Budget Tips for Living or Traveling In An RV

Budget Tips For Traveling or Living In An RVI realized today while I was taking a shower that we have never used the little shampoo / conditioner / soap dispenser thingy we bought and mounted to the shower wall. It reminded me of several things we bought for the RV that we have never used in the 2 1/2 years we have been living in it.

This got me thinking about other expenses that we could have avoided along the way, especially starting out.

So I wanted to share a few with you to save you a few bucks.

Whether you are traveling for a weekend, month, or a year, these tips apply to you.

1. Don’t buy crap until you know you need it.

Prepping for life in the RV was kind of like prepping for my first year of college. I had no idea what to expect so I spent an entire day at Target and hundreds of dollars buying a basket worth of crap I may or may not use.

We did the same thing before we started living in the RV, only on amazon.com and I’m sure it was more like thousands of dollars.

What I would do differently now is make a list of what I think we would need, find it on amazon, and save it so it’s there in my cart with 2 day delivery as soon as I know it is something I actually need.

2. Buy more non-perishable food in advance.

I don’t know why I thought truck stops and small town grocers would have cheap healthy food! They don’t. Some have expensive healthy foods, but most just had expensive unhealthy foods. Double suck!!

Stock up your cupboards and your fridge! That’s what they are for. Especially water…you can get a 5 gallon refill before you leave for the price you would pay for a 10 oz bottle on the road.

3. Don’t pay to sleep.

If you are between stops or need a break, stay the night at a truck stop or Wal-Mart parking lot. Most truck stops have showers and wi-fi…what more do you need? Plus it saves time since you don’t have to check in and out, hook up, and drive around looking for your space.

We have slept in many truck stops all over the US and only one has been disgusting. And Wal-Mart is nice because you can buy pretty much anything on your list that you need/forgot, plus stock up on cheap food!! Triple bonus!!

After living 2 1/2 years in the RV I can go on for pages and pages on all the lessons we have learned the hard way!! And that is exactly what I am doing in my e-book I am working on. I want to make sure to get all your questions answered in the book so if you have any questions that you want answered about living or traveling in an RV please post here or reach out to me in our facebook community at…


Have an amazing summer and remember…ADVENTURE IS WORTHWHILE!!

See you next week!!


  1. Val Furr says:

    Great tips! we just got back from a week long trip to the coast in our trailer with 5 kids. One thing we over buy is 16 oz bottle water. like 3 cases, then my hubby pointed out the tap water at the coast was better than our “home” well water. so some places might be good staight out of the tap.
    Do you think paper plates, cups, etc. are worth the convenience??? I am torn on that one.

  2. Kirsten says:

    I’m sure the environmentalists will cringe, but we use both. I use real dishes when all I need to do is rinse or an easy wash. I use paper when it’s super messy or I already have a sink full of dishes or in a hurry. When I do use paper, I try to reuse the same dish/utensil all day. HTH!!

    And with the water our prob is it’s our old hose that is gross, not the water here!! But we buy the gallons and refil them until they stink too badly 🙂

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