Travel season is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy some of our favorite things about the motorhome lifestyle.
We all have our own reasons to love RVing. But whether you enjoy short getaways with the family or touring the United States, we can all agree that there is one word that defines the lifestyle: Freedom. The ability to go anywhere at any time and take all of the comforts of home with you is a pretty compelling thing, especially for those of us who love adventure and discovery. The following are 52 reasons (one for each weekend) why we love RVing, in no particular order.
Careful, now … this can turn into an addiction — and there’s only so much room in your motorhome’s basement storage. However, if antiquing is your hobby, it’s always fun to see how treasures change from region to region. Depression glass in Detroit, neon in New Orleans, and so on.
Ordinarily, this isn’t what we’d call fun. But on an RV trip, each thing you prepare to bring conjures images of how and where you’ll be using it. Snowshoes and a parka? Folding chairs and beach towels? You decide.
No, not your laundry hamper. The aroma that greets you whenever you open the door to your motorhome and step inside, especially when it’s been a while. It smells like … good times.
4 Furry Friends
Some people call them pets, we call them family. Did you know that a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000–100,000 times more acute than our own? Yep, they have up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to our paltry 6 million. So just imagine how much they’ll enjoy flowers, tree bark and, of course, other dogs. But many cats enjoy RVing too, being especially partial to the large, sun-soaked dashboard of a Class A motorhome.
Is it mankind’s association with fire and survival that makes sitting around a burning ring so compelling? Perhaps, if you’re camping in the Arctic wilderness. For the rest of us, it’s social hour.
6 Blue Skies
Maybe it’s the lack of “haze” (most of us know it as smog), but the sky is just bluer out in the countryside.
7 Fresh Air
Whether from pine-scented air wafting down from snowcapped peaks, or desert sage from, you know, the desert, you can experience air the way it was meant to be.
8 Out-of-office Reply
Ah yes … there’s nothing better than hooking up a slimy worm or balling up some brightly colored smelly bait with those you love. Especially when it results in dinner (or at least an outrageous story).
10 Roadside Stands
The stuff you get at the market? That’s not produce, my friends. If you want to see what fruits and vegetables are supposed to look (and taste) like, take some time to stop at one of these local spots. You’ll never see corn, tomatoes or strawberries the same way again.
Some of them are cheesy, we know. But there are many others along the way that are fun, informative and make for great photo ops. You love those plywood cutouts you put your head through. Admit it.
Depending on where you live, these can be a daily experience (lucky you!), but for those of us in land-locked metropolises, natural bodies of water evoke calm like no smartphone app can.
13 Open Spaces
Good-bye strip malls and cluttered parking lots! I can actually see the mountains from here.
14 Tall Trees
The best way to admire them is to lie back on a blanket, gaze up and admire their majestic beauty. Imagine what they’ve witnessed in their long lives.
Never has terror been so much fun. Wild rapids, sheer drop-offs and the constant threat of death make you feel so … alive. Kidding aside, river rafting really is great fun, and most tour companies offer excursions for enthusiasts of all levels.
16 New Friends
When people are away from the stresses of ordinary life, they become who they truly are, or at least who they’d like to be. You’ll find RVers to be the friendliest, most helpful folks around.
17 Board Games
The internet, mobile phones and TV have given most of us the attention span of gnats. Board games slow things down, promote interaction and make us think. Monopoly, Scrabble and Battleship are some of our favorites … or, you can start on that 1-million piece Amazing Orange Kitten puzzle you’ve been thinking about.
Sure, riding a bike is a great form of low-impact cardio. But in this author’s not-so-humble opinion, it’s also the best way to explore. It’s not so fast that you can miss things (as you can by car) or so slow that you don’t cover enough ground (like walking). And today, there really is a bike for every size, style and skill level.
You know … that thing you used to be able to do at better than walking speed? You’ll learn to enjoy it again when you break from the city to wide-open spaces, and there are more than just taillights to look at.
Some of this author’s earliest memories of camping were sitting by the fire while the adults told spooky stories. In retrospect, it was probably a cruel attempt to induce nightmares, but it was awesome.
Almost everyone falls to this devilish delight … but where did it come from? While no one knows for sure, credit goes to Loretta Scott Crew, who published the recipe for her “Some Mores” in a 1927 publication called Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. What we do know is that camping wouldn’t be the same without these ooey-gooey treats.
22 Mountain Biking
This just seems like a natural for RVers, and if you like adventure, it is. Most of our journeys take us to the mountains or deserts, where a mountain bike is ideally suited. There are also mountain-bike specific apps like Trailforks and Singletracks that contain thousands of trails from around the world, so you’ll never have to wonder where to ride in your new locale.
Life is all about balance — especially when you’re in one of these floating slivers. But if you can swim upside down and don’t mind the occasional jolt of icy water, kayaking is great exercise and one of the best ways to see nature up close.
RV galleys offer more and more flexibility with each passing year, but when you’re on the road, you probably don’t want to spend all day preparing an ambitious meal. That’s where your fellow RVers come in … they’re happy to share all kinds of shortcuts and simple, delicious meals ideally suited for the lifestyle.
Need we say another word? Our “normal” lives often prevent a subtle snooze, but when you’re in the RV with the windows open and that soft breeze blowing through … there’s no better guilty pleasure.
Exploring your surroundings outside of the campsite or RV park is one of the best parts about motorhome travel. Local museums, markets and historical landmarks give us a new appreciation for our country.
27 Bedtime Stories
Today’s motorhomes are available with “bunkhouse” floorplans, with kid-specific areas. It’s a great place to get out their favorite books and read an adventure.
28 Happy Hour
Technically, any hour you spend RVing is happy hour. But as the afternoon winds down, inviting friends to your motorhome patio for a few drinks and some snacks is a fantastic way to get to know your neighbors.
Never mind the treadmill or the stair climber. A few miles of undulating trails beneath the pines will get your heart pumping and do wonders for your attitude, and your pet will love it, too. Plus, no judgy looks or sweat-stained Lycra.
30 Family Time
The daily grind — your job, taking the kids to school, doing homework and household chores — doesn’t leave a lot of time to connect with the people you love most. Once removed from the distractions of daily life (and the cellphones are turned off and stowed in a drawer), conversations, togetherness and laughter are the inevitable results.
We all say we want to do it. But reuniting with family can be a logistical nightmare, especially when airline travel and hotels are concerned. With an RV, it’s simply a matter of finding a suitable campsite or RV park, securing some spaces and hitting the road. Even if your family members don’t own an RV, renting one is a great way to discover the lifestyle, and is still more affordable than plane tickets and hotel reservations.
Camping and outdoor cooking go together like hot dogs and apple pie. And though every motorhome is equipped with a fully functional kitchen, it’s nearly impossible to resist the lure of grilled food on a sunny afternoon.
33 Counting the Miles
Once you get on the highway, it’s always fun to see your progress on highway signs (San Francisco 375 mi) and to view new places on the way to your destination.
In most cities, you’ve got your choice of pigeon, crow or sparrow — perhaps the odd starling. But once you get where there are more trees than people, you can discover hundreds of our flying friends and learn to identify them by their songs and coloring.
35 Horseback Riding
Sitting high atop a noble animal, striding along a country trail is relaxing, and is a welcome respite from our mechanized world. Watching them eat grain or hay is mesmerizing, too.
In the city, light from buildings, streets and vehicles creates “light pollution” that makes it difficult to see the stars. Far out in the country, however, you can see amazing detail even with the naked eye — or make it even more interesting by bringing along a telescope. Many campgrounds, RV resorts and national parks even offer stargazing events, where you can learn more about what you’re looking at.
There’s fungus amongus! OK, sorry about that. But learning how to identify and harvest edible mushrooms correctly is a great way to connect with Mother Nature while enjoying her abundance. Then you can impress your friends with your famous mushroom risotto.
If you enjoy (or ever have enjoyed) treasure hunting, then geocaching is for you. Using a GPS receiver or mobile device, geocachers hide and search for containers (called, you guessed it, geocaches or caches) at specific locations marked by coordinates around the world.
Many of us think of RVing as something we do in the spring or summer, but a motorhome is a great way to enjoy winter hobbies, too. Kick off your boots, enjoy a hot cocoa and spend the night, all without setting foot in a crowded “chalet.”
40 Little League/Soccer
Most of us associate RVs with vacation time, but they have very practical uses as well. Take the kids to a game or tournament in the motorhome — they’ll have a place to go for snacks and refreshments, warm-up/cool off, use the restroom and hang out with friends before/after the event.
Sure, most of us do this in the shower — but not with the whole family. That would be weird. Gathered around the campfire, however, always seems like the perfect place to sing the theme song to The Flintstones.
42 Guest Room
Uncle Bob and aunt Ruthy are coming to town, and uncle Bob snores like gangbusters. He’s also not particularly fond of kids and smells of Vicks VapoRub. Put them up in your motorhome parked next to the house, where uncle Bob can rage at the evening news and not wake the family.
Why do hotels ALWAYS give you two awkwardly sized pillows? One isn’t thick enough, and two crook your neck at a 78-degree angle. And don’t even get us started on those suspect comforters or sticky carpeting. In a motorhome, you’ve always got your own clean bed, just the way you like it.
44 Your Own Bath
Do you want to take your kids into the bathroom of Big Sal’s Roadside Palace when they’ve got to go? Probably not. And Sal says the bathroom is for customers only, anyway.
You need another reason to be grateful to be alive, don’t you? Why not hang from a cable rigged by men of dubious engineering expertise and hurtle through the air on the tourist trap equivalent of a trust fall? Did we say “fall?” Sorry about that. It really is fun, though.
There are a few ways you can interpret this one. But what we’re talking about are the smells that waft into your RV as you travel down our nation’s highways. As a child, I always knew when we were passing through Gilroy, California, by the pungent, earthy smell of freshly harvested garlic.
47 Day Trips
Not every RV excursion has to be weeks or months long. A jaunt to the beach or local mountains with some bikes and a refrigerator filled with cold drinks and snacks is an ideal way to spend the day.
Nature’s light shows happen every day, but when was the last time you really saw one? In an RV, you can find the ideal viewpoint, pull out some chairs and truly enjoy.
These days, it’s a lot easier to keep kids occupied with mobile phones or tablets during travel, but if you want to keep them engaged, good-ole road games like I Spy or the License Plate Game are fun for the whole family.
This usually signals the end of outdoor activities … but that subtle pitter-patter on a motorhome’s roof is a good excuse to pop in a movie and bake some cookies.
One of life’s simple pleasures. Grab the sunscreen, a cold beverage and your Bluetooth speaker — it’s time to get lazy.
Never mind what’s going on in the stadium — the real competition is in the parking lot. You’re not going to let them show you up, are you? Roll out the patio carpeting (custom made with your favorite team’s logo, of course), a folding table or two, a grill and a cooler full of cold drinks and get the party started!