As the pandemic swept around the world, the best-laid schemes went awry and all kinds of restrictions fell into place. People soon became antsy of sheltering in place and sought innovative ways to break the monotony and travel without jeopardizing their health or those of others. One way that became instantly popular was getting on the road in a recreational vehicle (RV). So here are some general pointers on RV for beginners.
Americans were already feeling restless as early as last April. Fuel Travel, an organization offering e-commerce solutions to the travel and hospitality industry, found that 59% of 10,000 North American leisure travelers surveyed said they would certainly travel in that year. This sentiment held well into May. The Harris Poll survey of 2,500 people in the U.S. found that 57% of people said they would travel to meet with family and friends, while 48 per cent said they would travel for a change of scenery.
But while people were eager to travel, they also showed a strong tendency to prefer traveling by road. Not only that, they would insulate themselves as much as possible while on the road. This had a predictable consequence: the demand for RVs shot up dramatically. According to the RV Industry Association, the sector shipped 40,462 units last June, a nearly 11% jump compared to the same time the year before.
As much as an RV vacation sounds like it ticks all boxes in view of the pandemic, here are some additional tips for beginners seeking to get the most of their vehicles.
Owner or Renter?
It is worthwhile to analyze how much you will use it. If you are planning on doing a lot of small- to medium-range trips, then buying one makes more sense. This will inevitably involve questions of size and type (trailer or motorized versions). If you are unsure, for the first RV trip rent one and see what the experience it like. Also, whether renting or buying, check the vehicle in great detail, and always take it out for a spin to see how it behaves on the road. Also ask around and join one of the many RV forums providing helpful tips to beginners.
Opt for one with lots of storage space so you can be on the road longer. It is also imperative to have adequate kitchen space or at least a comfortable kitchenette with enough space for groceries. This gives you twin advantages: you can save on dining out and you can camp anywhere, since food availability is not a criteria. This gives you a lot of freedom.
While spur-of-the-moment decisions seem like a romantic idea, and does have its attractions, it is best to do some research about the route, potential stops and factor in parking and facility closures if you don’t want to end up being disappointed.
Undoubtedly, the biggest joy of being on the road on an RV vacation and going camping, especially for nature lovers, is being out in the open in nature. But adopt a mindful attitude. Make sure you leave every place as clean you found it. Try and adopt as many sustainable behaviors as possible, using and consuming organic and biodegradable products. Even for a chemical toilet, there are natural and sustainable solutions. If you find yourself overwhelmed, ask around for helpful RV camping tips for beginners.
Socialize on the Go
Opt for campsites and camping grounds that not only convenient but are mid-sized. This way you do not have to walk long distances in the darkness to access facilities. This also means there are just right number of people to socialize with. Make sure to take all precautions.
Holidaying is intensely personal, especially if it takes the form of road trips in an RV. The first RV trip is incredibly exciting. But there are so many choices out there, it can often get daunting. But a bit of organization and research should provide the tools to make the best of an RV holiday.
This story appears in the May issue of SEEMA Magazine, check it out here