A couple days ago I was browsing the RV.net forums and I came across a topic: Best thing about my RV is…
The post had many responses. Some listed features directly related to their RV, like a large gallery, good mpg, low price, lots of sleeping space, or 1.5 bathrooms.
Others said things that apply to RVing versus traveling by other means, like that they didn’t need to worry that the bed had been slept in by strangers, they could bring their pets along , or the fact that they could still eat home cooking on the road.
Another group focused more on what the RV could do for them. Such as the ability to change the view from their windows, get away from neighbors they didn’t like, or leave at a moment’s notice without having to plan a hotel stay and pack for a trip in advance.
I thought about my response for a while, what is the best thing about my Casita? There are a lot of features I like about Cas, but many are things I had back when I was living in an apartment too.
Not only did I have a bathroom, it was a large bathroom, and I didn’t need to worry about dumping. The 15 mpg combo of Bertha and Cas is pretty impressive compared to many RVs, but pales compared to the 28-29 mpg I got with my Civic. I paid about $16,200 (more if you count everything I’ve needed to buy to fix and maintain it) total for truck and trailer once taxes and licenses were all said and done. That’s quite cheap, I didn’t need a loan, great! But my most expensive apartment (shared with a roommate granted, who I would still have were I stationary) would have come out to just $5004 a year, it didn’t need to all be paid at once, and I never needed to worry about leaks or spending money for repairs.
“But wait!” you’re probably now saying. “That’s not the whole picture!” And you’re right, so I kept digging.
Next I thought about mode of travel, the second group’s answers. Yeah, a RV makes for a more comfortable way to get around than hotel hopping, although that kind of travel has it’s benefits too.
For instance there is staff to take care of the cleaning and maintenance. You don’t have to pay as much up front. And it takes less than two hours to get everything into a hotel room vs. leveling a RV, getting the water, sewer, and electric hooked up, the awning and mat rolled out, and the chairs set up.
At it’s heart though, the third group seemed closest to the mark. In many ways RVing gives you more options than staying in hotels. Drive until you find a price you like, that price can be as low as free. Switch spots if your current neighbors are being too loud. Park your RV to give you the best view. Decided you want to stay longer? Well, you can fit more clothes and supplies with you in a RV than in a suitcase for hotel travel. If by chance your current campground can’t let you extend your stay you can just go find the next one in the area with room. Getting too tired to keep going? Dry camping in your RV in a parking lot is so much more comfortable than sleeping in the back of a car.
It boils down to freedom.
And a couple of the posters at RV.net got this too.
Because a RV has a kitchen we’re free to eat how we like on the road. Because it has a bathroom we’re free to stay places that don’t. Because it has wheels we’re free to travel as much or as little as we want in a day, and still have a bed to sleep in. No reservation required, no mad searching for vacancy signs, and no lobby hours to abide by.
If you don’t have enough money, you’re free to travel anywhere in the whole of the country to find a job. Want to stay at a place you like for months on end? Not an issue. Want to spend every night someplace different? You can do that too.
The features that make up a RV may seem simple and crude compared to their house counterparts, but when you couple them with mobility, it opens up a world of possibilities. It creates options. And having viable options, that’s freedom my friend.
This lifestyle isn’t for everybody, there are sacrifices to be made. You can’t take all your stuff with you. You’ll have to leave your existing social circle behind. It can get cramped inside on rainy days. And it’s still a lot like real life. Stuff will break, bills still need to be paid, not every site you stay at is going to have a great view. If you treat it like a perpetual vacation, money will run out.
But there are a lot of positives too. You may discover you didn’t need as much stuff as you thought. Many RVers are great people and you’ll make new friends. And pictures and movies just can’t hold a candle to seeing the gorgeous sights America has to offer with your own two eyes.
My guess is, if you’re reading this, then you’ve already decided that going RVing is something you really want to do.
So what’s holding you back?
I’ve been getting e-mails and messages trickling in from people, asking questions from how to keep a RV warm in cold weather to why is South Dakota a good state to domicile in. I enjoy answering these questions, but I know not everyone who has questions or concerns about RVing will write in to ask.
So I thought I’d ask here: What’s the number one question (or concern) you have as you’re preparing to go RVing? Or that’s keeping you from going RVing? For those of you already on the road, I have a question for you too. What part of RV travel causes you the most hassle?
There isn’t a whole lot to do here in Coffeyville on my days off, and I want to do something useful rather than twiddle my thumbs as the wind rocks the Casita around like a ship on the high seas.
I’ll answer what I can in the comments section, and if I get a lot of people asking the same thing or a question that requires a more thorough answer expect to see a post or something about it. It’s a win, win situation. You get a question answered, and I get to do something to take my mind off the pitch and roll of my little fiberglass boat…err, trailer.
Now I leave the floor to you all. Fire away matey!
Image courtesy of kevin dooley
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