How we Roll in our RV – Budgeting for a long trip and odor control

Written by on June 11, 2013 in How We Roll with 6 Comments

In this edition of “How We Roll,” Jennifer answers a question about budgeting and how much it costs us to take a typical week to 10 day trip. In these days of $4+ fuel, that’s the killer to any budget that involves mileage. Jennifer shares our actual costs and ways we try to save money.

calgonThen I tackle a stinky question…. about odor control and how we’re trying something called the “Geo Method” that mixes water softener and household detergent in a gallon of water that is poured down the toilet.

We heard about it through our Facebook group and decided to try it out. So far, so good, though Jennifer had me cut back on the amount of detergent because we use concentrated soap and she didn’t want a bunch of bubbles coming out of the toilet every time we flushed.

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About the Author

About the Author: Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, and Norweigian Elkhound, Tai, travels North America in a Type B motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and frustrations of RV life on the road. He is the official on-the-road reporter for the Family Motor Coach Association. a columnist with Family Motor Coaching Magazine and his Roadtreking reports appear in numerous newspapers and publications. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, video editing and all things dealing with technology. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations. .


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6 Reader Comments

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  1. Kristi says:

    I’ve been using Happy Camper in my black tank and have been a happy camper with it in regard to odor control. I’ve heard that the GEO method is particularly good for keeping the sensors functioning properly. Since my sensors have not been reliable, I’ll give the GEO method a try. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ray says:

    I like the GEO method, has worked well for me, like you I sometimes have a hard time finding the Calgon Water Softener. Many times I forgo it. The detergent I find that works great is good old Borax. It has natural deodorizing properties. Been around for ever, Tried and true.

  3. It is often easier to find liquid Calgon than the powder. i have yet to see the powder in a store but have found the liquid in some Walmarts, KMarts, and supermarkets. It depends on the store an not the area. One Walmart may have it and another ten miles away doesn’t.

  4. harry salit says:

    Hi Mike,
    I have been using bleach in my black tank, every couple of weeks, for about 8 years without any drain hardware issues. The RV is over 15 years old with the original dump valves & seals.
    I have also used Kirkland tissue for years without any problems.
    I like the Geo method and will give a try.

  5. Bill Sprague says:


    The budgeting really pretty encouraging. We just drove a two week vacation in our Toyota 4Runner. The motel cost alone (No I don’t hunt for the cheapest ones anymore. I’ve learned that often isn’t a great idea.) was $1400+ by itself. Almost all had “free breakfast” but we were still buying fuel, food, laundry, tolls, etc. beyond that investment.

    Purchase of a Roadtrek while not a big payback would certainly recoup some of that, since we could travel at a far more leisurely pace. That would make travel eversomuch more easy on DW and me for that matter. Having one’s own rest area and lunch room makes the drive far less stressful.



  6. John Benson says:

    The black holding tank on a RoadTrek E-Trek is 10 gallons.

    Based on your experience, if you avoid public restrooms and only use the E-trek, how many days can you travel before you have to dump the black tank?

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