Your New Retirement Lifestyle – RVing: A Cost Effective Way to Live Your Dreams (Part 2)

By: JohnBarnes

In my previous article on RVing I discussed how the RV lifestyle can be a frugal way to live your dreams and reinvent yourself. In addition, we examined the various types of recreational vehicles. Now I would like to present some frugal strategies that you will find very useful.

Boondocking is the term that denotes camping without electric and water hookups, water faucets, sewer hookups, and phone or cable TV connections. In addition, there are no campground fees. This usually means wilderness or primitive camping out in the “boondocks.” It is important to note that typically, boondocking RVers are people who have self-contained Rvs.

There are as many reasons to boondock. Here are some common reasons:

• Experience the fun and freedom to go where you want. Imagine being surrounded by natural beauty, with little or no neighbors. There is nothing more comforting than awakening in the morning with the sound of a stream and a distant view of a spectacular mountain range.

• We want to save money! Often times the primary reason for boondocking may be to experience natural beauty. A second primary reason can be to save money. Certainly, this is valid for retirees living on fixed incomes. And, it further substantiates how cost effective RVing can be.

• Another thought that comes to mind in regards to saving money is that boondocking can help to equalize RVing expenses. In particular, it may make it easier for you to deal with the high cost of fuel. Basically, the nights that you boondock can offset the nights that you pay high private campground fees.

• Boondocking is convenient! Sometimes, after a long and boring day on the road, convenience in an overnight stop is all that matters. So, staying in a parking lot of a retail store or mall may simply be the best alternative, particularly since there may be no campground nearby. And, if you put some effort into conserving your battery power, you should do just fine. Be certain that you obtain permission to camp on private property so that there will be no surprise interruptions.

• A great way to stay when visiting family members. There is nothing simpler than parking in a driveway when visiting grandchildren and other relatives.

Cost Saving Strategies That Save Gas
Here is a list of some common sense tips to keep RVing affordable in light of higher fuel prices.

1. Camp closer to home. Our forty years of camping experience has lead to a wonderful nucleus of campgrounds in the Northeast that we enjoy visiting.

2. Think about staying in one place for a longer period of time. Many campgrounds offer substantial discounts for longer stays. When we camped last year in the desert of Arizona, the daily fee at that Casino camp was $43. After our month long stay, the fee was reduced to $32.

3. Cook your favorite meals in your RV to help avoid the high costs of eating out. If you do dine out, look for specials in the form of coupons and early bird specials. Those deals are usually advertised in local newspapers. Sometimes it can be more cost effective to dine out for a late breakfast, lunch, or even a lunch buffet.

4. Consolidate your short trips into a longer trip. Or, you can walk or take the bike (as we do) from the campsite, or, take public transportation.

5. Pack lighter in an effort to keep the weight of the RV to a minimum.

6. If you can, travel at night during the hot weather. That technique will reduce air conditioning requirements.

If you are not certain of the meaning of the term “Workamping,” simply look at the word itself. The first thing that comes to mind is working while you camp. Basically, that is it!

There are a variety of reasons to Workamp. You may simply want to supplement your retirement income to support a nearly full-time RV lifestyle. Additionally, this is another aspect of the RV lifestyle that is cost effective. If you have a job as a campground host, and you enjoy meeting people, you may only have to work a few hours a day. In turn, you may be remunerated with a free campsite and hookups. It is even possible that you may be able to secure this type of job in one of our beautiful National or State Parks. I’ve met lots of very satisfied hosts in a variety of settings over the years, who all agree that this Workamper job really does support a satisfying retirement lifestyle.

Workamping jobs are seasonal, so in essence, you should have plenty of time to enjoy your RV travels between jobs. Working out of your coach or trailer can be a great option if you are thinking or retiring early. The point is, that you have chosen a wonderful style of living that can reinforce any kind of part-time or full-time work (paid or volunteer).

Be sure to check out the Work For Rvers and Campers website.

Jeffrey Webber is the author of four books. The first is entitled The New Professional Person’s Retirement Lifestyle. The second is Technology & Your Retirement Lifestyle: Tools For The New You. The third book is RVing & Your Retirement Lifestyle: A Cost Effective Way to Live Your Dreams. The most recent book is Volunteering & Your Retirement Lifestyle.
Mr. Webber was a public school educator for thirty-three years.
Also, he has traveled extensively around the world and is a veteran of RV travel throughout the U.S. He is an avid hobbyist, classical musician, dancer, and is devoted to the cultural arts. Additionally, he volunteers extensively for Heifer International, and maintains a fervent devotion to physical fitness activities.