When it comes to budgeting for the full time and part time RV lifestyle, applying methods that lower the average RV park fees can add up the savings over the course of a year!
Pam and I use multiple methods to cut our average RV park fees, and we would like to share some of those with you. These savings come by searching out RV parks that offer online discounts, using camping clubs, and by boondocking at various locations to save on RV park fees.
$20 Average RV Park Fees for Us!
We spent the first three months of 2016 in Florida. Now, anyone who has spent any time in an RV in Florida, in the winter, knows that RV site fees can be expensive. Why? Supply and demand! Everyone wants to come here to escape the cold in the north.
That means that finding an RV site for a three month period can be nearly impossible if you want to be south of Tampa. When you call an RV park for a February stay, you may get laughed at! Some of you may have experienced this yourself. In fact, Pam has been on the other end of the office phone in several RV parks and had to tell potential RV park visitors the bad news!
So how did we just average $20 per night staying in Florida RV parks in the busiest months of the year?
The first thing is we don’t stay in the same place for months on end. We have in the past, and depending on the park, the nightly rate can wind up averaging more than twenty dollars a night by the time you pay taxes and electric usage!
Since we are so mobile, and it requires little effort to move about, we find that Florida RV parks always keep transient sites available for folks like us. And you know the good thing? They offer deals for those RV spaces!
Since January, most of the places we have stayed offered a $99 a week rate. You can stay for one week and come back the next month and use the discount again. One park told us if we came in the last week of the month, we could stay two weeks at the $99 per week rate.
How did we find these parks you ask? We started the year off at the Tampa RV Supershow. We find that many of the Florida campground owners attend the show as vendors, and they offer specials to get transient visitors to their parks. Pam collected all kinds of information on these places and then researched them online to see if they would suit our needs. Then we use rvparkreviews.com to get the real story on RV Parks and campgrounds.
Now, because I have a monthly engagement at Lazydays to teach an RV inspector class, I do have to be mobile. When we spend a week there, the nightly rate is close to fifty dollars a night! So how do we knock that down to bring our average RV park fees to the twenty dollars range? We boondock! This is the act of parking in approved areas that do not provide RV services: water, sewer, or electric hookups.
There are great free places to stay! You just have to research and find them!
What we found worked great this past three months is that after leaving Lazydays, and we had three weeks before having to return to the next class, we boondocked a total of seven days. We then spent the other two weeks in RV parks that were offering winter deals!
We also use our Passport America discount club card to get fifty percent off nightly RV park fees. Most of the RV parks in Florida that offer these deals are limited in the months of January, February, and March! Deal hunting requires a lot of research at the Passport America website. You have to find what days of the week RV parks are offering discounts and what the black-out dates are.
Some will not even offer the Passport America discount during the Florida winter season! But others will offer unlimited stays using the fifty percent discount.
We stayed at one of these RV parks in February. They offered an RV site for $17.50 per night. It was a nice park, old, but nice. I think the main reason for offering the discount in February is that the park is located right next to railroad tracks, and a double line of them. All day long, and in the early and late hours, trains come through.
We knew this was the case because we read reviews about the RV park and that some people could not tolerate the train traffic. What we did was to ask for a spot in the corner of the park furthest from the train tracks. The owner was able to accommodate our request. We stayed for a week, and the train noise was not too bad!
Being able to save money on your average RV park fees, if that kind of thing matters to you, all boils down to being flexible. If you don’t care too much about your exact location, and you are willing to move about, there is money to be saved and nice places to visit while doing so!
If you want to check in below and leave a comment, please feel free to share your experiences!
Happy winter camping in Florida!
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