Ariticle by W.F (Will) Sill
People who don't understand often ask: "How can you justify such an expensive. . . uh, mobile home?" They understand neither the terminology nor the benefits!
Not pretending to speak for all who own/use RV's [many of whom would disagree with me if I wrote that civility was a good thing!] here are a few of the reasons the RV lifestyle is popular in OUR family:
We enjoy travel as much as the destination. We are thankful to live in a free country where one can explore almost any road without being hassled by checkpoints (except of course at the CA border!) or attacked by bandits. We can stop at a country vegetable stand and talk about the harvest. Try that from Flight 203!
Unlike untold thousands of other "campers", we do NOT want anything to do with squatting in "campgrounds" that are really rural slums loaded with moss-covered rv's and their semi-permanent porches - complete with weeds growing through - and surrounded by debris such as expired cars, broken lawn furniture, and tarp-covered snowmobiles/boats/motorcycles. If THAT environment is what people escape to, we wonder where they LIVE that makes this look better!
We love to see how other people live, especially away from huge metropolitan areas - and where there are few if any motels, convention centers, and restaurants. This country has vast reaches of beautiful farmland, spectacular mountains, forests, grasslands, lakes, rivers, etc.... Have ya heard the one about where can an 800# gorilla sleep? Anyplace he wants. We can easily refuse to stay in places that have rules we think are idiotic, and if we are assigned to a site with an obnoxious neighbor, it is not the end of the happy hour.. we can move.
We enjoy sleeping in our own bed, not wondering to whom it was last rented and what their medical status was, and without having to haul suitcases in and out. Our 'motel room' is as warm, cool, or well ventilated as we like.
We enjoy solitude, away from honking horns and roaring jets - places where the most raucous noise is the cawing of a crow. Where the most pungent odor is that of wild flowers. We stay OFF the interstate system except to get through a crowded metropolis, and as a result we arrive slower but without the stress of being caught up in the thundering herds of almost-outa-control vehicles hammering along well over their personal skill level - to say nothing of the (hahahaha) speed limits.
We enjoy visiting friends & relatives - whether or not they have spare rooms or a convenient motel - and having our own bathroom and privacy while we're there.
We love having choices: breakfast/lunch/dinner in the motorhome, or that really nice-looking restaurant. Ponder THAT as you hammer down the interstate in your car, wondering if they used 40-weight Havoline instead of salad dressing at the last take-it-or-leave-it diner with its cardboard cuisine!
We like having the grandkids with us (sometimes!), seeing a moose in person rather than watching Bullwinkle on TV, and learning to get along with each other instead of playing electronic doom games. They really enjoy the trip more if they can move around instead of being strapped into the back seat like captive zoo specimens. [please no lectures about seat belts on the rear queen bed, huh?]
We love the secure feeling that a traffic tie up will not create a crisis for us and stir up the personal stress level. War story: Once a freak fall snowstorm virtually shut down New England as we were returning from Maine. Stranded by downed trees and traffic for a time, we were warm and dry, with plenty of food & water. Contrast that with a friend's true horror story about how he and his family very nearly perished in a freak storm just this Spring. How's the restroom in your Ford Taurus? 8-)
Flexibility is the key advantage for us - being able to decide on the spur of the moment to go north instead of west, and not worrying about being at the motel before 6, or wondering if they overbooked.
We like saving money. After all, until last fall when we finally bought something new, our rigs didn't cost any more than a typical car. We get terrible gas mileage by car standards, but we don't HAVE to eat in restaurants all the time, and we don't EVER pay $75 or $100 for a motel room. (We figure an easy $1000 savings for a trip to the left coast vs going by car) When the trip is over we have spent less money than if we went by car, not to mention all the other benefits.
CAVEAT: Don't try to save money buying an rv unless you use it a lot! We do, and we save a bundle, but you won't if you only get to travel a couple of weeks per year. In a way, it is very much like the old membership CG debate: you gotta use it a lot to actually save money.
We like going to fairs & flea markets & bluegrass jam sessions. It is NICE to have one's own bathroom & a place to take a nap, instead of standing in line at the banks of Porta Potties!
What's YOUR special reason for enjoying your RV?