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Old 01-01-2016, 06:21 AM   #1
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Money Access

Intend to take our first extended trip in the 5er, as soon as it warms up in the spring. DW raised a couple of good questions this AM - how much money do we need to take along, and how do we access money on the road? We have credit cards and ATM card, but bank with local credit union, so don't know how far out the free ATM usage will extend. How do you determine which ATM's charge a fee?

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Old 01-01-2016, 06:29 AM   #2
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In 9 years we carry very little cash. When we want it we stop by a Walmart, use our debit card. If we don't need anything then we pick up a pack of gum. If we need more than $100 then we either make 2 separate purchases, one with my card and one with Ron's. Or I split my purchases up so that they are totaled seperatly and get $100 on each total. All WalMarts, most grocery stores have cash back. If you have a debit card from your CU then ask them what network they are on for ATM. But honestly I think we've probable only used one of those a handful of times.

Ron & Linda
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:29 AM   #3
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We have very little cash on us ($50.00-$75.00 at most) as we use a CC for everything. We also don't use a ATM. When we need cash we shop at Walmart and get cash back.
Works fine for us. Note- sometimes we encounter a CG that doesn't take a CC, but they have always taken a personal check.
Gene, Gayle, & Oliver
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:34 AM   #4
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We've taken several extended trips across the US and never had an issue. We use our debit card for most purchases, Visa credit card for major stuff, Good Sam/Pilot card for fuel purchases. Hardly ever use cash but we do bank at Wells Fargo and they have branches most everywhere we've been. We also have savings in a credit union money market checking and take that check book with us. If we ever needed access to that money, we would just write a check on that account and deposit it at any Wells Fargo.
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:34 AM   #5
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Same for us. We use credit cards for everything from fuel and groceries down to an ice cream at Dairy Queen. I maybe hit an ATM two or three times a year, and if it charges a fee, so be it, part of the cost of being mobile.
Bruce Dickson 2013 Thor Challenger 37GT, 5 Star Tune, Safe-T-Plus Steering Control with Air Trim, Roadmaster front and rear Sway Bars, SuperSteer rear Track Bar, Crossfires, 2012 Honda CRV on Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar. Full timers since Jan 2012.
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:34 AM   #6
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I rarely have much cash regardless of where I am. Just about everywhere you go will take debit/credit cards or now smart phone payments. There are places that charge more if you use a card for purchases under a certain amount so perhaps keep some cash.

In regards to access to cash, while you are replenishing your food supply, get some free cash back at grocery stores, Walmart, or other stores.

I don't worry too much about ATM fees, others may. If I can't use my banks, spending a few bucks to get $100 is not going to make me lose any sleep.
Tom Wilds
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by TheOldMan76 View Post
Intend to take our first extended trip in the 5er, as soon as it warms up in the spring. DW raised a couple of good questions this AM - how much money do we need to take along, and how do we access money on the road? We have credit cards and ATM card, but bank with local credit union, so don't know how far out the free ATM usage will extend. How do you determine which ATM's charge a fee?
We've been full time since 2010 and carry very little cash. We still use a small town bank that we started using in 2000, but we rarely get back to that area. We always use a credit card unless it's a place that doesn't take them and that's rare. We have the pentagon federal credit card which gives you cash back so we use it pretty much exclusively and pay it off every month.
We probably carry a couple hundred and if it starts getting low Walmart will give you an extra hundred if you buy something, even as small as a soda, and most grocery stores will give you an extra 25-50 so carrying money just hasn't been an issue. Of course there's always the atm if you need anything larger.
I can't answer your question about atm and fees. We don't use them, but my guess is most, if not all, charge a fee.
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Old 01-01-2016, 06:54 AM   #8
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Can't remember the last time I used an ATM. About once every three or four months I may need to replenish the cash in my wallet, I use it VERY rarely. Like others have already said, most grocery stores, and certainly Walmart, will let you take cash when making a purchase.

These days 99.9% of businesses will take either a credit card or a debit card. There's little need to carry cash anymore.

Anyone else remember buying travelers checks before taking a trip?
Jay & Peggy Monroe with Dolly
Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:17 AM   #9
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I've been on an "extended trip" for the last 8 years and I carry very little cash. Like others I pay for almost everything with an ATM card. I use a national bank, but all transactions are automatic and electronic. I haven't been inside a physical bank for 5 years, and have never paid an ATM fee. For the small cash needs I get "cash back" when shopping in major stores.

Originally Posted by TheOldMan76 View Post
..... DW raised a couple of good questions this AM - how much money do we need to take along, and how do we access money on the road? .....
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:47 AM   #10
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No sense in me posting my two cents as it would just be redundant, redundant.


Bob (RVM 27), Teffy, Kitty Kitty, - Full timeing during the summer
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All of 190 horses but 11 MPG. 0 TO 60 in 62 sec.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:04 AM   #11
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It looks as though I'm in the minority as I will carry a couple hundred Just In Case dollars along with a couple hundred more in a hidey hole in our 5er. I also avail myself of Walmart's cash back and every once in a while, spend a couple bucks for the fee and hit the ATM at some local bank. Our last long trip, we stayed in a couple CGs that didn't take a credit card so cash was handy. As far as admittance fees at national monuments, I use the now defunct Golden Age pass for free entry (there is a replacement card now, and it can save lots of dollars for its low cost). I carry a Discover cash back card as well as a MC and BAC, any of which are accepted almost everywhere. I can't justify an AMEX card cost any longer though.

It all boils down to what you are comfortable doing - cash or credit. If you are gone for over a month, you will also have to figure out how to pay home phone, home power, your cards, and whatever other monthly bills you have - and, luckily, most can be accessed via a computer
Dave W along with my DW, Susan and our poodlepups, Callie & Molly,2011 Ford F250 6.7 CCLB, 5er Hitch Option w/B&W Hitch,,Ride Rite air bags, 2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:08 AM   #12
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Little different here. We use CC' s for most all spending. Then link to bank at billing time on line and pay the bill/bills. But there have been times when only cash will do, for that we always have enough to at the very least get home or to relatives. Some entertainment venues take only cash so do a number of self service camp grounds or there's always the cash is much cheaper than a CC. I have been on more than one occasion needed fuel and cash was the only option or spend the night until service(internet) was restore although there was power to pump. Then there's always the private purchase one just can not do without that cash is the only option. Only you can determine how much cash reserve is needed maybe a couple hundred maybe a couple thousand.

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Old 01-01-2016, 08:21 AM   #13
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I can validate everybody's comments about the requirement to have cash-on hand while on-the-road. DW and I started full-timing in July 2015. We each had $250 in our pocket. Today (1 January 2016), we still have most of it left ($300ish between the two of us). We actually paid for some groceries in cash the other day just to unload some of it! \ken
Ken & Deb (WIT Club, FMCA, SKP, Harvest Hosts, and grateful volunteers with SOWERs)
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Old 01-01-2016, 12:31 PM   #14
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My view is a little different. We use a CC for almost every purchase, including groceries. We get cash back or airline miles when using it. We typically only use our ATM card to make deposits and withdraw cash while at home.

When on a weekend trip, I'll have a couple hundred dollars with me. If were on a larger trip, two weeks or longer, I like to have $500.00 cash available for an emergency.. Even though I carry that extra cash, I can't think of a time that I needed it.

There are always exceptions. We leave for Quartzsite in two weeks and we often buy some flea market goodies. Most of the time it's cash only. On this 5 day trip we'll carry some extra cash.

With all that said, you won't have any issues with cash on your trips, as there are very FEW places that don't take a CC.

Don & Mary
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