These tips on how to save money on camper gas when you’re traveling by RV travel will make your summer road trip all the sweeter! Spending less money on camper gas is crucial for RV travelers who don’t have to worry about hotel costs when planning a vacation, but are affected by rising gas prices.
Even small increases in gas prices can have a big impact on your summer road trip budget, since gasoline represents the most significant cost of your trip. These money saving tips will help ease the burden on your vacation budget.
Before the tips, a quip: “You may be an RVer if you prefer books on tape because they weigh less.” ~ Author unknown. Indeed, the less your camper weighs, the more money you’ll save on RV travel. That’s just one way to spend less — and here are more…
Tips for Spending Less Money on RV Camper Gas
Auto and RV manufacturers and mechanics are quick to tell us that to save money when gas prices rise we need to spend money – on more frequent oil changes, more expensive oil, better tires, and more. These may be legitimate suggestions, but the following tips will save money on your RV trip without costing you more.
Search for the best gas prices near your campground
Several web sites publish regular updates on gas prices in specific locations. Enter the zip code of your campground, and a list of local gas stations and their prices will show up. This will help you decide the best place to buy gas for your RV. Two sites to help you save money on RV travel are Gasbuddy.com and gaspricewatch.com — but there are others. Remember that many of these sites rely on customers to notify them of camper gas prices, so the price you see may or may not be current. Check to see when the price was last updated. Also, keep in mind that if you have to drive 10 miles out of the way to save two cents per gallon, that’s probably not a great way to spend less on camper gas!
Keep your RV tires inflated
It may sound weird, but nearly every list of tips for improving gas mileage suggests making sure that you have the proper amount of air in your tires. Be sure to check the air in your tires before leaving and during your trip.
Fill your camper with gas on weekdays
Gas station operators know that more people are out and about on the weekends, so gas prices are usually higher on Saturday and Sunday. Fill up your RV during the week to save at least a few cents per gallon.
Adjust your shopping and entertainment habits
This money saving tip can help you spend less on camper gas – and more! Here are just a few ideas:
- Shop less frequently, buying enough to last longer so you won’t have to make as many trips to the store.
- To save more money on RV travel, shop less – period.
- Shop for groceries on the way to your campsite, and buy enough for your whole camping trip.
- Look for sources of entertainment and recreation that are close to your campground, so you don’t have to waste camper gas.
Watch your weight
Because your RV camper is so much bigger and heavier than a car, it gets lower gas mileage. All the extra weight you add when you travel compounds the situation. To save money on RV travel, think about what you really need to take with you and leave the rest at home.
Map your route ahead of time
Meandering along the countryside with no particular route in mind may sound adventurous, but it can cost you more money on camper gas. You don’t need to plan every detail before leaving home, but try to identify the most efficient route to get from Point A to Point B. If you don’t want the hassle of carrying a lot of maps along, invest in an inexpensive GPS that you can also use in your RV.
Travel to and camp at campgrounds and parks closer to home
There are over 13,000 private and 1,600 state parks throughout North America that cater to RVers and campers. When gas prices are high, consider exploring travel destinations closer to home. You and your family will still enjoy the pleasures of RV travel and camping without spending a lot of money on gas.
Join an RV club
Take advantage of the discounts and other benefits available to RVers through RV Clubs such as the Good Sam Club, the Family Motor Coach Association, and the Happy Camper Club.
Tough economic times don’t have to get the best of us if we see them as opportunities to change the way we think and act. By being thoughtful and creative, we can find ways to spend less and save more money on things like RV travel and camper gas. We may even surprise ourselves when we realize that new habits born of necessity have other unexpected benefits!
Another way to save money on RV travel – not related to gasoline – is by getting a battery charger instead of wasting money on batteries.
What do you think – do you have any tips for saving money on camper gas and summer RV road trips? Comments welcome below!
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Written by Sydney Tyler Thomas, a writer and small business owner living in Virginia. Sydney also wrote Feeling Overwhelmed, Too Much to Do? How to Manage Time Effectively, for Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals.