Kim and I love road trips. That’s probably why the RVing lifestyle suits us so well. Too often RVers think if they must pack up the camper and head out for an epic trip of a lifetime each and every time they climb in the rig. Kim and I are of the mindset that short trips are just as fun, just as rewarding and most importantly, takes the “this better be epic” pressure off!
Getting away is good for you in several ways.
A little road trip gets you and everyone – including the dogs – pumped up and out of the house, at least for a few hours, or maybe a few days. A quick road trip can help get back your traveling chops if you haven’t been behind the wheel for a while.
The short jaunts can act as shakedown cruises for you and your camper or motorhome if you have just gotten the rig back out of winter storage. These short drives can help you identify areas, both inside and out, that may need attention before jumping feet first into the warm weather camping season.
“Did you hear that noise?” says Kim!
Any weird noises from outside the RV can be noted and relayed to a RV technician during the annual pre-season maintenance and de-winterizing appointment. Inside the camper, all those annoying little things like loose cabinet hinges, burned out light bulbs, broken door catches, or the shower door that won’t stay locked while driving, can all be put on the to-do list.
Before getting into the RV lifestyle and owning a rig of our own, Kim and I would get “cabin fever.” A lot! When the urge hit we would pack a few necessities, like a picnic lunch, a cooler of beverages or thermos of coffee, a sleeping bag, pillows, a toothbrush, and a change of undies (just in case) then hit the road in our truck. We have that same philosophy now with our small Thor Motorcoach Vegas 24.1 motorhome.
Use it or lose it.
Experts say the best thing you can do for your RV is to use it. And we agree. We use these one or two-hour trips to keep the RV operating in top condition. We also run the on-board generator while driving. Putting extra operating hours on a generator is actually good for it to keep repairs down and the generator operating at its best. In warmer weather we run our air conditioner off generator power while driving to keep our two dogs comfortable in the back during the trip. If you have a generator onboard, you might as well use it!
No one says you must head to a campground during a short trip.
Kim and I like to hit local city and county parks, recreation areas or the local highway rest stop as close by destinations.
We recently grabbed the cameras and drove to our nearby county seat of Fairmont, MN, about 15 minutes down the road. We wanted to find and photograph some cool architectural features of the historic downtown buildings. We parked on a side street and did a walking tour, snapping pictures of things that caught our eyes. Here are some of the photos we took.
Use Google Maps and apps to find and explore.
Use Google Maps to find and explore small local lakes or rivers. We have discovered some of our most favorite spots by doing this kind of scouting before hitting the road. Many of the state parks or state recreational areas have day use areas or spacious parking lots near boat ramps that offer scenic layover spots. If you love fishing and conditions at the lake or river look good, pullout your fishing gear and try a few casts from shore or a fishing pier.
There are dozens of camping and RV-related apps available now for your devices. Many of the apps are free or have a minimal fee to use them. These apps show locations of campgrounds, boondocking and dispersed campsites and even casinos, truck stops and big box store overnight camping locations. They are easy to use and are readily available on your smart phone or iPad.
Scratching the itch to go camping.
As you may have already figured out, Kim and I always have the itch to get in the camper and head off on our next adventure.
If you’re not a full-timer or snowbird yet, free time to get away can be at a premium. As much as Kim and I would love to be on a months-long #vanlife excursion or basking in 80-degree temperatures at a Florida beachfront campground right now, we can’t.
So, consider staying a little closer to home with your RV travel plans. Short daytrips or even an impromptu overnight getaway in the RV can scratch that itch to go RVing until time opens up for that “Epic RV Journey!”