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?