Road Trip Guide - Page 18 - On the move, on a budget continued

Road Trip Guide
- Page 18
On the move, on a budget continued
and pay thousands of dollars a week, or they can get a small (one) for a fraction of that price,” says Chuck Woodbury, editor for, who adds that larger vehicles typically offer less fuel efficiency and flexibility. “When you decide you need to get some milk or cereal or want to go out and hit the local tavern, well, you’ve got to move your home to do that.”

For some, a roomier RV may be necessary to accommodate large groups. In that case, save money by splitting the cost with fellow travelers.

2. Use fuel efficiently
Prepare to spend more at the pump; RVs get about 6 to 18 mpg, depending on the size and model, Woodbury says. Cars average about 24 mpg.

Hall recommends using AAA’s gas cost calculator to estimate the expense upfront. If the total exceeds your fuel budget, try a few saving strategies:

• Use an app like GasBuddy to map out gas stations along the route and identify locations with the lowest prices.

• Pay with a credit card that offers rewards on gas purchases.

• Slow down. “The faster you go, the more you’re going to burn. If you’re not in a big hurry, then go 60 (mph) instead of 70,” Woodbury says.

3. Find free or cheap destinations
While you’ll avoid the cost of staying inhotels,  you could still face fees for camping plus hooking up to water, sewer and electricity. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable campsites. With an RV, you can camp free overnight on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands and in Walmart parking lots, where allowed.

Ellie Quinlan and Brad Hartland, who have been traveling and living out of their yellow VW van for the past several months, search for free spots on websites like and

“They include everything from campsites to free public land to truck stops,” Hartland says. “For each site, there’ll be a review. You can see the last time someone was there and get a sense of what you’re getting yourself into,” Quinlan adds.

You can also save money on RV rentals if you’re willing to drive between certain destinations. For example, Cruise America has “one-way specials,” which discount fees for travelers who pick up and drop off their vehicles in specific cities. Look for other area-based deals online and ask seasoned RV