Traveling Cheap in RVs and Vans Part 1

How to lower the cost of traveling

PLEASE NOTE THIS DOC IS A WORK IN PROGRESS SO CHECK BACK.

Lots of folks want to travel but the costs are just too high. So the question is
how can I lower the cost of traveling. There are lots of things you can do to
curb the cost but there are some compromises you’ll have to make.

This subject is very big and here are lots of various ideas to think about. I’ll only get into a
few in this discussion and more will come in the near future.

As for our traveling out West last year (2017), we did the whole trip pretty cheaply.
The first thing I didn’t do is purchase a big truck and an oversized RV. I actually built
a small 10 foot trailer and put what we need for the trip in it. The total cost
of the trailer was about $3,500. It took about 5 weeks to build and it wasn’t that
hard to get it done. We also decided to use our 2003 Dodge Durango with the
5.9L V8 engine in it. The Durango fuel cost was the single largest expense we had.

Other folks we watch on YouTube (see YouTubers Page for list) converted their vans.
This idea is so good that Karen and I are planning to purchase a Chevy Express 1500
van with a 6 cylinder motor for our trip this year, 2018. I won’t have time to put
everything in it that I want but that will okay. It’s more important to get on the road.
One thing to consider when thinking about a van is it stealthy?
Here is the best part at being stealthy, you can park the van in any neighborhood
and you’ll blend right in! You won’t be able to do that with a Class C or A.
A regular converted van is a big plus to have but it also comes with some hits.
You can’t standup in most vans and the high top vans are much more expensive.

Plan and Save
Next thing we do to save money is we planned most of our stops ahead of time so
we didn’t have to make last minute expensive decisions. I did some homework
and learned about discount clubs like PassPort America and Escapees and joined them.
For a small payout we saved 50% on many nights. the cost to join these clubs paid
for itself fast. The next thing is that long ago I joined the Elks Lodge in Dunedin Florida.
An Elks lodge is a nice place to go where you meet lots of friends. While traveling, friends can be
very important if you need some help. Also, it turns out, many lodges allow members to stay
on the property overnight! Most only ask for a donattion, you give what you can afford.
Many of the lodges don’t have many amenities but most will offer electricity and water.
During the day you can usually get into the lodge and almost all have free internet.
That is very important.

More on traveling cheap in the Part 2!

About Rick Mercier 105 Articles
Retired, Building Trailers and seeing America

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