We escaped the madness and debauchery of Las Vegas weeks ago, but are still suffering from a lingering hangover brought on by staying in a city with the constant din of sirens, shouting crazy people and endless traffic. Thankfully we managed to stay cheap in Vegas with our Passport America club membership and other cheapskate methods. Here’s how we did it.
(Not) Leaving Las Vegas
Before we rolled into Vegas (without guns blazing), our main Arctic Fox window spontaneously shattered during our stay in New Braunfels, Texas. It’s crazy, nobody knows why it happened. So, in addition to Jim speaking at the 2014 Blog Paws Conference in Vegas, the other reason we had to stick around Sin City was for a replacement window that was supposed to ship to the local Northwood dealer (the manufacturer of our Arctic Fox), within the first two weeks after our arrival.
Passport America to the Rescue
Being the frugal RVers that we are, paying for RV camping in Vegas was a frightening prospect. Even the best resorts jam you into over-priced parking spaces that offer nothing in the way of privacy or personal space. We refused to pay top dollar for this cruel joke, so we pulled out our Passport America discount card and used it for our allotted two nights at The Oasis Las Vegas RV Park.
Admittedly this place had nice amenities, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to stay longer and pay the nightly $42 rate for a cramped space that didn’t even come with a picnic table!
Total cost for 2 nights at Oasis Las Vegas RV Park: $45.92
Next, we moved over to the shady side of Vegas, downtown at the Main Street Station RV Park, where you can’t use Passport but you get full-hookups for just $17 a night. Not a bad deal in Vegas, don’t you think?
Main Street Station isn’t a terrible place, just a basic parking lot that happens to have hookups and a decent laundry facility. Oh and it’s walking distance to Fremont Street and just one block down from the homeless rescue mission, Las Vegas county jail and skid row. Convenient if you’re a crack junkie or prostitute.
Since we are neither, the craziness in the surrounding ‘hood got to us real fast. Once we found out that our RV window wasn’t going to show up on time (no surprise based on the bad service we were already getting from Wagon Trail RV), we knew we were in for a long stay. But hanging out downtown for much longer wasn’t something we wanted to do, so we headed over to the South Side.
Total cost for 6 nights of RV camping at Main Street Station: $102
On to the South Side
If you’re hanging onto every penny in Vegas, then Sam’s Town RV Resort is your place. The casino is on the southeast side of Vegas and nowhere near the Strip, but they’ve got cheap RV sites for just $17.99 a night. Oh, and a clean but small swimming pool and lukewarm hot tub. They also have an army of security guards that at first seemed unnecessary to me — until I heard bloodcurdling screams right outside the park gates at 4:30 am one morning.
For some reason, Sam’s Town, like other Las Vegas RV parks, has these disgusting utility boxes with open sewer connections that make the whole place reek of poo when the wind blows. They prevent a good seal between your hose and the open line so when you dump, your black and grey water splashes everywhere.
Between the stinky air, the traffic and the crazies in Vegas, we about snapped when we learned our RV window still wasn’t arriving in the next week. Wagon Trail RV dropped the ball on our entire order and we wanted out. We packed up and crossed our fingers that somehow our window would follow us on to our next stop, workamping in Lake City, Colorado.
Total cost of seven nights at Sam’s Town RV Park: $133.28
We lost about $30 at gambling but we got away cheap during our Vegas layover. Too bad this visit wasn’t nearly as fun as when we were there with Sam and Tracy for Halloween. Should we ever get stuck in Las Vegas again, we’ll time it just right, so that it won’t be too hot to boondock behind Bally’s Casino, which is by far the best RV parking deal in the city.
Total cost for 15 nights in Vegas: $281.20 or $18.77 a night.
Do you have tips for staying cheap in Vegas? Share them below, we’d love to hear more.