The idea for this blog post came to me while I was reflecting on the last few years of RVing. I was thinking about all the great places I’ve visited, the wonderful things I’ve seen, and the new things I’ve learned. That’s when a sentence popped into my head and started rattling around in my cranium – “There’s a lot that they don’t tell you about RVing when buy an RV and start traveling”.
Reflecting back over the past 5 years of RV travel, that sentence rings very true for me. There are things the RV dealer never told me. There are things that I haven’t heard from other RVer’s. And there are things I’ve never read about on a RV website or in a RV travel blog.
These “things”, which I call secrets, have not been purposely hidden or kept from people. They aren’t closely guarded pieces of information. They are not reserved for only the most worthy or experienced RVers.
They’re just out there waiting to be found. The secrets that I found slowly revealed themselves to me once I started on my journey of RVing. They are the things I discovered and learned once I took my RV on the road and start going places.
I’m sure there are more secrets about RVing that I have yet to uncover, but so far in my travels, I’ve found these five.
RVing Not About the RV
Before I made my first RV purchase and handed over several thousands of dollars, the RV was all that I thought about. I went through a selection process, looked at floor plans, and analyzed features. I researched brands, read reviews, visited showrooms, and talked to others about their RVs. All my efforts were focused on the RV.
The selection process should be focused on the RV to make sure you buy the one that best suits your travel needs. The same is true for the education process to learn how everything works in the RV. I know some folks who keep much of their focus on the RV and become experts on their particular model of RV. That’s all fine.
But, once I got on the highway and started traveling, I learned that RVing is not about the RV. The RV is just the vessel that is taking me places. It’s just a replaceable mechanical thing.
When I bought my first RV and handed my check over to dealer I was immediately filled with a sense of joy. I realized that my life had just changed and that the vehicle I bought was going to help make my dreams come true. I stopped thinking about the RV and started thinking about all the places I was going to visit.
RVing isn’t about the RV. It’s about your journeys and all the places and experiences you’ll have once you get behind the wheel.
The RV is Going the Break
Sorry to be the one to break this news, but all RV’s break. Testimonials, JD Power Reliability awards, dealer assurances, and positive feedback are all great, but I can tell you with certainty that RV’s will break. Engines will sputter, tries will go flat, appliances will stop working, and leaks may happen. Usually it will happend when you least expect it.
I have been fortunate that my RV has never stranded me on the roadside. But I have had to limp into a service dealer, cut trips short and head home early due to malfunctions, and had appliances quit on me. It can be maddening when it happens (like having the AC unit quit in FL when it was 97 degrees out with 90% humidity.).
The secret here is not to let the RV get the best of you. Know that it’s going to break, be prepared the best you can to deal with it (like having roadside assistance, emergency lights/flares, dealer contact numbers), and just learn to deal with things in a calm manner. Things breaking is just part of life and its happens to everyone who owns an RV. Yes, a broken RV can ruin your day, but don’t let it turn you into a different person.
You Will Find the Unexpected
My RV has taken me places that I’ve seen in books and in other people’s pictures. I’ve visited places that I’ve read about and even dreamed about. I’ve been to many known and popular places. And when I visited these places, many were even better than I expected.
But, I’ve also visited places, seen things, and learned things that I never planned, never heard of, and never expected. These were the unexpected. And many times the unexpected left me awestruck.
Here’s some samples of the unexpected that I’ve stumbled upon while Rving;
- Finding and camping at the Chalk Lake USFS campground up in the Sawatch Mountain range in Colorado.
- Driving slowly through a herd of buffalo that decided to cross the road in front of me while I was in Custer State Park in South Dakota.
- Walking in wagon runts near Guernsey, WY made by thousands of wagons from the people who migrated on the Oregon Trail over 150 years ago.
- Standing in the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA and learning that Waylon Jennings was the base player in Buddy Holly’s band that day in Iowa when the Music Died.
- Talking with a Navajo jewelry maker at Canyon de Chelly National Monument and listening to his stories of what it was like growing up as a boy in Canyon de Chelly.
- Making an unplanned stop at Pompeys Pillar outside of Billing, MT to look at a rock monolith and finding William Clark’s (of Lewis and Clark fame) signature that he carved in the rock in 1806.
To find the unexpected takes a willingness to venture beyond the planned route (e.g., I wonder what’s down this road), to strike up a conversation with a stranger, to get out of the RV and take a walk, stop and read a historical plaque, to change your route or itinerary based on someones suggestion.
You Will Make New Friends
I like traveling solo but I’m not a hermit type person who seeks solitude. I like meeting new people and chatting with total strangers on my travels.
When I retired, one of my concerns was how to deal with the loss of all the social connections I had at my work. One of my friends assured me that I would find and make a whole new set of friends. She was so right.
RVing has brought me in contact with some great people and many have become good friends. There are my music and dance friends I’ve met while camping at music festivals. Friends I’ve met at the RV park and who I play pickle ball with where I winter in Florida. And there are the friends I’ve met in the RV blogging community.
Most RVer’s are friendly and engaging people. All you have to do is stop by a campsite and ask someone where they’re from and you’ll get a conversation going. Leave an interesting comment on a blog that sparks a response from the author. Or pull up a chair and join in at a happy hour. I’ve found that friends are easy to find when you’re RVing
Awe Will Overtake Fear
I have found that RVing can at times bring with it some trepidation. Especially if you travel solo. At the start of a trip, my mind will sometimes start to focus on “what if” scenarios.. Things like – “What if I get sick while I’m traveling solo and I’m thousands of mile away from home?”, “What if my RV breaks down in the middle of no where?”, “What if I lose my wallet or get robbed and have no money?”
Focusing on these types of questions can sometimes make me think that’s it would easier and safer just to stay home. Especially after I’ve had a series of malfunctions or read about someones recent bad experiences. But then, I tell myself that I’d be letting fear of the “what-if’s” drive my life and I’m not going to let that happen.
I’m RVing because of all the positive things that I’m going to experience. I like doing it because it makes me happy. I’m living my dreams, not hiding from possible nightmares. Any type of travel has risks. And that’s all they are – risks. Things that might happen.
I’ve learned that good things will definitely happen to me when I’m out RVing. Just about every day that I’m traveling, I’m going to learn new things, meet new people, and see new sights. Shifting my thoughts to the wonder and awe of all the good things instantly melts away any fear or trepidation.
And there you have it. The cat is out of the bag. These are my secrets of RVing. Please leave a comment is you have a secret about RVing you’d like share.
Disclosure Notice: Some of the links on this website may be affiliate links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. If you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I receive a program fee.