Ten Tips for an RV Vacation
Perhaps you have wondered about taking an RV vacation. It seems like
fun and you'd like to try it, but you aren't sure if it's for you. Well, it's a growing
industry. Annual RV retail sales topped $14 billion in 2004. As baby boomers
take to the road, the RVing pastime and lifestyle are becoming increasingly popular. If you have a
hint of the RV itch, then here are 10 common reasons for taking an RV vacation:
1. Getting Back to Nature:If you are interested in the great outdoors, an RV is a great
way to vacation. You can visit state or national parks, tour famous landmarks and simply enjoy some
fresh air and natural settings. Take a hike or go fishing. Try white water rafting or canoeing.
Play some golf, go swimming, ride your bike. Get some exercise or simply do nothing but enjoy your
2. The Comforts of Home:In an RV, you can have the best of both worlds. Enjoy the great
outdoors with more creature comforts than tent camping. Whether you own an RV or try a rental, most
RVs are well equipped. You will likely have a kitchen with microwave, fridge and stove, a TV and
VCR, beds, living and dining areas and bathroom with shower. Many RVs have slide out rooms that
increase the living area at the touch of a button. You can sit outside under your awning, get out
of the rain if the weather changes, and turn on the air conditioner if it gets too hot.
3. Family Matters:Family members of all ages tend to connect with each other when they are
away from their normal routine enjoying a simpler lifestyle. Remember that family togetherness can
be a double-edged sword. While the RV is comfortable, it is a small living area for a large family.
If you are renting, bear this in mind in choosing the size of your rental RV. During the day, try
to spend time outdoors or in different activities, so that each family member gets a bit of
personal space and time for themselves. But the minor logistics can be managed. The general
consensus among RVing families is that an RV vacation tends to bring the family closer together
with more communication and the sharing of good times.
4. Cool for Kids:An RV vacation can be a great way to travel with children. They can go
out to play or take part in campground activities. There are likely to be other kids to meet and
new places to explore. Children of all ages will enjoy an old-fashioned campfire complete with
stories, songs and stargazing. And most kids think it's pretty cool to be in an RV "home on
5. Campgrounds:There are many choices in campgrounds and RV parks. In peak season and
tourist areas, you should make reservations. Look for the amenities that are important to you.
Campgrounds may have swimming pools, lakes, boating, fishing ponds, miniature golf, playgrounds,
hiking trails, game rooms, walking or bike paths, tennis courts and activities for kids and adults.
You may find dances, barbeques, contests or other entertainment. RV Clubs are worth joining to get
campground discounts and other services. Consider the size and setting of the campsites and check
out overall campground ratings in campground directories. Also consider proximity to other
attractions or landmarks that you want to visit.
6. Flexibility:In an RV, you have the flexibility to change locations if you get the whim.
But take this with a grain of salt. For popular destinations, you may not be able to pick up and
find another campground without a reservation. You also want to strike the right balance between
seeing different areas, the amount of time spent driving and ensuring you have enough time to
relax. Cautions aside, an RV can give you a lot of freedom and spontaneity. RV travel appeals to an
inner pioneering spirit and allows you to create your own adventure as you go along your way. You
can explore the country at your own pace or take off for last minute mini-vacations, tailgating
events and weekend trips.
7. Affordability:The question of whether it is cheaper to take an RV vacation doesn't have
a "one size fits all" answer. The comparison really depends on the type of vacations you would take
instead, as well as the way in which you plan to RV. For a one-time trip, you can compare the costs
of renting a suitable RV to the costs of hotels, airfare or other means of travel. Or if you are
considering regular RV vacations, you may want to purchase a motorhome or towable trailer. In this
case, you would need to factor in operating costs, maintenance and the purchase price. In an RV,
you can save money by cooking meals at home vs. dining out. You can minimize expenses if you take
advantage of activities and amenities already included in the campground rate. Fuel expenses can be
managed by reducing the distances traveled and staying longer at a given campground or park.
8. Driving the RV:Driving yourself gives you control over where you go and the pace of
your travel. You dont have the hassle of airline counters and keeping to schedules. You can stop
and take a break when you choose. You don't need a special license to drive an RV. Sure, it takes
some getting used to -- but the number of RVs on the road should tell you that it is doable.
Practice on your own (or with one other person) before you load up your passengers. Take advantage
of any classes available through your dealer or one of the many RV organizations.
9. How about a relaxing vacation for a change?How many times have you returned from a trip
saying you need a vacation from the vacation? Now don't kid yourself - if you are the type who
likes to schedule all the details of a trip, that's not going to change simply because you are
traveling in an RV. But in choosing an RV vacation, you may shift your thinking and be more apt to
use your time off as an opportunity to truly relax and unwind.
10. Test out the RV Lifestyle:The RV vacation may serve as a test drive to gauge your
overall interest in the RV lifestyle. There are RVers who spend several weeks per year in RV
travel. Other RVers take off for months. Snowbirds are RVers who make an annual trek to warmer
climates for the winter season. And then there are fulltime RVers whose only home is their RV. Many
of these people started out by vacationing in an RV as a way to try out the RV lifestyle.
Copyright 2005 Your RV Lifestyle, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. Publication is
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About The Author Jill is a fulltime RVer and the editor of www.your-rv-lifestyle.com, where you can find more advice
for choosing, affording and enjoying your RV lifestyle.
See also: Used RV Buyers Guide