Caravanners Guide to Penny Pinching

Caravanners Guide to Penny Pinching

How To Save Money On The Road

Many people wrongly believe that travel is a luxury restricted to the upper class.

This could not be more wrong.

Tons of regular, everyday families manage to incorporate travel into their day-to-day lives, and many accomplish this by taking up caravan camping.

We all know that camping is one of the most affordable methods of vacationing out there. Still, however, many new campers can find themselves going above and beyond the expenses they had budgeted for.


1. Forsake Brand New Gear

A common misconception is that camping gear needs to be brand new.

Second-hand gear, however, as long as it’s still safe and operable, is perfectly fine to use and also offers a great way of saving a few bucks. This is especially true for new campers, or someone going camping for the very first time.

There’s no point spending money on a bunch of gear without knowing if you actually enjoy the hobby. It would be a shame to waste hundreds of dollars on items that will only be used once or twice.

Check out local second-hand shops, yard sales, or online listings for a variety of high-quality camping gear. Oftentimes these items have only been used a few times and do not show many signs of wear.

An even cheaper alternative to buying second-hand is to borrow camping items from campers that you know. This allows you to ensure that you enjoy the hobby before having to spend any money at all.

If you have a group of friends who are interested in camping, try splitting the cost of camping equipment and sharing them amongst yourselves.

This alone will reduce the cost of your gear by at least 50%.


2. Eat Out As Little As Possible

It can be extremely tempting to eat out while on the road.

While an occasional bite shouldn’t have a large impact on your wallet, making a habit of it is a sure-fire way of quickly burning through the bucks.

Try to grab as much canned and dried food as possible prior to setting out on your trip.

You will only have a tiny caravan fridge during your travels, so buying everything fresh will not be practical.

For day trips, pack a nice little picnic basket with some wraps and sandwiches and spend the afternoon in a park under the sun.

Try investing in a 12V caravan slow cooker to easily create wonderful tasting dinner meals to fill you up before bed.

Before heading out for the day, just throw a few veggies and a cut of meat together to simmer.

They’ll be moist, juicy and delicious by the time you return home with absolute minimal effort on your part.


3. Use Your Fuel Efficiently

One of the largest expenses related to caravan camping is basic fuel consumption.

There are three ways of saving on fuel along your travels. These are:

  • Planning Well
  • Driving Well
  • Lengthening Stays


Planning Well

Planning your trip is a basic step towards increasing your fuel efficiency and consequently lowering costs.

You should know exactly where you are going before you head out and have a logical, reasonable way of getting there.

Don’t be “bouncing” between distant areas in an unorganized mess.

Have a clear progression of locations without any backtracking.

Getting lost, or any type of aimless driving, will be a needless waste of fuel that could be put to better use.

If you’re notoriously bad with directions, try making use of a GPS navigator or (signal permitting) Google Maps.

As you mark down your traveling path, be sure to try to take the flattest path possible. Climbing steep hills another method of quickly burning through gas.


Driving Well

Driving in a fuel efficient manner is important when it comes to any type of vehicle, including a caravan.

Speeding down highways from location to location is bound to cost more than ambling along and enjoying your view.

Do a bit of research regarding your vehicle or RV to see what others have had to say, or experiment a bit yourself.

You’ll be surprised by how much fuel can be saved by simply subtly altering your driving habits.


Lengthening Stays

Another great and easy way of improving your fuel efficiency during camping is to enjoy each area for a longer time.

Many people believe that they need to experience as many places as possibly to truly make their time on the road worthwhile.

If you want to do this, then hey, by all means!

However, it should still be noted that this type of travelling is one of the easiest ways to needlessly burn fuel.

Try to stay at each location for a longer period of time, really becoming acquainted with the surroundings and you will quickly begin to see your savings accumulate.


NOTE: Don’t Bring Fuel With You

While, on the surface, bringing a stock of fuel with you may seem like a great idea, it’s actually a bit counterintuitive.

Loading yourself up with a large stock of emergency fuel, ultimately adds quite a bit of weight to your vehicle.

The heavier your vehicle, the more fuel it will take to move it.


4. Find Affordable Fun

Our last section leads perfectly into the next money-saving tip.

Find affordable fun along your travels.

Before leaving, stock up on a few new movies or books from your town’s local library for free. Don’t forget to renew them, however, if you plan to be travelling longer than their due date!

Once you arrive at your destination, try talking to a few fresh faces.

If you’re staying at a caravan park, campers who have been staying longer may have some tips about some fun things to do.

If that fails, you can always try exploring the town’s downtown area and speaking to locals.

Local libraries and visitor centers, in particular, are another great way of finding out about fun activities, events, and festivals which are oftentimes hosted with a free admission.


As you can tell, simply altering little habits can have a profound effect on your savings.

Take stock of your camping routine and think about little ways you can plan to save money.

Consistently incorporating little changes will have your wallet packed in no time.



DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

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