My husband and I both retired from professional positions where business travel was a big part of our jobs. We took Europe, Mexico, Hawaii, etc., vacations using our frequent flyer mileage points and loved traveling abroad. We still enjoy traveling abroad, but now our love of travel is in our RV Road Tripping.
Many of you may be thinking, like many of our friends; “I like to go out to eat at nice restaurants, I like sleeping in a hotel with all the amenities when I travel. I don’t want to have to cook or sleep in a camper, I want a luxurious vacation of rest and relaxation.” Our response to these comments is “we go out to eat whenever we feel like it and if we just want a bagel with a cup of coffee we don’t have to go anywhere, it’s right at our fingertips.” As far as sleeping, how many of us say when we get home from vacation, “there’s no place like home, sleeping in our own bed?” It’s one of the things that we like the most . . . our own bed, our own linens, no concerns for bed-bugs or wondering who has been sleeping in our bed. As far as luxury, check out some of the very nice RV Resorts . . . they have nice swimming pools, amenities, and planned activities. Another option you have when RV’ing, if you find a place you want to stay in a hotel, no problem, pay for a night or two stay at the hotel, parking your RV in the parking lot.
Have pets to board while vacationing? Another big plus for RV traveling, we take Gabby, our precious Toy Fox Terrier along with us and she thoroughly enjoys the trips. Gabby has her own pet-safety car seat where she is securely latched down, allowing window-level views and very comfortable traveling. Gabby used to get very car sick when traveling and she was in agility, needing to travel to competitions, so using tranquilizers as with our Papillion who also got car sick, was not an option. Previously, we put our pet(s) in a small metal crate, securely fastened down in our SUV, but it allowed too much movement for the pet in the crate, also did not allow the pet to see outside the window. Gabby quit getting car sick immediately when we purchased her the pet safety car seat; it probably is a combination of her not having a lot of movement and being able to see outside. Tip: If you have a dog that gets car sick while traveling, try putting them in a pet car seat at window level.
Traveling with friends fun for you or just want to travel as a couple, single? Your choice when RV’ing. You meet so many nice people on the road in the parks and campgrounds, exchange information and you may develop lifetime friendships with fellow RV’ers. Tip: Have business cards made to exchange with people you meet.
There are formalized groups you can join if you want to travel in a RV Rally with a large group of RV’ers. Below are just a few:
How expensive is it to take a RV road trip, you might ask? Much like all of us know already with any vacation, it depends on your personal tastes, budgets and your priorities or options in travel. You can purchase a previously owned small bumper-pull trailer that can be pulled with your vehicle, purchase yourself an expensive Motor Home with all the bells and whistles, or hit somewhere in the middle. The gasoline/fuel expense on a road trip is not an option, however, the miles per gallon for a motor home versus the miles per gallon for your vehicle pulling a small bumper-pull varies. Examples: a large diesel motor home (they look like a bus) be prepared for about 5 mpg; a 5th wheel trailer pulled by a capable pickup truck, the average will be 9 to 11 mpg; a small bumper pull trailer pulled by a capable SUV, you can plan an average of 10 to 13 mpg (depending on how big your trailer is).
Gas Buddy is a free Iphone app that we use on all of our travels. The app is easy to use and will give you the gas prices at the pumps closest to you, allowing you to get the best price per gallon.
Campgrounds, KOA’s, State/National Park overnight expenses vary and there are many discounts available. In addition, many offer senior discounts and life-time discounts.
We have been taking RV road trips for the past six (6) years. We have had a camper for over 20 years, but before retirement we took our camper out for only a few weeks vacation or for family reunions. I started a Camper’s Journal when we started our road trips, recording the wonderful times and wonderful people we met to serve as memories for years to come.
Below is a list of a few discount campground passes:
America the Beautiful Passes: www.nps.gov
Bureau of Land Management (BLM): www.recreation.gov
Federal Core of Engineers Campgrounds: www.recreation.gov/
Good Sam Club: www.goodsamclub.com
KOA Campground Membership Discounts: www.koa.com/contact-us
Passport America: www.passportamerica.com
US Parks: http://usparks.about.com/od/usstateparks/tp/State-Park-Passes.01.htm
State Park Passes:
Texas Park Passes: www.tpwd.texas.gov
Arizona State Park Passes: www.azstateparks.itinio.com
California State Park Discounts: www.calparks.org
Florida State Park Passes: www.floridastateparks.org
Wisconsin State Park Passes: www.dnr.wi.gov (State of Wisconsin requires a vehicle admission sticker in addition to the campsite fee)
iOS App for Dish Satellite Pointing: “Dish Align” by “Dayana Networks Ltd”. Sample Screen shots: