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Like road trips or camping vacations ? Interesting or unusal places? RV vacations might just be for you. Save money too!
Adventure time awaits you in a RV (Recreational Vehicle). Travel in comfort and convenience and CHEAPLY too!
This is story #1 out of 3 stories. All these trips were done in the early to almost mid 1980s. This particular RV journey begins from northern NJ up through the New England states and on into Canada, to New Brunswick Province first, thence to Quebec Province, and Quebec City, Canada and return to NJ.
First, let's define what is an RV. They come in many configurations and sizes.
Class A Motorhome; Luxury bus conversion; Very large and luxurious but very expensive.
Class B Motorhome (Campervan); Built on a large (or small) van with raised roof.
Class B+ Motorhome; A rather recent invention. A hybrid built on either a truck or van chassis. They usually include a "cab over" section.
Class C Motorhome; Built on a truck chassis with an attached cab section.
Truck Camper; A unit that is temporarily let into the bed or chassis of a pickup truck. This is the class and type of RV I used for this Trip #1.
All of the above RVs are self powered. All of the following require you to have a vehicle capable and equipped for towing the intended rental trailer.
Popup Camper; Also known as a folding trailer, tent camper, or tent trailer. Suitable for towing by most vehicles.
Travel Trailer; Can be quite a large unit with rigid sides, and many with expanding slide outs, usually towed by larger vehicles equipped with a suitable frame hitch.
Teardrop Trailer; A compact lightweight travel trailer that resembles a large teardrop, sometimes being seen being towed by motorcycles.
Hybrid Trailer; A blend between a travel trailer and a folding (tent) trailer.
Fifth Wheel Trailer; Designed to be towed by a pickup or medium/heavy duty truck equipped with a special hitch called a fifth wheel coupling. Part of the trailer body extends over the truck bed.
Which RV type is best for you?
This will depend your intended use, the size of your RV camping "family", the tow vehicle you should already own (applicable for trailers), and of course, your personal comfort and convenience preferences. Cost will be a major factor too if you are on a more limited budget. However, the costs related to this type of vacationing travel allows you greater capability to see much, much more of this beautiful USA, or anywhere else for that matter! BTW, you should really enjoy driving too!
Consider therefor, that these RV vacation trips save you plenty of money versus having to spend precious vacation dollars to get to and from airports, then be flying to and from somewhere, renting a car, eating out, staying in hotels or motels, and then STILL have the excursions, attractions costs, other admissions, and other entertainment costs in addition that you would occur on most any vacation. With a RV you have EVERYTHING WITH YOU! It's easy to see then how you will save TONS OF MONEY by doing a RV vacation.
Note; I rented all my RVs. I had no problem back then renting and it should be even easier with the internet nowadays. To this day I still do not own one although I hope to purchase a (used) travel trailer for permanent over the road living in a few years. RENTING A RV is the BEST WAY to try this vacation experience before you even consider buying and investing in a RV. Doing it this way, by renting, if you do not like the experience for any reason then you are not stuck owning a RV with installment payments and trying to resell the RV and taking a huge hit on depreciation especially if purchased brand new.
By renting, you are then able take subsequent RV vacations and have the flexibility to select a different class/type/size RV that may more suitable and comfortable to you and your family comfort, enjoyment, and convenience needs and interests. The RV choices out there now seem endless. "TRY BEFORE YOU BUY " IS A GREAT MOTTO TO FOLLOW HERE!
If you are a family unit, the number of family members and the pets too, and the ability to all get along will be major considerations for this type of great vacation. The larger the RV obviously the more "personal space" per family member for comfort and privacy. (This Trip #1 had two adults, one teenager, and two younger kids.) This was a tad close quarters for this size RV (Truck Camper) but there were no problems and it was loads of fun and always educational, relaxing, and entertaining as a vacation should be for a family..
Most RVs are equipped with kitchen areas which include a stovetop gas burner range and oven, a refrigerator/freezer (dual powered by propane or electricity), microwave oven, and sinks with hot/cold running water, also enclosed bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower and medicine cabinet and the larger RVs may even have a bathtub. All have storage too.(The RV on my Trip #3 story to come, had a bathtub.) There are of course sleeping accommodations, (fold outs, bunk beds and separate bedroom), fold up flip out seating/dining combo areas, gas/electric heat, TV, and even air conditioning too in many.
Larger RVs also may have a electric AC generator and satellite technology equipment installed as well. Almost all have ability to make campground hookups to dump the holding tanks of sewer (black water), and wash (gray water) and hookups to external 110-120V AC electricity and a potable water source to continuously supply as well as refill your on-board fresh water tank. Most improved non rustic type pay-for-stay campgrounds now even provide Wi Fi either free or for a daily add on cost. Consider an RV as ranging from being a small studio apartment or even smaller in size all the way up to greyhound bus size proportions with high luxury amenities. Each comes with a cost however that is directly related to its type, size and amenities. You should be able to shop this on the internet too. Whatever you choose, remember that it will be your HOME for your entire vacation.
Depending on how the RV is equipped you can live completely independently depending upon your fresh water and holding tanks capacities, propane gas, and your electrical (battery/AC generator) capabilities. You can therefore live for quite sometime time without any hookups as you are totally a self contained living unit and until such time as you must finally have to replenish the fresh water, dump your sewer and gray water holding tanks, buy more gasoline for the AC generator, and refill propane gas, as well as replenishing the on board food stores and also fuel up the vehicle/tow vehicle.
Your ability and time to camp and to be completely independent and rustic and away from "civilization" is known as "BOONDOCKING" and is your stay in this mode is totally dependent on how quickly you can expect to exhaust these capacities and capabilities before having to return to "civilization" to get resupplied. More persons means more and faster drain on these resources of course. Planning your RV adventure therefore becomes VERY important. BTW it's all part of the fun too.
Now for my RV Adventure and touring story #1. NJ to Canada and return.
Started early AM from northern NJ after renting a Truck Camper from a private party in the local area. Since I like to drive, we made very steady progress and soon were well underway.We blew through lower NY, CT and MA in a hurry and soon the most interesting highlights to me started upon reaching the seacoast of NH. The drive is very scenic and while not stopping for too much except to pull over and have lunch and dinner, we made ME by late nightfall. We had a catalog of campgrounds and targeted a campground in ME but arrived very late around 930-10PM. The campground admission office was closed but they had left a note on the door to just park on the basketball court and check in in the morning. We had a late night snack in the camper and turned in and by dawn, like ghosts, we were well on our way again.
The great state of Maine has awesome pine forests that come down to meet the rock strewn beaches. We stopped for breakfast and near lunchtime we found a great rocky beach at low tide. Thousands of huge mussels were attached to all of these rocks. Since we all liked mussels, we gathered up several buckets for dinner by just prying them from the flinty black rocks during this ebb tide.
We boiled up those mussels at dusk for dinner, and to our great surprise they were very "crunchy". They tasted great though. Apparently these ocean salt water mussels ingested hundreds of flint grains during their living attachment to those flinty black rocks which made for their very interesting texture and quite crunchy eating but they were delicious regardless. No one got sick either. Quite the EXPERIENCE I must say!
Other experiences included dining on famous Maine lobsters, clams and corn and admiring the rustic scenery of the great state of Maine. We continued up through Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach which, as I recall had quite a ancient looking amusement park. We didn't stop as it was a dismal rainy day and continued onward to and through Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park , thence to Acadia National Park for Cadillac Mountain for the view. Apparently this is where the rays of the sun first strike the US each day at sunrise. We continued onward to Bar Harbor in the area with its famous Blue Nose Ferry that used to go over to Nova Scotia but we decided to save the ferry trip over for another vacation time. (I understand that ferry no longer is in existence. Shame too but I hear that it may come back SOON!.)The views EVERYWHERE in the state of Maine are fantastic. It is one of my favorite states.
Our chief vacation goal was to eventually get to Quebec Province, Canada and continue to Quebec City. But now to do this we first crossed over into Canada from Calais, Maine into the Province of New Brunswick, Canada for a touring visit and visited the cities and towns of Saint John, Fredericton, and Moncton. While the province is heavily forested and known for lumbering and sawmills, we encountered a lot of quite flat scenery and a somewhat boring expansive array of lobster pond farms as we toured. New Brunswick is also known for its fishing industries as well as mining and minerals. It is a rather flat Maritime province and no notable mountains that I can recall. I/we really couldn't wait to get to Quebec City.
Onward now on our journey to Quebec Province, Canada and the City of Quebec. (An all time favorite of mine. Been there three times and can't wait to get back for another visit). Since I have really and always been a driving fool we pressed on steadily and briskly. The mileage passing quickly at my usual strong pace. The fact that we were vacationing and touring in a RV made everything very easy since we didn't have to stop to find places to eat unless we wanted to and could stop anytime and anywhere for napping or sleeping or just tarrying to admire a specific view, area or attraction. The RV was great for keeping the kids attention involved in either the scenery or the books and games they brought along. (No electronic games back then either).
The long ride to Quebec Province and ultimately Quebec City was really quite a lot of very flat terrain and frankly, BORING!
To speed the read here, I will condense this part of the story to make easier reading and faster.
The destination GOAL was Quebec City, Quebec Province, Canada. One of the OLDEST settlements in North America. It is also the capital of Quebec Province. A very picturesque city perched on a cliffs overlooking the St. Lawrence river. You can see miles up river here. The huge town focal point is the Chateau Frontenac Hotel done in beautiful classic castle style architecture and located on the town square. At the time of my visit, French was the dominant language and there was a great ongoing dispute about letting English become an accepted language in Quebec Province. Currently is reported that 94.55% of the population of Quebec City speaks the descendant mother tongue of French. However, only more than a third can speak both French and English. We ventured to stay one night at this highly rated hotel , and because we elected the cheapest room available we stayed in one overlooking a rather noise alley below BUT, we can brag about staying at this world famous beautiful classic and generally very expensive hotel.
On the town square, you can hire a horse drawn two wheeled "Caleche" with the driver's seat on the splashboard to take a tour of the city in an open carriage. We opted out of doing this due to the limited carriage capacity but I sure would have liked to have do ne that ride. We however explored using our RV. Saved some bucks too doing that as we would have had to hire two Caleches to accommodate the whole family.
Right on the edge of the city sits The Citadelle of Quebec, a fort that was constructed to prevent another American attack on Quebec to rebuff our attempts to liberate Canada and persuade them (unsuccessfully) to join our Continental Congress. This fort is still in use by the military and of course is a great historic attraction and where you can watch all the pomp and circumstance of the daily military changings of the guard. This is always a colorful photo opportunity with their British Red Coat uniforms and marching band.The battle of the Plains of Abraham was fought and is located nearby and is where the British defeated the French in 1759. A high stone wall also surrounds a portion of Quebec City providing more of the charm of its' history contribution in the area,
Quebec City being situated on a cliff, there exist at the base of the cliffs the part known as Lower Town with its collection of old and somewhat dreary tenement style dwellings. It is right on the banks of the St. Lawrence river.
From the city we took a long boat ride up the St. Lawrence River to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre to see the Basilica there. This Basilica has been credited by the Catholic Church with many miracles of curing the sick and disabled. It receives about a half million pilgrims each year. The pillars are covered with crutches from people supposedly miraculously cured and saved.
For a great documentation on this entire area, I highly recommend going online and consulting Wikipedia for more fascinating details and facts.
The journey back home to NJ. A brief ending here of this trip.
We came back down through New England and this time touring through the state of Vermont. More beautiful scenery with those covered bridges everyone has heard of and or read about. Of course we had to buy their famous maple syrup too.
It was a great trip and enjoyed by us all. I may edit and add some more tidbits here as time goes on too.
I hope you have the opportunity to do this trip as well.
Again, Happy RV Adventuring!!
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