RV Travel During a Pandemic
Truth be told, this isn’t my first summer traveling in an RV. We spent six months living in ours and traveling the United States when we first got it in 2016. However, traveling during a pandemic changes things for all travelers, even those traveling in their own self-contained vehicle. Here’s what I learned.
It’s Pretty Crowded Out There
One of the things my family and I have noticed about camping this year is that there are a lot more people on the road and many more traveling by RV. This is backed up by evidence from companies such as Outdoorsy and RVShare, which have seen exponential growth in interest on their RV rental sites. There are no signs of a slowdown as travelers are planning to vacation well into the fall season. According to RVShare, bookings for fall have already increased 123 percent year-over-year and are growing.
RVs Provide a Safe Haven, but You Still Should Be Careful
Traveling in an RV is a safe space, especially if it’s your own. You have all of your own stuff packed inside. You know where that stuff has been, and you know that no one has touched it. Renting an RV is also a fantastic option for traveling this summer in order to maintain social distance, but you do need to follow CDC guidelines to ensure it’s clean just like you would for a hotel.
Comfort in the Outdoors
One of the best features of RV travel is the offer of comfort in the wilderness. Travelers who never thought of camping feel more at home in a motorhome where they have all of their creature comforts while still experiencing the beauty of nature. Many RVs and trailers come equipped with bathrooms, full kitchens, nice-size refrigerators full beds and more.
The Whole Family Can Come
Traveling by RV is basically your house on wheels, and it’s easy to camp with pets. If you are renting an RV, make sure that your furry friends are allowed—more often than not, they are. Campgrounds may charge an extra fee for pets, just like a hotel, but many also have special parks and areas for dog-walking, too.
Is It Hard to Drive an RV?
Motorhomes are definitely larger vehicles, but that doesn’t mean that they are hard to drive—even though they look intimidating. We have found that many of our friends who were nervous about driving an RV came back loving the experience afterward.
If you are considering renting or buying an RV, there are also many options when it comes to size. Smaller motorhomes, often a Class B or Class C under 30 feet, can pack a lot of amenities into smaller spaces and can be ideal for camping in places where larger vehicles can’t go. California is a good example of this, where some campgrounds allow vehicles no larger than 25 feet. Always check the size limitations before you select the vehicle you want.
What Does Boondocking Mean?
First-time RVers may hear the term “boondocking” thrown about. This is camping in your RV without being connected to water, power or a sewer. It is also sometimes referred to as dry camping or wild camping and is definitely on the more adventurous side of RVing.
Travelers who want to camp for free on Bureau of Land Management Land or National Forest Service land can find beautiful, isolated open spaces. However, we have noticed that during this pandemic, many of the more popular spots for boondocking have been more populated than usual.
Can You Social Distance at a Campground or RV Park?
Boondocking is ideal in a pandemic because, usually, you are far away from anyone else. But what about campgrounds or RV parks?
This summer we have paid special attention to this exact aspect of the camping experience and noted that there are definitely some places that are more spacious than others when it comes to parking, but even when in a “tight space” so to speak, we have found it easy to stay far away from other people. For those who are concerned, the best way to avoid feeling crowded is to find places that let you book in advance and choose your spot.
Can You Turn Your RV Into Your Own Zoom Room?
Top of mind for many people who are looking to travel and work while they have the opportunity to work “from home” is will they be able to work from their RV if they go to more remote locations.
The answer is yes-ish. Internet connectivity is always an issue but thankfully, there are sites such as Compendium that have a wealth of information about even the most remote destinations, including cell reception for various mobile networks.
Is RVing Just a Summer Activity?
Since summer travel is winding down and many Americans feel they may have missed out on a traditional vacation, fall is turning out to be a busy time for travel in what many are calling the “stretch” season.
RVs are an ideal way to camp during the fall when the weather is cooling off and generally less predictable. Motorhomes protect occupants from the elements while still allowing travelers to enjoy the beauty that surrounds them.
A Love for Wide Open Spaces
One thing I have learned in particular about RVing this summer is that I have a new appreciation for wide-open spaces. On several occasions, we have found stunning spots to park and have a home-cooked meal, something that is unique to RV life. These moments have been made even more special by the fact that, during these challenging times, we have the opportunity to make these extra special memories while still feeling safe and secure at “home.”
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