Combining Our Monaco Motorhome With Our Tight Budget

Question: Dear Luise: We have a nice, older model, Monaco Motorhome. Our problem is that we have a very small income, so RVing is something we have to budget for. We know there are a lot of people who don’t have this problem and many of the parks are set up with them in mind. That’s OK, but how about the rest of us on minimum Social Security and/or small pensions? Do you have any suggestions besides staying home? Thanks for at least reading this. Bertha and Maude, (sisters)

Answer: Well, “Hi” and welcome to both of you. You bet I have some suggestions. There are a lot of us that must shop carefully for RVs and plan trips with excruciating budgetary limitations. We still want to extend our horizons beyond four walls. We like windshields better than TV screens! Viva la open road!

There is a web site called That’s the place I would suggest you get started on this project. They have almost 1000 campsites that are free or close to it. Every state can be accessed and researched for suitable RVing.

Large stores like Wal*Mart allow free overnight parking on the perimeter of their parking lots and some casinos offer the same thing. Fraternal Organizations like the Elks often offer free RV parking. (Yes, I know there are no “Elkesses”…but you might know someone who knows someone.) Are you widows? If so, do either of you have privileges you haven’t checked out?

When we were buying our motorhome, we found that there was a huge difference in gas consumption. We got 18 to 20 mpg, while others often were getting 5 – 8 mpg. When you are thinking about going thousands of miles, that’s no small consideration.

Food can be another place to save a lot of bucks. Eating in as opposed to eating out often cuts your expenditures in half. Volume buying and leaving most of it at home, keeps costs down on trips…and preparing your own recipes instead of getting packaged meals is not only cheaper but healthier eating.

Many towns along the way have Food Banks and Senior Centers offer tasty meals for less. Stop in, meet people and socialize.

By all means, take that Monaco Motorhome out as often and as long as you can! Talk with others, and find out what they do. Visit relatives and park in driveways! Go! Blessings, Luise

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