Want a few RV rental money saving tips? (stupid question right?) I’m going to share with you some easy ways you can save hundreds on your RV rental and vacation. You can use some of these tips to save money in your every day life as well, not just while you’re on vacation.
Let’s just dive right in!
1. Stay local, or pickup your RV rental at your destination.
Gas can guzzle down (every pun intended!) a HUGE portion of your budget. A huge RV rental money saving tip is to simply not travel long distances. Now I know this defeats the whole purpose of “traveling” or going on a vacation to “get away,” so if staying fairly close to home is just not an option, here’s another idea. Drive your own vehicle to your destination, and pickup the RV when you get there. You will save hundreds and hundreds of dollars on gas, by not driving/towing the RV all of those miles, there and back.
Plus, if you are unsure, or a little nervous about driving an RV, backing it into the campsite and setting it up, you could have the owner deliver, park and set up the RV for you. Even if that costs a little extra, you are still going to be ahead of the game by saving a ton of money on gas, and you might be a little more relaxed not having to stress about driving/towing it.
Another benefit is that you will have your vehicle there to get around and visit the local attractions.
2. Don’t drive or tow your RV rental with full tanks.
Make sure your holding tanks (freshwater, black & grey) are completely empty when you are driving or towing the RV. If your tanks are full, you could be added thousands of pounds to your rig. Your gas mileage will go from bad, to really bad very quickly. That is just an unnecessary expense that you might not even think about.
3. Don’t choose an RV rental that has more space than you really need.
This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get carried away when looking at the large, flashy RVs. If there are just two of you, you don’t need a huge rig that sleeps 10. You will quickly see that you wasted your money on your over-the-top RV, when you spend a night or two in it. Just get what you need, and save that extra cash for something you’ll get more enjoyment out of. Like all of the outlet malls you are going to pass on the way! Yep, you know you were thinking about that already!
4. Don’t run your RV rental’s appliances on propane.
This is one of the easiest RV rental money saving tips, I can give you. Some of the appliances in an RV will be 2-way or 3-way appliances. Meaning they can run off of different power sources. For example, my fridge is a 2-way, meaning it can run on electric or propane. When you are at a campground that has unlimited electric, (most do unless it is summertime in FL for example) make sure your fridge is not running off of your propane. Look at the control panel on the front of the fridge (you might need to open the door to access it), and make sure it is set to “Auto” and the AC light is on, not the Gas light. Auto will cause the fridge to switch over to electric automatically when the RV is connected to shore power (the electric at the campground).
You will have to replace any propane you use before you return the RV, or you will be charged for it. Propane is not cheap. The same goes for the water heater. Some water heaters can run on electric as well as propane. Mine only runs on propane, but check and see if you can switch it over to electric. These are some good things to ask the owner to show you before you take off. Using propane when you can use the electric at the campground is an unnecessary expense that you can avoid.
5. Dine “In” your RV rental.
Another money saving tip is to simply cook your meals in the RV instead of going to restaurants. You can save hundreds by doing this. Especially if you are a family of 5 for example. It’s so much more fun to stay in and sit around the campfire while grilling some juicy steaks or burgers. Those memories will be priceless years down the road, I can assure you. Some of my most favorite memories are doing that very thing with my son, meeting the neighbors and inviting them over. I have made some lifelong friends just grilling out at our campsite! You will be amazed at how friendly most RVers are.
6. Clean the RV rental before returning.
Some RV rentals don’t give you the option one way or another, but if it does, clean the RV yourself and save the $75 to $200. It really is a small space and will not take much effort on your part. If you work on keeping it somewhat clean throughout your vacation, (easier said than done, I know) it will be a breeze to do a final clean and worth the inconvenience when you return.
7. Stay in one place.
Not only does this save you money at the gas pump, but also at the campground. The weekly rates are usually a much better deal than the daily rates, so by choosing just one location per trip vs several, you can save a good bit on the campsite. I know this might not be an option for some of you that like to pack as many things into one trip as possible. And I get that you want to take advantage of the fact that you can go wherever your little heart desires because, hello, you rented an RV! Keep reading. I’ve got some other ways you can save at the campground.
8. Use a Good Sam Membership to get discounts at over 2,400 campgrounds across the US.
If you have a Good Sam Membership, you can save about 10% on your campsite, so find a Good Sam campground . If you don’t have a membership, it costs $29, but it will usually pay for itself the first time you use it, and then you’ll have it to use for the rest of the year. You’ll save on gas, propane, purchases & shipping at Camping World, Gander Outdoors and Overton’s, just to name a few of the membership benefits.
Good Sam also has a roadside assistance. If you are going to rent your RV through Outdoorsy, the roadside assistance is $15/ per day extra, so why not get a year policy from Good Sam instead. If you are renting your RV for 7 days, the roadside assistance via Outdoorsy is going to cost you $105. You will save money by buying a policy with Good Sam at $79, plus you will have it for an entire year, including all of the other benefits from the policy as well. That’s a no-brainer. The policy is normally $89, but you can use my link below, along with the code SAVEBIG, and you’ll get it for $79, plus $15 bonus cash that you can use at Camping World, Gander Outdoors or Overton’s.
Click on the banner below if you’re interested in any of the Good Sam Memberships I mentioned.
9. Use BeFrugal or My Points cash back websites when booking your RV rental online.
This is one of the easiest things you can do. It’s almost stupid how easy it is. If you are going to rent your RV with RVshare, use a cash back site called BeFrugal. If you are going to rent via Outdoorsy, use a site called My Points.
BeFrugal Cash Back
You get $10 just for creating your free account with BeFrugal. (I get $10 too, so be sure to click on my link when you sign up!) New accounts currently get 7% cashback on RVshare online purchases (5% if you already have an account). 7% cash back on just $500 is $35. And, if your RVshare rental is more like $1,000, you will get back $70. For literally doing nothing. $70! That is amazing! Sounds too good to be true, I know, but I promise it’s not. I have been doing it for years. It’s legit.
You simply login to Befrugal.com, and search for RVshare within BeFrugal’s website. Once you find them via the search bar, click on the link that takes you directly to RVshare’s website. Book the RV as you normally would…that’s it! As soon as BeFrugal verifies the purchase, they add the cash back to your BeFrugal account. You can either request a check, or they will deposit it right into your Paypal or bank account.
My Points Cash Back
The cash back program that Outdoorsy currently participates in is called “My Points.” You currently get 7500 points when you make an Outdoorsy online purchase through My Points. Basically, how My Points works is you can earn points by making your usual online purchases, but you can also earn points by using their grocery coupons, taking surveys, watching videos and reading emails as well. Then you cash your points in for Paypal cash, travel miles, or even gift cards. It’s another really cool way to make some extra money for not really doing much at all.
I do not buy ANYTHING online without doing it through one of my cashback sites. I have literally made thousands of dollars in cash back over the years on things I would have purchased anyway. A large purchase like this could get you a ton of cash back, and when you start doing this with all of your purchases, you will kick yourself for not doing it sooner.
10. Use your cash back credit cards on your RV rental.
Now I am only suggesting this for those of you who are disciplined enough to pay this off before any interest accrues. If you are not (you know who you are!), then don’t even think about it. You will end up spending more money than you save. For those of you that can responsibly use credit cards, and immediately pay them off, use your cash back cards to purchase your RV rental, gas, food, all of it.
I use my American Express, Capital One and Discover Cards. Depending on what I’m purchasing, some of my cards get better cash back on certain categories than other. For example, sometimes I can get 5% cash back on gas by using my Discover Card. I use my American Express when buying groceries, since I get 6% cash back on groceries. I also double-up and order my groceries online through one of my cash back websites, so not only do I get 6% via my payment method, I also typically get 2%-5% cash back from BeFrugal!
Another really great cash back site to join is ebates. You can click here to create your free account. It might not sound like a lot, but I’m telling you, all of this cash back adds up. You could literally pay for your entire vacation every year if you start doing these things!
I have one last suggestion for you. Don’t let any amount of savings ruin your vacation. You only live once, so if you have your heart set on driving all over the US for a week straight, and staying at a different campground every night, then spend the extra money on gas, and pay the daily rates at the campgrounds. (don’t go into debt in order to do it though…I’m only referring to things you can actually afford!).
Make a list of the things that are most important to you. Splurge on those things, and save money in other areas. Don’t get so caught up in saving money (unless you’re really broke!) that your trip ends up not being enjoyable. You don’t want to feel unfulfilled when your vacation is over. That is just wasting the money you did spend, and at the end of the day, not really saving you any at all.
Implement as many of these strategies as you can, but don’t lose sight of what is most important in the process. Trust me, it is easy to do, so remember what your main goal here is…having the time of your life and making those priceless memories.
Well I hope you found this list helpful, and I hope I have inspired you to think outside of the box. What are some of your RV rental and/or money-saving tips? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.
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See you again soon!
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