RVing through 2011 – Camping Resolutions for a New Year

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December 30, 2010

by Paula Loehr, R.N.

In the time-honored tradition of ”campfires n’ marshmallows” or ”tires and pressure gauges,“ the arrival of a new year pairs well with all kinds of resolutions. While you’re pondering personal goals for 2011, take time to consider your RV-related resolutions for the incoming New Year, and set out to make them happen. Do you need a little inspiration to jump-start your family’s camping plans? Keep reading to learn the perspectives of experienced RVers as they share their resolutions for 2011.

Go camping more often.
“Our New Year’s RVing resolution is to make more time to go camping with our family and friends,” says Staci Dunn, a medical transcriptionist who travels by motorhome with her husband John and their two college-age sons. “That is pretty much our New Year’s RVing resolution every year,” Dunn adds with a giggle.

In terms of wanting to camp more than they already do, the Dunn Family has plenty of company. Susie Cassens, an artist who shares an RV with her husband Steve, plans to “try to go to a special destination at least once a month, and go for longer trips — two to four weeks at a time.”

Frannie Hutchinson, a busy County Commissioner with a schedule that never quits, agrees with Cassens’ goal of RVing more frequently in the coming year. “I want to visit more of my home state, so we will do more weekend getaways across Florida,” says Hutchinson, who camps in her family’s fifth-wheel with her husband Robbie, their grown-up kids and five grandchildren.

Broaden your RV horizons.
Touring new locations and taking fresh looks at places previously visited are also high priorities for RVers in 2011. “We plan to take at least one out-of-state trip every year,” says plumbing contractor John Dunn.

“We’ve decided to revisit some of the Western states,” says Lee Stirrat, who camps often with her husband, Tom. “There’s so much to see that we want to go back and see some of the same things again and see what we missed before.”

Denise Neal, a South Carolina esthetician who travels regularly with her husband Pete, their children, and grandchildren shares Stirrat’s opinion about the great benefits of American travel. “Everyone is in such a huge hurry to travel abroad and see the world, but we have so many beautiful sights right here in the United States. There are so many awesome things to see in America,” says Neal. “My goal is to worry less about what other continents I can get to and focus more on what fabulous spots I have not hit in the States. In an RV, you can drive to your destinations, let the map be your guide, and explore places off the highway.”

Patti Dodds-Hollis and her husband Neil are practical experts at broadening RV horizons. Married a few years ago at a Texas Samboree, Patti and Neil have visited all 50 states and all the Canadian provinces, except the Northwest Territory. Patti, a former college teacher, describes her travels with Neil as “amazing and wonderful.” The couple spent the summer of 2009 as campground hosts at Yellowstone National Park, and Neil officiated at Sunday services for the last four Good Sam Club Rallies. During 2011, they plan to “travel to Alaska by RV, go to the Arctic Circle. Pan for gold in a little creek somewhere in Alaska, and go to the northernmost point of the U.S.,” says Patti.

Celebrate the seasons.
As Mother Nature transitions from winter through spring, summer, and autumn, RVers tend to stay in perpetual motion, as well. Susie Cassens says she wants to “go on a trip in the spring to see the flowers bloom.” Virginia teacher and mother, Miranda Spencer Altice, plans to “take two weeks to camp along the Blue Ridge Parkway during spring and/or fall” with her husband Jason and their toddler daughter. Likewise, Frannie Hutchinson will “head north to New England, preferably during September or October — while the leaves are changing color.”

Pursue your passions.
Shifting weather patterns and variable landscapes aren’t the only factors that prompt campers to hit the road. Personal interests, hobbies and long-held dreams are also powerful motivators for RV travelers. Cassens hopes to visit more arts-oriented locations in 2011, and Altice longs to camp near a redwood forest. Meanwhile, Staci Dunn is counting down the minutes until she visits the Grand Canyon, and after that — Alaska.

Strengthen ties with family and friends.
New Year’s resolutions tend to be very general or quite specific, depending on the individual resolver. “The only resolution I make is to enjoy every minute,” says Rosemary Bates, a Maine native who winters in Florida. “Travel, make friends, enjoy life, and make as many memories as you can. Life can leave you anytime, or your loved one can leave anytime, so do what you can,” she advises.

Richard Daniels also has a somewhat general goal for the RVing year ahead. “My New Year’s resolution for 2011 is to always make the first impression the best one I have to offer,” says Daniels, who camps with his wife Sue and their extended family (including pets).

On a more focused mission, Miranda Altice remarks, “We are ready to introduce our 17-month-old to outdoor life, and we want to host a family reunion via a camping trip.”

Go green on the road.
In addition to being avid campers, the Altice Family also travels responsibly, as reflected in their last (but not least) New Year’s resolution. “Our goal is to practice greener ‘leave no trace’ camping, such as setting up near a river or pond to fish for dinner and cooking our meals over the fire,” says Miranda, who recently proclaimed one of life’s best-kept secrets while “cooking green” around a campfire … “Homemade french fries are incredible this way!”

In considering 2011 and beyond, Patti Dodds-Hollis sums up her camping future with a viewpoint that’s familiar among RV travelers. “We will keep RVing for as long as possible and keep thanking God for all our opportunities and blessings in being able to travel this great nation.”

With a little luck and strategic timing, many of us in the RVing community will cross paths and connect (both on the road and online) as we strive to achieve our RV resolutions in 2011. Happy New Year, Everyone!

For more info about RV travel visit the Good Sam Club Trip Planning section where you can route your RV trip, read interesting RV travel articles, learn about points of interest, find RV campgrounds and print out RV checklists.

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  1. Craig Knowles

    We began RVing only two seasons ago and so have many lost years to catch up on. We’ve sold our first rig and are awaiting delivery of a new one due in late April. Since our dealer is half way to my wife’s beloved home state of Maryland, we’ll go on so she can visit her relatives there. And we’ll then have a good start on a trip to Maine, one of only two states we haven’t been to. My work since the early 70s took me to nearly 40 states, so now that we have more free time, I can return to some of those places that I so wished I could spend more time in. So many RV parks – so little fuel m

  2. Steve and Peggy

    2011 will be (gas prices allowing) the year we finally get to start using many of those destinations described in the MotorHome Magazine over the years. We’ve saved and put into our 3 ring binder many destinations that peaked our interest as we awaited the magical reitrement year of 2011. We are looking forward to seeing new places and meeting new friends.

  3. Jeff Pelton

    Never take myself so seriously that I can’t look at something and say “stuff happens”.