Frugal RVing

 Posted by at 2:21 am  Nick's Blog
Dec 242013

I figure that by now most of you are broke from all of your holiday shopping, so today I thought I’d share some ideas to help you save money, courtesy of my book The Frugal RVer and my seminar by the same name that I present at RV rallies and shows. There are so many ways to save money in the RV lifestyle that I can’t include them all here, but I’ll throw out a few suggestions to get you thinking.

Thrifty Travel

* Slow down, you really do burn more fuel at 65 miles per hour than you do at 55.

* Buy fuel wisely. Websites like and can show you where to find the best fuel prices. Sometimes waiting until you cross the state line 50 miles up the highway will save you $10, $15, or more on a tank of fuel.

* Keep your tires properly inflated. Circles roll easier than ovals and require less fuel to make them go. Properly inflated tires also last longer and give a better, safer ride.

Camping On The Cheap

We have saved a small fortune with our Passport America, Recreation USA, Thousand Trails, Elks, Moose, and VFW memberships. Combined with occasional boondocking, fairgrounds camping, Corps of Engineers campgrounds, and a night now and then spent in a friend’s driveway or WallyWorld parking lot, we keep our camping costs at a minimum.

Free Fun

It doesn’t have to cost money to have fun. Between organized RV park activities, free factory tours, an afternoon watching a local softball game, and small town festivals from coast to coast, we have enjoyed many hours of free entertainment. And don’t overlook the fun and health benefits of just going for a walk. You don’t have to climb Mount Everest to enjoy the great outdoors. A stroll around a historic neighborhood or a walk on the beach will lower your blood pressure and it’s free!

Don’t Buy It If You Can Make It

You can go to Camping World and buy a Gen-Turi generator exhaust stack for about $140, or buy one on Amazon for a little over $100. Or you can do what I did, spend $15 or so at Home Depot for a length of electrical conduit and an elbow and make your own.

612pYpdYucL._SL1500_[1]    genstack 2

For anywhere from $20 to $50, you can buy a neat Slinky type thing to support your RVs sewer hose. Or you can buy a ten foot long piece of plastic rain gutter for about $5, cut it in half, and make your own. When not in use, the pieces nestle together to save space.

slinky   sewer support

And what can be more frugal than free? My author friend Cleve Sylcox has his sci fi/fantasy book Nicboth free on Amazon this week. Also, the first book in Anna J. McIntyre’s historical romance series, Coulson’s Wife, is free today. And Lee Hanson’s Castle Cay, the first book in her excellent Julie O’Hara mystery series is free, too. It’s not free, but for fans of Nick Thomas’ science fiction, his newest book, Battle Earth X was just released, and the first book in the series, Battle Earth, is free. Talk about some nice reading for Christmas!

Something else that’s free is Bad Nick’s opinion. He’ll share it with anybody who’ll listen. Check out is latest Bad Nick blog post, He Said, We Said, and leave a comment.

Not free but a heck of a deal is our latest promotion,but time is running out. Until midnight tonight you can gift a one year digital subscription to the Gypsy Journal for just $10, which is half of the regular price. There is no restriction on the number of subscriptions you can give, but they have to be gifts and not to your own e-mail address. To order, just click the button below. And please follow up with an e-mail to me at with the name and e-mail address of the person you want the subscription(s) to go to. We’ll send the recipients an e-mail telling them the gift is from you.


Thought For The Day – Hugs are the perfect Christmas gifts. They’re free, you can give them to anybody, and if you get one you can give it back.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “Frugal RVing”

  1. Another way to save money is to carry a copy of “The RVer’s Friend” in your rig. In Central Calif, where distances can be daunting, we stopped at a roadside rest with a sign “No o/nite parking”. A police car pulled up beside us and we knew he was there to enforce that rule. When we left, the police car followed close behind. I reached for the RVer’s Friend, located a truck stop and watched the police car go in its way. It was a safe place to park for the night and it was free. We never leave home without our copy of the RVer’s Friend. I got my copy at a truck stop for about $15.

  2. I really like the exhaust pipe extender for the generator. I don’t like sleeping in our motorhome with the generator running. But I might if I attached one of these. Do you? Thanks for your info.

  3. Mark, we use it when dry camping at an RV rally to get the exhaust fumes up and away from nearby RVs. But I have seen them used at places like Quartzsiite where a lot of RVers dry camp. We always turn our generator off when we go to bed.

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