You Don't Have to be Retired to Enjoy the RV Lifestyle - 5 Benefits to RV Life
Many people think that the RV lifestyle is for retirees. My husband and I bought our first travel trailer before we were age 40. Our first RV was simple, yet it held many good memories for our family. We took our children and two yellow labs on many camping trips in it over the years. When our son started playing club baseball, we took it to many of his weekend tournaments around the Pacific Northwest. As our kids grew older, they no longer wanted to camp with us so we finally made the tough decision to sell our trailer. Before it sold, we had decided that our RV-ing days were over. As we were packing our personal belongings, I found a journal in which I had recorded the details of nearly every trip we’d made. I sat down and read each entry. Tears welled up in my eyes. We had so many wonderful memories camping together as a family and it was coming to an end.
Not long after we sold the trailer, my husband and I decided to spend a rainy day looking at Airstream trailers. We both had always loved the classic silver aluminum design. After looking, we fell in love with the sleek style and eventually came home with a new trailer. We would reinvent the way we camped as a couple, and now with our Black Labrador Retriever, Bentley.
There are basically three types of RV-ers. Weekend and vacation RV-ers who do just that, head out to enjoy weekends and short vacations. There are part timers who might be snow birds, escaping to warmer climates during the winter months, or those who like to head to the mountains for the ski season. Then there are full timers who live year-round in their RVs. Because we are not retired or in professions that allow us to travel full time, we fall into the weekend/vacation category. No matter what kind of RV-er you are or want to be, there are several benefits to the RV Lifestyle.
5 Fabulous Benefits to RV-ing:
- Travel- RV’s allow you to travel to many places that you might not otherwise see. Last summer we drove to Nashville and back visiting and staying in many different states along the way. We were able to make stops at places like Mount Rushmore and Graceland, all without staying overnight and yet we were still able to stay on our tight travel schedule.
- Comfort- Having your own RV allows you to travel with the comforts of home. For example, I like having my own mattress, bedding, and towels when we are traveling. No matter how many places we visit, we only need to pack the trailer one time and then unpack when we get home, instead of packing and unpacking our suitcases along the way. We can also cook some of our own meals, saving on calories and money. We enjoy bringing our dog with us, which is one of our greatest comforts.
- Timeframe- In an RV you can travel on your own time schedule. It doesn’t matter what season of the year it is, you can enjoy travel in your RV year- round. If you get stuck in traffic, or road construction, you can take a detour, or get off the highway and take a break. Last summer we traveled on the iconic Route 66, stopping when something grabbed our attention. For example, we made an unexpected stop in Winslow, Arizona and stood on the corner made famous by the popular Eagles’ song, Take it Easy. It ended up being my husband’s favorite stop on that trip. I’m not sure we would have ever made a special trip to go there, so it was certainly a bonus!
- Save Money- Camping is usually quite a bit cheaper than staying in hotels or other accommodations. Boondocking is an option that more and more RV-ers are choosing. It is frequently done in remote places without hookups, where people can camp for free. There are also other low-cost options such as State and National Parks. RV resorts cost a bit more but you are paying for the amenities and location. If you haven’t heard of Harvest Hosts, go to their website immediately! By joining, you are provided with a network of wineries and farms that allow you to stay at no cost other than supporting their business. It’s a really neat option for RV-ers who want to experience something out of the ordinary and don’t mind boondocking for a night or two.
- Socializing- My husband and I are extroverts. We enjoy meeting people wherever we go. We find that the RV lifestyle allows us to be as social as we want to be. A lot of full and part timers have social media sites and stay in touch long after meeting one another. One couple we met had travel business cards that they hand out to people they meet on the road. When we bought our Airstream, our salesman suggested that we host “Happy Hour with Visiting Hours” as people would want to see the inside of an Airstream trailer. We have found this to be true and we don’t mind sharing our happy place with people who have an interest or curiosity.
Whether you are retired and ready to go full time, or if you are thinking of part time or weekend RV Lifestyle, you may find that RV ownership will enhance your lives in ways you never expected.
Written By: Susan O’Leary
Kensington Gardens Resort Living Retirement Community
Published on Oct 5, 2017.