Maybe you never really thought about yourself spending time in a “camper”. Call it a camper, trailer, rv, coach, whatever; the idea of anyone and everyone you know having one is more realistic than you think. We never imagined ourselves in an RV like what we currently own, but I guess we never truly thought seriously about it either. I’m not writing this to process a sales pitch in any way, rather just point out some glaringly obvious scenarios that you might consider possibly fitting an RV into your lifestyle.
- Does the thought of packing the family up, waking them up early; taking them to the airport, through security, family bathroom runs, and ultimately on a crowded plane give you unbelievable anxiety? Well that’s the first sign you need an RV. Whether it is the drama associated with the 50lb luggage rule, or the argument of what caused that bag to get to 50lbs in the first place. The anxiety of lost luggage during the 2 hour layover that got extended to 4 hours. The coughing and sneezing around you is stressing you out so much that you bring an extra package of baby wipes as a noble effort to keep your family healthy on the upcoming trip. Rental cars, late check-ins, blah blah… If you can relate to any of that, you need an RV now!
- Another sign a travel trailer should be in your driveway, is, you want your leisure money to go so much further each time you take a trip. You get sick thinking of how much money a vacation package will cost you. Imagine how much money you won’t be spending by not eating at a restaurant with your whole family for 2-3 meals a day. With an RV, All you need to do is pack your cabinets and refrigerator with the grocery store purchased food you enjoy eating and you are done. In lieu of a $175 a night hotel room, does the sound of $10 a night stay in your own mobile hotel make you smile? The overwhelming majority of campgrounds charge between $10 – $50 a night based on their location and amenities. No need to pay for every extra-curricular activity you do on your vacation since a lot of campgrounds include tons of free activities. Going for a hike in a state forest or bike ride through the park for free; not to mention how amazingly rewarding this is to do as a family. Souvenirs usually consist of freely picking up a rock, shell, or some cool geocaching treasure hunt. You can save the $25 T-shirt for the next tourist sucker to purchase. Lets be honest, $15 per cocktail is also a major prohibitive expense that limits you to having a memorable evening. Instead of dropping $100 on drinks, we are all friends here and can collectively agree that EVERYTHING tastes better out of a red Solo cup anyway.
- The third and possibly best reason you need a class C RV is for the unforgettable food experience! I’m not saying it’s carte blanche to eat foolishly unhealthy on your RV vacations, but you can certainly splurge on anything you see fit. You get to bring and cook your favorite meals at a fraction of the time and expense of restaurant dining. It can be BBQ ribs, healthy salads, greasy triple cheeseburgers, hummus and veggies, or S’mores. If you are like us and you have a consistent style of diet, the thought of eating out for every meal is almost as nauseating as that gurgling belly feeling after consuming all that foreign food each meal. You can keep your Yelp app put away and just head to the refrigerator for anything your heart desires.
- For once, wouldn’t you like to come home from your getaway feeling relaxed? If you’ve ever said, “I need a vacation from my vacation”; then you have the fourth reason for owning a fifth wheel trailer. This refreshingly surprising benefit of owning an RV surprised us the most. Packing up and moving the RV to and from home is so relatively easy that you arrive back from your trip fairly well rested and without a huge feeling of regret or guilt. If you aren’t completely rejuvenated when you get back, well then you just don’t unpack a whole lot and plan to go camping again next weekend. Say goodbye to Jetlag forever!
- The fifth reason you need an RV is because you want to vacation considerably more than you already do. How does taking time out every other weekend sound? It is easily possible with a class C RV, and you might just want to stop reading this blog post at this point. Imagine packing the RV with food and clothes on Thursday evening, getting the camper ready to go. Friday after work, you come home, gather the troops and hook up the trailer. Within 1-2 hours you are setting up your vacation home wherever you choose, and crack open that beer for a relaxing Friday night. Saturday is filled with breakfast on the picnic tables, mid morning hiking, late lunch on the lakeside shore, afternoon bike ride, steak dinner, campfire….. Sunday morning you still have most of that day to do the same, or possibly hit a farmers market, church, swimming at the pool, etc. Pack up the RV after lunch and head home before dinner. You can unpack that night or wait until Monday night if you wish. Most likely that 2 night stay cost you less than $75 (not including your food) and next weekend…do it all again!
- As if your kids don’t already have you connected to an overwhelming amount of activities; the thought of finding a trampoline park, or museum to visit, or amusement park to go to might just be your stress tipping point. What you really want is a rigorous family hike, or a peaceful kayaking excursion. What you really want is to go for a trip on your bikes or to give paddle boarding a try. What you really want is to string up a hammock and sip some lemonade for an hour or two. What the kids really want is to go fishing, make campfires, get dirty, go swimming. For the sixth reason to own a RV we will just say that you are sick of paying someone $95 for a ticket to enter their version of a park filled with “fun” when you have better ideas of “fun”
- The seventh reason you really need an RV is because you genuinely want the best for your kids and wish they could have just a small sample of the “simpler life” we all grew up with. You want to give them a taste of how we grew up “unconnected” but yet so much more connected to our family and the world around us. Taking the family out on the road for the weekend or longer sets the groundwork for a simpler existence, and it is a “safe” zone that you can easily implement a rule of no technology while you are camping. You know deep in your heart, you really want to connect with your family that way; and not just by purchasing a superficial new video game your kids want. An travel trailer might be the only way possible for you to achieve this level of harmony with your family while living in today’s tech driven world. An RV is a fantastic reason to put down that phone.
- “My parents are cooler than your parents” Well, of course they don’t actually have to say that to their friends, but in their souls they know you are the coolest parents. Unless you really don’t want to be the coolest parents ever, then the eighth reason to own a popup camper won’t matter much to you. Assuming you do want to be the coolest, you guide them directly to nature’s playscape where they rock climb some “dangerous” rocks. You keep them protected from coyotes, snakes, cougars and bears. You race them on your bikes. You teach them archery and fishing. You play with their RC cars. You play Frisbee or wiffle ball. You act like the biggest kid of the whole family. They will NEVER, EVER forget that kind of quality time.
Getting your family into an RV will absolutely give you the elusive family time you are desperately craving. You could sign the kids up for another “team” sport and another weekend activity; but that will not have the lasting impression you think it will. What do you remember more from your own childhood? I remember working on my brother’s car with him more than I do my little league games. I remember ice fishing with my brother in law, more than I remember track and football. And for all the ladies that aren’t sure they can “rough it” in an RV, lets just say you can still plug your flat iron in so there is nothing rough about roughing it, if you don’t want there to be.
(some bonus reasons to get an rv… 10-15 yr financing keeps your payments stupidly low… RVs have tax benefits as a second home… and they make great inlaw apartments for weekend guests)
I interchange the terms “popup camper, class C, class A, travel trailer, fifth wheel trailer” where any type of RV can fit into that scenario. Choose the RV that fits your budget and lifestyle the best.