Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Free or low cost camping for RVs

Here are some of my thoughts on what I personally plan to do with my new simple life. My intent is to travel as frugally as I can. After looking at what might be frugal, I settled on volunteering, work camping, visiting, boondocking, working, and long term BLM. Occasionally, I will insert low cost or free camping when available. However, if I move around too much then gasoline becomes a much larger cost.

Volunteering is usually done for government parks but can be done for many organization. I prefer working for one of the parks but not cleaning bathrooms. With volunteering, you can get a spot to camp with some utilities also. What you don't get is much cash if any at all. Check the volunteer site and look for ones with RV hookups. The advantage of a volunteer gig is being able to stay put for months while only paying for your food. It is a low cost way to see some great scenery and give back to nature preservation or your favorite cause. If you perform enough volunteer hours, you may qualify for free admission to federal parks.

Work camping comes in so many flavors that you just have to see what is out there. It usually means being a host and cleaning bathrooms. It is normally set up for a couple to work 20 hours a week each so as a single you would have to work more. From what I have learned, the better compensation is at the places where people least want to be. You can sign up for long term gigs working many hours for nothing more than a camp site so be careful and ask for details. I would consider this if the terms were right but it isn't high on my list.

Don't forget about visiting friends and relatives. A new label for this is "couch surfing". It may be something like staying with your parents for a month while getting hot meals and a warm bed. It saves a month's work of expenses and you get to visit during the holidays. It can also be parked in front of a friends house while being plugged into their electricity. You still have to sleep inside your RV but you might get a free meal or two. Either way, schedule one or two during the year to save money if you can.

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