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.

Comments
  • (will not be published)

49 Responses to “How to Save Money on Campsites”

  1. kensco

    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
      • Cheryl Shanks

        We have the night/daytime curtain. The string that pulls them up and down has stretched out and I do not know how to replace it. Do u have sny suggestions?

        Reply
  2. Don DeBerry

    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
    • 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

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

      Reply
  3. Michael Carey

    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
  4. Larry McFarland

    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
  5. Pamela Raaymakers

    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
  6. Pamela Raaymakers

    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
    • Richard

      Go to the rvtaa.org an look for a tech near you. If you have the lippert slide out which i guessing your slide has tilted down outside too far. Or your rollers has fallen through. Neither is good. Hopefully you get your slide back in an on your way.

      Reply
  7. Paul Shultz

    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
  8. Jeanne Fowler

    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
  9. GILLES

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

    Reply
    • Customer Service

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

      Reply
    • Richard

      Have you checked your fuse box for 12 bdc. If no power then go to battery find fuse with two post see it you have power going from battery to fuse.

      Reply
  10. Jerrold

    Hit a low branch. Had to cut away the slide awning … but the rear slide itself is no longer flush with the body. The top is flush, but the bottom is out about 2 inches. Any thoughts? HELP

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Jerrold,

      You would have to inspect the area and see if something was damaged causing this or if maybe the arms underneath just got knocked off of a track. It also depends on the type of slide you have but typically if something is off by that much there is something damaged. It might be best to take to a service center to have it inspected and make sure it is safe to operate. There are many things that could have been damaged and if something that holds the room together is broken or loose could cause more damage or harm when taking the room out. Some slides can have things adjusted to straighten them out but these are just simple adjustments and if it is that far off alignment, something could be damaged.

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  11. Ron Lerch

    Can anyone tell me where I can get a manual on our motorhome? We just bought it but it didn’t have any coach instructions. The car lot couldn’t get them either.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi there Ron!

      Oh no! I’m sorry about that. What is the year, make, and model of your RV and I’ll send this over to our expert!

      Thanks!

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  12. Cathy Sheffield

    Don’t forget good Sam club has discounts on camping as well as many items on

    Reply
  13. Trent Page

    My RV is prewired for solar. What should I be looking for the a system to be installed?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hey Trent,

      Great question! I would be happy to submit this to our experts, but I need more info.

      What is the year/make/model of your RV?

      Thanks!
      Madeline
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Byron,

      I’m sorry but can you please resubmit your question and give the make, model and the year of the RV. And what is the question you have concerning suspension?

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Joan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  14. ahic37

    Would it be better to replace the steering stabilizer on my 37.1 thor miramar 2021 for more stability with one form an aftermarket product.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Customer,

      Thank you for contacting us.

      The factory ones are usually decent but a lot of times the aftermarket ones have a little better control. I know many people that have had better experiences installing new systems or other components. Adding sway bars can make a huge difference. We do have a video on these, I will share the link below. I will also share a link to a good resource for upgrades that can be used on your RV.
      https://www.rvrepairclub.com/video/upgrading-p30-sway-bar-bushings-009076/

      https://www.etrailer.com/vehicle-sway-bar.htm

      If you have any other concerns, please contact us at 1-855-706-3536, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Lindsay
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  15. Gary L Hammond

    What is your opinion on the best type of valve extensions for the dual rear tires. I know they make flex lines and also ridgid and is it possible to put them on as a diy’er?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hey Cynthia,
      We would love to answer this expert question for you but I would need the year, make, and model of your RV. Once we receive the information, we can pass it along to the experts.
      Sincerely,
      Danesha
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  16. Raymond hensley

    What holds the storage area to the bottom of a 1998 Western RV class a motorhome.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Raymond,

      Normally it would be bolts from the upper floor coming down into bracket to hold them in place. There are many different ways and ever model could have something different but you will need to look inside of the storage bay and look for hangers. If you don’t see any then most likely it was built as a solid piece and then a frame was installed around it. This style can only be replaced as a whole if that is the case. Without being able to see it, I can’t really say how to drop it out. Winnebago might be able to provide schematics that show how they go together.
      https://www.winnebago.com/owners/owner-resources

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Nadine,
      It is a nice resource to find smaller local privately owned campgrounds. Most of the time for RV’s, you typically won’t get any hookups but will find nice private locations away from other campers. Typical campgrounds have their own reservation sites and a place to book them. This site allows private owners to post their open land or smaller campgrounds and you book right through the site. It is a nice option to find new areas or places to stay while traveling but if you are looking for bigger full hookup campsites, you are better off searching for campgrounds directly. 

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert 

      Reply
  17. Chip Uppling

    If I leave my Keystone Cougar 5th wheel 225RES unplugged from shore power for more than 5 days, my battery has run dead. It charges right up again once I plug in. How do I track down that problem?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Chip,

      You will always lose a charge if not plugged into your CO detector, radio, and other controls that are active. Typically it doesn’t go totally dead until 7-10 days so it is possible something is drawing too much or your battery is weak and can’t handle a full load. The only way to trace what could be causing the issue is to do an amp draw test on each circuit when nothing is being used. This will tell you what circuit is causing the issue and then from there you can trace what is drawing too much on that circuit. Before tracing and testing anything I would recommend getting the battery tested. This can be done at most local auto parts stores for free. They have machines to tell you the condition of the battery and if it is good enough to hold a full charge. If not, you might just have a bad battery. If the battery tests fine then you will have to trace the circuits. 

      Sincerely,
      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert 

      Reply