.
  • Need camping equipment? Don’t buy new! Check out Goodwill and Salvation Army stores.
  • Check out low-cost camping memberships like Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome.
  • Reduce propane use. Use an electric slow cooker or instant pot when electricity is included. A portable electric heater can also save on propane costs.

We would love to hear your ideas, too. Please leave a comment and tell us how you plan to save money during your upcoming RV travels.


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


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Neal Davis
2 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions, Nanci! Thanks, Emily, for adding the author bio at the end of the article. It might be nice to add pictures of commentors, too, if the bandwidth of your web host, your contract with them allows. 🙂

Tom H.
2 months ago

We use a couple fuel savings tools; Open Roads and Get Upside. Between the two we often finds savings of $.05 a gallon to almost $1.00.

2 months ago
Reply to  Tom H.

Ditto on Open Roads for Diesel fuel. While writing this the difference between ‘on the economy’ and OR was 50 cents/gal savings. That can be significant when filling even a portion of our 90 gal tank; that more than pays for our FMCA membership.

2 months ago

Excellent list, and as Seann commented, slow down! I tow my 5th wheel at 53-58 mph and the difference in fuel mileage vs 65-75 is about a 20% savings, not to mention RV tires are generally rated for 65 mph max!
When electricity is included in cooler climates we use the heater function on our fireplace which is perfect! The warm air rises to the bedroom and we are super comfortable! We do have a thick comforter when required.
We do not buy bottled water for cost and environmental concerns. Our countertop Brita is perfect as we already filter our water coming into the RV with a 1 micron filter. Double filtered water is less cost and less impact on the environment as most RV resorts we have stayed at in the USA have little to zero recycling. Sad, but true.
I have booked our 2023-24 Snowbird trip already and I have opted for fewer stops at less expensive “resorts”. The better half is not a fan of boondocking, so full/partial hookups wherever possible.

2 months ago
Reply to  Leonard

Hi Leonard. Your observation on recycling at RV parks and campgrounds is absolutely accurate compared to our northern neighbor. Most of my mis-spent youth was spent in Western Canada and one thing I always thought was good was the refundable deposit on glass bottles. It was good incentive to recycle and provided opportunity for Scouting Canada to make a lot of money a couple of times per year running huge bottle drives. Obviously, more benefits were realized but the refundable deposit of my youth on glass bottles was significant in helping to keep ditches clean(er). IMHO, it is something Canada did well and it ingrained in young people a culture of recycling.

Bill Byerly
2 months ago

All great recommendations, thanks

Seann Fox
2 months ago

Missed the most important one SLOW DOWN you don’t need to arrive 10 min before you leave. You will use less fuel going slower.

Last edited 2 months ago by Seann Fox
2 months ago
Reply to  Seann Fox

Not to mention less heat in the tires and less strain on the drivetrain components all of which help make them last longer.

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