Freedom on the Road: Trying the RV Life

Thanks to Gaby Cuda from RVShare for her guest blog this week.

Have you been spending hours browsing Instagram, ogling all the gorgeous photos of nomads who live out of converted campervans? Or maybe frittering away your lunch break devouring tons of travel blogs, imagining yourself scaling mountains, discovering National Parks, or lounging on a beach during the sunset — anywhere but in your office cubicle?

Admit it: You’re yearning for the open road. (No judgments here — we certainly know the feeling!)

But when you hear your wanderlust calling, what keeps you from picking up the phone? Have you ever wondered if the RV life is for you?

If you have, listen up, because it’s important that you hear this.

If traveling is your dream, you should get up and go do it. Yes, it might mean you have to change your career or have difficult conversations with your friends and family, but in the end, we only get one life — at least, only one life that we can be sure of! Even a fantastic job is still just a job, and the people who really care about you will stick by you and respect you for going after what you want in life.

And let me tell you from first-hand experience… wow, is it worth it!

RV living isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s chock full of surprises, adventures, and exploration. The country is yours to see at your own pace, and you can head in any direction you choose. If you’re halfway to your next destination and see something cool by the side of the road, guess what? Nothing’s stopping you from pulling over, changing direction, and staying a while. Your itinerary, your journey, is entirely up to you.

And when you’re driving an RV, your adventure isn’t like any ordinary road trip. You have all the comforts of home along for the ride, yes, including the kitchen sink — and you know where you’ll lay your head each night during your trip. You can look forward to the familiarity and warmth of your very own bed, sheets, and pillow, and you can cook your favorite meals even if you’re in the middle of the wilderness.

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RVing is also a great way to travel if outdoor pursuits like hiking, climbing, and kayaking are important to you. Not only do RVs allow you to get into far-off wilderness places where these activities are available, but you’ll also have ample space to store all of your equipment and gear!

Plus, RV life will allow you to meet many interesting new people of all different walks of life. Whether it’s sharing a campfire with your campground neighbor or chatting with a local you meet as you’re exploring a new town, you’ll be surprised by how many amazing human beings you’ll run into just as a normal, day-to-day part of being on the road.

And the best part of all? If you give RVing a try and decide it’s not for you, that’s no problem. You can always return to your normal, stationary life, having been enriched by a long, strange journey you could never recreate in a million years, no matter how hard you tried.

Although, what with the total freedom and flexibility that comes with being on the road… we’re a little skeptical you’d ever give it up!

If you’re serious about trying out the RV life, but afraid you can’t afford it, don’t worry. There are lots of ways to make a once-in-a-lifetime RV journey fit into your budget.

First of all, you don’t want to rush into buying an RV, of course — even small campers can be quite expensive! But renting is a good way to preview the RV life and see if it’s right for you. No matter where you’re starting out in the country, there are many RV rental facilities available.

Of course, even renting an RV can be quite costly, in some cases even more so than staying in a fine hotel. Some rental RVs are listed as high as $250 per night, and sometimes even more than that — and that’s before all the additional fees they find a way to charge you! So make sure you shop around and find a good deal, asking each rental facility for a final, all-inclusive quote before you sign. You can also save money by renting an RV for a longer timeframe, as many dealerships give discounts to renters who keep the RV for a full week or even longer. (Plus, this means you’ll get a more realistic taste of the RV life!)

Another option is to try out renting an RV directly from its owner. It’s easy to set this up through the peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace, RVshare. Private owners of campers, trailers and motorhomes list their vehicles for rent when they’d otherwise be sitting empty, thereby padding their pockets with some extra cash instead of letting their RV collect dust. Meanwhile, thrifty adventurers like you benefit from readily available, comfortable RVs available all over America — since they don’t have to foot lofty business bills, private owners can afford to rent their vehicles much more cheaply than a normal dealership or rental agency!

If you try out RVing and decide it’s right for you (which, spoiler alert, you probably will), it’s important to take your time when you go into the market to buy a rig of your own. After all, RV stands for recreational vehicle, and vehicles are expensive and prone to quick depreciation, especially if you buy new! Finding a well-loved RV will ensure you don’t lose a huge chunk of your cost just by driving off the dealership lot, as well as giving you better odds that a previous owner might have found any problems with the camper and already had them sussed out. Plus, you can use all the money you save to explore, eat, and enjoy new sights, foods, and destinations.

But all of that’s getting a bit ahead of ourselves, isn’t it? The main thing is this: If the freedom of the open road and the incredible adventure of seeing the country is calling to you, get out there and do it while you still can. An RV is a great way to take on the challenge — and you may find that RV life is exactly the life for you.

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