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Gas Prices Too High? Try an RV Staycation!

| Updated Jul 28, 2023

Do you want to get away but don't have the time or money? Create your own getaway in your driveway or backyard with an RV staycation…

With gas prices skyrocketing, many RVers have had to change or cancel their travel plans. As disappointing as that is, don't let that completely stop you from enjoying a relaxing vacation.

You can create your own private getaway and enjoy an RV staycation in your driveway or backyard.

This might seem odd to some, but it's more popular than you might think! A member of our RV Lifestyle Facebook group posted how he and his wife did just that.

We'll share that Facebook post and how many of the commentators say they do the same thing! Plus, we will tell you how to make the most of an RV staycation with helpful links and resources!

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

RV Staycations Are More Common Than You Think

Gas Prices Too High? Try an RV Staycation!

As mentioned, a recent post in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group highlighted how popular RV staycations are.

Ulysses posted: “We didn’t get a chance to go anywhere this weekend in our camper, so we are watching movies and sleeping in it in our driveway. Anyone else do this? Lol

The post included a photo of him with his feet up, watching a movie in his RV. The post garnered more than 200 comments with many RVers saying they do the same thing!

Here are some of the comments that explain why RVers opt to go “dramping” (“driveway camping”):

Nathalie: “Yes! We bought our TT but didn't have our tow vehicle. So much fun. Great way to get used to the new RV!”

Sarah: “We haven’t slept in ours but when we had a house full of kids we would sneak away for happy hour.”

Debbie: “All the time. Hubby and I do date nights. Watch movies and sleep in ours. Ours is on our side yard.”

Colleen: “We do it almost every weekend if we aren’t camping. We have even stayed out there in the winter.”

Jill: “We always do!!! Come home from a trip – house is hot or cold – turn on heat or AC, then go back to RV till temp is better!! Always fun to finish the trip at home!!”

Many comments mention how their kids or grandkids love to “camp” in their RV whenever possible. It's like a mini adventure for kids and a great way for families to bond.

Several comments also discuss how they “practice” camping before their first RV trip or test out new gear at home. If you just bought your RV, you should read Help! How Do I Plan My First RV Trip? Where Do I Begin?!

How to Make the Most of Your RV Staycation

Sure, you can just go hang out in your RV, but why stop there? You can turn it into a REAL RV staycation with the following tips and ideas.

Set Up Like a Real Campsite

Gas Prices Too High? Try an RV Staycation!

Treat your driveway or backyard as a real campground by transforming the space into a cozy and inviting retreat. Extend your awning and slides, and bust out any additional outdoor accessories you use whenever you're at a campground.

Set up a foldable outdoor table, your comfy camping chairs, and a firepit, if it's safe and legal to do so. Might as well bust out your portable grill, too, or plan to use your backyard grill.

You can also hang up some camping lights or lanterns to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, especially during the evening hours. Creating a well-organized and thoughtfully designed campsite will enhance your overall experience and make it feel more like a genuine camping getaway.

Plan Activities

Gas Prices Too High? Try an RV Staycation!

One of the best things about camping is the opportunity to engage in a variety of fun activities. Whether camping in your driveway or backyard, you can still make the most out of your staycation by planning exciting things to do.

Roasting marshmallows over a fire pit is a classic camping activity everyone can enjoy. You can also organize outdoor camping games like horseshoes or badminton to get everyone moving and laughing.

In the evening, gather around the campfire and read ghost stories books or play camping board games as a way to bond and connect with your family or friends. If you have kids, consider setting up a scavenger hunt or a nature exploration activity around your backyard.

Planning and organizing activities will ensure everyone stays engaged and entertained throughout your RV staycation.

Disconnect from Technology (Or Not!)

woman reading book outdoors

To really make your staycation feel like a getaway, “cut the cord” to your electronics! Turn your phones off, and leave tablets and earbuds in the house.

Instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV, settle into the peace and quiet with great books to read while camping, card games, camping puzzles, or travel crafts and activity books.

OR! Make screen time family time!

Instead of playing on individual devices, plan a movie night with the family (or a date night) in the RV. Pop popcorn, make s'mores, and snuggle in.

Better yet, set up an outdoor movie theater! We have an article on the Best Projectors for RVs that'll make it easy. That article comes with a big disclaimer to be mindful of camping neighbors, but you'll likely have more freedom to create light and noise on your own property!

Try Out New Camping Gear & Recipes

The Best Portable Grill for Camping

As many comments mentioned in the Facebook post, an RV staycation is the perfect time to try out new gear and recipes. If the gear or recipe doesn't work out as expected, you can adjust before your next camping trip.

If you're looking for some cool new gear, you can always peruse our RV Lifestyle Amazon lists. We have our favorite kitchen supplies, outdoor essentials, hiking gear, travel tech, pet gear, and much more!

As for new recipes, our sister site, CampingFoodRecipes.com, is the place to go. There are many fun recipes you can do with your partner or kids. Here's just a quick sampling:

Embrace the Night Sky (or the Night Air)

Gas Prices Too High? Try an RV Staycation! 1

One of the best things about camping is it gets you OUT of the house. So, don't make the mistake of holing up inside your RV for your staycation.

Sure, some cozy time inside is great, but even the night sky in your backyard can still be awe-inspiring. We've written an article that outlines a stargazing for campers kit that can make your time more comfortable and enjoyable.

But if your proximity to city lights or local weather don't support a clear night sky, you can still enjoy the night air! You can relax (and try out) a camping hammock or relax around a fire pit (if permitted).

Did you know they even have smokeless camping fire pits? Talk about enjoying the fresh night air!

Need the Ultimate Guide to Cheap or FREE RV Camping Sites?

Gas Prices Too High? Try an RV Staycation! 2

Camping can be expensive. 

Especially if you are spending more travel time in outdoor spaces. Or, perhaps you’re living and working from your RV. 

Traditional campgrounds can also be crowded and noisy. It can sometimes feel like the opposite experience you are seeking by getting away from civilization and into nature. 

That may be why you are looking for cheap or free RV camping sites and that’s why I’m here to help.  I’m going to introduce you to boondocking in off-the-beaten-path campsites and then teach you how to find them.

This ebook (not a print book – but you could print this one out on your own if you wish) is available right now.

Here's your Ultimate Guide to Cheap or FREE RV Camping Sites


Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-07-27

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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