Are you ready for a road trip in your RV? Budget-friendly travel may be on your mind, so we’ve identified the cheapest places to go RVing. We’ll look at how to camp cheaply and how much it costs to drive across the country. Finally, we’ll show you nine of the cheapest destinations for RV travel.
Buckle up, and let’s get started!
What Is the Cheapest Way to Travel in an RV?
Staying in campgrounds can be expensive. We recommend looking for discounted and alternative ways to travel in an RV.
Purchasing campground memberships is an excellent way to get discounted nightly and weekly rates at campgrounds and RV resorts. For example, Thousand Trails memberships offer cheaper ways to stay for the long run. Harvest Hosts is another membership in which you can stay at unique businesses for a night at a time.
Other ways to travel cheaply in an RV include boondocking. You can use boondocking apps to look for accessible places to dry camp for a night or up to 14 days on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land. You might be surprised to find a million-dollar view without paying a dime.
How Much Does It Cost to Travel Cross Country in an RV?
It depends. Gas and fuel prices fluctuate by the state. Availability in campgrounds or options for boondocking may also vary. Most RVers consider $2,000 a reasonable estimate for RV travel expenses on a cross-country trip.
However, it relies primarily on how many people you’re traveling with, how much you’re eating out at restaurants, and if you’re paying for entertainment. If you’re consistently staying in campgrounds, your budget will likely go up another $1,000 to $2,000 per month.
9 Cheap Places to Travel With Your RV
Let’s check out nine of the cheapest places to go RVing. We’ll give a brief overview of each destination and what makes it affordable.
1. Acadia National Park in Maine
About: Acadia National Park is gorgeous and a must-see. The park lies along rocky headlands on the Atlantic coast of Maine. It has 27 miles of historic road and 158 miles of hiking trails to explore.
What Makes It Affordable: Maine is off the path for most RVers, making it an excellent option away from destinations where more people congregate. Consequently, this also makes it a cheap place for RV travel. You’ll still want to make your campground reservations in advance.
Pro Tip: While visiting Maine’s coastline, take on these 7 Best Hikes in Acadia National Park With the Biggest Payoffs.
2. St. Augustine, Florida
About: St. Augustine is a family-friendly Atlantic coastal town in northern Florida. There is much history here, dating to when European explorers first came to the U.S. Besides the scenic beaches and historic sites, St. Augustine has entertainment and a foodie scene downtown.
What Makes It Affordable: Most RVers flock to the southern parts of Florida, especially in the winter. This leaves St. Augustine with fewer crowds and inexpensive places to stay.
3. Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado
About: Mesa Verde National Park is a sacred place where the Ancestral Pueblo people built communities in the cliffs over 700 years ago. The park protects the rich history of 26 Pueblos and Tribes. It is a World Heritage Site and International Dark Sky Park.
What Makes It Affordable: Traveling around Mesa Verde National Park is an intriguing and cheap RV trip. Campgrounds in the area are affordable and offer beautiful views. Also, it’s near other attractions like the Four Corners Monument.
4. Port Aransas, Texas
About: Port Aransas, Texas, is a beautiful Gulf Coast getaway. The quaint town offers many restaurants and shops. You can watch ships come into port and dolphins swim in their wakes. The port city also has a vast beach and fishing pier.
What Makes It Affordable: Port Aransas has many affordable campgrounds and RV resorts. Several offer inexpensive weekly and monthly rates, including the full hookup county park on the beach next to the fishing pier. You can also boondock on the beach for miles.
5. Wisconsin Dells in Wisconsin
About: Wisconsin Dells is home to some of the oldest attractions in the state. From waterparks to taking the famous duck boats through the Dells, you won’t run short on entertainment. And downtown, you’ll find shopping, restaurants, and more.
What Makes It Affordable: The Wisconsin Dells offers inexpensive entertainment for all ages. It’s a family-friendly location. The campgrounds tend to be older, but they have reasonable prices.
6. Plymouth, Massachusetts
About: Plymouth, Massachusetts, is the site of the first Pilgrim settlement, where the Mayflower landed 400 years ago. It’s a beautiful city with plenty of history and things to see and do. You may have a chance to spot a whale off the coast or participate in a cultural activity. Plymouth also has many shopping and dining options.
What Makes It Affordable: There are several inexpensive campgrounds in the area. They’re all within a day trip to other beaches and cities, including the Cape. The proximity to other attractions makes Plymouth a cheap RVing option.
7. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
About: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is the historical site of the famous battle that was a turning point in the Civil War. You can take guided history tours and go on an adult beverage pour tour. There are also several cheap RV campgrounds to relax at after a day of travel or exploring the area.
What Makes It Affordable: Gettysburg is off the beaten path in Pennsylvania, making it an affordable city with fewer crowds. There are several sites and activities in the area that are free. For example, some of the museums and parks have no entrance fees.
8. Black Hills, South Dakota
About: Black Hills, South Dakota, is a small mountain range in the state. It’s full of wildlife and majestic views, including the Badlands in the east. You’ll also find the famous Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills. There are over five million acres to explore.
What Makes It Affordable: The Black Hills are a cheap RV travel destination. They tend to be slightly off the radar for most RVers, as the best time to visit is in the summer, and South Dakota is so far north. Campgrounds and RV parks throughout the state have fair prices.
9. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
About: Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, is a reservoir by the Osage River in the state’s center. It offers holiday homes, campgrounds, and vacation rentals with waterfront views. Water sports are the primary attraction to the area. You can also hike in miles of forests.
What Makes It Affordable: Lake of the Ozarks is a popular summer destination for locals but not for out-of-towners. It’s relatively spread out, so these factors make it affordable to visit and camp.
Pro Tip: Check out the 5 Best National Parks in Missouri while visiting Lake of the Ozarks.
Cheap RV Travel Is Possible!
There are ways to keep RV travel budget-friendly. Of course, you may have to get creative and do your research, but our list is a great place to start. We hope you get to visit one or more of these locations in your RV. When you do, be sure to tag us in some photos, as we would love to get a glimpse of your experience.
Which of the affordable destinations on our list piqued your interest? Tell us in the comments!
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