I’m Saving a Bundle Living in My RV

A couple staring at a pile of cash on their RV's dining table

By RV Lifestyle Expert Author
Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Here's how I’m Saving a Bundle Living in My RV

If you are feeling frustrated because of the cost of living because your outgo often exceeds your income or you'd like to start traveling but aren't sure you can afford it, read on. This article will let you know how I'm saving a bundle living in my RV.  

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Living the RV lifestyle is a less-expensive lifestyle than living in a sticks-and-brix house. In the RV lifestyle, you have more control over the money you spend so it can control your budget more easily. Overall, you can live on less money if you choose. Here are some ways I have found that you can use to keep your expenses down in the RV lifestyle:


RVs, in general, cost less than houses. Plus, you can find a wide range of types, quality and prices. Good used RVs cost much less than a new one; you can find some real bargains.

Good Sam Club

RV parks and camping

While the average price for a camping spot has gone up, you can lower your costs by joining a half-price club like Passport America, boondocking on public lands or overnight on Wal-Mart parking lots or working where you also receive a free or low-cost RV site. Some RV clubs have members who offer a place to stay. When you visit friends and relatives, you might be able to park in their driveway too.


Save money on fuel by traveling shorter distances and staying longer in one place. Take advantage of weekly and monthly rates and explore an area. You’ll probably enjoy it more and spend less money.

Good Sam members enjoy instant discounts on fuel. Join Today!


Normally utilities are included in your camping fees, though electricity is sometimes billed separately for long-term stays. Save money by following the good weather so you aren’t in extremes of hot or cold. Spend some money to add solar panels and an inverter to your RV so you can boondock longer. Install a catalytic or ceramic heater, which is more efficient than your RV heater.


Food is a controllable expense if you use your RV’s stove and oven! Eat out less.


Park your RV where you like to play. If you enjoy the outdoors, camping in national parks or forests allows you to open your door and step out for hiking, photography and exploring. Work or volunteer in an area and you may get free admission to area attractions or invitations from locals.


The RV lifestyle is casual, so you won’t need fancy clothes - well, maybe one outfit. Space is limited so quantity of clothing is limited. The budget conscious RVer can pick up nice jeans, shorts and t-shirts at used clothing stores, saving even more.

Gifts and purchases

Couple outside of their RV looking at hand-crafted items.

Space limitations will limit acquiring “stuff.” There’s no place to put it!  RVers often limit gift giving or find inexpensive but unique items in their travels.

Staying in touch

You don’t have to spend a lot of money. You won’t need a house phone; a cell phone is basic. A prepaid cell allows you to budget your calls. You can often find a free Wi-Fi signal at an RV park, library, or coffee shop. Grandkids love mail: postcards are an inexpensive and fun way to stay connected with them. Or purchase an inexpensive Web cam for yourself and them and talk "in person."


If you choose the full-time RV lifestyle, you can then choose your domicile or place you call home. Many RVers choose a no-state-income-tax state like Texas, South Dakota, Nevada, Wyoming, Alaska, Washington, or Florida. If you earn money in another state, you’ll owe taxes,but if you live on social security or retirement income or income earned in one of those states, you won’t pay state income tax on it.

Since you can adjust your spending in these categories as needed, it allows you to live on most any budget. If you overspend in one area, you can cut back for a while in another. For example, if you have costly repairs, stay in one place for a while, reducing your fuel costs. You might also boondock on public lands for even a few days, greatly reducing or eliminating your camping costs while doing so. You could even add to your income by working at a short-term or temporary job.

Now that you know how I'm saving a bundle living in my RV you can join me in the RV lifestyle! You too will find you can save a bundle living in your RV.

About The Author

Jaimie Hall Bruzenak is an RV Lifestyle Expert. She has been RVing since 1992. She and her late husband weren't retired so RVed on a budget and worked on the road. She is the author of Support Your RV Lifestyle! An Insider's Guide to Working on the Road, and other RV books.


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You might like these

What is the RV lifestyle?

The RV lifestyle refers to living in an RV full-time or as a way to travel and have more control over expenses.

What are some ways to save money on housing in the RV lifestyle?

One can save money on housing by buying a used RV instead of a new one, or finding a good deal on a new RV

What is a way to save money on camping in the RV lifestyle?

To save money on camping, one can join a half-price club such as Passport America, boondock on public lands, overnight at Wal-Mart parking lots, work at a place that offers a free or low-cost RV site, or stay with friends and relatives.

How can fuel expenses be reduced in the RV lifestyle?

Fuel expenses can be reduced by traveling shorter distances, staying longer in one place, taking advantage of weekly and monthly rates, and joining Good Sam for instant fuel discounts.

What are some ways to save money on utilities in the RV lifestyle?

Utilities can be saved by following good weather, installing solar panels and an inverter, using a more efficient catalytic or ceramic heater, and checking if utilities are included in camping fees.


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