@kellyfish Wooooooo this sounds like such an exciting trip! I've done similar trips in the past between the Midwest and the West, and also a trip from Tucson, AZ that took me all the way up the West coast. I also commute at least once a year from Tucson to Michigan road-trip style to visit my family, so road-tripping + camping + saving money has sort of become second nature for me.
Personally, if you having camping equipment, instead of sleeping in your vehicle, I would just recommend looking for BLM land, which is land that you can camp on for free (we call this "free dispersed camping" - you can look that phrase up to find other options as well). One website/phone app that I love to use while traveling via car is iOverlander.
If you plan to visit the National Parks, GET A PARKS PASS! They will save you so much money! They work at many National Forests and National Monuments as well, and can sometimes even reduce/eliminate camping fees!
I am also going to share a link to a similar post from a while back. I made a lengthy comment on that post about solo car trips across the country, so I suggest reading my comment for more tips! Although this post was originally geared for females doing solo road trips, there's tons of info I think you will find helpful! You can find the post here.
Let me know if you have any questions, and have fun on your trip!
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.