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25 Ways to Save on Gas while Camping

With the current crisis in Europe, the price of gasoline has skyrocketed. Here are some tips on How to Save on Gas While RVing this year.

a motorhome at a gas station

Let’s face it, the cost of owning an RV can be high. This is not more evident than when the price of oil rises and owners really feel the pinch at the gas pumps.

We asked members of our Illinois camping group if they will be altering their camping plans this summer. For the most part, they are planning to camp as normal. We have added their quotes to the gas-saving tips throughout this article.

Save on Gas in 2023

While these tips on saving at the pumps are geared toward campers, these tips apply to all drivers.

Join a Club

Membership clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club offer gasoline discounts all the time. Many of these clubs have wide lanes, making filling a motorhome or tow vehicle easy.

motorhome being filled with gas at Costco

Get Rewarded

We use UpSide to save on gas. Refer friends and get even more savings. We recently save 52 cents per gallon, which is a BIG saving considering we have a huge gas tank on our RV.

Get UpSide NOW –>

Several gas station chains and grocery stores have reward programs where you earn discounts for your loyalty for spending your money at their establishment. Find one you like and save!

You can also get rewards and discounts with credit cards. Gas cards or gas reward credit cards often save you the most.

Camp Closer to Home

Reduce the distances you will travel this summer. Fewer miles means less gas.

Samantha C

The price of gas did make us think a little more about where we wanted to go. We just booked 5 small trips locally. The furthest away is 2 hours. So many amazing places to visit without having to travel very far. We still get to spend quality time with our kids while enjoying the outdoors.

motorhome being driving through a residential area

Peggy S

We have been thinking about it. We haven’t planned a lot of long-distance travels with the trailer this year.

Chad W

Due to other factors, we were already planning on more weekend trips closer to home instead of extended getaways.

Use a Gas App

Download an app like GasBuddy or check the price of gas on Google Maps. Find a cheaper place and fill up before you are running on fumes and have to do with whatever is available.

Camp in a Tent

Reduce the drag of an RV and pack a tent instead.

a tent next to a lake in a campground

Pay with Cash

Many gas stations and truck stops offer a discount for paying with cash. Plan ahead and have cash on hand. Those extra steps to go inside to a cashier will make your wallet happy.


Change your vehicles to something smaller and/or better on gas mileage. Yes, you can camp with a Prius!

Michael G

We didn’t have a long distance trip planned with the camper this year. For our longer trip we will be taking our relatively efficient van.

Prius towing a small Camper

Take Fewer Vehicles

A lot of families take several vehicles out to the campground. Even if it means you do not get out to the campground as early, waiting until everyone is ready to go and in one vehicle will save money.

Use Efficient Routes

Google Maps recommends the most fuel-efficient direction to your destination. Avoiding traffic helps cut down idling time.

traffic near DC

Caroline G

I am planning to pull my trailer from the Chicago suburbs down to Florida (Disney and camping on the gulf) at end of May. Currently budgeting 2k for gas (which I thought was going to be over, now not sure and worried it could even be more). The cost makes me nervous, but my kids are growing up fast (12 and 15) and I’ve faced some health challenges this past year – so cancelling/rescheduling isn’t something I plan to do. Not for gas costs at least! The rest of our trips this summer will be fairly local.

Reduce Weight to Save on Gas

Do you know how much weight you are hauling? Many campers overload their campers and tow vehicles, not only reducing gas mileage but sacrificing safety. Traveling with empty water and waste tanks is another way to reduce weight.

Driveway Camp

Have you ever camped at home? Backyard or driveway camping can be a lot of fun!

Janet F

We make 2 trips to the upper peninsula each summer. This year we plan to make it one extended trip to save in gas. The rest of our camping season will be close to home this year. We might do lots of driveway camping too.

camping in the driveway in an Airstream motorhome

Get a Seasonal Site

Cut down on towing by leaving your RV out at a long-term spot. Preferably one close to home.

Buy Gas Early in the Week

Did you know that gas is often cheaper earlier in the week? Fill up on a Monday and Tuesday and save. Every penny counts!

motorhome being filled with gas at a gas station

Don’t Idle

Letting your vehicle idle uses up gas. Wait until you are ready to move before starting it up. Less idling also helps reduce air pollution.

Don’t Cruise on Hills

Cruise control is great, but turn it off when you go up hills to prevent it from making your engine work harder than it needs to.

cars going up a hill on I-5 in California

Reduce Heating & A/C Use

Run the heater or air conditioner on low or off on hills or when you really have to accelerate. Growing up we called our A/C 4×40; 4 windows open at 40mph. Driving with windows open can produce air drag, so keep them closed at higher speeds.

Proper Tire Pressure

Improper tire pressure reduces gas mileage. Make sure your tires are inflated according to manufacturers’ recommendations.

improperly inflated tire on a camper

Maintenance Up to Date

Your car will run most efficiently if the maintenance is up to date. When was your last oil change? What about your cabin and engine filters?

Drive the Speed Limit

Not only does slowing down keep you safer, but it also helps with your gas economy. We follow the speeds posted for trucks.

trucks and RVs on an interstate

Proper Fitting Gas Cap

An improper fitting gas cap can let vapors get out. Make sure yours fits well. You may consider getting a locking gas cap to deter theft.

Skip the Premium

On average, premium gasoline runs 30¢ more than regular. That might not seem like much, but it really adds up over time!

gas prices at a gas station in California

Ease Up on the Pedals

According to the Department of Energy, aggressive driving uses up more gas. Let up on the accelerator and gas pedal and save on gas!


While boondocking does not change gas costs, it does eliminate campground fees, which leaves more for the gas tank.

Boondocking in an Airstream in California

Reduce Air Resistance

Roof racks increase air resistance. Remove them and store bikes and equipment on racks behind the vehicle.

Reduce Other Costs

If gas is 25% higher this year, reduce other costs by 25%. That may mean less eating out or fewer souvenirs, but you will still have the memories.

Dana J

We personally won’t let gas prices affect us. We budget for our trips anyway, so if cost for gas changes-so does our budget and we plan accordingly. Life is too short to not have adventures. Our children are quickly growing up and the time we have remaining with them at home is dwindling. We choose to spend the extra money to make those memories. Because those memories will last a lifetime.

mug that says Camping is my Happy Place being held in front of a motorhome

Just Keep on Camping!

According to AAA, $4/gallon is the point where Americans evaluate their driving habits. However, our camping buddies said that the increased prices of gas will not alter their plans and they will keep going to their happy place.

Tyler P

I have a plan to go to Wisconsin this summer, sites are booked. It will add $70 to the cost of the trip in fuel, not too much for me to get wound up about. If gas is $5 per gallon I’m still able to get there and back for under $200. The memories that are going to be made are worth more than that.

Eddie C

Nope, it won’t effect us at all. The price hike ain’t going to hurt us in our household. It’s something we love to do so we will continue to do so.

Mary R

Nope, we just got ourcamper last year, so we are looking forward to camping.

As for us, we will still camp and travel a lot. We just adjusted our June travel plans and will be traveling much further from home in order to enjoy the beach with friends. Like Dana said above, time with the kids is limited and we want to create lasting memories.

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