Find Cheap RV hookups for less then $200 a month for full time RV Living

RV LIVING

As the world gets smaller & technology improves the appeal of living a “travelers lifestyle” is becoming more & more popular.  RV living is one option, and with websites like Freelancer or Peopleperhour anyone with a laptop can create a stream of income.  When I bought my first RV I was rejuvenated with excitement.  I thought I had finally cracked the code of owning a home and being free to travel where ever I wanted.  No more rent, deposits, credit checks, application fees or monthly bills.  I was overjoyed & naive. Stepping into a world that requires more than just packing a bag and picking a destination.  Living out of an RV is a job, and takes an excessive amount of energy to sustain. Each RV provides its own benefits & disadvantages, but RV living is not the freedom that most associate it with.  In fact there is no universally “best” RV out there, but there is a universal set of obstacles for every RV out there.  If all you want to know is how Find full RV hook ups for less then $200 a month anywhere in America Click here to skip down the page.  If you’re new to RV life or thinking about getting into an RV I recommend you read my guide to buying your new RV.  Whether you’re buying your first RV or upgrading I’ve got you covered with everything you need to know before buying an RV


RV LIVING OBSTACLES

Obstacle number one is you need a place to park.  Depending on your location this is easier at times than others, and you will definitely want to check out my free camping guide for more options.  Obstacle number two is you need hookups, solar panels or a generator.  Two of these come with a monthly bill, and two of these come with limitations.  Obstacle number three is a bathroom.  Either you pay a monthly fee for full hook ups, or you have to travel your rig to a dumpstation.  Obstacle number four compromised comfortability.  No RV under 40 feet is going to have storage space, counter space & comfortable living space.  It may have one or two variables, but the only way to get all three is with a massive & expensive rig.  So compromise is a fundamental characteristic for anyone looking to explore RV living.

Having owned 4 out of the 5 available RV styles (Class A, B, C, & a travel trailer), as well as living full time in my RVs for over a decade I have learned one undeniable lesson:  The more comfortable they are the less convenient they are.  I am currently living out of a 28-foot travel trailer with one slide out and towing it with a Toyota Tacoma.  The storage is acceptable, counter space is good enough and the living space is slightly less than perfect.  RVs are still being designed for weekend getaways or temporary vacation options.  Nobody in the industry is focused on full-time RVers, or if they have are completely detached with that community.  Designs are unfocused, price tags are inflated & convenience is irrelevant.  Living in an RV has its limitations, but also delivers a lot of freedom.  Its all about what you want out of life.

RV LIVING CONVENIENCE

 

RV travel living lifeBeing able to relocate anywhere at any time has a lot of appeal. Having all my worldly possessions including Kota has even more appeal. Living on the banks of a meandering river at the bottom of a mountain for free is more than rewarding.  These are the selling points an RV salesman will hammer home to you, but conveniently forget to mention that your rig will only get 6-8 mpg.  For every reason the RV life is characterized as carefree freedom there are just as many if not more reasons to reconsider RV living.




Sure I love pulling up to a ski resort in September and spending a month hiking to secret waterfalls under the fall foliage for free.   As well as camping in a casino parking lot while I play poker for a month to fund my next adventure, but living out of an RV if not careful can be more inconvenient & expensive than any other type of travel.

Living out of your RV can be described best as annoying freedom.  Either your living space is too cramped.  Storage space is inadequate.  Fees for convenience are expensive or time consuming.  Everything becomes a chore, and every chore you delete adds a fee.  Every destination becomes a gas mileage calculation, and with fuel on the rise this is an expense that is never going to get cheaper.

To move my current RV takes at least 30 minutes of prep time, and another hour of prep time to drop it. Not to mention driving in traffic is nowhere near desirable.  So depending on the location who wants to spend 2-3 hours packing/unpacking just to drain their toilet every couple of weeks.  Don’t get me wrong RV living has its perks, but how convenient can a 15-foot truck and a 30 foot RV that costs $45 for every 150 miles really be?    To get the most out of RV living you need to be very resourceful.  Check out my Free Camping Guide to get an idea of how resourceful, creative or adaptive you have to be at times to sustain RV living without breaking the bank.

RV LIVING CHOICES

RV living in comfortable RV park near yellowstoneTo keep it simple choose an RV park.  You’ll have access to water, sewer, electricity, people and even local utility companies for internet and TV.  Where I am currently living there are 108 RV Parks within a 30 minute drive, and that doesn’t count any of the National Forests, mobile home parks, campgrounds, farms, ranches, craigslist postings, private facebook groups or anything from my  Free Camping Guide.

Living in an RV Park is convenient, but obnoxiously expensive and restrictive.  I sometimes break down and submit, but its not very often.  Your average RV Park with pathetic Wifi, shower house, and laundry facilities will run you around:  $50/night; $250/week; $450/month.  As well as provide list of rules at check in time.  Depending on the park these rules are either strictly enforced like a maximum security prison, or at others the only effort to enforce them was the time it took to write them.



RV LIVING PARK FEES

RV living greedy park feesAccording to Wikipedia there are less then 15,000 RV parks in America.  For a way of a life that is assumed by a large number of participants who are retired or on a fixed income its baffling how expensive RV parks are, or that there isn’t enough backlash from the RV world to force lower park prices.  Some might argue that at $450 a month thats only $15/day.  What’s the problem?

My problem is everything is ala carte, and its classic shady salesman bait & switch tactics.  On top of it the display price is only for a parking space, and most will now try to charge me for useless non working internet, laundry, and electricity.   Some even try to tack on extra daily fees for pets, cars, bikes, visitors I’m sure there’s a park out there that has a fee for too many books.  Everything is ala carte.

Unless you plan on staying at one of the more high-end RV parks then everything is ala carte.  As long as you don’t mind a $700-$1200 a month rent bill, but these parks have activity directors, bingo, theaters, pools, hot tubs, golf courses, casinos, hot air balloons and dancing clowns.  There are also RV parks that are less then $300/month, but they are usually in a mobile home park and your neighbor may nor may not be a meth head.

To get the most out of your money by living in an RV Park I would recommend to shop around and be selective.   Also if its the off season ask for discounts, or negotiate a discount based on little occupancy.  There are also multiple membership clubs you can be apart of to get discounts.  The biggest one probably being Good Sam.  I don’t pay for camping enough to know anything about it.   What I do know is their referral program is a bit one sided.  You refer someone to buy an RV from them, and they’ll give you a $100 gift certificate to their store.  Thanks for the incentive, but the bar down the street is offering 2 for 1’s & I think it will be easier to talk my buddy into buying a $3 pint then a $30,000 fancy van.

RV LIVING PARK AMENITIES

RV living rv park ammenitiesRV parks drastically vary across america.  Ranging from concrete parking lots to secluded wilderness camps.  Each has its own advantages & disadvantages.  I would prefer to be in the mountains next to rivers and surrounded by trees but to each their own.  Amenities can range from free bike rentals to off leash dog park.  I’ve stayed at places that offer free movies, and other places that require me to mow the lawn.  I’ve also found places that offer child care, dog sitting, game room, hot tubs, pools, mini golf & vouchers to near by restaurants & shops. These places are more appealing, but every RV park is going to have its own unique features and options.  The ones that are well kept, proactive and offer more for less are on everyone’s radar.  I like to travel so I would rather spend my money on adventures versus housing.   For the most part, all RV parks have a universal list of amenities:

Basic RV Park ~ $450/month Average RV Park ~$5-700/month High End RV Park ~ $750 and Up
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Electric
  • Can be spacious

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Electric
  • Wifi
  • Picnic Table
  • FirePit
  • Laundry
  • Fairly Cramped

 

 

 

 

  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Electric
  • Wifi
  • Cable
  • Laundry
  • Pool
  • Hot Tob
  • Game Room
  • Activity Room
  • Activity Director
  • Family Meals
  • Bingo or other community events
  • Golf Carts
  • VERY VERY CRAMPED




RV LIVING CRAIGSLIST

RV living how to find rv hook ups off of craigslistRV Parks aren’t the only choice when looking for a new home.  Mobile home parks generally are hundreds of dollars cheaper a month and aren’t always that organized.  I stayed for 6 months in Ogden, Utah with full hook ups for free because they forgot about me.  Ranchers & farmers live an alternative lifestyle that for whatever reason seem to always have full RV hook ups on their property, and they are the most genuine folk on this planet.  On a ranch in Montana, a couple let me stay on the NW corner of their property next to the river over looking Glacier National Park for free one summer.  With 4G unlimited internet from Verizon & the nearest road or neighbor 5 miles away, I was very tempted to stay forever.

Craigslist is a wonderful option to find cheap options for your RV, especially in small towns.  Just go to the housing option and type in RV.  Set the price range max at $500, and see what pops up.  Between Craigslist & AIRBNB I have found countless monthly rentals for less than $200 with full hook ups.  Another way to use craigslist is the “room mate wanted” section.  Avoid all listings in apartment complexes, but anything with a yard is fair game.  Hundreds of people a year have accommodated myself through the “roommate wanted” section of Craigslist. This comes with free showers, laundry and you get to meet a local while helping them out.  I use this all the time and can’t recommend it enough.

AIRBnB is a community of people thinking outside the box creating streams of revenue from property they are not using or willing to temporarily rent out.   These people are like the hybrid RV living class a RVof
craigslist “roommate wanted” section.  As long you have the money, and they have the space its a win a win.  A lady in Sandpoint Idaho couldn’t let me stay on her property she had on Airbnb, but she let me stay on her shop property for $5/day.  In Jackson Hole, Wyoming I found a lady renting out her RV on AirBnB.  She let me park my RV next to it for over 2 months, and whenever she had reservations staying we just swapped the hook ups temporarily so she could double dip on the same listing.  AirBnB & Craigslist are wonderful resources for the full-time RVers, but Facebook is my number one resource.

RV LIVING FACEBOOK

Facebook is a goldmine of options, and I’m not talking about the friends and family your already connected with.  Sweeping across America is towns creating “facebook local groups” for their area.  This is especially popular in towns that don’t have a craigslist specific listing.  Small towns with a big tourist population usually have 4 private facebook group pages:  Housing, Jobs, Rant & Rave and Garage Sale pages.  Sometimes they are hard to find.  They are either listed by the town name, county name or local area nickname.  You would think the easiest way to find them is ask a local, but if your not in the area thats not always an option.  And believe it or not some locals in these areas like to keep secrets or don’t use the computer.

Best way to find these groups from afar is google or facebook.  Once you find them now you have to ask permission to be apart of the group.  This isn’t always granted, but be persistent & creative.  I sometimes change my facebook address, profile & anything else just to appear from the area.  After being accepted make one appropriate post depending on the group.  Make it something positive, and requires no engagement from you.   If you do have to engage make sure its simple like Item sold.  Be careful these groups are finicky & temperamental.  If you annoy the wrong person no matter how trivial it is you will be booted & blocked.  After you have made a post and everyone sees your not a spammer I usually make a post saying something like there has to be someone on here that could use another $150 a month.  I just gave you the secret on how to find $150 month full hook up RV spots anywhere in America.  I usually post on the garage sales & jobs page because it reaches the most people, and they are in the mind frame of making money.  Gotta a better way?  I would love to hear about it in the comments below.  Have questions on how this works leave it in the comments below?

Facebook has been providing me full hook up sites for less then $200 a month since 2010, and I could not be more grateful.  I have met some of the most magnificent people that have opened their doors to me whenever I am in the area, and have stayed in some of the most amazing RV spots with full hook ups.  Spots you can’t find in any guide book.  Google doesn’t know they exist, and no RV forum can help you locate.  Facebook groups are created by the locals for the locals, and when they invite you in its a genuine invitation paved with good intentions.  I call them travel angels, and I would not have been able to travel since 1998 without all them.

RV LIVING PARK REVIEWS

Anyone can write a review of an RV Park.  I think first hand knowledge and experience is the only way to provide value to my community.  Below you can find a list of or links to RV parks I have stayed at during my travels.  This list will continue to grow over time so check back often, or leave your review in the comments below.

 

Travel America RV Sandpoint, Idaho

Murray Ridge Road Whitefish Montana

Tiffany RV Park Mesa, AZ

18 Comments

    • Laura,
      Thank you and glad you found my travel blog. Let me know if there’s any way I can help you meet RV living easier.

      Adam

  • I would like to find a place to park my rv for the next year +- I will need full hookup. Close to Sandpoint Idaho

    • Hi Michael,

      Thank you for visiting my blog and reaching out to me on this subject. Sorry for the delayed response I’ve been on a backcountry camping trip and just getting back to civilization now. Before I can answer your question you need to ask yourself a few questions:

      What is your budget?
      How far from Sandpoint do you need to be?
      Do you need cell phone service?

      From my research when living in Sanpoint:

      Most campgrounds in the area charge between $400-$600 a month plus electric, and $35-55 a night. The best campground deal that I found in the area was Travel America which is a 24-hour gas station 5 minutes from downtown Sandpoint right across the long bridge that also dubs as a campground and mobile home park. So its a short walk from your RV to the store for any supplies you may need in the middle of the night.
      The monthly rate for Travel America is a flat rate (no peak season or off-season rate variations) $430 month and that includes all utilities (water electric wifi and sewer). The best deal in the area is in Westmond at the cozy RV Park 7 miles south of Travel America. This is a private residence with about eight RV full hookup spots directly across from the Chevron Gas station for $230 a month. There’s also a laundromat and showers across the street. The next best deals are out in Hope which is about 35 to 45 minutes Northeast of Sandpoint at the Trestle Creek RV Park and Beyond Hope Resort. Both of these RV Parks charge around $450-$475 a month plus electric. Cell phone service is spotty but Verizon does work, and just across the street is a free public boat access to Lake PendOreille and small park. The next closest options are in Priest River, and all run for $450-$500/ month plus electric. Cell phone service in Priest River is even worse than Hope and commuting can be challenging on weekends, holidays or public events. North of Sandpoint is a town called Bonners ferry which also has options but that was too far for me so I never researched the campgrounds. The most obnoxious and absurd option in the area is the Sandpoint RV Park located downtown next to the Best Western. For $800/month plus electric you can set up your RV in a parking lot under a street lamp next to the railroad tracks that see 5-6 trains an hour.

      I started out at the travel America and put my put my name on the waiting list at the Cozy RV Park. I also joined the Sandpoint yard sale and garage sale Facebook groups. While waiting to be approved on Facebook and waiting to hear back from the Cozy RV Park I reached out to all local AirBnB listings I felt could accommodate my RV. One user offered me a spot at her shop for $5.00 a day with water and electric no sewer. Another lady who was advertising a Tipi for rent had full RV hookups at her home for $500 a month plus electric but included high speed Internet. Another five or six farms/ranches offered full RV hookups on their property for $200 or less a month but none of them had working cell service with Verizon. Eventually I found a couple off of Sagle road with full hookups, strong cell service and fire pit with free firewood. I’m waiting to hear back from them for permission to give you their phone number.

      I found them by making this post on the Facebook yard sale page, “There has to be someone on here that could use an extra $200 a month.” That post got over 15 shares and 200 comments within a day. I saw similar results posting the exact same post on the local Facebook job board and garage sale page.
      I forgot to mention I also reached out to a local real estate agent to see if vacant landowners would allow me to rent their property for the summer. This resulted in a lot of owner financing options being sent my way.

      While I have all the contact information saved from my research on RV camping in the Sandpoint area I won’t share that publicly because I don’t have specific permission, don’t know their vacancy and ownership or phone numbers could have changed. But I am sure you will find plenty of options posting on the facebook groups I have linked to in this comment. Thank you again for reaching out to me. Best of luck to you.

      P.S. If you can live without hook ups I can give you a number of free spots to camp at in the area with good cell phone coverage & magnificent views. Just might have to make a trip to the dumpstation every couple of weeks.

  • i am a retiree still willing to pull my weight on a fixed income of less than 1k with a 23ft tug along and am ready to travel into the sunset. thinking south east ga tenn tex not fla nc sc don’tt know. 200 a month is about all i could afford w/hookups. what suggestions might you have for someone like me?
    thanks jim

    • Jim,

      Thanks for visiting my travel blog. I haven’t really spent alot of time in that part of the country. I prefer the Pacific northwest, but I did spend a month with my 30 foot “tug along” on Douglas Lake, Tennessee. I found a temporary place using google terrain maps, and found a road that lead to a random unofficial beach. I put up flyers at local bar, laundromat, hardware store, coffee shop n library offering $200/month for a faucet n outdoor outlet. I also logged onto facebook and joined local facebook groups: Sevierville online garage sale 17k members, Jefferson online garage sale 9,000 members, and made a post saying looking for short term rv parking spot. Will pay rent upfront. Dont need full hookups but water n electric would be nice. These posts n flyers received so many responses I was able to be choosy. I found theses facebook groups by doing a facebook group search for Douglas Lake garage sale, and then just joined the ones with most people.

      If I were you though I would look into being a campground host. You get a free campsite with hookups at a campground, and sometimes a paycheck. Your main duties are empty trash cans, check in/out campers, keep campground tidy, etc. I just did a brief search and found this campground host positionin beautiful Asheville. I know you said you didnt want to be in North Carolina, but Asheville is amazing area.

      Campground hosting allows you to travel the country and get paid to do so. Amazon also hires seasonal campground hosts, as well as full time rvers during holiday season.
      If your looking for income that wont effect your fixed income check out my post on how to get paid to travel the world. Alot of methods and different ideas to make money without bosses, taxes or experience.

      But back to your question on how to find cheap rv hookups. Use facebook and the local groups. Check out craigslist. Go to housing section and do a search for rv lot, rv space, rv parking or just rv. See what pops up. Check airbnb for properties in the area you want to be in. Email the owners and see if they can accommodate you and your rv. Thats been successful for me in the past especially new airbnb listings trying to get reviews n income. Vrbo is another site you can try, or allstay.

      The app overlander is a wonderful resource to find options too.
      Sometimes though you just strike out. Timing is everything, and just chatting someone up in line at the store could find you a place. I found a place in Grand Lake Colorado with full hookups for free because i picked up a hitchiker who knew a friend of a friend who could help me out.

      Rv life is amazing and hope I given you some solutions to explore. Would love to hear how things work out for you. Best of luck!

      Adam

  • Can can somebody help me find an RV spot to put my RV so I can live in it for at least 200 to 450 a month if possible I have a nice 1987 RV it’s not beat up it’s in good condition everything inside is remodeled everything works I just need to find a spot where I could park it and leave it there

    • Candy,

      I would be happy to help. Where are you looking to find a spot? Have you reached out to your local real estate agent? They might know of a land owner that’s willing to rent their vacant land to you? I’ve had the best luck with this approach with owners that are willing to do “owner financing”. I would also login to facebook and look for a local group page. I tend to have the best luck with the local garage sale pages when trying to find a spot for myself. Another great resource for me has been AirBnb. Users on this site are already renting out parts of their property. So its not that hard to convince them to rent to you. Long term rentals are a bit tricky, but if approached the right way I am sure you will find something. Where do you live? Maybe I can find something for you?

      Adam

  • You have a complete guide here, Adam. I was not into RVs since I’m a claustrophobic, but I got one a few years ago and love it! To my surprise they are comfortable. Great info/tips to find cheap hook-ups.

    • Thanks Edel! I was a bit apprehensive when I first started looking at RVs O so long ago, but I am so glad I pulled the trigger. RV life is amazing!!! and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world! Have you checked out my RV Buying Guide?

      Adam

    • Julie,

      Thanks for visiting my travel blog. KOA’s are great campgrounds, but I generally stay away from campgrounds. You get what you pay for, and KOA delivers a lot. Allowing them to charge $33 a night to pitch a tent and upwards of $76 a night for an RV. So they are always dead last on my list of options. I have never heard of thousand trails, but at $575 a year if there is no fine print or bait and switch tactic appear to be an AMAZING DEAL. Thank you for bringing this option to my attention. I will have to investigate further. Do you have any more information on thousand trails?

      Adam

    • David,

      Thanks for visiting my travel blog. I would love to help you, but it would be long distance help. As I have never been to Texas yet. I’m on my way next spring I’ll be spending a month before heading to South America. If you could give me a little more details on requirements I might be able to find you something or someone that can point you in the right direction.

      Have you tried any of the facebook groups or reaching out to any Airbnb listings? Have you called any of the mobile home parks? Have you checked out any of the craigslist listings? Real estate agents some times have a line on a 2nd home that the owner would love to rent out there land to RVers. You can also check with the local campgrounds see if they are looking for campground hosts. Sometimes those gigs pay sometimes they’re just free rent. I’ll send you this as an email to make it easier to get back in touch with me.

      Let me know how else I can help.

      Adam

  • I am currently living in my travel camper in herrin I’ll,I need a cheaper place to put it,on disability and a victim of domestic violence, which my husband had a Bond of no contact with me and I need to get help,any suggestions

    • Karen,

      That sounds like a tough situation, but if you have a way to move your travel camper I would explore doing that. Calling all the local campgrounds asking them if they have a monthyly rate. Call all the mobile trailer parks in the area ask them if they allow travel campers and what their rate is? I would also reach out to the local Facebook garage sale/yard sale group page and make a posting asking if anyone is willing to rent out their backyard or vacant land to park your travel camper on? I would also email all the Airbnb listing in your area and see if they would let you rent their property long term for your travel camper. You can also make an ad on craigslist for your area asking for vacant land to rent out to park a travel camper on long term. Another good resource would be to reach out to local real estate agents, and see if they know any 2nd homeowners that would be willing to rent out there property to a full-time RVer? Use the selling point of housesitting or securing their property while they are away. Churches are also a good source to find cheap parking for travel campers, and usually allow you to use their bathrooms and showers so no hook ups are needed. I am not familiar with Herrin, ILL so I’m not sure whats in that area, but reach out and be creative I am sure you will find something. If not email me and we will try and find somehting together.

  • WOW! Thank you Adam for all this wonderful information. I never knew you could use Airbnb to find RV hookups, and I never thought of using Facebook to find secret campgrounds. While the rest of us have been herded into cattle corals you’ve been uncovering RV Hookups biggest mystery. Thank you again for all this wonderful information. We booked our first Airbnb booking through your link, and they gave us $40 off our first reservation because of you. Thank you for doing that. We didn’t expect that at all so we bought beer and sang praises about you all night long. While we camped next to a rippling slow moving river that came complete with its own cascading waterfall and private sandbar beach on a farmers property in Northern Washington. Normally we pay $50 a night or $250 a week at a campground through your cheap RV hookup method we booked 3 weeks for only $115!! Your the best AOWANDERS!!! If anyone else reads this Airbnb discounts your first booking by $40 when you book through AOWANDERS.

    • Tina,

      Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I have been on the start of my 43,000 mile road trip, and the last 1,500 miles have been in the mountains so I haven’t had the greatest reception to check in with my travel blog. But I am super excited to read that you found such a wonderful deal off of Airbnb. I remember the first time I scored full hookups for hundreds less than campground rates. Thought I cracked the code to RVLife. You will have to send me some pictures or atleast some GPS Coordinates so I can stay there as well if I am ever in the area. Sounds like my peferct RV Camping spot. Does it have good cell reception so I can work on the travel blog and deliver you more RV LIfe Secrets?

      So happy to hear someone else found success using AirBnb.

      Happy Travels,

      Adam

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