Despite having done our share of driveway camping or sheltering-in-place in the RV, it’s just not quite the same as a real RV trip. Here are the top 5 things we’ve missed about RVing since our coronavirus quarantine started.
1. The mystery of every mile
Even if you’ve been down a particular stretch of highway multiple times, it’s still not scenery you see every day. Changes occur all year long, be they man-made or natural.
What will we see over the next hill, or around the next bend? Even on the most mundane of drives, just seeing other RVs, interesting cars, and the occasional OMG towing arrangement can brighten your day as you roll away the miles.
2. Depleting our RV’s resources
Don’t let that phrase scare the Earth Day right out of you. We aren’t talking about burning diesel for the sake of burning diesel. Rather, we’re talking about the normal expected reduction or depletion of stores and resources you intentionally stocked up on. It’s about actually using the RV and all the great, gadgety, interesting things it beholds.
It’s emptying the fresh water tank the natural way, rather than draining it at home because it didn’t get used. It’s using the special margarita machine you keep in the RV just for those his and her road trips. It’s talking on the CB you installed or enjoying the surround sound you couldn’t afford for your home but somehow your rig came with one.
Really using the RV means you are enjoying those long, fancy marshmallow sticks and that fire-starting gizmo you bought. It’s cleaning up with the outside shower, or cooking burgers and hot dogs in the outdoor kitchen. It’s baking six fresh cookies in your tiny convection oven. Even flushing and treating the black tank can be a thrill when it’s warm out and you should be camping, but aren’t. Speaking of flushing, here’s your chance to use that miserable RV toilet paper you didn’t use during COVID-19, on the off chance you might get to go camping.
3. Enjoying the freedom
There is something decidedly freeing about hitting the open road. Traveling in your self-contained world with loved ones and a few possessions tweaks a hidden longing we all possess. A good road trip connects us with childhood rides in that dangerous third back seat of the family station wagon. It reminds us of the history and allure of Route 66, while cautioning us not to name our kids Joad or Rose of Sharon.
The feeling of freedom doesn’t end on the road. It’s seeing Yellowstone for the first time, five decades after you realized Yogi Bear was a liar and it wasn’t really called Jellystone. Freedom is enjoying the Grand Canyon a second time, in the snow, even though you couldn’t see a thing. There is a distinct freedom associated with sitting in a 300-square foot aluminum box in the middle of nowhere and thinking, Ah…this is the life.
4. A change to daily life
Getting out for a great RV trip is a nice change to your everyday rituals. When your normal day consists of coffee, gym, commute, work, commute, dinner, & sleep, things can get pretty monotonous. While camping in your RV, everything you do is done a different way and in a different place.
Even if you do have to spend a couple of hours on the laptop to stay in front of email, it’s a small price to pay to hop off the humdrum train for a little while. The act and anticipation of planning your trip can also add a spark to your normal routine. Boring lunches become mini trip planning binges and “I gotta take this” calls are really just campgrounds calling you back to confirm your reservations.
5. Returning home
Even after quarantining or sheltering-in-place for so long, RVers returning home after a long trip will still be glad to see home sweet home. Being home means a return to normal after a couple of weeks of ordered change. Ensuring all is well at the homestead brings the feeling of joy and security full circle.
Those that love to dote carefully over their RVs now have all of that post-trip maintenance to do. Cleaning, emptying, replenishing, refueling, and whatever else they can make up to avoid getting back to normal responsibilities just a bit longer.
RVing at home is like scratching an itch through a thick sweater. It helps a little, but it’s not enough. Here’s hoping we can all safely get back to camping and RVing soon.