I had never even rode in an RV the first time I test drove Stanley. The biggest vehicle I had driven before that was my first car, a 1988 Crown Victoria. I was nervous, not only about navigating this huge vehicle that also happened to be a house, but also because if everything went well this was going to be my new home.
It turned out that the size was not an issue. It felt like I was simply driving a large SUVish type vehicle. The main take away was how freeing it felt knowing that if this went through we could live anywhere where we could find parking. Like most things in life the scary part is just trying something out for the first time. The fear of the unknown can paralyze us into doing nothing at all.
I think everyone should try RVing at least once in their life because I know from experience how it can change your perspective on travel and how you see the world. When you travel in a recreational vehicle you get a different experience from the norm. Instead of flying over some of the most interesting parts of the country you have to actually drive through it.
It wasn’t until we hit the road that I actually saw the geological and cultural diversity that is contained within these 50 states. From the plains of the Midwest to the Rocky Mountains to the coastal cliffs of the Pacific coast and the rocky shores of the Atlantic you can find every type of environment you can imagine. Swamp, dessert, forests, plateaus, geysers, mountains, the list keeps going and you will only see them from above if you keep forgoing the journey for the destination.
In our hectic society of deadlines, side projects, and obligations RVing is a great way to force yourself to slow down and appreciate the things we take for granted. As you can imagine there are speed limitations and structural stability issues involved with driving a home on wheels. Unlike car driving, with an RV you can’t slam on the gas and go 80 mph in an attempt to shave an hour off your three hour trip. Sure, you will probably try to at first but after a while you stop fighting time and embrace the slow leisurely pace.
You see a lot more at 55 mph anyways. Interstates have devalued the journey across our lands and placed the emphasis solely on making good time. “Shun-piking” forces you off the interstates and on to the scenic highways. You might just find a cool spot to stop at that you hadn’t anticipated, and you can stop anywhere and instantly be ready to enjoy your surroundings.
There is point of realization that will hit you sometime in your first RV trip where it clicks and you are fully aware that you have everything you need to survive and thrive. You can stop and take a nap practically anywhere or park near a beach, make lunch, and take a shower all without ever leaving the vehicle. Forget the three hour camp set-up your tent setting brethren require. We pull up to spot, plug in, and relax while sipping on a couple beers.
I’m not suggesting everyone go out hit the road full time like us, but getting out there and trying it will most likely have you coming back for more. So how can you try this RV thing out without a large capital investment.
Maybe you have a friend who under uses his motor home. Maybe you subtlely suggest that they put it to use and bring you along. Give a specific trip idea to get them thinking. A week long fishing trip during salmon season or go visit as many baseball stadiums as possible in 10 days.
Even renting an RV for an extended holiday weekend or 14 day family trip can be just different enough to get you saying “yeah, I like this RVing thing.” The point is not how you do it, but that you do it. And preferably sooner than later because if you wait for the perfect time, you’ll be waiting a long time.