Tag Archives: rv

Budget-friendly camping tips from The Penny Hoarder

24 May

Camping on a budget can make you a very happy camper!

It’s the end of May, Memorial Day weekend is just days away. I can almost taste the summertime…if it would just stop raining! We had some hot, 100 degree days last week, and the flip flops and tank tops were out, the sun shining, kids playing in the yard, I could see the lazy days of summer just ahead.

If summertime includes camping for you, as it does for us, you’ll be happy to read the most recent post from The Penny Hoarder’s site, “Get the Vacation You’ve Been Craving on a Budget: Go Camping.” The post contains six tips for budget-friendly travel through camping.

If you’ve been a fan of The Whole Bag of Chips recently, then you know that we purchased a new-to-us camper in 2015 and used it to travel in a budget-friendly manner over the past couple of years, touring the country in 2015 and touring NYC this past spring. We also traveled to Mystic, CT and to Meredith, NH as well as hanging out by the beaches here in the Ocean State in 2015, 2016 and again this coming summer in 2017. Having our own camper is thousands of dollars cheaper than renting a beach house in New England for a week every summer.

I was so thrilled when Lisa Rowan, writer for The Penny Hoarder, reached out to me for some tips to include in their camping post. The only thing that makes me happier than being able to do things because of the fact that we budget, is to be able to help others achieve their own goals by doing things on a budget as well. Stretching a dollar has helped us to achieve so many things, including all of the recent travel that we’ve been doing.

So if you are wishing you could do more traveling, but just don’t have the means, be sure to read the above post, or check out my travel pages #crosscountryadventure2015 and #thecowartstakemanhattan2017 for some tips and tricks for traveling and camping on a budget.

#crosscountryadventure2015: Final Cranston Herald newspaper article

13 Aug

SD to RI quilted map 1So here it is…the last Cranston Herald article about our trip. This is the seventh article in the series of seven, and it will share with you our final week of cross-country adventures. One might think that with so many days of driving in a row and no sightseeing that there might not be much to tell, or many adventures to have, but surprisingly enough, there were many things to share from that last week of travel. It was actually my longest article of the seven. This final article also summarizes our trip and you’ll see how it played out budget-wise as well. I hope you’ve enjoyed the articles! If you’ve missed any you can scroll back through the blog and you’ll find them all posted. Click here to read the last one.

#crosscountryadventure 2015: Into the west and through the Lone Star State

15 Jul


I’m so excited to post the third article in my travel series which is being run in today’s Cranston Herald. You can read it here.

#crosscountryadventure2015: An early start and a taste of the south

8 Jul

My friend Gina made us a gorgeous full sized map of the country so that we can mark all the places we've stayed on this trip.

Greetings to you from Louisiana this beautiful Wednesday! We are heading out of Louisiana and towards Texas today as we make our way west. We are now into week two of our adventure, and I’m so excited to share my recap of week one with you in this Cranston Herald article that is in today’s paper.

Have a wonderful week, and stay tuned for more blog posts in between this week’s article and next week’s about planning and preparing for our adventure!

#crosscountryadventure2015: Things we didn’t know we didn’t know

6 Jul
Getting the camper home and into the driveway was just the beginning. There were lots of things we didn't know we needed.

Getting the camper home and into the driveway was just the beginning. There were lots of things we didn’t know we needed.

There is a line from a song in the movie “Pocahontas” that says, “You’ll learn the things you never knew you never knew.”

That line has run through my head continuously over the past three months as we have navigated through rv ownership. We came into this adventure not knowing a ton, but willing to learn and willing to listen to others who have been down this road many times. Each time we’d bump into someone new, they’d tell us something new we had to have.

To that end, there were some expenses we knew we’d have to deal with and some that we were unaware of. Nothing was unbearable, but there was some sticker-shock a couple of times.
Here’s a list of expenses we incurred before this trip, both known and unknown, for those of you considering your own adventures. These expenses are above and beyond the cost of the camper itself and the necessities we got for the inside of the camper when we decorated and stocked it:

1) Towing equipment: we knew our truck had a tow package on it, a tennis ball sized piece that we assumed fit into whatever would be on the actual camper. We didn’t realize we needed an additional weight distribution hitch kit. Cost: $150 on sale, with a coupon at Harbor Freight.
2) Brake controller: this is an additional means of controlling your brakes and the camper brakes from inside the car. Cost $100 self-installed.
3) Registration: we knew we had to register the camper. We didn’t know that to include tax, title and registration, it’d cost us as much as several weeks’ worth of groceries. Peanut butter and jelly for a month. Cost: $364
4) Getting the wheel bearings packed: we have a great mechanic who comes to our house and is extremely reasonable. When our neighbor drove by and called out his window, “Be sure to get your wheel bearings packed and your brakes checked,” we called our mechanic. Cost $127
5) Vin Check: Getting it checked wasn’t expensive, but getting the camper into the place where that had to be done was a little touch and go. Cost: $15
6) EZ Pass: A “must” for the roadtrip. We used our AAA membership to get it and it came loaded up with a starter amount of toll money on it. Cost: $50
7) Passport America Membership: Another “must” for the roadtrip. This membership gives you a network of campgrounds to stay at and a discount on their nightly rates. Cost: $44
8) Good Sam Membership: Another networking type of membership. The campsites that don’t accept Passport America often accept Good Sam. Cost: $25

#crosscountryadventure2015: The back story

1 Jul

Today’s an exciting day! Our local newspaper has posted the first article chronicling our cross country adventure!

To read the article which tells about our journey before the journey, be sure to click on this link.

Each week The Cranston Herald will publish a new article about our adventures, but in between I will add additional posts to the blog as well. Be sure to follow along!

Watch for updates along the way!

Watch for updates along the way!