I am dedicating this article to my daughter, Emily, because if not for her suggestion to write about RVing, I probably would have continued to relegate my travel to the wide, blue skies instead of the open road. Leave it to our kids to expand our thinking.
I grew up at a time when RVing was popular, even though my family never did it. A time came when it appeared to die out, but as they say, everything circles back around and RVing is no exception. Many people I know have bought an RV and trust me, they are not like the ones I remember when I was little. Some of them rival a 4-star hotel. That being said, I also know several people, myself included, that feel a bit intimidated about a house on wheels. Well, I can honestly say that after researching for this article, I am going to rent one and hit the wide-open road.
So, let me impart my newly gleaned RV knowledge on you. First thing, don’t be afraid of the size of the RV. They are not all the same and fortunately for people like me, I can get a size where I am comfortable. There are your basic pop up ones and those with all the bells and whistles. There are those that you hook up and tow and those that can pretty much drive themselves. After you decide what size suits you, start researching. When RVing, research is your word of the day and your new best friend. There are blogs and websites that offer every kind of information you will need being a newbie as well as apps you can download on your phone. Spend some time looking at articles that deal with first time RVers. They are very helpful in pointing out the mistakes that can be made and how to avoid certain pitfalls.
A few important things I learned is that not all trips you want to take can be adapted to an RV. What might work well for a flight, hotel and rental car, just might not work out for an RV. You must research (there’s that word again) where you want to go and see if it is conducive to an RV. Plan an RV friendly route and research campsites and their rules. Not all campsites or RV parks offer the same amenities or have the same rules. Book your campsite or RV park spot well in advance and take into consideration your budget. When planning your overnight stops, leave room in your itinerary for unexpected stops or delays. Make the internet your best friend. Type in “packing list for first time RVers” and a slew of websites with lists will pop up. Watch YouTube and check out ultimatecampgrounds.com and uscampgrounds.info.
The one most important thing I learned is that this type of trip has to be well researched (again) and planned out. You just can’t jump in an RV and head to parts unknown because you might not be able to find a campground or if you do, they are booked. Despite the increase in planning, RVing offers so many perks and a chance to see parts unknown (at least to you) in a different way. Me, personally, I never gave it that much thought but after delving into it, I have to say I can see a trip in the near future. With all the shifts in travel these days, RVing appears to be a fantastic and fun option. Hope to see you on the road!