By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
RVing is Great! We all know that, but let’s face reality – there are plusses and minuses to it just like every other situation you encounter in life.
Since I’m basically a positive kinda guy, I want to tell you what I think are the major good things about RVing. In my next article, though, I’ll put on my black hat and give you a list of what I think are the biggest negatives to the RV life.
Two ground rules, first. No. 1 – These are the good things that we have enjoyed about the lifestyle over the past five years, so I encourage you to add your thoughts in the comments section below. How else will those thinking about taking off in an RV know all the benefits?
No. 2 – PLEASE do not write any negatives today. Save that for the second part of this series, which will talk about the dark side of the RV life.
Now, in no particular order, here are what we consider to be the 11 Best Things about RVing:
1) Freedom to roam. You can set your sights on journeys or destinations and head off in that direction, or you can step on the accelerator with no direction and still get somewhere. Go, stop, stay, go. You can roam to your heart’s content, with only the weather, budget and health concerns to factor into your travels. Plus, grandparents can drop in on the kids for a while; then hit the road again when it’s time to go.
2) The dogs in the next rig are barking all night, a baby is crying, the campground is less than your standards. What do you do? Move. You can always move. What a concept after living in one place for years where you sometimes have had to accept nuisance neighbors.
3) People traveling in RVs have one thing in common. They have chosen to travel by RV. You often meet very interesting people, most of whom share many of your interests. It’s a natural way of making friends. And a few times, you run into people who become long-term friends, people you call or email every once in a while… and maybe visit or meet up with on a trip. We have made some very valuable friendships in our travels.
4) This is one of my favorites: Every night you climb into your own bed. Having the luxury of the best hotels still isn’t as comfortable as snuggling in your own bed. It’s a wonderful sense of being home and secure.
5) We’re in Minot and hear of a music festival in Fargo. In a few minutes we have pulled up stakes and are on our way. For you racecar fans, the toughest part is finding a trackside parking space, but what a view of all the action! Whatever the event, your RV can get you close to the center of the attraction. That’s why we call them “Recreational Vehicles,” right?
6) You may be proud of the place where you live, but how does that compare to the pride of accomplishment of living the RV life, if even for a short spurt. Without a willingness to do whatever needs to be done, instead luvin’-the-life, you may get preoccupied with the setbacks. It broadens the mind to learn a little about plumbing, electricity, carpet cleaning, propane, hauling, maneuvering in crowded parking lots … The list goes on and on. You earn your comfort in an RV.
7) Sell your home and be careful with your spending and you can live for less on the road. That’s a good thing.
8) You’re living in what I call a “different time zone.” In most cases, when you’re living the RV lifestyle, you don’t have regular events, like meetings. Your schedule is open to your own whims, unless, of course, your snowbird buddies expect you on the first tee every Tuesday and Friday at 8 a.m. You just have to adapt. Or the bridge game is on Wednesdays at 7. And then there’s that “5 p.m. Somewhere” group you don’t want to miss. Well, there are exceptions to every rule, I guess.
9) From one of our sons: “A different backyard.” You can’t get bored looking at a different lake, meadow, mountain, etc., if you travel frequently.
10) You can control your life, or as Monique puts it, if you sell your home to travel, “Your house doesn’t own you.” You want to go, you go. You want to stop, you stop. Maybe that should be No. 1 on the list.
11) “Fly-in-and-stay travelers” can see a lot on their treks, but it’s usually 2-dimentional. When we travel, if we find a place interesting and we have no commitments to meet (that’s most of the time), we can enjoy the area. We can walk the streets of the town, visit the local museum, sit down casually in a diner and have people ask us, “Whereyafrum?” We get to know the locals, what they like about their hometown and what we shouldn’t miss seeing while visiting. The storefronts come alive and gain character. We delve into the depth of the area – its history and culture — and, in turn, it adds to our depth.
And now to re-emphasize the two rules I mentioned at the beginning. Please add to the list (or modify it) in the comments section and don’t write any negatives. Sit on them until Part 2 is posted.
Finally, a bit more about item 3 above. The reason this blog-site is so well read is that we all have so much in common. We are a community across state lines, national boundaries and oceans. If you’re like me, you find lots of articles and comments of direct interest to me/you in these daily blogs. There are lots of good things about RVing; if not, we wouldn’t do it.
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved
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Your best bet would be to just look around and see what they have in the steros in your area. My family has gone through several tents in my life. As my family grew and I acquired more siblings the tents we used on our camping trips also grew. We started out a 4-person pup tent and gradually grew to the 4-room, 13-person, 30-pound Taj Mahal . My advice would be to look around and just get something that fits your needs. If you are going to do a lot of hiking to your campsites, get a small then that is light and easy to carried. If you are just going to park at your campsite, then get a tent as large as you want that is within your price range. A few recommendations from past experiences:Get a tent that has a good rainfly, water-proof covering, that covers the ENTIRE tent. Some tents give you the bare-minimum for a cover and that will NOT keep you dry. I life the tents where the rainfly spreads out in front of the doorway to create a front porch . This allows me a space to put my shoes and not have to worry about hauling dirt into the tent. You will also want to get a footprint for your tent. This is a small tarp that you will lay under the tent before you put it up. This will help protect the floor of your tent from sharp objects on the ground as well as give added water protection from the elements outside. (This usually has to be purchased seperate, or just a regular tarp will do.Since there will only be two of you, you might also consider getting a tent that is easy to assemble and quick to put up.In the end the choice is up to you to decide which tent best fits your needs for your budget, I can only offer recommendations. In the sources I have include different sites where you can look at many different tents. Have fun camping.
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I beleive the best part of fulltiming is the excitement of what tomorrow will bring, which direction it is. We only became fulltimers in July and will be heading to somewhat unknown territory in about 3 weeks. My hubbie spent many years as a long haul trucker and has always come home with stories that began with “I would love to show you this or that place”. We are really looking forward to beginning this next chapter of our lives I am sure many of you can remember that excitement and hopefully you still feel it. I completely enjoyed reading this article and the comments as well. We have written “TUMBLEWEED” over our front windshield because out plan is to go where ever the breeze blows us that is as close to a direction or plan that we have other then staying out of the snow…. we are Canadian and have decided to avoid it for a while at least. We enjoy meeting new people and exploring new places. Hope to meet you somewhere someday. We are here on earth for a short time so make it a good time!
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The best part of RV’ing for us is being able to follow our kids and visit our infant grandkids. We spend the summers in CO, fall in the Philly area and winters in Florida. Right now that works for us, but the beauty of RV’ing is we can change it any ole time we want.
Never having to mow a yard again!
If I want to see a nice lawn I can simply pull into a nice resort and setup shop there for a week or so:) I prefer more wild looking views from my RV in general though.
Still trying to convince DH to sell the house, he ” needs roots” and says where will we go when we can’t do this anymore? I say “If we can’t do this what makes you think we could still take care of a house?” So for now we are semi-retired and go to AZ for 6 mo. We try to take a different route each yr since there is so much to see, but leaving after Labor Day means not lots of CGs open east of the MS.We were surprised how much “stuff” we had and what you can do without. Cat and dog consider FW their home because even when we are in our dooryard we live in the FW because it has AC. Still wondering why we have a house…….Made many friends all over the US and Canada and entertain more in RV.FUN,FUN,FUN!
no baggage fees, limit on size of toothpaste from TSA, or other flying hassles. I keep the trailer loaded with some basics (toothbrush, pots, pans, dishes, bed linen, etc. so when I hit the road I just add groceries and what clothing items I need for the trip and on my way!
“A bad day camping is better than a good day at work”
Having your own pillow, bath room, and food at 2AM top the list. Being late arriving at worst means a night in the drive way. And being able to fly my indoor models (all electric of course) in the calm air at dawn most places we stop. I am a technician, licensed electrician, and pretty fair mechanic so the tire kicking conversations seldom lag even when repeating a favorite story. Kicking the fixed base of operations is still in the future but fun to consider, usually when property taxes show up. RVing has created the classless society our founding fathers had in mind.
Jack and Nancy Felicita
Since we have four dogs and a cat, one plus for us is being able to take them and not having to worry about whether a motel will accept pets or not. This is the greatest country on earth and we have been in 40 states so far, and have only scratched the surface. We have seen the big attractions and the not so big ones, largely due to wrong turns-and there were lots of them over the years. We have taken my ( Nancy’s) parents on alot of our adventures and it was like returning the favor for the vacations that I went on as a kid. My dad never stopped talking about the Penna. to Alaska trip we took. So I guess the greatest plus about RVing, as far as we are concerned, is the memories. Every mile is a memory.
I think being able to travel with our pets is one of the best parts of RV-ing. I don’t want to kennel my dogs, and they love to see the world too! Even our cat comes along now… she thinks she owns the motorhome, LOL!
Wow,,,,I fully agree with EVERY statement made here by all of us. The only thing I can add is that the “stuff” in the sticks and stones home gets cleared out before your children inherit the burden. I just heard the sanitation truck dump my dumpster that I filled yesterday. We’ve decided this last week to sell the house “downsize” and hit the road singing Willie’s song,,,,”On the Road Again.” Ain’t life grand?!?!?
As my brother told me yesterday…..”Things” and “Stuff” are only that……. the really important aspects are the “Experiences” of life….and you don’t need much stuff around you to do that.
Don’t forget all the fun you have watching newbees trying to park for the first time.
We love our TT.
Having everything packed, you just have to grab your spouse and pets. Having my own bed and bathroom available whenever I need it. Seeing all the little town and meeting people in the area, rather then just flying over and missing a lot.
Two advantages of RV travel
1. A a food controlled diabetic I can make appropriate choices, good luck with that if you depend on restaurants for food when traveling – limited choices and boring.
2. I am severely allergic to perfumes (but not flowers) cannot fly nor stay in public areas for long. This way I can control my environment.
I have my motto on my Fulltime RVer Non business card, and it goes like this.
“If I’m not in shorts, I’m too far north” The beauty of being free to roam at will is one of the most beautiful things in the world. The computer has made fulltiming one of the easiest things to do. I frankly don’t have a negative that I could post for the next survey, so I’ll only be on the positive side. The folks you meet on the road, and in the RV Parks are probably the overall friendliest group of folks I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve been fulltiming two years, and I have only met two people whom I wouldn’t want to talk to again, which is a very positive endorsement for all those on the road.
The other thing I do is try to help out others with their problems. My other statement on the card goes like this. “I’ll try to fix anything that’s broke, If I can’t fix it, it’s really broke”. I have been able to help out many RVers in trouble, which makes their day a lot more pleasant. That’s another good thing about the RV community, we help others whenever there is a need. Simple fixes can certainly relieve the frustration of those who need help.
See you down the road
Being able to move away from bad neighbors a HUGE plus. Snowbirding and following the sun just wonderful. No income taxes due to my choice of home state very nice. Learning constantly everywhere I go all the things they either did not teach in school or taught wrong is fantastic. Getting to do or see things I never though I would like the Lippizaner Stallions, Appalachian Trail, ziplining, sailing a 4 masted schooner, shrimping, driving bridges so long you can’t see the end or land ahead but just trust to faith, holding millions of dollars worth of real gold bullion in your hand, watching the sun sink into the ocean with everyone else in Key West at the marina, etc. I LOVE RVING! Geocaching too.
Fully retired 12 years. RV only part time, but really enjoy every aspect of. Not enough though to go full time. Have found geochaching to add to my pleasures. Carry a Kayak. Wife will not Kayak but I can enjoy the fun of alone. Agree with all comments and your post.
My wife and I are both retired and in relatively good health. We travel from Canada to Arizona during the winter in our 5th wheel. I’m not sure if I could go without a “base” to return to and she definitely does not want to sell the house. I guess we’re stuck with having two homes to keep up although the financial benefits would be much better if we only had the one on wheels. Do you full-timers go through a withdrawal when you lose your permanent home?
I am subscribed and receive your posts but can’t read them because of a huge white “SUBSCRIBE NOW” page that continually pops up?
Any ideas on how to shut it off?
Ron & Sharon
At home, we have to load bikes on car and drive to a place to ride. On the road we step out the door of the rv, mount the bikes and away we go. The convenience leads to a lot more exercise. All of the other things mentioned make it fabulous. Ron & Sharon
CHUCK& KIM FROM CALIFORNIA
We love the RV lifestyle. I am going to retire in 2 years to Southern Oregon where we plan to live a self-sufficient lifestyle as we do now. I am a caretaker on a reservoir that is part of the water system for a major So. Calif city. My employer provdes my residence and pays me very well but it IS in “KALIFORNIA”. It’s not very free here and the cost of living is high. My wife and I enjoy or 30′ class A motorhome and spend about 2 months a year in it. If I had my way I wouldn’t own a house. I would go with a larger motorhome and full-time it. She wants a patch of dirt to garden in and call her own so I will buy her the property of her choice when we retire. But we will be travelling alot because financially we are comfortable. I plan to spend a lot of time sitting next to my motorhome playing my guitar and banjo hoping that a neighbor will hear me pickin’ and bring their instrument and jam. We have met the best people while RVing, some of which we keep in touch with. We will not miss the BMW, cell-phone , Latte’, always-in-a-hurry- wrapped-too tight city dwellers. Hope to see ya on the road!
Remember, play music, be considerate of others and be happy!
Chuck and Kim
Not only no yard work but a lot less housework! I have physical limitations but can manage in a smaller home.
We love to visit our son and family, but we don’t have to be there all the time. We both get some away time.
My two favorite things are meeting new people, learning about other cultures and the ability to leave when it gets too hot or too cold.
We have 2 Beagles and love to watch them at each new site looking for the elusive rabbit (on a leash of course at the camp site).
Not having to worry about picking up some bed bugs from a motel or resort hotel.
Being able to have my comfort food, tuna fish sandwich with tomato soup, the food you bring from home and prepare just like you did at home.
Traveling with your own toilet. You do not have to use a dirty rest room along the way.
A great chance to see what the Great USA has to offer. We just returned from a 11 month trip around the US. Started in Tacoma Washington followed the Pacific Coast to the Gulf Coast up the East Coast and across the northern US. What a great trip we had all at our leisure.
This is my first year as a full-timer. Wonderful adventure during April and May from Texas to Minnesota watching Spring all the way. My own bed, my own food and my own bathroom. Thank you very much!
Jeff, I started out from the Kansas City, MO area. I’ll be in Branson from mid-August to the end of October working with Missouri Community Betterment preparing for their state-wide conference. Then heading back to the Texas Gulf Coast. What fun!
Barry, always enjoy your posts.
Glenda and I started full timing the day B4 Memorial day and don’t regret it yet. We spend 6 wks in the highlands of N. c. workamping and now we are in Kansas City(our start point) for medical appts. No issue as this was planned. We are going to Branson in Mid August to workamp at Comfort Ridge. This time I’ll be in my favorite playroom, the Kitchen as I’ll be cooking. Then a month off in Nov and then head for the Southwest for the winter, hoping to cook somemoreSee y’all soon.
We are five weeks from retirement and full time. Our house is sold and we have rented a condo for a year. The condo has two decks which we have seldom used. We have dry camped in our RV two miles from the condo for most of the summer. The condo has a great shower but our castle has become our motorhome. We sleep better in it. We love watching our neighbors change. And, we don’t have a deck but spend many more hours outdoors. It’s a great lifestyle and we are soooo ready for it. Your negatives in your next blog won’t out way the positives for us.
Always love to read what you have to say.
I’ll never worry about losing another house…if I have to go I just turn the key and I’m gone.See Ya
RV’ing is my passion. Have been doing it since 1980. My wife was my best friend and travel companion. She died on June 19. [not to be negative] I intend to keep at it in time, even though alone. I’m sure she would want me to.
No property taxes,per capita, wage,or priviledge taxes either.
OK the good part of having reservations. (We hate them. Next time) Had to do a pro and con to get my PE License so this is easy. Reservations for a specific park instead of driving 2-300 miles to find there is no room. A good thing (?)
The ease of looking at the wonders that are all around us with no clocks setting deadlines, only YOUR clock.
If you don’t bring all of your “stuff” you can realize freedom. (saw a 40 footer pulling a trailer to hold the “stuff” . What? Freedom from the normal cares. Sure there may be health issues, but there is help everywhere.
And include all of the above.. A wonderful time exists, enjoy the wonders that there are.
Pete & Pat
Your own bed? We agree! But how about your own food as well?
We’re semi-serious foodies and get sick of restaurant food real quick. With the kitchen in our FW, plus the grill and gas burners we set up outside upon arrival at a campsite, we can (and do) cook nearly everything we prepare at home. We even carry a small herb garden with us.
You can see what we’re up to at http://travel-and-eat.blogspot.com/.
Follow the weather of your choice. You can never pull it off, but it’s great trying to stay in the 65-75 zone. And if it gets to far out of it – pull up and move.
And all of the wonderful people that we have met. Different backgrounds, heritage, and home states. These people have enriched our lives.
I always wanted to be a truck driver. I am now living my dream.
My dog has also had the opportunity to interact with many other dogs and people.
What a LIFE!!!
No yard work, let the parks to that. Freedom to relax in the evenings, and have lake front propery if you like. New to full time, and not retired yet! least my job thinks that. But it was a choice to drive many miles to work every day or sell the house and buy another when we are only 5 years from retirement.
We choose to buy another but it came in the form of an RV. And we love it. Now I am only minutes from work, have lake front property and no more yard work Yea!
Vacations are spent on the road getting the feel of what it will be like in 5 years.
Love every minute of it and wouldn’t turn back for nothing.
Barry, have enjoyed your blog. I agree with all GOODS that you listed. I have towed my trailer to all of Us and 85% of Canada (not Hawaii, been there anyway), Enjoyed all of it. Still eager to keep going. I consider any “bad” just another adventure.
RV’ng in Colorado is wonderful and beautiful, and the privilege of hiking at will is marvelous!
1) No deadlines to meet, planes to catch, etc. Just anywhere you want to go and all the time in the world to get there.
2) You can never be lost, you’re always home.
I’ve got my toes in the water, my butt in the sand.
Not a care in the world, a cold drink in my hand.
Life is good