RV Trip Budget Breakdown: Tailgating the Super Bowl

Stacey Power's view inside the 2022 Super Bowl

My dad and sister are huge Cincinnati Bengals fans, so the second they knew the team was going to be in the Super Bowl, we began planning this trip. Flights and hotels in Los Angeles were extremely expensive, in addition to the already super-expensive tickets, so taking the RV was a great way to help cut costs. It took us four days to drive from Ohio to California. We pretty much drove straight through and only stopped at free overnight places, including Loves truck stops and Cracker Barrel. We did, however, spend two nights in Las Vegas to help break up the trip and relax by the pool. When we finally got to California, we ended up camping at the closest campground to the stadium, Dockweiler County Park. The spot was perfect—we were only seven miles away and right along the ocean, so we could enjoy some beach time in between pe-game events and various Super Bowl activities.

Our Trip to Inglewood, California

Our Trip Budget Breakdown

Below is a breakdown of the various expenses for our family's 10-day trip to Los Angeles to attend the 2022 Super Bowl. We've provided a comparison of what we estimate the same vacation would have cost without our RV (including hotels, food and entertainment).

Our RV Trip

Without Our RV

  • Fuel




    The drive from Sidney, Ohio, to Inglewood, California, is almost 2,500 miles. We had budgeted about $1,000 for gas, and ended up spending a little less than that. Either way, our total gas price was still significantly less than four flights to Los Angeles.

  • Campground




    Along the drive from Ohio, we stayed overnight at at Loves truck stop and a Cracker Barrel parking lot, both of which were free. When we got to Las Vegas, we ended up staying in a casino hotel and parking the RV in a nearby lot for two nights. We could've stayed at an RV park or campground but really wanted to take advantage of the free pool at the hotel. Once we got to California, we stayed five nights at Dockweiler County Park, which cost $80 per night included taxes and fees.

  • Food (Eating in and out)


    Food (eating out)


    We opted to have all breakfasts and lunches in the RV, and then enjoy dinners at various restaurants. Our grocery budget for breakfast and lunch meals was $260, and consisted mostly of cereal, granola bars, fruit, and items to make sandwiches. For dinners, we did a mix of chain restaurants and nicer, local spots, and spent a total of $917.

  • Entertainment




    I'll start by saying that the majority of our entertainment budget went towards four Super Bowl tickets, which cost $14,500. Other than that, we did visit the Meow Wolf museum in Las Vegas, which totaled $147. We also bought tickets for the Super Bowl Experience Event, which cost $40 per person. Other than that, we hung out at the beach, explored the boardwalk and enjoyed the Super Bowl pre-game activities, all of which were free!

  • Total RV Costs


    Total Cost Without RV


    Costs for hotels and flights in Los Angeles during this time were likely much higher than the averages reflected here.

Total Savings: $6,592.60 (27%)

By owning an RV, I have been able to cut down on traditional vacation costs—allowing me to travel more, stay longer and create more memories. *"Without RV" trip costs are estimated based on current national averages for airfare, lodging, fuel and food unless specified by contributor. "Without RV" estimate assumes entertainment costs would be identical to what was provided by contributor. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
An image of the super bowl sign from Stacey Powers

Tips and Tricks for Budgeting for Your Own RV Trip

  1. Key Factors and Considerations for Trip Preparation and Budgeting

    The biggest focus for this trip was saving as much as we could since the price for Super Bowl tickets were so expensive. Flights to Los Angeles during this time were exceptionally pricey. High hotel rates, rental car cost and parking at the stadium were also large factors that we considered when planning to take the RV.

  2. How RVing Helped us Save Money

    Having an RV helped us save money in a number of ways. The total amount in fuel we paid would have been roughly one round trip flight to Los Angeles during that time. We also saved a ton on hotel costs, as our five nights of camping cost the equivalent of one night at a hotel. We also packed the fridge with drinks and snacks before we left, as we knew prices would increase as we got closer to Los Angeles.

  3. Elevating the Experience

    Traveling in an RV elevated our experience in a number of ways. I think first and foremost, it made the entire experience one we will never forget! Leaving Ohio with Super Bowl and Cincinnati Bengals stickers displayed all over the RV made for a fun drive. As we ventured across the country, we got endless cheers and honks. It was also nice having everything with us and being able to have the comforts of home in tow. We were all able to pack everything we needed for the trip, without having to consider any flying restrictions. It also allowed us to make an adventure out of it and plan for stops along the way.

  4. What to Avoid When Planning Your RV Trip

    Fuel and food costs can vary quite a bit from one region of the U.S. to the next. Always account for higher prices as you travel to a different region, especially if you are traveling from the Midwest to the West Coast.

  5. Our Top Tips for RVing on a Budget

    My biggest tip would be to plan early. We lucked out and scored a last-minute cancellation at the campground but originally we were going to be about an hour away. Being so close to the stadium not only helped save on gas but it also put us close to all of the festivities. Additionally, we saved about $300 on parking at the stadium. If you can't find a spot near the stadium or location of the event, I highly recommend checking out alternative camping spots through apps like Campendium or Hipcamp.

the Crew family hanging out in chairs in front of their RV at a boondocking campsite

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