My goal in creating a spot called Blog Exposure was to off a perspective into the other types of travel that exist out
Arches National Park (photo from http://rvingtoadless.blogspot.com/)
there. I’ll be honest in saying that I used to be very critical of certain types of travel, I was a bit of a travel snob. But as I grow older I am beginning to realize that there are a number of different ways to travel, and as long as you are traveling for the right reasons, there is no real right or wrong way to travel. This week’s spot is a great example. I used to work in the travel industry in Banff, Alberta, and the site of an RV rolling through the mountain highways was a live nightmare. They were truly the bane of my existence. In fact, we used to call them “kidney stones” because they were painful, and nearly impossible to pass. However, the intentions of the RV travelers are good, if not great, they want to find a way to truly immerse themselves in the area that they are seeking to discover. Today’s Blog Exposure comes from JJ at RVing Toadless. And unlike the usual review that I do, I decided to let her guest post. so here it is:
RV Travel for Self Discovery
A good way to know yourself and to know the challenges you can face is through RV Travel.
Traveling by RV presents issues (real or imagined) such as:
Can I connect the hookups myself or do I want the convenience of a hotel?
Can I travel while living in a small area and cook my own meals?
Can I travel by myself?
Can I travel with my significant other in this small space?
Can I adjust to traveling without hookups (self contained)?
What if my antenna or satellite doesn’t get reception, am I ok with that?
Do I need a planned itinerary or can I just randomly stop?
Do I like to stay awhile and absorb local culture, or do I “hit it” then leave?
How far can I drive in one day?
Alta Lake (Photo from http://rvingtoadless.blogspot.com/ )
I’m not going to try and answer all the above questions, but more, present how I have learned
about myself through RV travel. I bought an RV in 2004 “on a lark” and found that I love
traveling in it! I like the thrill of relying on myself, and knowing I will get through whatever
One of my hesitations in RV travel was “doing the Wal-Mart thing” (overnight in my RV at a
Wal-Mart parking lot). However, I tried it during late summer of 2009, and found that I can do it
RV (photo from http://rvingtoadless.blogspot.com/ )
occasionally, but wouldn’t want to do it every night. My preference is that I will stay at a Wal-
Mart if there are at least three other RV’s staying. I can’t say how I justify the “three.” It’s just
a “gut thing.” Also, one of the suggestions in the “unofficial RV code of ethics” for staying in
Wal-Mart parking lots is that slide-out sections not be extended at these times. I have two slide-
outs in my RV. I can stay a night or two without extending them, but eventually, I want the
comfort and room of having my slides out! If your RV doesn’t have slides (and some don’t),
then this is a moot point. On the other hand, if you camp (and often it’s cheap or reasonably
priced…) at designated Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sites or state parks that don’t have
hookups, then, slides are ok, along with generator use (but generators are restricted to certain
Since I have started RV’ing, I developed a mantra: “If you need it, it will be there.” This has
kept me from worrying about “what if’s…..” One time, I was traveling in my RV on Christmas
Eve, in a state in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures were in the 40’s. Somehow, my gray
and black holding tank heaters had become unattached and were flapping in the wind while I
drove. If you travel by RV during winter, holding tank heaters are a “must have!” Miraculously,
I found an RV dealer that was open. They re-attached my tank heaters, and NO CHARGE! I
purchased something as a way of saying “thank you.”
Also, I rely on my gut, something I call the “Aha” factor. One time, I was traveling in my RV
through Missouri and did not see any sign of an RV park. My campground directories and
online sources showed nothing. I had been driving all day, and I was desperate! On a lark, I
took a turn off the Interstate and ended up in Craig, Missouri. I found a small RV park, on grass,
with seven spaces. Price was cheap ($15 at the time). Local townspeople assured me I would be
safe. Ok, for $15, all I got was 30 amp electric, no sewer, and water was from a “community”
connection. Plus, the park was located close to a train track, and the ground shook when the
train came by. But for one night, at this price, and in a safe town, it’s tolerable. And guess what,
there happened to be a community “fish fry” that night, which I attended! The “Aha” factor at
Taking “random trips” with no planned itinerary is a good way to discover things about yourself.
I have discovered that I prefer to stay no more than two nights in any one stop (“hit it” and
leave). This means I don’t get to take advantage of “monthly” rates at private RV parks, which
provide significant savings over nightly rates. So, I try to reduce my costs by looking for BLM
sites to boondock (no hookups), or find inexpensive places with “just the basics” (such as the
aforementioned place in Craig, MO). However, I have done some volunteer work at State or
Federal parks where one receives free hookups in exchange for between 20-24 hours of work a
week. In these situations, the State or Federal park requires a stay of from one to three months.
I prefer the 30 day (one month) assignments. Being the “hit it and leave” person I am, 30 days
is a struggle for me, but the “Free” camping is worth it. On the other hand, I volunteered at a
Federal fish hatchery in Kentucky for two months and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sometimes there
Believe me, you will learn things, many things, about yourself that you may not have known
when you travel in an RV.
My blog is at: http://rvingtoadless.blogspot.com/ or you can follow me on twitter BIO: Retired Federal (U.S.) employee, has been RV’ing since 2004. Travels with a cat. Keeps a travel blog about the challenges of RV’ing without a separate tow car. Currently loves Camp Hosting in the RV.
(Actually, I was a Federal AUDITOR during my working career, but if you say that, it will scare people. No, I didn’t work for the tax collector…. )
Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on Google+. to learn a little bit more about me and my work.