Everyone has their own style of RVing. It took us a couple of years to find the right one for us. Whether you’re new to RVing or just dreaming about it, I thought you might benefit from some of our experiences.
Fast and Furious
When a lot of us start RVing full-time, our RVing style is “Fast and Furious”! We feel pressured to see the whole continent in one year’s time span. Some of us set goals like visiting all the National Parks, seeing all 50 states, or even visiting all the major league baseball stadiums. The last is Jim’s goal, although we haven’t made much progress. You spend a few days at each site, moving quickly on to the next adventure. With the “Fast and Furious” RVing style, you’re really being a tourist, and that’s okay. It’s exciting to see lots of different things.
The disadvantage of this RVing style is that it tends to be expensive. Our Class C gets about 8 mpg. A lot of driving means a lot of gas and that means a lot of money. Also, when you travel quickly you almost always pay full rate at RV parks. You probably also spend a lot of money on tourist attractions.
Slow and Steady
Still moving, only moving a little slower is the RVing style we’re enjoying now. We like to find a place where we can stay for about two weeks. 14 days is the limit at most state parks, national parks and as well as on BLM and national forests.
For us, travel days are hectic. This week we traveled only about 15 miles from one site to another and it was still exhausting. We’ve become adept at packing up and settling in when we reach a new site, but it’s still stressful. Backing into a new site; disconnecting and reconnecting hookups, if you have them; emptying tanks; leveling your home; acquainting yourself with the area; dealing with pet anxiety. We spare ourselves these hassles by moving less frequently.
A “Slow and Steady” RVing style allows us to become familiar with a new place. We have time to enjoy the local culture, find favorite restaurants. The dogs love exploring new walking trails and getting to know the neighboring dogs. We’re also able to acquaint ourselves with the necessities all full-timers need like grocery stores and laundromats. For now, this is our RVing style.
In the future, we may consider staying a little longer at one spot. Monthly rates at RV parks are substantially less than daily rates. If we were to park in one central location we could do lots of day trips to attractions in the area.
We just spent a few days with our friends, Mike and Judy of Creating Artful Living, who have their travels pretty well planned in advance. We started our RVing adventure the same way. We made reservations at RV parks, state parks, etc. We knew where we were going and when we had to be there. There’s a certain comfort in knowing that you won’t be without a place to park.
On the other hand, we quickly realized that this was a little too structured of an RVing style for us. We started this lifestyle to be freer and unencumbered, so we moved on to the next RVing style, “Drifting in the Wind”.
Drifting in the Wind
Some people might call this RVing style, moving with the seasons. There’s a certain excitement in going wherever you want, whenever you want. We can pick up and move when we feel like it. If we don’t like a park we can move on. If we fall in love with a site, we can stay longer. If there are heavy winds forecast for our travel day, we can postpone for a while. If winter is coming early to the mountains, we can move to lower elevations. When it’s too hot in Texas (and that’s a lot of the year), we can move north to cooler climes.
Some people aren’t comfortable with the uncertainty of this type of RV style. Of course, we always plan a few days ahead and we don’t mind a night occasionally spent at a Walmart or Cabela’s.
We also love to disperse camp. If you love full hook-ups, this isn’t for you. Scoping out good places to camp is sometimes a problem. I have been known to take Jim down small, forest roads that needed 4-wheel drive (which we don’t have) only to find the road ends at the sign that says, “steep canyon ahead”. But that’s another story. Sometimes this type of RV style isn’t for the faint of heart.
I can’t leave out the RVing style that many people fall into, that of Snowbird. Snowbirds spend their winters in the South’s warm sunshine or in the desert southwest. When the weather gets too hot, Snowbirds head for the northern half of the country or the cool mountains. They are stationary for most of the year, six months here and six months there. Jim and I follow the weather, too, but we differ in that we move around frequently.
Parked, Parked, Parked
I should mention that some people live full time in their fifth wheel or other camper at RV parks. They don’t move at all. They are always “Parked, Parked, Parked”. This is another RVing style of living, but not one that I’m familiar with.
A Little Bit of Every RVing Style
Of course, no one fits into one RVing style all the time. Sometimes we’re parked for a month or so, and other times we move frequently. Just as life is varied, our RV style is varied, too. I don’t think many RVers fit into any one category. I guess that’s the adventure in full-time RV living!