Controlling these three expenses makes fulltiming more affordable


By Bob Difley

Photo: Nick Youngson

One of the great advantages of RVing is that you can change three of your largest expense categories to adjust to the changing economy or the fluctuation of your personal finances. The three biggest expenses for full-time or near-full-time RVers: fuel, campgrounds, and eating out. 

To save on the fuel expense, drive fewer miles between campgrounds, stay longer at each destination, drive 55 mph, avoid jackrabbit starts and quick stops, and keep your tires properly inflated. Go online to find the cheapest gas stations in the areas you travel. Join the Pilot Flying J RV club to get discounts on every fill up.

Save on campground expenses by staying at public campgrounds, like in the national forests, that don’t have hook-ups or better yet, by boondocking free on public lands for several days a month. Stay longer at campgrounds and RV resorts where you can get a cheaper weekly rather than day rate. When on the road spend the night free at Walmart and Cracker Barrel restaurants. Check campground fees in a campground guide or online before choosing where you will spend the night.

You likely aren’t pressed for time like you were when carrying a full work schedule, and therefore have time to cook. Your RV’s galley, no matter what size, is fully capable of making tasty and nutritious meals. By shopping at local farmers markets and farm stands you can enjoy the freshest and healthiest foods. Make cooking a creative event, rather than something to get out of the way quickly. You will amaze yourself with how enjoyable relaxed creative cooking can be–and how much money you will save over expensive restaurant food.