Tips for Living in a Camper to Save Money

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Have you always imagined enjoying every bit of your life while being on the go? If you have a heart of an adventurer and like to explore, a travel unit is the right path to take.

RVs aren’t cheap for every pocket and can be pricey to maintain. Yet, this doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of a life of leisure and adventures. Living in a camper full time can save you a lot while being on the road. The catch is that you have to economize.

We offer some authentic tips and strategies to help amateurs get used to living in a trailer. Some tricks might seem trivial, but they help set aside funds for a rainy day.

Has Anyone Saved Money By Living In A Camper Over A House?

Many people have saved money to pay off their debts by living in a camper. Some manage to gain financial independence by living in a trailer for several years. And then they go on because they come to like this way of living and can’t get enough of it.

We can find many examples of families and individuals that have cut their costs in half by moving into an RV full time. But, they either have reasonable spending habits or manage to adjust to spending less. Many Reddit RV travelers claim to have saved money to pay off their debts.

Eventually, it all depends on your ways. Not everyone can get accustomed to living with basic amenities in small places. So, make sure this is the right thing for you before setting off on this journey. And don’t expect to save right from the start. As you become more experienced in the concept, you’ll get new ideas and cheap ways to move cross country.

How You May Save Money By Living In A Camper

Planning upfront is the primary technique for fast money saving. If you prepare right, you will save hundreds of bucks every year. Plus, you have to be disciplined when it comes to your own decisions to economize.

How to Live in a Camper Year Round

If you explore and research ahead, you’ll realize that you have options. Those vary from cheap to expensive. Our tips for living in a camper to save money present the most critical aspects that you must take into account.

Walmart Is Your Friend

When looking for free sites to rest or set up for a while, think of Walmart parking spots near me. But, don’t rely on those spots to a great extent. Use them when you need to sleep or decide where to go next. Consider calling the store first. Talk to the manager and check if you have permission to park free of charge.

Don’t forget to buy something as a thank you. Keep this in mind as a last resort for quick overnight stays. Consider other retailers with free sparking spots as well.

Park In Free Camp Sites

For free camp stays, look for the Bureau of Land Management, i.e., BLM land. Here, you can usually find some fantastic places with untouched scenery. Most national forests lack hookups, but you’ll be fine without any for a week. Contact the regional office to make sure they allow free camping.

Learn how to boondock to avoid paying for camping spots. Dry camping means you will fill your tanks, charge your batteries, and conserve a lot. If you’re adept enough to manage without various conveniences, you will save a teardrop in the long run.

Look for free campsites or affordable ones. State park nightly fees vary from $8 in Colorado to as much as $50 in California. If you plan on staying in RV parks for more extended periods, get a Passport America Card. This will pay off in just a couple of uses.

Staying In A Spot Longer

Traveling in the off-season means lower camping rates. Yet, no matter what season you are camping, remain at chosen spots for as long as possible. If practical, stay for a month. The longer you stay, the lower the nightly rate will be. Also, try to negotiate the price if the circumstances allow.

Save money on gas by staying in one place longer. Fuel is a significant expense when RVing and trailers are notorious for high consumption. Avoid taking long routes or changing parking sites on frequent intervals. If your primary target is to spend less, consider moving slowly or not at all.

Be Mindful Of What You Buy

Can you live in a camper on your property? Of course, you can. And this will save you valuable funds. But, if searching for remote campsites, draw up a list of what you need. Don’t choose a luxurious spot with high rates when you are not using the amenities offered. Always check prices ahead.

Are you sure that you need the latest plasma TV? Are you in need of a satellite antenna? Moving in an RV means a lot of adventure in the wild. You don’t want to spend your days gazing on the TV or watching the latest news. Buy the essential furniture only and make sure it’s useful for you.

Purchase An Affordable RV

If you think “should I buy a house or build my own” know that the costs are painful. It’s still better than constantly being in a situation when you need help to pay for rent. That’s why a camper makes sense. Not if it’s a luxurious one, though.

Though there are many available brands on the market, opt for the one you can afford. You can buy your new home for as much as $10,000! This means a considerable amount of savings over your current monthly rent or mortgage.

Smaller RVs cost less. So, if you’re a couple, find a smaller and less expensive camping vehicle. Used vehicles have reasonable prices. Also, remember that the cheapest way to live in an RV is in trailers rather than motorhomes.

Eating In

Cooking on your own is paramount, and it will reflect on your total spending. Avoid eating out often, and plan your days ahead. Bring along sandwiches and pre-cooked food if you plan to spend the day exploring. Remember that water is tested and safe at RV parks, so there is no need to buy bottled water.

Cheapest Way to Live in an RV

Also, make sure you have a convenient eating set. Wash them after each use. Disposable paper plates or cups will boost your costs. Plus, they pollute the environment, and you’ll have to recycle.

Plan According To The Weather

Maybe you will find it more convenient if you travel to more friendly climates. This way, you’ll save money on propane tanks when the weather is good. Mild climates also require less clothing and equipment on board. Weather forecast can become your best pal, so make sure you have a weather app installed. In the winter, camping can become a painstaking venture.

Get A National Park Pass

Purchase a National Park Pass if you’re a person that explores a lot. This is particularly true for places or in seasons when the weather allows hiking and trekking. The annual cost is about $80, and this applies to a single vehicle with all passengers in it.

With Passport America, you can save up to 50% in nearly 2,000 campsites in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The discount applies to camp parking, fees, and other capacities.

Keep A Budget

The essential thing to do is to learn how to budget your funds. How to live in a camper year-round is a question that everyone is asking themselves. So, if you haven’t been keeping track of your spending, it’s high time to begin. Improve your budgeting habits to get used to the full-time travel lifestyle.

Sometimes it will be impossible to get along with your finances. Other times, setting money aside will come naturally as time goes by. Discovering and eliminating ways of wasting valuable funds will make you frugal with money.

Save Money On Extras

Is it cheaper to live in an RV? Yes, if you can let go of unnecessary things. If you plan to move around a lot, maybe it’s better to bring your bike along. It’s no use to rent bikes or cars whenever you like to explore.

Most RV parks also have a free media library for their guests. They offer board games, DVD’s, and books to campers. Get yourself informed of local festivals, local attractions, and water parks. Some offer lower prices for certain days of the week, and that’s what you’ve been searching for.

What To Consider Before Moving Into An RV

Make sure you know your tolerance level when faced with significant challenges. Not everything will go according to plan. So, it’s essential to be flexible and adjust to new circumstances fast.

Living in a Travel Trailer Full Time

The next cheap RV living tips will make you aware of the items you must consider before turning to RVing.

Choose The Right RV For You

No matter your situation, there is always a suitable RV that meets your goals. The truth is, many recreational vehicles have basic amenities. Those include a sleeping area, a living and dining area, a galley, and electrical systems.

To save money, people buy older functional campers and then remodel them. A smaller RV means lower costs and taxes, too. If you can afford a motorhome, it will be easier for you to drive and park.

Make A To-Do List

The initial to-do-list will be exceptionally long for sure. And then you’ll start to narrow it down to what is crucial and meaningful. Everyone’s list is different because everyone has different long term camper living ideas. The ideal list must include the items that you’ll take along when you hit the road.

After some time, your list will become more detailed. There are certain things that anyone in your situation will consider. These include looking for campers, earning mobile income, healthcare conditions, Internet accessibility, and others. A vision board might help you a lot in your planning.

Simplify Your Possessions

A limited amount of possessions means lower costs. Belongings are also a real burden to bear. Make sure you have the essential furniture on board to cut down on any insurance. You don’t want to maintain or clean many items, too.

Living full time in a small travel trailer means you will have to downsize. To get rid of all material stuff can be a great relief. Donate them if you wish. RVs have less room, so you’ll buy fewer items, too. Outline the necessities and bring only half along. Soon, you’ll realize that life can be even more beautiful without so many things.

Join RV Clubs

Signing up with clubs dedicated to the RV lifestyle can help you become a money-savvy traveler. Some of the most popular are Get Good Sam and AAA memberships. They provide discounts to famous camping sites for their members. You will receive camping updates regularly, too.

Harvest Hosts is a membership camping program that costs $44 per year. This means you will have the chance to stay at many wineries throughout the country. With the membership, campers can stay for one night at numerous wineries in the United States. RV clubs will assist you in waiving some campground fees as well.

Get Insured

Get the right insurance to cover you no matter the location. Some limited-service policies might not support you unless you stay in the same state. Yet, anything can happen on the road. That’s why medical coverage should be one of your primary concerns. Also, make sure to insure your RV in case it gets damaged or stolen.

For those who travel more, the best option is to buy emergency insurance. This might not pay medical costs, but it provides medical referrals to hospitals nearby. It’s also a good idea to ensure they offer means to get you and your vehicle at your home base at no cost. Hence, look for insurances that target travelers and cover all travel units.

Make A Test Run

Before you switch to full-time RVing, a trial run is obligatory. Living in a mobile home to save money permanently is not for everyone. You don’t just go in the wild without making sure you can do it. The longer you manage to stay on the road, the more things will become more apparent to you. You will learn what the essentials are and what items you can leave behind.

Living in an RV to Save Money

A second thought is to do the test run as close to your home base as possible. This will save you the stress of going to unfamiliar towns and wildlife. No matter the final decision, you will also find it easier to get back to the old ways.

Make Sure You Have Internet

Being a full-time RV traveler is hard to imagine without the Internet. Staying connected becomes urgent if you work online. You also need it to plan your journeys, check the weather, and follow the latest happenings. Don’t rely on RV parks that offer free connectivity. While the Wi-Fi in some parks is horrible, others charge exorbitant prices.

The catch is that you have to bring your connection with you. Cell phone data seems to be the most reliable and affordable option. Plus, you can save it while at public places with free Wi-Fi. Mobile providers have secure networks and ensure good signal reception in remote places, too. Signal boosters help a lot if you’re moving in mountainous areas.

Go Paperless

Make a transition to a paperless lifestyle. Meaning, all your bills will be forwarded to your e-mail. Automated billing is a better choice if you wish to keep up to date with your monthly bills. Keep insurance and other financial commitments on your phone or computer.

Recycle the essential paper that you use or eliminate it for good. This refers to disposable cups, plates, and card boxes. Find reusable items that can be washed or disinfected with ease.

Plan Your Home Base

Living in an RV to save money becomes a lot easier if you do the planning upfront. The more you research ahead, the more wealth you’ll keep in your pocket. If you are new to the concept, then the research is a must. Explore free campsites, consider the gas mileage, and download useful apps.

Staying flexible is one of the pillars for taking on a life in a trailer. Be prepared, but leave some room for emergencies. You can’t tell whether you prefer being a “mover” or a “sitter” before you set off. Nor you know which camping spots will do wonders for you. So, leave these aspects for later.

Set A Date

Though listed last, consider this first before diving into the details. Set a provisional departure date. This can be difficult, but unless you set a deadline, you won’t get serious about the idea. What is worse, you can get cold feet for the concept.

If setting a final date puts you under stress, create milestones. The first will be to buy a travel unit if you don’t own one. Then, decide what to do with your current apartment if you have one. Whether you’ll put it for sale, rent it, or keep it depends on your current financial status.

Final Thoughts on Living In An RV To Save Money

With the right mindset and strategy, you can save tons of cash by moving into a camper. If you want to avoid all the expenses regarding building, buying, or renting a home – this is the way to go! With our ProMoneySavings tips, you’re bound to succeed.

Want to learn lots of other creative tips on surviving with little cash? If so, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter today!


Frequently Asked Questions


Can you legally live in a camper?

Living in a travel trailer on your own land is legal. Nor elsewhere. Yet, this doesn’t mean you can park your vehicle anywhere you want. If you plan to move regularly and use RV parks, you should be fine. But, if you wish to use your RV in a permanent location, make sure you’re not breaking any laws. Rural lands have more lenient law enforcement.

How much does it cost to live in an RV park per month?

This comes down to your budgeting and current circumstances. It depends on how much you move, how often you eat out, where you stay, utilities, and the number of RV occupants. The total living costs in a travel home range from $1,400 to $3,000 per month. Some months the total expenses can go below $1,000, but that’s on rare occasions.

Does living in an RV save money?

It can if you are thinking upfront and staying within the projected budget. If you’re skillful with mechanics, the savings can increase on a monthly level. If you enjoy cooking, you save even more. The final estimate lies in your preparedness to adapt and skills.

Anyways, with time, costs will decrease. The longer you are on the road, the more ways to save money you’ll learn. Contacts with other campers will boost you with further saving tricks as well.


How expensive is it to live in an RV?

Living out of a camper can be more expensive than living in a house if you’re irrational with your bucks. Again, it depends on your lifestyle choices. Many people have managed to decrease their monthly expenses by up to 50%. They still live their dream and work remotely.

Others find it difficult to adjust to fewer amenities and expand their spending. Hence, it’s better to be realistic about your finances. You cannot alter your spending habits overnight.



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Emily

17 thoughts on “Tips for Living in a Camper to Save Money

  1. Bruce Mullins says:

    Campers are not for everyone. To live in a camper it takes a lot of adjustment, but yeah a person can save a lot of money especially if they want to go on long road trips.

    1. Emily says:

      Agree with you. Thanks!

  2. Stacie P.H. says:

    For few weeks now I been traveling in Australia and been using a camper. Waking up every day somewhere new is amazing, and the freedom it comes with it has been very rewarding.

    1. Emily says:

      Happy to hear that. Stay safe!

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    Thanks for sharing I really needed this!

    1. Emily says:

      Thank you too, Andrea!

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      Thank you so much, Danu!

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      Thank you very much 🙂

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    I really like all the points you’ve made and I’ll think about it after the covid-19.

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