The first time I ever took an RV vacation was when I was about 6 years old. My father, mother, and I ventured from New York City to Florida. You would think I wouldn’t remember that trip, but there are a few things about it that I have never forgotten.
Like watching the sunsets during the long drives my dad would insist on. Or my frustration that our little black and white, portable television couldn’t get good enough reception for my favorite shows (though today, you can easily find an RV with an updated, fully functional color television set). I remember liking my bunk bed in the RV and my mom making food in the kitchen.
I always thought it interesting that my parents chose to travel with an RV. They weren’t really outdoorsy people who camped or hiked. But as newly minted American citizens, an RV road trip was as American as apple pie and they wanted every piece of it.
My second RV trip was with a group of 5 other women, two of which I knew and three whom I’ve never met before.
Six women in an RV for 8 nights together. What could go wrong?
Well, surprisingly enough, not a lot. Our trip was an exciting one, starting from Las Vegas and going along various points of the Southwest including cities like Santa Fe, Grand Canyon, and Taos, just to name a few.
Campsites varied. The one in Las Vegas was located on a parking lot behind the Circus Circus resort and close to all the lights, action, and glimmer of the city and the one in Wahweap Campground in Arizona was on a beautiful hill with views to a gorgeous sunset and Lake Powell. I learned that for me the ideal park site is all about a destination with views or easy access to beautiful outdoor activities, as well as showers, laundry, and WiFi.
We definitely enjoyed some RV parking sites more than others. Just research them carefully before booking to make sure they have what you are looking for.
The sunsets at Wah Weap Campground in Arizona were magical.
Some of the women cooked a few times, and we snacked often on food that we picked up at grocery stores along the way and I like that we could do that. Since the RVs come equipped with full kitchens (stove, oven, and even microwave) it’s easy to prepare food once parked inside. And if you find a campsite with a BBQ grill you can also prepare for that.
We bought a lot of our own food at local stores and saved money on not having to eat out at restaurants.
I wasn’t able to drive because I missed the training video that renters have to watch if they want to be on the drivers list. But the ladies all took turns and we all learned that extra time should be allotted for schedules when driving an RV, as it is heavier and slower than a car.
What I enjoyed about RVing is what I enjoy about road trips in general. They allow you to cover a lot of ground, but also discover those in-between spots along the way. And though I can’t say that there weren’t times when we appreciated a bit more space out of the vehicle sometimes, we bonded and shared a lot of laughs. Even when we short circuited the RV (because, well, bloggers…), we were able to make the best of it, even worked on fixing it ourselves.
We brought portable WiFi with us for working while someone else drive, but we also had of just enjoying each other’s company and conversation.
I liked how it’s a vacation with as few distractions as you’d like and with lots to see and do, if you want to.
I didn’t realize all the work involved in managing the RV. There are a lot of tubes to connect, things to flush out, and details to be aware of so that everything runs smoothly (like toilets and water).
When renting an RV is important to keep in mind costs beyond the rental itself and the fuel. Unless you choose to pack and bring it yourself, you have to rent everything else from plates, cups, and utensils to sheets, pillows, and towels. There are also campsite fees, that apply not just for the rental of the site where you will park your RV, but also for hook up facilities to dump out dirty water, recharge your generator, or get electricity, and fill up your clean water tanks.
Overall the cost for renting an RV can vary depending on the size, length of rental, and supplies needed. But when I take into account the amount I spend to fly my family of 5 to just one destination, it almost comes to about the same…and we don’t often get to see as much.
Like my parents before me, I would take an RV vacation with my kids in tow It’s an experience I think every kid should have, at least once. Having gone on this trip with my girlfriends taught me a lot about what to look for, what to expect, and how to prepare.
It also reminded me of how much beauty there is to discover, much of which we often miss when flying.
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This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.