How to Decide Whether
to Try an RV Adventure or Stick to Hotels
by Dan Wulfman
A carefully planned RV vacation can be
one of the most carefree, recuperative, exciting vacation
experiences you'll ever have. But it's not for everyone.
At my company, Tracks & Trails, we go to great lengths
to head off problems for people who buy our RV vacation
packages. But any trip that involves navigating unfamiliar
territory is likely to produce a few stressful moments.
You could encounter bad weather or get lost a time or
two, forcing you to alter your plans. Take the time
to think about how you handle these and other uncertain
situations. If you like to know exactly what happens
next, a resort vacation or and escorted tour might be
a better bet.
Have a look at the pros and cons below,
and you'll know whether to try an RV adventure or stick
I don't know why, but nothing brings a family together
like camping. Maybe it's because so much teamwork is
required. "Which campsite do you like best?"
"Which trail leads back to the parking lot?"
"Should we get up at 5:00 to see the sunrise from
Hopi Point or sleep in?
Platform for Adventure
An RV is the perfect base camp for pursuing all
sorts of outdoor activities. Mountain biking, river
rafting, rock climbing, and hiking are all just a little
more enjoyable when you have a comfortable home to come
Kids Love It!
There's something about a home on wheels that inspires
every child. They'll fight constantly over who gets
to sleep in that cool bed over the cab. And in an RV
everything you need is always close at hand: a stocked
refrigerator, a clean restroom, a place to sit or lie
down and have a rest, a warm refuge when it suddenly
turns chilly, a cool place when it's hot, room for the
kids to spread out their stuff. It's a little home on
wheels, and after a few days you truly feel at home
A Better View
Spend your evenings enjoying the company of other
families (or not) in some of the most scenic places
in the world.
You're the Captain
Even with all the big stuff arranged in advance,
you'll still need to make lots of small decisions. If
uninterrupted relaxation is what you want on this vacation
and you would like for someone else to take care of
nearly everything for you, an RV isn't the right choice.
It's not The Ritz
The accommodations available in most rental motor
homes are comfortable, yet simple. And it's a relatively
small space, so it helps if you are very comfortable
living in close quarters with your travel partners.
It's no Minivan
Although most modern motor homes behave predictably
on the road, an RV won't accelerate as quickly, maneuver
as nimbly, or stop as short as the car you drive every
day. You just have to think a few seconds further ahead
and be more cautious when making sharp turns. If you've
ever driven a moving van, you have the basic idea. If
you are concerned about the size of the vehicle, consider
a smaller RV or perhaps a van conversion. For a comparison
of the different RV types, follow this link: RV
FAQs. Also, have a look at Alice Zyetz's excellent
advice at How to
Rent an RV.
Pros and Cons Planning Chart>
1994, Dan Wulfman and Sheri Ballard decided they'd
had enough of the corporate "big time"
- so they hit the road to explore their countries
together (he's American and she's Canadian). Their
brief sabbatical morphed into a life-altering two-year
journey, taking them from the Artic Circle to Guatemala
and just about everywhere in between. In 1998 they
& Trails to help fellow travelers see the
best of the west by RV. Dan and Sheri live in Grand
Junction, Colorado. They love to travel with their
two young sons and--of course--an RV.
& Trails Web site features an excellent
planning guide with stunning photographs and
superb trip routing suggestions.