RVing can be relatively inexpensive when compared to flights, hotels, and other forms of travel and lodging. However, campground reservations and fees can make or break your budget out on the road. While some resort-style campgrounds can cost as much as (if not more than) a hotel stay, other camping options can cost as little as $15, or in some cases, they can be free.
Here are a few tips for saving money on campground costs while traveling in your RV.
State park campgrounds. All across the U.S. there are state park campgrounds with RV campsites. Not only do these campground cost less than privately-owned accommodations, but they put you near hiking trails, water recreation, wildlife watching, and more.
County and city campgrounds. County and city parks and also be great camping options. What these campgrounds lack in amenities, they make up for with their inexpensive rates and natural landscapes.
Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds. Offering similar features to campgrounds you’d find at state and county parks, Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds are spread throughout the U.S. And if you’re a military veteran, you can receive discounted rates at these locations.
Campground memberships. If you’re a full-time RVer or frequent camper, a campground membership program like Thousand Trails, KOA, or Good Sam can be great ways to save money on camping reservations. While some will require an annual fee, other programs are free to join.
Boondocking. If you’re looking to camp away from the crowds and you’re willing to give up some camping comforts and amenities, then boondocking might be right for you. While you won’t have any hookups, these campsites often cost little to no money, and they can often expose you to picturesque, wild views you won’t find anywhere else.
Moochdocking. Family and friends can also help save you money on the road by letting you park your rig in their driveway during your visit. This way, you have your own space during your visit, without paying for a hotel or other forms of lodging.
Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome. Great for short stays and boondocking, both of these camping memberships let you camp for free at select locations around the U.S. From privately-owned farms to wineries and breweries, these sites help you save money and provide unique camping experiences.