How to Keep RVing Fun and Fresh Forever
From the Archives, By Rick Chillot
November 1, 2015
Remember when you first fell in love with RVing?
It was a time of heady emotion, when every day seemed like an adventure. You had trouble falling asleep at night, thinking of all the new roads, new towns and new sights that were waiting for you over the horizon. Sure, you knew that your RV wasn’t perfect – after all, whose is? But even your vehicle’s mundane needs (hooking up the utilities, dumping the waste tank) seemed a charming, and you were happy to satisfy them. You and Your RV seemed a match made in heaven.
But eventually, the honeymoon ended. With all that packing and unpacking, struggling to fold the road maps, learning the names of yet another batch of campsite residents…RVing doesn’t seem as exciting as it used to. And maybe you start to wonder – is the thrill really gone?
Like any romance, a love affair with the RV lifestyle can be a long-term passion – if you learn to fan the flames. To give you some ideas we talked to RV diehards who have logged thousands of miles and years of travel time and still look forward to every day they spend on the road. Try out their suggestions for yourself and you’re sure to find ideas that will keep your RV experience fun forever.
Be a Boomerang, Not an Arrow
Shooting off to one destination after another can be fun. And for Mark and Donia Steele, it seemed a perfect way to spend their retirement years. “We were ready to shed our careers, disconnect, unplug and try something totally new,” says Mark. In fact, the idea was so appealing that the couple sold their house and became full-timers on their very first trip/ Their book, Steeles on Wheels (Capital Books, 2002), chronicles their first year as full-time RVers. Life on the road was every bit as rewarding as they hoped, Mark says, and then some. “We were like kids let out of school. Everything brought a sense of wonder. We couldn’t wait to see the next Main Street, the next Historic District.” But a few years out, always aiming for the town over the horizon began to wear thin. Solution? Return to familiar territory. “We found that we really enjoy going back to places where we’ve made friends and staying longer to deepen those friendships,” says Mark. Whether you stay for a season or a week, repeat visits to a place you loved the first time around are a satisfying alternative to hopping from one tourist trap to another. You’ll be able to explore the locale more thoroughly, learning things only the locals know. And instead of being surrounded by strangers, you can look forward to strengthening ties with friends you made on earlier visits (without having to stay in their guest rooms).
Put Yourself to Work
Ok, we know that many folks use their RV to get away from the pressures of the workplace, but if you’re a full-time RVer or can make extended stays, taking on a part-time job while visiting a favorite city or town isn’t as crazy an idea as it sounds. The goal isn’t picking up extra cash (though it doesn’t hurt). What you’re really after is a low-stress, fun job that will introduce you to some local folk, connect you to the community and maybe teach you some new skills. You might work in a craft fair, run an amusement-park ride or even volunteer at a hospital. “One Christmas season we worked as sales clerks in holiday gift shops in New Orleans,” says Mark. “It gave us a focus and an excuse to stay, and we got to know a fascinating city really well.” Friends in the area, a local employment center or the campground grapevine can help you find an activity that’s a good match for you.
Sweat the Small Stuff
Living in an RV isn’t the same as living in a three-bedroom house. You get to change the scenery any time you want, but there’s not quite as much closet space. With space at a premium, it’s important to correct little inconveniences. Otherwise you’ll grapple with them every day, which is a major drain on your fun. “The other day I trimmed a shelf to make it easier to get to the kitchen table,” says Mark Steel. “It may not sound like much to people not RVing, but these kinds of things do make a difference in our lives.” Can’t find the doodad that will solve your problem” Try browsing eBay (where “RV” was the most popular search term in 2004) or an online retailer www.lazydays.com, which offers thousands of RV parts and supplies.
Follow Your Bliss
Some experienced RVers find that traveling for the sake of traveling loses its appeal after a while. If you mix RVing with the other passions in your life, you’ll always have destinations that motivate you to hit the road. “When I started doing needlework and quilting, it gave us a focus for our travels,” says Donia. “We visit craft stores all around the country.” Activities that you enjoy can also connect you with like-minded folk wherever you go. “Mark plays bridge,” says Donia, “and he can walk into a bridge club anywhere and find a community.”
Raise the Stakes
When RV travel starts to feel a bit ho-hum, it could be a sign that you need to up the ante on your travel plans. If settling down in a familiar spot doesn’t sound appealing, maybe it’s time to consider the expedition of your dreams. “Pick a really spectacular destination you have always wanted to travel to and go there,” says Freeman. “For us, it’s Alaska, but Baja, Mexico, and Canada can also offer wonderful adventures. I believe that you can drive an RV all the way through Central America and South America. Wouldn’t that get you excited?” If you’re intimidated by the logistics, a camping club or RV tour company can help.
Bring a guest
Excitement is contagious. If your trips could use a little more zing, one way to get it is to travel with a friend or family member who’s new to RVing and enjoy the experience through their eyes. Traveling with a child can be a particularly rewarding experience. “We’ve brought a lot of grandchildren on trips over the years,” says Freeman. “It creates a very special bond.” Soon you’ll feel like you’re taking your first trip all over again.
Come Visit Us
If you are considering that first RV or luxury motorhome to begin your road adventure dreams, please visit us at Lazydays in our Tampa or Tucson locations. You can also log online to see the entire inventory online. Please schedule an appointment with one of our sales experts to guide you through the selection and purchase process and to learn of any benefits and discounts you may receive. Also, if you are considering a boomerang location, please consider our Tampa and Tucson resorts. Both places have lots of amenities for you to enjoy your camping experience while visiting with friends.
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