A comment or two left on those posts wondered what my wife's reaction was to this trip. I asked Betty to share some of her (uncensored) thoughts! Was it a positive part of her satisfying retirement?
What was the overall experience like? Is it something you'd do again?
This was a test not only to see if we could manage the hookups but also to see if Bob and I could live with each other in small quarters for an extended period of time. I’m happy to announce we did very well and passed both tests! Yes, I’d love to rent again maybe with a slightly larger camper. The big test next time is to try this with a puppy who barks at everything. There will be obedience classes and lots of socializing with the pup before venturing out. I’ve suggested to Bob that we go somewhere close to test the waters.
What were the biggest surprises of RVing...both good and bad?
Everywhere we looked we ran into friendly people who were willing to lend a hand, come and visit and knew when to give you space. It was so refreshing to meet people literally face to face. In this world of texting and Smart Phones it was great to sit outside and have someone come up to your “front porch” and chat a while.
About 2 in 3 campers had a dog. There were all different types of dogs from the tiniest to huge breeds. Out of all of the dogs that we saw all but two were extremely well behaved. I loved watching the dogs go by.
The showers/bathrooms at the two RV Parks/Campgrounds were beautifully maintained.
It can get to be a little boring if you stay in the same place for an extended period of time. Unlike Bob, I can get antsy in a short period of time. Except for photography, and reading, my hobbies can be quite messy and take up a huge amount of space. Painting, carpentry, scrapbooking, and building things are hard to do in an RV. But with a little imagination everything can be geared down to a miniature level. I even saw a man with his saw horse and table saw set up outside his RV. One word of caution… Don’t scrapbook outside on the picnic table on a windy day!
What were your favorite parts?
I love getting outside during most of the day and I don’t do it very often when I’m home. It was wonderful being able to get to the cool weather.
I loved seeing all of the different breeds of dogs. It seemed as if every other RV had one or two dogs enjoying the RV life as much as their humans!
Having the ability to pack up and leave with your “house” anytime you want.
What were your least favorite parts?
Alas, it is kind of a working vacation for all. Since Bob will be doing all of the driving, (especially if we tow a car) and hook up, it falls to me to pack, unpack, prepare meals, and clean up.
The bed in a 25’ camper is small, (a double?) and they supplied us with only a flat sheet, making it next to impossible to make the bed. The sheet and comforter kept coming out, plus I had to crawl over Bob to get to my side of the bed.
What I worried about most was what and how much stuff I should I bring with a rental. I am sure it would be loads of fun supplying your own things when you have your own camper. Because we were in a class”C” camper and we needed transportation to get supplies, go sightseeing and go into town I had to drive our car from Flagstaff to Show Low and then back to Flagstaff. Next time we’ll try and tow our smaller car behind the camper.
The air conditioning was loud. (Question – Are most RV air conditioning loud or was it just a rental thing?) You couldn’t watch a video with the air conditioning running.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of taking their first RV trip?
The most important thing to bring is painters tape. We used it to hold several drawers and the stove grate in place because they rattled.. Painters tape does not leave residue like duct tape.
I would pack everything in labeled (Kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, tools, clothes) appropriate sized plastic totes. Labeling everything makes it so much easier to find it in the storage area underneath the RV.
I literally went room to room before leaving and put things in that I thought I’d need. . I won’t bore people in this blog, but I have made an extensive list of things I’ll need for our next rental that I can e-mail to anyone who is interested.
|Betty hugging a tree (don't ask)|
Oh, and yes, she does have a long list of things she decided to take/not take next time. If you are interested e-mail me and I'll pass her list along to you. Maybe that will help you make your next RV trip part of your satisfying retirement journey.
Note: I was just interviewed about our first RV experience on the Florida Outdoors RV blog: http://goo.gl/ySzPK. Please read and leave a comment!