The best-kept secret to saving on road trips

It could be the dream road trip. You want to see the US. You want to save money. And an RV company needs someone to make the drive, so they’re practically paying you to do it.

Hey, you just want to help them out, right? How altruistic of you.

Think about it. When customers are driving RVs to the far corners of the country, and the company needs the flock of vehicles back to the factory in Mesa, Arizona, how do they get the RVs back?

That’s where you come in. Cruise America‘s website lists 10 cities with RVs waiting to be picked up and driven to Arizona, and includes the date to return them by, vehicle size, number of nights allowed, and free miles allowed. And rather than costing you about $100/day for your home-on-wheels, you pay $24/day, although gas is an extra expense. Plus, you avoid the insane $1500 one-way drop fee that they normally charge.

Consider this: Denver is about 860 miles away, but they give you 1500 free miles. Indianapolis is about 1700 miles away, but they give you 2500 free miles. Detroit is about 1980 miles away, but they give you 3000 free miles. Where would you go with those extra miles and extra days?

Sign up on their website under “View our Rentals: Hot Deals!,” then “Rolling into Arizona” (or “Rolling out of Arizona” to depart from Mesa). You’ll need to fill out the request form three days in advance of your departure. All listings are first come, first served. Drivers must be at least 21 years-old.

They’re also running a few discounts to relocate RVs to other locations besides Mesa (i.e. Texas and east of the Mississippi River, excluding Florida). Check out their “One-way Specials” to save 50-60% and avoid the usual one-way drop-off fees.

Or else, if you want to scale down and go with a car rather than an RV, try Auto Driveaway. Their website lists offices and destinations across the US–just pick a pick-up/drop-off city that suits your fancy. Drivers must be at least 23 years-old with a valid driver license.