How to RV in Maine on a Limited Budget

So, you’re ready to take your RV to Maine? How exciting! I’ll share tips on how to make your trip to Maine affordable and memorable.

Camping and RVing is by far the cheapest way to experience Maine. Last year we paid, on average, $45 for a campsite in Maine compared to $200+ for a hotel. 

* This site contains affiliate links, where I get a small commission from purchases at no extra cost to you.

The least expensive campgrounds were consistently state parks and campgrounds in rural areas. 

Read More: A Guide for First Time RVers: What You Need to Know

Another reason why camping and RVing is the cheapest travel option is because you can make your own meals. Although it might take extra work, it is well worth it to cook when you are trying to save money on your travels. 

We love to make simple sandwiches for dinner on days we’ve been out exploring!

If you need to rent an RV, check out Outdoorsy.

Visit During the Shoulder and Off Season

Maine’s peak season is between June and August. 

Maine’s shoulder season is March-May and Sept. to November 

December, January, and February are the least visited months. Therefore these are the best months to avoid crowds and high prices. 

If you enjoy snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, winter camping, and ice fishing, winter is a wonderful time to visit Maine. 

However, if you want to avoid the crowds in Maine but also want options for great places to eat and things to do I would suggest visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. 

Stay in Alternative Maine Destinations

Instead of visiting the usual Kennebunk, Portland, and Bar Harbor try these locations below instead. You’ll find that prices for accommodation, activities, and food are less expensive when you stray away from the typical Maine destinations.

Bethel

  • Sunday River Ski Resort for skiing and snowshoeing 
  • Drive an hour to Mount Washington, the tallest peak in New England. 
  • Explore Grafton Notch State Park

If RVing stay at Bethel Outdoor Adventure and Campground.

Scarborough

Instead of visiting Portland that can get pricey, choose Scarborough instead. 

Things to do in Scarborough: 

  • Bike along the Eastern Trail 
  • Visit Scarborough Beach State Park and Crescent Beach State Park
  • Visit Higgins Beach or Pine Point Beach

If RVing stay at Wild Duck Campground or Bayley’s Camping Resort.

Read More: How to Spend a Weekend RVing in Scarborough, Maine

Camping at Wild Duck Adult RV Campground, Scarborough, Maine

Lubec

Instead of heading to Acadia, keep going to the easternmost part of the US, the quaint town of Quebec. 

Things to do in Lubec:

  • Visit the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse at the Quoddy Head State Park
  • Hike the Cobscook Shore Trails
  • Visit the Lubec Farmer’s Market
  • Cross into Canada to visit Roosevelt Campobello International Park
  • Kayak in Johnson Bay

Read More: Bar Harbor to Lubec: The Most Beautiful Part of Maine

If RVing stay at Sunset Point RV Park.

Camping at Sunset Point RV Park, Lubec, Maine

Boothbay

Things to do in Boothbay:

  • Boothbay Library Used Book Shop
  • Walk along the Boothbay Harbor Footbridge
  • Try blueberry ice cream at Downeast Ice Cream Factory
  • Make your own DIY food tour at Ports of Italy, Boathouse Bistro Tapas Bar, and Boothbay Lobster Wharf

If RVing stay at Gray Homestead Ocean Campground

Look for Free or Inexpensive Activities

  • Go walking or biking along the Eastern Promenade in Portland, Marginal Way in Ogunquit, or the Rail Trail in Lisbon. 
  • Go to the farmers’s market in Portland, Belfast, Brunswick, and Lewiston
Farmer’s Market in Lubec, Maine
  • Visit local festivals and fairs like the Clam Bake in Yarmouth, Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg, and Common Ground Fair in Unity. 
  • Visit the beach at these Maine State Parks: Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg, Reid Beach State Park in Georgetown, Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough Beach State Park in Scarborough. 
  • Go fishing on the Maine lakes and Atlantic coastline like Pennesseewassee “Norway” Lake in Norway, Chain of Ponds near Eustis, Mooselookmeguntic Lake near Rangeley, and the Kennebec River in Sheepscot Bay. 
  • Window shop along the adorable Main Streets in Bath, Brunswick, Camden, Kennebunk, Hallowell, and Freeport. 
  • Go for a scenic drive along Route 1 from Bangor to Lubec, the Grafton Notch State Park byway, and Route 17 up to Height of the Lands in Rangeley. 

Visit Maine with Friends and Family

Traveling with others is a great way to save money while traveling. You can save money on a rental car by splitting the price, your accommodation by renting one large rental home, and groceries by coordinating meals. 

Even if a rental property is $500 a night, two couples pay only $250 a night. Instantly your money goes further! This also applies to a rental car which can quickly get expensive. 

Furthermore, whenever we travel with family we plan out our meals ahead of time so each family takes care of one meal per day. This also makes the vacation more enjoyable because you personally only have to cook a few of the meals for the vacation. 

Even better than traveling with friends and family is staying with your friends and family who live in Maine!

Save Money on Gas While Visiting Maine

Wherever in Maine you decide to visit, you’ll most likely need a car. 

If you are planning to go all over the state, here’s your gentle reminder that Maine is a large state! The coastline, although it looks close on a map, takes a lot longer to drive. 

To make the most out of your time and budget, choose one region of Maine to explore on a deeper level. 
You can also use apps like Gas Buddy to find the cheapest prices.

More Ways to Save Money When Visiting Maine

  • Opt out of souvenirs and instead spend money back home creating a photo book with Snapfish. It will mean more to have your photos and memories than another coffee mug. 
  • If you want to purchase alcohol and are driving through New Hampshire on your way to Maine, consider stopping at the New Hampshire Liquor and Wine Outlet
  • Stay flexible and open-minded when making plans. If you are open to visiting any region of Maine you’ll find hidden gems at an inexpensive cost. 
  • If you’re flying into Maine, use Google flights and specifically their date graph to find the best cost flights. 
  • Track what you spend while on vacation. Just the act of writing your expenses down causes you to think more intentionally of what you’re spending. 

Final Thoughts

I hope these tips will help you get to Maine quicker! You can find options to visit Maine on any budget if you are willing to be flexible with dates, accommodation, and activities.