August 25, 2016

Seven Reasons I Love RV Travel



A Satisfying Retirement is built on a solid foundation of financial, relational, and emotional support. Without enough income, family or friends, and ways to use free time productively, what could be the best time of your life may fall short.

I will add one more element that is often overlooked: vacations. Does that seem odd? After all, isn't retirement one, long, vacation? Well, no, it is not. The responsibilities and hassles of everyday life don't stop when your paycheck does. The need to shake things up a bit, get a fresh perspective, and collect new experiences is just as important after you leave the full time employment world. 

My wife and I enjoy RV travel. While we are on the road only a few months each year, there is a satisfaction and stimulation from motorhome travel that is hard to match. If you are considering the RV lifestyle, let's see if these seven reasons convince you to take the plunge:


1. The freedom of traveling with your home is addictive. Unpack once, bring your pillow, favorite photos, books, and movies. Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired. You are home wherever you are.


2. Pets are welcome on the road. Does putting your pet in a kennel or dropping her off at a friend's bother you? Is your dog part of your family? RV travel is even better with your best friend.


3. Don't fly over the country, rather be immersed in daily, local life. Buy your produce at a farmer's market. Explore a local nature preserve. meet the town characters at the diner. Experience your country in a very personal, interactive way.


4. Being in a small space encourages relationship-building. You learn the art of compromise quickly in 200 sq. feet. 


5. After the initial purchase, vacations are much less expensive. With proper care an RV can last a decade or more. Think of all those motel rooms you are not renting and the restaurant meals you are not buying.


6. Life long friends can be found on the road. RV parks are full of friendly folks who want to share and connect. Several of our dearest friends were first met while traveling.


7. You come home with a new sense of satisfaction. Where you live seems fresh, welcoming, and very comforting. There is no place like home, especially after being gone for awhile.


RV travel is not for everyone. But, for us, it satisfies like no other type of vacation. These seven reasons might convince you to give it a try.



21 comments:

  1. Love your side-bar gadget for recent posts. Eye catching and helpful. As a newbie, I'm still learning the ropes in blog design.

    For many reasons, RV travel is not for us. It sure sounds exciting, and perhaps 5 years ago we might have tried it. But, that ship has sailed. However I couldn't agree more with your statement that we still need vacations, even though we are retired. The excitement of traveling to a new place, exploring new destinations, and the endless possibilities of making new memories are all reason enough to make sure we allow for some travel in our retirement years.

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    1. I don't know how many more years we will travel by RV. There is a lot of preparation, and it is really a working vacation since you must do the cooking, cleaning, and normal functions as if you are at home.

      Driving a 12-15 ton vehicle is also something that requires a steady hand and quick responses. I am always nervous when I see a gentlemen much older than me guiding a 45 foot behemoth down the road. At some point I will decide I am uncomfortable behind the wheel.

      I am glad you like the sidebar addition. It is designed for folks in your position.

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  2. I just got back from a three day romp through southern Indiana in my micro-RV (uRV) all 46 sq ft of it. It is certainly a much better way to travel down the back road of America.

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    1. I imagine with your micro-RV you can drive and park just about anywhere. Exploring small town America is always fun.

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  3. We came close to doing it full-time but decided to look at alternatives. The fact that we already leave home 4-5 months out of the year certainly fulfills the vacation requirement, and if we can add on more we'll do so. Like yourselves we have the best of both worlds, the real world and the vacation world. Helps to have that balance, so to speak.

    Enjoy the RVing. We see at times, it seems, nothing but RVs of all sizes traveling on I-40 both east and westbound here in TN. They certainly look like they are enjoying life, which is great. Love to see it.

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    1. Roads in America, particularly in the summer, seem to be just 18 wheelers and RVs. Here in Phoenix the time from October until April is peak snowbird season and RVs are as common as gold clubs!

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  4. I have such traumatic memories of 'trailer' living as a child just the thought of RV travel makes me shudder. But, that's just me and I admire those who enjoy it. I do love scenic road trips, though.
    b

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    1. I am really looking forward to your memoirs. I hadn't realized you had issues of trailer trama. Yes, RV travel is not for everyone.

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  5. Well, you know we are in your camp when it comes to RV'ing. And even though we do lots of 'traditional' traveling, i.e. travel involving planes, hotels and very big boats, RV'ing will always have a place in our lives. Our longest RV trip to date is 10 weeks, about 70 days, and the adventures we had while doing so will be treasured forever.

    We're leaving shortly for a getaway to Newport Beach where our campsite will have 180 degree views of the ocean for the cost of $50 a night, WiFi included. Being this close to the ocean would cost a small fortune in a hotel, not to mention being very difficult in that the majority of the Newport coastline is owned by the state, and therefore undeveloped.

    There are an amazing array of public and private campsites and RV parks across the country, and like you, we have met many interesting people over the years, plus seen some amazing wildlife as a result of so many of the places we stay being set in and amidst much of nature's splendour. Elks grazing, eagles and osprey nesting and then raising their young, whales breaching, raccoon in trees peering down at us, plus a wandering skunk that caused no small level of excitement one memorable evening.

    Enjoy your upcoming travels, and look forward to seeing the photos and hearing about your adventures here.

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    1. The "turn around" point where we start the trek back home will be Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I was unaware it is the most visited NP in the country, with double the visitation of the #2 park: The Grand Canyon. Neither Betty or I has been there, so we are looking forward to a memorable time.

      There was a special on the National Geographic Channel last night about the park. The wildlife and flowers are just stunning.

      Hopefully, on this trip we will meet with another blog reader and his wife, a family friend we haven't seen in 40 years, and my two brothers and their families. You can imagine how many photos Betty will take!

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  6. Love the photo! I agree with you on the traveling part -- and traveling so you go slow, meet people, see the sights -- but as you say, RV travel is not for everyone. Aside from anything else, I can't image trying to drive one of those big rigs around town, on the highway, on windy rural roads. But anyway, have a great trip!

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    1. The biggest problems? Backing up is not possible if you are towing a car. Too many gas stations have the pumps too close to the building to allow an RV to use them. Otherwise, think big, big truck!

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  7. RVing for a few months each year does sound great. Once my wife retires we my try renting a class B motorhome for a long weekend just to try out the idea and see if we like it. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your adventures over the next several weeks.

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    1. At first we wanted to make sure this was something we wanted to do. Class B's are great because they drive like a van, are easy to park anywhere, and get excellent gas mileage.

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  8. Our take on RVing is heading bush in our ute ( U.S.A translation =Pickup Truck) towing our off road camper trailer with mountain bikes mounted on the back.
    This allows us to explore on and off road and choose to stay in a caravan park or go remote (check out Wikicamps free camp app) and find our own little spot. We just returned from a 6 week trip exploring Central Australia taking in Uluru, Alice Springs, Birdsville, Simpson Desert etc.
    Certainly take your point about relationship building as our little living area is pretty cosy.
    We love our camping trips. We get to explore hidden gems around Australia plus it gets us out of our comfort zone. Its always good to remind yourself how good pushing your boundaries is whilst you are digging yourself out of a bog (stuck in the mud/sand) in 38C deg heat.
    I have added links to a couple of pics of our set up.
    https://flic.kr/p/qgvtsa
    https://flic.kr/p/suuADj

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    1. 38 degrees C, or 100 degrees F sounds a lot like Arizona! 6 weeks in the outback must have been a great adventure. I just watched a show that visited Alice Springs...a decent-sized town surrounded by beautifully rugged terrain.

      I checked out your pictures and really like to see the solar panels. That is such a better option than a noisy, smelly generator.

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    2. Alice is a good base to explore the Macdonnell Ranges, wonderful arid landscape. Yes, we like our solar panels. No noise, less weight and no extra fuel to carry.

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  9. There are advantages/disadvantages to RV travel. Certainly the cost of fuel and maybe a higher powered vehicle to haul the RV and camping fees need to be factored in, as well as maintenance and off-season storage. With all things, some of the paybacks are priceless. Some of the best camping days were when I had a truck camper, easy to drive around and park. The thing that appeals to me the most is that you're exploring your own "back yard". There's so much to see in our home countries.
    I concur about the need for retirees to have a vacation. Whenever I speak of an upcoming vacation, my son says, "From what?" From the day-to-day. I come back with a new outlook on my home and the world. I've seen a few places and while they are different, I'm not convinced that they are better.

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    1. Leaving home, if even for just a little while, tends to reset your expectations and reactions. No matter how you travel, the change in routine and scenery does its job: it makes home a more magical place.

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  10. We are currently in the process of a seven week tour in our pickup truck and camper - considerably smaller than an RV (although it does have a slide). We have been travelling into quite remote and rugged areas of northwestern Canada, places with no gas stations or cell service for hundreds of kilometres. We love it! It is so peaceful and quiet.

    Jude

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    1. What an adventure. obviously, you are good at boondocking!

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