Many are planning a last trip for the summer as the school year approaches. Since COVID made this summer a bit crazy, maybe your summer vacation will look a little more outdoors than usual. If this is you, here are some ideas for a budget friendly summer RVing trip from someone who RVs fulltime.
The best option is a FREE option. Many areas in the west have lots of forest and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land you can stay on for free. This is called dispersed camping. It will often mean beautiful views and fewer people. This also means you must be more conservative with your water and electricity, but it encourages you to get outside and enjoy the scenery. Depending on the state, you can often stay in one forest for 14 consecutive days. If you’re planning a longer vacation than that, you can often find BLM land to switch to or another forest to stay in. You can find information on areas to stay as well as hiking in the area by visiting blm.gov and searching the state you are traveling as well as the official site for the forest you will be in.
Another resource to consider are the state parks. These will often have some hook-ups, usually water and electric, but will have a dump station on premise. These parks will usually not be free, but they will be cheaper than private RV parks. Another advantage of staying at a state park are the outdoor amenities. They will often have rangers and even often JR Ranger programs. Even during COVID, many locations will still have programs with certain restrictions. This option is great if you’re wanting to explore your state more and not quite “rough it.”
County & City Parks
Although this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to RV on a small budget, the last idea will talk about is county or city parks. This can vary from location to location. You can find these little gems through looking up the county and city you’re planning on visiting. Not all places have this option, but for those that do they are often a great option. We stayed at one county park in eastern Florida this winter that was full hook-ups and under $30/night. That is a great price for full hook-ups. They also had a small park for the kids to play at as well as kayaks and canoes to rent. It was a lovely little area that offered a quiet night stay and some lovely outdoor fun.
Wrapping it up, there are plenty of options to keep costs low when you and your family go camping in your RV. There are plenty of lovely options that will lead you off the beaten path and through some beautiful scenic areas. Don’t let summer 2020 end without getting out and enjoying it, even if that is out of the ordinary for you. If you’re one of the many families looking to get out even more than just vacation, AllStays and Fulltime Families might be resources your find very useful.