Sunday, January 22, 2017

The difference between camping and RVing...

A sailing site friend retired recently and is trying a new adventure: traveling and tent camping.  He went to the Tampa "Super Show" RV Show - one of the biggest in the country.  He was appalled at the prices and construction of some of the RVs he looked at... then declared that, for him, tenting was the way to go.  For the record, he bought a ratty, used Class B a few years ago that turned into a money pit, so his perception of RVing was already a bit slanted.  I took a few minutes to respond...

This coming from a boat guy... 'cause we all know that boats never have problems or need maintenance!   I guess we have been lucky with the various RVs we have owned over the decades we have been RVing. Yes, there are a lot of cheaply made RVs; then, there are the nicer ones. Just like boats. Neither of which are good "investments." Both are lifestyle purchases. Just so happens that we truly enjoy traveling, and appreciate having our amenities with us... not having to schlep to a public showerhouse, being able make a meal without having to build a fire, having a fridge, heat and air conditioning, a comfortable bathroom, and convenient storage.

You are simply 40 years behind us with your camping. When we were first married, the only way we could afford to travel was by camping. We had tents, large and small. We were where you are right now, discovering the freedom of getting away. Inexpensively. Then, we "moved on up," when I converted a van: a comfortable bed, solid walls around us, Joan was ecstatic that she had a plug-in for her hair dryer! We could park *anywhere* - and still have our privacy. Over the years, we have had van conversions, motorhomes, a travel trailer, a toy hauler, a 5th wheel, and are back in a very nice compact motorhome. And, LOVE it! Once we moved from a tent to that van, there was no going back... and not wanting to.

Stay with it long enough, and you will eventually want more creature comforts. You are in the "this is cool" stage, and an introduction to getting away from it all. Easy to justify a motel when the weather is crappy or you just want to experience living civilized (Gee, this hot tub is sure nice).   "It's been a long day, I don't feel like setting up a tent, plus it's getting dark - I'll just get a motel."  We also did that for a time. These days, I don't want to sleep in someone else's bed; I want my own bathroom; I like my satellite TV.

I remember the days of sitting in our tent, looking at the people in RVs and thinking, "They don't know how to get away from it all. That isn't camping." Turns out, I was right - it is RVing. And SO worth it. Different strokes.

I truly hope you enjoy the tenting for a good long while. Key word in that sentence is "enjoy." When the novelty wears off and "setting up camp" becomes a chore, re-visit the RV lifestyle. Almost all of us doing this started where you are right now. Well, a lot of years ago.



Starting to get our heads into heading out with the motorhome this next week.  Can you tell?

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