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How many credit cards does an RVer need?

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All you need is one--as long as it works.

My friends, Brittany and Eric Highland (along with their baby, Caspian) from recently pulled into at Flying J in Austin, TX to get gas. They found out that because of a fraud alert both of their credit cards and a debit card were frozen.

Yep, these things happen, and when you're on the road they happen more often than when you're not traveling.

If you use your credit card in Texas, then in Kansas and after that in Timbuktu, naturally your credit card company is sometimes going to sense that something may be wrong and freeze your account while they check things out.

Of course, with a few phone calls and some time on hold, you can usually get the problem worked out. They may have to send you another card or tell you to wait until Monday and go by one of their branch offices and pick up a temporary card, but what do you do in the meantime?

Recently someone got the card number for one of my debit cards and bought gas 1,000 miles away from where I was. I didn't think you could buy gas with a debit card without knowing the pin number, but they did. I canceled the card and had a new one sent to me that arrived in a few days.

Without a backup plan, I could have been in for a few days of less than happy camping.

Here are the backup plans I use

  • I have debit cards with two different banks (Wells Fargo and BankAmerica).

  • I have a credit card with a non-bank entity (Capitol One).

  • I keep a few hundred dollars cash hidden in my motorhome.

  • I have a PayPal card and I keep some money in that account.

  • I keep my PayPal card hidden in my car. (That way if I walk out of the motorhome without my wallet, I still have access to money.)

In my RV I have a backup plan for just about everything:

  • I have a generator and a battery bank

  • I have a pure sinewave inverter to provide clean AC power

  • I have propane and electric water heaters

  • I have a freshwater tank and pump

  • I have two air conditioners

  • I have two computers (I only have one TV, but I can survive without a TV)

  • I keep an extra bag of coffee (You have to a backup plan for the important things in life)

  • I have a portable Mr. Buddy propane heater and an electric heater in addition to my furnace

Bottom line: With all of these backup plans in place, it makes sense to also have a backup plan for your money. With no money and no gas, you and your life could literally come to a screeching halt.

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