Balancing the “Go-Go-Go” With The “Aaaahhh”

We live in Ohio and usually travel and camp in Bessie the RV regionally. When possible, we bring our car along, and it allows us to run errands, zoom all over the park and the city, etc.  Our Niagara Falls/Finger Lakes journey was our first big trip in the RV and we decided that Bessie would serve as both our home and our mode of transportation as we visited the region. Afterall, we told ourselves, portability and flexibility was one of the main reasons we bought a Class C RV. 

Pros of Using the RV for Transportation:  Home is Wherever We Go

About half way through that trip, we discovered that there are pros and cons to using the RV to get around, rather than renting/bringing a car. We loved the idea that we could pick up and move wherever our interests took us, which allowed us to truly explore the area without wasting time driving back and forth to our parked RV.  And, we could always stay overnight at a Harvest Host winery or farm, giving us tons of freedom to roam.

Having our home on wheels was also very convenient.  Everything we needed was at our fingertips, so we didn’t have to pack and schlep bags filled with food, towels, etc. everywhere we went.  We would visit the RV throughout the day to change clothes, eat, and get extra supplies.  Sounds perfect, right?  Well…

Cons of Using the RV for Transportation:  Mother Teresa Would Have Gotten Cranky

On the flip side, all the movement was challenging. We had to pack up our entire camp every time we wanted to go somewhere.  It was a lot of effort.  And when we boondocked/dry camped (like at Wal Mart), we didn’t open our slides. So we spent more time than I would have preferred in a very small space (usually with no A/C or fans during bedtime because we were boondocking).  I suspect even Mother Teresa would start to feel a little cranky in such hot, cramped conditions. I longed for some down-time to settle in and relax, which would be easier to accomplish if we had a home-base, and brought/rented a car for exploring and running errands.

Breaking It Up to Prevent a Breakdown

I came to realize that just like a regular vacation (without an RV), we need to break up the “go-go-go,” with the “aaaahhh.” Going forward, we applied this new understanding so we could balance our sense of adventure with periods rest and rejuvenation. Depending on how much time we are planning to spend in a region, the goal is at least one day of “ahhhhhhh” for every one day of “go-go-go”- a true balance between activity and leisure.

Renting/Bringing a Car Provides Balance

When possible, we decided that we will rent a car when staying in one place for more than a couple of days, allowing us to explore the area without having to constantly pack up our campsite.  At this point, we don’t see the advantage of investing in a tow package (and a tow vehicle, as our current cars cannot be towed in a 4 tires down position).  But if it gets to the point in which we are renting cars a lot, we will reconsider and explore towing.

How do you balance your “aaaahhh” and “go-go-go” time when vacationing or RVing?


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  • Reply Bill Miller February 13, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    Can’t turn down opportunity to comment,,, I feel it in the air for what this will lead into,, cause you are all young love what you are doing but the pinch sets in Eh?? With only my outlook, your Dear Bessie would not be the RV I would want to tow with… Firstly the over hang from rear axle is already way to long.. towing anything that far back from the rear axle could cause a lot of whip and city driving going into sharp turns ,, that rear end is really moving and a small car will not be in your rear view most of the time… What I see in the pinch is growth cause your family is growing as well,, that is a pinch.. So now you have to consider little children will turn into full sized kids and need more privacy before that if not already.. so start researching bigger with a Pick up truck with a 5th wheel mount and a Trailer Bessie #2.. Any where any place unhook drive off leave the camp table with dirty dishes till you get back with the Ice cream??,, tour the city wit the pick up .. have a place for extra supplies or gas cans,, only pack up when you are ready to hook up and leave.. We seem to always get one thing that eventually leas to another… I kind of read this between the lines of some of your postings, so to avoid the pinch take the bite lol…

    • Reply Chris Hughes February 15, 2015 at 8:47 am

      I have to say that I can see myself loving all of the different types of RVs! Like everything, there are some pros and cons to the travel trailer/5er discussion. If you haven’t seen it already, check out the two articles on Travel Trailer Considerations and Class A Motorhomes here:

      And, by the way, I am so grateful that you comment!

  • Reply The GORGE-OUS Gorge & Watkins Glen State Park, NY – CU On The Road March 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    […] We returned to the campground at our new site just as the sky opened and rained for most of the night.  We were grateful for a spot to plug-in, watch movies and stretch out for a comfortable night.  At this point, we were about halfway through our trip, and starting to feel weary from the constant packing and unpacking of our campsite.  We were experiencing “Go-Go-Go Fatigue.” Here’s how we balanced adventure with leisure time. […]

  • Reply John Abert March 11, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    We have never been ones to drag a lot of stuff out of our RV’s anyway, except maybe camp chairs, a small table (only if there’s no picnic table) and a BBQ grill. We’ve had awnings, and had nothing but trouble with them. I really don’t care of our next RV has one or not. Many camp sites have shelters over a picnic table, and that’s good enough. Most of our small stuff (like decorative items) are fastened down, and we put stuff away when we’re done with it, so there is very little to put away. We like to be able to pick up and go within 15 minutes if necessary.

    Like you, though, we anticipate the need for some “out of the RV” time during travel, and we have two time shares for that. We are leaving here July 28th, whether our house sells or not. They can send us the paperwork. We also have a close relative with a time share, so if they come to visit, we can also use theirs, so that makes three. We don’t spend a lot of time in the RV when we’re traveling, unless the weather is bad. Otherwise, the whole world is our living room. We also have three membership resort systems we can use, plus Coast to Coast, and most resorts have rental cabins, so there’s always that option. We’ve never tried a B&B, as they are more expensive but we aren’t opposed to it if we find one that fits. For instance, there are B&B’s on Mackinac Island, where we can’t take the RV, and we would like to try one of those, along with at least one night in the Grand Hotel, just for the experience of it.

    We will have a smaller RV (eventually a B+ model) for our daily driver. We have a dog with us, that will need A/C if we’re out and about, and that will give us an A/C and a generator to run it. If it weren’t for him, we could go to a larger Class A RV and a small economy car for daily running. It”s either that or a portable A/C unit with a generator on a bumper rack that work work on any vehicle, and believe me, we’ve thought about that possibility, too! But we like having our facilities with us and the freedom to go where we want and stop where we want. You can’t always maneuver into busy places with a Class A, or any kind of a larger RV.

    As far as two units, we’ve had it happen to us before, where we get situated, go out to dinner, and when we get back, someone has taken our spot! That’s why I prefer a trailer or larger RV to leave at a site. With our smaller RV, and a cargo trailer, we can drop the trailer to hold our spot, and to save gas when running around. A Class B or B+ van can go almost anywhere a car can go, including low clearance roads. Taller RV’s are a problem in the northeast, due to so many low bridges. No thanks. I’ll stay as low to the ground as is practical, and go more places!

    • Reply Chris Hughes March 13, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Hi John,
      Sounds like you are getting ready for a big adventure. Thanks for your insights about how you approach rv decisions and down time outside of your RV. I’ve never had someone take my spot before, but I see how it can happen. Thanks for introducing yourself!

  • Reply Taughannock-ing on Heaven’s Door – CU On The Road March 26, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    […] constant movement, which caused “Go-Go-Go Fatigue.”  This was our first long trip in our RV and while we like having adventures, this trip taught […]

  • Reply Exploring The Finger Lakes Region- Niagara Falls & Watkins Glen, NY (a recap) – CU On The Road March 29, 2015 at 9:44 am

    […] constant movement, which caused “Go-Go-Go Fatigue.”  This was our first long trip in our RV and while we like having adventures, this trip taught […]

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