Suggestions for reducing camping costs? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-24-2014, 09:53 AM   #1
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Location: Florida panhandle, Florida
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Suggestions for reducing camping costs?

Newbie here. I bought an Escape 21 that I will pick up in the spring. I intend to take my time bringing it back to my northwest Florida home, hopefully taking several weeks to get back. I need advice on how to minimize camping costs.

The Escape 21 has the dual 6V batteries but no solar panel; I had it wired for solar and may have a solar panel system installed while on my trip. I will be traveling alone, and I'm not yet eligible for senior discounts.

I am willing to boondock when possible; how long can I hold out before having to dump the tanks on the Escape 21 (assuming I don't drink too much beer)? How long with the batteries last on a charge? Any tips on camping club memberships, etc? Please fire away.

Mike Lewis

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Old 02-24-2014, 10:02 AM   #2
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Location: Southern Alberta, Alberta
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Hi Mike and welcome. A good place to start is with Passport America (Passport America Website) they are great if you are travelling as they offer half price discounts but only for short periods. As for the battery and tanks those are based on usage but one person should easily get a week off that black tank. Hope this helps.

Doug & Eileen
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:22 AM   #3
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Dry camping at state park or national forest campgrounds will be much less expensive than private KOA type campgrounds. A night at a truck stop or walmart every 3 or 4 nights can reduce your overnight expenses by about 25%. You could probably make it all the way back to FL staying in truck stops/walmarts/casinos for almost nothing if you were desperate.

Many hi-way rest areas out west even had free dump stations.

Stay out of town, buy groceries rather than eat at restaurants, and keep your speed down to save the most money. I took six weeks to get back to RI from Chilliwack last summer. Awesome trip. Enjoy it.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:29 AM   #4
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I have a 13' Scamp w/full bath. I judge my water usage by input=output. The fresh water tank is about 9 gallons, black water 6 gallons and grey 15 gallons. If I fill my fresh water up 2x, I figure its time to dump when I get down to the end of the 2nd fill up. It is a conservative estimate. Scamp has LED lights. I have used it for 4 days without charging the 1 battery it has and don't think it was close to wearing down. If things start to get dim, it can be hooked to the vehicle and start the vehicle, or recharge it by running a generator.

Watch the fine print on Passport America. Some discounts are only good for certain days and/or certain times of the year. If you have AAA or AARP you can usually get a discount.

If you are just boon-docking overnight, sometimes I stay at a Pilot/Flying J truck stop. Some have dump facilities, electric hookups and water. A Camping World membership will get you discounts on gas and RV facilities. A $50, 2yr mbrshp will return you a $25 certificate to use in any Camping World store. The truck stops also offer showers for a few $$ if you don't want to add to your waste tanks.

Congratulations and good luck!!

If you can dream it, you can do it
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:34 AM   #5
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Many casinos also allow free overnight parking...another option to check out.
Fran & Dave
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:37 AM   #6
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Check the web for maps re Dispersed Camping on National Forest land. We were forced to do so in Sedona last October during Gov't shutdown, now we prefer it and don't like staying in parks that are more than 1/2 full. Our four year old batteries last 4 days. Price is right too: $0. Just be sure you check where you're going so you know you can turn around(-;
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:30 PM   #7
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Hi: Mike Lewis... Our trip down to Florida included two nights at Cracker Barrel stores. We did stay for meals, so it was revenue neutral... but too cold to cook in the trailer, and no water to clean up with. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
Ft.Myers Beach Florida for now
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:42 PM   #8
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I am a fan of Cabela's for overnight stays. I believe Bass Pro Shops offer a similar overnight. Usually these locations are not mentioned as camping but RV Parking, it makes sense.

What I like about Cabela's is we can keep Trigger in the horse corral while we rest. The store in Omaha had someone using the kennels the night we were there. The dogs looked the size of small deer.
Paul and Janet Braun
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:15 PM   #9
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Have ETI install your solar and you will have unlimited power every night with solar keeping your batteries charged. Make sure you also get propane filled and get some of that Canadian water in your tank. Passport America is great for Mon-Thurs nites, most have limits on weekend nights. American Legion if a member, local church affiliation, your home town church can help with that. Each state has different rest stops, some are very nice. The truck stops also have $ showers. I normally plan on showers every other night when traveling alone. By stocking up your refer you can save a lot of $$ for food, enjoy the trip.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:33 PM   #10
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I seem to struggle with paying for a camp site while on the road to some where to simply sleep. In these cases I will find locations that over night parking is alowed to simply get a bit if shut eye. I am more than happy to pay for a camp site if we are stopping some where for a couple nights. I find this really cuts the cost of a trip as there are always a few nights like this .

MacRae, 21ft
2016 GMC Yukon SLT
St.Albert Alberta
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