Yes California is an expensive state to visit but RVers and tent campers who don't mind boondocking in California can cut those costs drastically.
The rugged coast, tropical beaches, granite-capped mountains, and surreal desert landscapes mean a different adventure awaits around every corner.... well, actually California is so big that you'll usually round a few extra corners between destinations. That's why finding free camping is even more important for those wanting to stay on budget.
Randy and I just spent six months exploring what we hoped would be the entire state. As it was, we covered about two thirds of what California has to offer.
Here are links to our blog entries from that 2011 trip. They include lots of photos, including some of our many free campsites.
More information and specific directions to our free campsites can be found in two Frugal Shunpiker's Guides for this state. One for the Deserts and Eastern Sierra regions is now available and a second for the coastal and mountain areas is in the works. (expected release date: May 2012).
By camping for free on most of the 184 nights of this trip, we saw a huge part of California while keeping our costs at a minimum. If only it was as easy to find alternatives to high fuel prices as it was finding frurgal camping options and boondocking in California.