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  1. Default Cheap roadtripping

    I'm a new member and I have tried to search some old posts for info but had trouble finding the info. Maybe someone could steer me in the right direction. My wife and I are doing a road trip around the country this summer, mostly the southwest. We'd like to save some money by camping, we have a tent that we can attach to the back of our SUV. It'd would basically be sleeping/crashing, then getting back on the road...We'd probably use motels sporatically...every three days or so. So what should we look for? I've heard the "free" campsites can be bad/unreliable....Any ideas or links to old posts etc would be great. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A good place to start.

    Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Here's a thread which is being build at the moment. Probably the best place for you to start.

    There is also a forum on saving money on a road trip, and lots of threads in the Road Trip Field Reports by those who have travelled on a tight budget.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    Hi, and welcome to RTA!

    I've been the one that's been researching the campsites along the Interstates and the US Highways, and can tell you that "free" is pretty non-existent. There are very, very few, maybe 1% of all the campgrounds I've found so far. Prices range from $8-10 up to $30+ per night. Some are reservable and others are first-come, first-serve. A few are nearby the highway, many are between 10 and 20 miles from it, and a few are further.

    Saving money on the road:
    Gas/fuel: Get the Gas Buddy app to find the least expensive fuel in the areas you're passing through.

    Food: Bring your own breakfast foods for camping, pack stuff in a cooler that you can picnic along the road with. Dinners -- if you're camping, you can get food and cook it on a campstove. On your motel nights, choose a place with a microwave oven and you can make most anything, or visit the service deli of a local grocery store and see what they have ready-made. Carry paper plates and some sort of utensils so you can eat easier in the motel. I've been known to take an electric fry pan and cook in a motel room, but not all folks have room for that stuff in their travel vehicle, and not all motel rooms will let you do that.

    Motels: you can use many methods to find one in your budget. We have a Motel Finder on this website (scroll down to the blue section and look to the right). You could use Expedia,, or other discount lodging websites, to find a place. If you're along a freeway, there are coupon books to be had from either a state information/visitor center or from a kiosk at either rest areas or travel plazas/truck stops.

    Don't forget to budget for ice!


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