When I tell people my wife and I are heading out on an extended RV trip, they will invariably ask, “Where are you going,” expecting me to answer with a destination like Yellowstone, Las Vegas, or maybe the Grand Canyon. My response is “that way” as I point a finger in the general direction we will be headed.
You see, RVing is more about the journey than the destination. Those who fly in either an airplane or “down the freeway” in a non-stop driving marathon miss many interesting attractions along the way. Some of these attractions may be on the itinerary before leaving home, but many are “discovered” along the route.
Examples of discoveries along the way might be the Upside-Down House found during a lunch stop in a city park in Lee Vining, California, or learning why there is a US missile from New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Program in Green River, Utah.
Other discoveries might be unexpected activities on your route like witnessing a helicopter pulling new high tension lines onto transmission towers during a windstorm in Nevada, or having to stop the RV in the middle of the highway while thousands of sheep are herded to their summer feeding grounds in the high country of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
For my wife and I, an RV trip is scores of stops and explorations (planned and unplanned) taken on our way to “somewhere” that is the farthest point from home and then scores of more stops on the way back home. You might consider that “somewhere” is our destination, but is seldom the highlight of our journey.
How about you? Are you literally flying over or past things that you would enjoy seeing? If so, you need to get in an RV, pick a “somewhere” to head towards, take it slow, and enjoy the discoveries along the way.
Enjoying the journey, the best adventure in RVing!
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
Our best trips have been the unplanned ones. We happened upon Big Brutus (google it) in the middle of nowhere Kansas I think. Plus I just like seeing what some people just have in their yards!
Billy Bob Thorton says
Totally agree. Try this; see a flea market or farmers market, chances are you are dealing with the locals. Gives you a great feeling about how truly amazing America is. As they say, stop and smell the coffee.
Denis & Joyce says
We never make plans as when we do it is a bad trip.
We have on our GPS road side attractions best places to see and so on that came with the RV GPS we set the way we are heading and then look to see on the GPS what their is to see. We have found some great things to see and really nice places we would have missed if we didn’t purchase the GPS the info we find in it keeps us going and doing things and places we have had so much fun at. On our last trip I got to spend some time with Don Garlets the drag racer best at a car show and his garage sale we found on the GPS. So ending this it helps to have great tools for the road and use a GPS for a RV and you not fail.
Schatzie & Ginny says
Wife and I did the same thing during the last 20 years, only on a motorcycle with a small tent. Never had a dstination, only a direction. We eventually covered all 48 continental states as well as large parts of Canada and Mexico. That was before GPS and cell phones so we used paper maps. We saw most of what America has to offer and oftentimes had some great adventures while being lost on our travels. Never used expressways or interstates; only two lane country roads. I am a retired Naval officer and wanted to see the country and people that I defended. Our travels were the experience of a lifetime. We could never understand why so many people dream of traveling to Europe or Asia but never take the time to really explore all the wonders America has to offer. Now, in our 70’s, we are motorcycling less, but RVing more. Our Casita is our passport to freedom.
Since I served in military, I said the same thing as you: defended this great nation now I want to see it. Started traveling in a car and would take a 2 lane road over an Interstate any time!! Did a cross country trip on a trike and was surprised at how much more you see. Now I travel in a motorhome with my trike trailing along for adventures when I get there … wherever that is. Thank you for your service and “carry on.”
Roy Fleming says
We would prefer to do the same thing everytime we leave home but certain destinations, ie National Parks/Monuments require some preplanning/reservations in order to find a place to stay for the night or a few days. We are only into our 4th year of having a motorhome and there a some places that are “must see”. Once we get past the majority of the “must see” places, which should be this year, we will do more of “hmm I wonder what’s down that road”. We currently do 2 major trips(4-6 weeks) a year and since we live in NW Ohio some places take a few days to get to our “Must see ” destination. Still enjoy every minute of our travels but sort of look forward to the more leisure trips