Having not hit the road since early June the kids and I are itching to get out for a few days. Since our June adventure I have had the pleasure of staying in multiple hotels for work and am constantly reminded why the tight quarters, stress of packing of staying in an RV trumps hotels every time. I have been slowly working on these items below for a while and many other I have talked with in person and online…most share the same feelings.
- Cost- Buying an RV is certainly not without cost, however if you boil it down it becomes a very attractive option. For Example the Average Cost of a RV trip is much lower than that staying in Hotels or renting a condo.For Example, Next summer we have booked a two-week Trip back to Topsail Beach for a grand total of $625.00. That is on the HIGH side of what a typical stay at a RV park or resort usually cost too. To put that in perspective a hotel close to the park we stay is $183 per night with no beach access and no kitchen, outdoor space, bike paths and so on. By the time tax is added its over 200 a night for a total of $2,800.00 for the nearly the same location as we will be staying. Add eating out meals to this tally and the trip can easily become a near $4,000 trip for the same two week time frame. So much more can be elaborated on this but I am going to stop here.
- Your own stuff- If you stay in hotels often you do tend to gravitate to the places you know because there is some familiarity to things. However, I am never pleased with the fact that hundred if not thousands of people have slept in the same lumpy bed and on the same sheets. The pillows suck always. Like Coffee? I’m sure that in room maker has not been sanitized since the Johnson Administration so drink up. This is one of the best benefits to our RV in my eyes. We purchased a memory foam mattress that we have been the only ones ever to use. It’s actually more comfortable than our bed at home I think. We keep our bedding ready to use and it’s the stuff we like. Oh, that dirt on the floor I walk though in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom is my dirt. Metal Silverware, Real Plates and so on. All our stuff. The same applies for the kids sleeping arrangements as well. Their own stuff.
- Take more things-Having what amounts to a rolling storage locker in tow means that you have the option of taking things that you can’t normally lug on a hotel trip. Kids toys? Check. Entire DVD Catalog? Check. Bikes and Bike Trailer for beach essentials? Check. You get the idea. If your kid sleeps with 32 stuffed animals, you can take them all. Want to drag along your entire wardrobe, that’s fine too. There is a limit….but it is far and above what your can fit in the back of your car. This means you are more comfortable pretty much anywhere. Comfortable=happiness.
- Adventure More- This has a bunch to do with #1 but in reality most of the places we have gone over the last 5 years would not have been possible without the RV. Meaning a lot of the spots are remote and provide no real lodging that is practical for the activities we like to do. Last year we had over 30 nights in the camper….and if you really think about that it is a lot of time away from home and a lot of time together we would not have gotten if we didn’t own the camper. It allows our family more time together and an opportunity to see things we would not have experienced otherwise. Ever try to get a kayak into the lobby of a hotel and up the elevator? I rest my case.
- A Familiar Place- This didn’t dawn on me until recently. My brother in-Law and I took a few nights over at Carlyle lake as we do at least once a year. The sun had gone down and we were in the RV pouring some drinks with all the blinds closed. He commented that there was no real connection to location once inside. The RV could be parked in the Kansas Speedway infield or the Tall Pines of South Texas one would never know once the door closes. This made me think about how the kids feel and possibly why they have taken to this form of travel so well. It is a familiar place for them no matter where we are. Thats a good thing. Try that in a multi stop road trip in a hotel. It sucks. I’ve done it.
- Like To Cook- This is my thing. If you can make it at home you can make it on the road. In Florida last year, Fresh Seafood, Crab Cakes, Chicken, Salads and on and on. We even did a full Easter ham one year at Johnson Shut in’s. Having a full fridge and freezer allows you some freedom in this department. I can count on 1 hand how many meals we have eaten out while traveling. Again this has a lot to do with item #1 but you get the point.
- Open your Door- Having your own outdoor personal space is something you rarely get at a hotel. It is one of the most valued aspects to RVing in my opinion. Nothing better to cracking that door open on a Saturday morning in October somewhere lakeside. Can’t beat it. I have never had a Best Western that offered that. Oh and let’s not forget the kids….a place to put down some mean chalk drawings, super slick bike tricks or just a place to run. Playground at a hotel? I have never seen one except high-end places and Disney……oh Disney also has a huge RV resort but that is another topic.
For my family this type of travel is hard to beat. It has allowed us to get outside and away from technological distractions. We have seen and done things that our budget otherwise would not have allowed for. One can argue that the upfront cost of an RV negates the cost benefit and there is truth to this only partly. I would agree that while not an investment financially, it is one of the greatest investments in my family we have ever made and in the next few years we will invest in the family again. That’s another post entirely.