How to Save Money on Campsites

Looking to cut costs while camping? Learning how to prepare for life on the road can make a big impact on your wallet. RV Repair Club contributor and full time RVer, Lauren Grijalva, has three top tips for saving money on campsites. Read below to find out what Lauren uses as a full time RVer.

1. Campground Memberships

Having a camping membership can save you a lot of money! There are so many options out there that it can be pretty overwhelming, so here’s a little overview of some of the most popular ones!

Passport America: This membership can easily pay for itself the first time you use it. It’s $44/year and most campgrounds that participate give you 50% off their normal rates!

KOA: $30/year, get 10% off any KOA stays.

Thousand Trails: Many different membership options. The least expensive is a camping pass, or “zone pass” for $585 which gives you free stays at any of their parks in one of their 5 zones for a year. (You can add additional zones for $54) They also offer more expensive, more inclusive memberships.

RPI: Stay at any of their resorts for $10/night after joining. Membership fees can’t be found online unless you speak with a representative.

Campground Membership Outlet is an excellent source for finding the best deals on some of the bigger camping memberships. They buy and sell used memberships which in turn saves you a ton of money. They are very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of all the types of memberships and can find something that suites YOU and your needs!

2. Boondock

Boondocking, which is dry camping (camping without hookups) is a great way to save on campground costs, as well as enjoy some wide open spaces with lots of privacy! BLM (bureau of land management) land is a great example of free land you can boondock on.

Campendium is a website and app that can show you all of the boondocking spots in an area, as well as photos and reviews so you can find a great spot!

Harvest Hosts costs $79 for a yearly membership, but gives you access to over 742+ breweries, museums, farms and wineries that RVers can boondock at for quick overnight stays around the country. There is no cost to stay at these locations, but they do ask that you support the business you’re staying at by purchasing something while you’re there!

Boondockers Welcome is $30/year and allows you to stay at any of their host’s properties. It may be a driveway, or some land by a lake. It’s just regular people, offering to host travelers! Their website explains, “Locals invite travelers to spend the night, share their stories, and save their money for the real adventure.” Some of the hosts even have hookups for you to use… all at no additional cost!

3. Moochdock

What is moochdocking?? It’s mooching off someone you know! Staying on a friend or family member’s property. It may be in their driveway, on some land they have, or on the street in front of their house. If you have someone that is ok with this, and there’s no HOA or city rules against it, it’s a free way to spend some time visiting someone you love!

I hope these tips can help you save some money when you’re out on the road! Take advantage of some of the discounts available to RVers!

Pre-Trip Checklist

About the Author: Lauren is a wife, mother of two, photographer, blogger and lover of nature and adventure! Currently traveling around the U.S. in a fifth wheel, Lauren and her family seek to live life to the fullest and continue to look for ways to simplify their lives in order to live larger with less. Follow along on their journey by visiting their family travel blog.

Discussion
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21 Responses to “How to Save Money on Campsites”
  1. kensco

    RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: Itaska, RV Year: 2005, Brand: HWH

    I need to replace the hose on the front hydraulic cylinderSo I need to know how to pull the cylinder out on the passenger side so I can attach the new hose

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Ken,

      We’d love to assist you! Would you be able to supply your year, make, and model of your RV so we can forward on your issue to our experts?

      Sincerely,

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  2. Don DeBerry

    RV Make: Elegro, RV Model: Phaton , RV Year: 2007, Brand: Norcold, Model Number: 1200 series

    What compressor refresh are they replacing these with? The core has been replaced twice (once under warranty, once out of my pocket) setting still it works great, take of down the road the temperature in the Refrigerator comes up to 55 degrees. No one can fix it.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Don,

      You mentioned a compressor so I would assume you have a residential fridge. These will have to be operated off of the generator or an inverter while traveling. It is possible there is a voltage issue that could be causing the fridge to not get cold during travel. I would need to know more about what you have to help diagnose the problem. Things like the make and model of the fridge, if it is residential what do you power it with operating down the road. Do you use the same power source when still or do you switch to shore power? If using a generator, do you have problems running anything else off of 120v? A lot of times something like this comes down to wiring connections. Traveling down the road essentially is putting the RV through an earthquake and can cause things to malfunction but loose wires or bad connectors. There are many scenarios that can happen and a few things component wise that could cause this issue.

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  3. mike Shepard

    RV Make: holiday rambler, RV Model: vintage, RV Year: 1972

    looking for entry door knob set with a 3.5 inch backset

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Mike,

      That might be hard to come by. I checked most of my sources and was not able to find one that long. It might be possible to modify a standard lock set to have the latch and deadbolt extend further out but I have not attempted this myself. You might have to look into salvage yards and try to find an old one to remove or possibly install a new door. There are many sources online and you might be able to find something but it might be hard to track down that exact size.

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
    • David S

      RV Make: Chevrolet, RV Model: Dutchman Express, RV Year: 2007

      Just curious about Lauren’s article,
      “How to save money at campsites.” Was there a reason Good Sam club was omitted. Thanks

      Reply
  4. Michael Carey

    RV Make: Gulfstream, RV Model: BT Cruiser, RV Year: 2006

    One of the best ways to save money on campsites is to buy the Senior Access Pass which now costs $80.00. It’s good for the rest of your life and gets you half off at Federal campgrounds. It also gets you free entrance into Federal parks and recreation areas. There is also a Federal Disability Pass which is free but you have to be eligible for or receiving Federal disability benefits. It is also a lifetime pass.

    Reply
  5. Larry McFarland

    RV Make: Thor , RV Model: chateau citation, RV Year: 2014, Brand: class c, Model Number: NC29TB-14A

    Having trouble with out side leak on sink drains trying to figure out how get in area to fix.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Larry,

      I assume sink you said you are having problems with an outside leak, you are talking about a sink in an outside kitchen area? Typically most of the time there is a drawer in the kitchen area that can be removed to gain access to the plumbing. The drawers usually have the guides on the sides and there is a clip at each end when they are fully extended that is released to pull them out all of the way. If you don’t have a drawer that comes out, there should be an access panel in the area or possibly access from the back side or underneath. Usually there a way to get to the area and sometimes panels might have to be removed or other components and accessories have to be pulled out first. Without being able to see the area it is really hard for me to give you the exact path but I hope knowing this information I gave you was still helpful!

      Sincerely,

      DanR
      V Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  6. Pamela Raaymakers

    RV Make: Newmar, RV Model: Kountry Star, RV Year: 2004, Model Number: 3904 KSDP

    We were bringing in our livingroom slide (biggest one) when the slide started tipping upwards to the ceiling. Thankfully we seen it and stopped it before it jammed up. We reversed it and now it is out. The 2 corner of the outside metal

    Reply
  7. Pamela Raaymakers

    RV Make: Newmar, RV Model: Kountry Star, RV Year: 2004, Model Number: 3904 KSDP

    We were bringing in our livingroom slide (biggest one) when the slide started tipping upwards to the ceiling. Thankfully we seen it and stopped it before it jammed up. We reversed it and now it is out. The 2 corner of the upper outside metal are bent inwards now. We don’t know what to and we have to leave the site today.

    Reply
  8. Paul Shultz

    RV Make: Winabego, RV Model: Itasca, RV Year: 1997

    I use Passport America but you did forget one very important discount for seniors. America the Beautiful is awesome for seniors to visit national parks and museums. Entry fees are getting very expensive, but with this pass you get in free.

    Reply
  9. Jeanne Fowler

    RV Make: Monaco, RV Model: Knight, RV Year: 2003

    We are looking to add a reliable Wi-Fi service to make it possible to stream Sling and Netflix and Prime. What exactly do we need to buy to make this possible and what is the best wi-fi provider for this purpose?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Jeanne,

      You would have to get an integrated cell phone antenna and service for this to work. These will use a phone tower signal to bring in 4G internet and they have a built in WiFi signal to connect to. The Winegard Connect 2.0 is one of the best options out there for this. You can get monthly service plans and it also has a built in extender so if you are at a campground that already has WiFi, it will boost the signal and make it better for you to connect to it. To get any type of WiFi you have to have an internet provider. This can either come from the campground or you can provide it yourself with a system like this. You can mount this system on the roof of your RV or you can just set it up outside when you need it which is nice. I will provide a video we have on this system and what it can do. I hope this helps!
      https://www.rvrepairclub.com/video/winegard-connect-20-015835/

      https://winegard.com/products/cellular/4g-lte-hotspots/connect-4g-mobile/connect-2-4g2

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  10. robert brunette

    RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: 3100 Sunseeker, RV Year: 2006

    Great info on this site love it thank you

    Reply
  11. GILLES

    RV Make: Champion, RV Model: Ultrastar, RV Year: 1990, Brand: Norcold, Model Number: 600

    Since I have a Norcold 600 fridge from back 1990…could I know which model could fit as same size today ?

    Reply
  12. Keith Steele

    RV Make: Moaco, RV Model: Windsor, RV Year: 2000, Brand: Norcold, Model Number: 1200 lrm

    No power to control panel

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Keith. Can we please get the year, make and model?
      Thanks
      Jean RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply