Traveling with Recreational Vehicles: The Pros and Cons of RVing
To RV or not to RV—that is the camping dilemma!
You’ve seen them on the road. Perhaps your neighbor has one on his driveway. But, the question remains: should you try RVing?
RV is just an abbreviation for “recreational vehicle.” Quite simply, an RV is a house on wheels. You travel with many of the creature comforts you are used to and are able to travel in style. But is it for you?
The first thing you’ll need to RV is obviously—an RV. You could buy an RV if you plan to do a lot of traveling throughout the year. However, if you live in a colder climate, or only plan to travel once or twice a year, you could also consider renting an RV. There are many companies renting RVs—each with a different price range and quality. Be sure to visit the websites of a few companies before settling on one. Furthermore, check online for reviews of the company to get a better idea of the service you will be given.
The other major expense is gas. Because you are driving a heavier vehicle than you are probably used to driving, you will also be hit with a gas bill that you are not used to paying. To help save one gas, you could consider renting or buying a smaller unit. Another idea would be to rent an RV known as a fifth wheel. This kind of RV consists of a trailer that is attached to a truck. With this option, you are able to drive to a campsite, unhitch the trailer and spend the day driving around in a truck—thereby saving on gas.
Camping no longer has to mean missing out on your favorite creature comforts. You can have a fridge, kitchen table, queen-sized bed, bathroom (toilet, sink, and shower) and plenty of storage. As you move from campsite to campsite, unlike with tenting, you will not need to setup your sleeping quarters on a daily basis. Your bed will be waiting for you in the same place every night. Note: in smaller RVs, it is very possible that you will need to turn the kitchen table into a bed with the cushions of the sofa. Every vehicle is different in terms of size and features available.
Furthermore, in most RVs, you will have the luxury of hot water and a furnace (for colder nights). No more walking to the public showers, unless your water tanks are empty. And, if you are at a campsite with electrical outlets, you will also be able to plug in your RV and have electricity for blow-drying your hair, watching TV (if you are fortunate to have reception), recharge electronics, etc.
Warning: When using propane to use the stove, make sure you open at least one window, as the gas is toxic.
While you have the luxury of doing the dishes, taking a shower, and going to the bathroom, each time you undertake one of the activities, your tanks will slowly fill. The grey water tanks are for dirty dish water and water that goes down the drain while taking a shower. The tank that people dislike more is the black water tank—the toilet reserves! When these tanks are full, the meter within the RV will indicate that these tanks are full and need to be emptied. To empty the tanks, you will need to drive to a “dumping station” which are located at most campgrounds and some visitor centers.
One nice thing about RVs is the sense of security you get while sleeping. Because you can lock the door, you don’t have to worry about getting any surprise visitors during the night—which includes bears! Just lock the doors and close the blinds/curtains and—voila—instant privacy!
When traveling in an RV during the day, finding parking can be quite challenging. You will need to find a parking spot that is large enough for your RV. In some places, there are designated areas for RV parking.
RVing is not for everyone. Some people would rather be “closer to nature,” spend less on gas and experience a simpler way of living. For others, RVing makes perfect sense. RVs can be your home away from home
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