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How to simplify camping

Simplify Camping (Get the Most From Your Budget)

Published on December 6th, 2021
This post was updated on February 6th, 2024

Once you’ve identified your favorite reasons for travel, look at ways to simplify camping so you get the most enjoyment from your camping budget. That’s what this website is all about: travel more and spend less.

Here are my tips on how to simplify camping to make RVing easier and more enjoyable at lower costs.

Size Your RV

A small RV for camping and your budget

Remember that complexity increases costs exponentially.

A larger trailer or motorhome costs more fuel to move and more money to maintain and repair.

A larger rig may not fit in your driveway and may require monthly storage fees — which means you have less money to spend on travel.

Larger RVs may not fit on back roads or in primitive campgrounds that you prefer.

Larger rigs also require more time to load before a trip and unload afterward.

The point is to choose the smallest RV that fits your reasons for camping and your budget. If week-long camping with a family of five, a 36′ trailer may be the smartest investment.

It typically isn’t as efficient for an older couple that only camps a few weeks a year. Make sure your RV is sized to fit your needs and your budget.

Consider Your Travel

Each of us has the same time inventory: 8,760 hours in a year. The typical weekend RVer camps less than 5% of that time – and thinks about camping the other 95%. Full-time RVers, obviously, spend much more time on the road and in their rigs. If your camping means driving to a specific campground and staying there for many days or even weeks, you may want an RV that is larger and roomier.

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If your RV is on long trips with new campsites every few days, choose a rig that is easier to drive and handle. Self-contained motorhomes and van campers typically take less time to set up at the campsite than 5th-wheel trailers and travel trailers with slides.

Simplify RV Camping

Cooking while RV traveling

An important part of getting value for your camping dollars is looking ahead to see how you will use your RV.

Consider the following 11 questions:

  1. How many nights do you expect to be in your RV?
  2. How many miles per year do you plan to drive or tow your RV?
  3. How many people will share the RV?
  4. What sleeping arrangements are needed?
  5. Will any of your campers sleep in a separate tent?
  6. How many meals will you make on a stove? In an oven? With a microwave? Over a campfire? Eat in restaurants?
  7. How many days will you dry camp?
  8. Will you be traveling in extremely cold or extremely hot climates?
  9. Are all the adults in your camping group comfortable with taking turns driving?
  10. Would it be less costly and less frustrating to rent your RV when needed instead of owning and maintaining it?
  11. How can you simplify camping in your RV to make each trip more enjoyable for everyone?

There are many other ways of making RV travel easier, including:

Cooking One-Pot Meals

  • Reduces the need for multiple pots and pans, simplifying cleanup.
  • Encourages the use of simple ingredients for nutritious meals.
  • Allows for creative combinations that can be adapted to what’s on hand.

Simplifying Recipes

  • Focuses on using fewer ingredients to minimize grocery shopping and storage needs.
  • Emphasizes straightforward cooking techniques suitable for the limited RV kitchen space.
  • Helps in planning meals that are both easy to prepare and delicious.

Using Sleeping Bag Bedding

  • Eliminates the need for traditional sheets and blankets, making bed-making quicker.
  • Offers easy storage solutions, as sleeping bags can be rolled up and stowed away.
  • Provides comfort in a variety of temperatures, reducing the need for multiple bedding layers.

Packing Multi-Purpose Clothes

  • Saves space by reducing the amount of clothing needed for the trip.
  • Focuses on versatility, such as items that can transition from day to night or from casual to slightly dressier occasions.
  • Encourages the selection of clothes that can be layered for changing weather conditions.

By using these strategies, RV travelers can streamline their preparation, maximize their living space, and enjoy a more comfortable and efficient travel experience.

RV camping is fun, but it isn’t free. Simplify camping to make sure you get the most value and enjoyment for every dollar you spend.

RV and Travel Trailer Hacks: Camping Made Easier (Video)

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