Since we purchased our 2018 Leisure Unity, and we are newbies to the RV traveling, I have given much thought to the type of RV Lifestyle we want. When I read the stories and adventures of others, I find that there are so many RV lifestyles, and the way people approach RVing. Each RV lifestyle has it’s pluses and minuses, and is a personal choice. We had to decide what we wanted out of our RV experience. I have found Instagram to be very helpful, and inspiring, to see all the different ways people enjoy their chosen RV lifestyle.
Our RV Lifestyle
So far, we have not stayed in one place for more than a few days. My husband likes to keep on the move to new destinations. I am wanting to slow things down a bit, and hang out in a nice spot for awhile, and soak in all the sights, sounds, and all that surrounds me. Since our trips are usually no more than a few weeks, our RV lifestyle is vacationer who prefers to stay in RV Parks. We are also interested in some of the National Park and State Parks that provide hookups, but have not stayed in any of them yet. So far, we have been able to visit Arches National Park in Utah with our motor home, as well as Crater Lake, Glacier National Park (you can’t drive Road to the Sun in an RV, but there is much more to see in the park).
We have also spent some time along the Oregon Coast, which is my favorite place. The Oregon Coast holds special memories of times with my kids when they were younger, and my mom. Memories of flying kites, beach combing, browsing gift shops, ice cream cones, and evening board games come to mind. There is something magical about the ocean, and I am mesmerized by it’s sound, smell, and constant, rhythmic motion. Other trips have included Flathead Lake in Montana, Route 66 through CA, Arizona and New Mexico. Some of our trips took us through other states, such as Wyoming. The Grand Tetons Mountains are amazing. Anyway, my point is that traveling and vacationing with an RV so far has been all that I imagined it would be, and we will keep going as long as we are able. We have already found some favorite RV Parks that we will visit again. Peach Beach RV Park in Goldendale, WA on the Columbia River is a beautiful park, and we have already been there twice. Another favorite is in Central Oregon, which I will talk about in my next post.
To Tow or Not to Tow
Another choice we had to make was whether to tow a car or not. Our 2018 Leisure Travel Unity is only 25 feet long, so it’s small enough to maneuver almost any area, but there are limits. I will not take it on long gravel or dirt roads, and I’m not comfortable on narrow, high elevation roads, especially if there aren’t sufficient railings. Trust me, I have been on a few already, and they were a little scary. In some of those cases, I think it would be better to take the tour through some of the National Parks with a small car, but I don’t feel like we miss out on much.
The added hassle of towing a vehicle, and having both vehicles to maintain, or worry about break downs, is just a worry I don’t want or need. In most cases, we are able to get where we want to be without towing something. In the case of the larger motor homes, however, I can completely understand why you would need a vehicle for getting around town, or touring some of the scenic roads. And, in the case of a full-time RV lifestyle, it’s a given.
For those of us with smaller motor homes, it’s a choice, and I have seen people tow a car behind their smaller rigs. We all have our preferences and individual needs. After all, RVing is all about freedom, and doing what makes you happy.
I am no expert in the RV space, since we have not been doing the RV Lifestyle for very long, but my parents, and my daughter have experienced RV ownership, so I will tell you a bit about the RV lifestyles they chose.
Escape Artists (weekenders)
One of my daughters and her husband currently have a truck with a camper. Because they have small children and both work during the week, they usually only camp out on the weekends, when they have time for fun and relaxation with their family. Their camping lifestyle revolves around kids, hiking, boating, swimming, campfires, and barbecues. The kids like to sleep in tents, while they sleep in the camper, with my special-needs grandson.
Camping is a great way to decompress and reset before the next work week starts. It also builds strong bonds between family. And, it really doesn’t matter what size RV you have, as long as you’re enjoying it with those you love and the great outdoors. If you love it, that’s all that matters!
Long Haulers (vacationers)
Extended vacationers are those who take the long hauls, across country or travel for several weeks at a time. My mom and dad traveled with a fifth wheel, and took several extended vacations over the years. They did a few longer trips, such as from the west coast to the east coast, and a trip to Alaska. They loved it, and couldn’t get enough of the scenic highways, mountains, and wild animals (I’ll have to tell you about their bear encounter at some point!). They sought out historical sites (my dad was a history buff) and National Parks.
They enjoyed a short driving day, then pulling into their chosen RV Park, relaxing, enjoying the scenery, riding their bikes, going for walks, and grilling on the barbecue. My dad loved cooking their meals outside, and he was good at it. He could cook just about anything over a campfire, rain or shine! They traveled with friends, and loved comparing rigs and stories with their RV Park neighbors. They took my daughters with them often, and they still have those special memories of clam digging with grandpa, picking blackberries and making the best blackberry crumble pie for dessert with grandma. What’s better than a homemade blackberry dessert, and laughter around a campfire?
My brother and his wife own a 34-foot motor home for their longer vacations and weekend trips. They have a tendency to pick a spot, and stay their for several days, or for their entire trip. They like to hike, kayak, hang out with friends, and just relax the days away. They also tow a jeep behind their motor home, so they are able to explore the back country, or run in to the nearest town to check out gift shops, restaurants, or pubs.
Seasonal Travelers (snow birds)
Snow birds head south for the winter, just like the birds. They are usually escaping a harsh winter for a milder or warmer climate (or just chasing the sun), then return home after the winter has passed. Hence, their travel is considered seasonal. This is a great solution for those who love their home towns, sans the rough winters. My oldest daughter knows all about this, as she lives in North Idaho, where the winters are long, bitter cold, and dark. They have often considered buying an RV and becoming snow birds themselves.
So, if you’re from an area that you both love and hate, this might be a fantastic option for you. Many snow birds even take up seasonal jobs nearby to help fund their travel, so it’s not all fun and games.
Living on the Road (full-timers)
Full-time RVing used to be for retirees who no longer work, but now families of all sizes are doing it. Parents are home schooling their kids on the road, working side jobs while staying in different places to make money to support their travel, and some have the luxury of working from the road via satellite! Can you imagine nature as your office? Must be nice.
Unfortunately, I don’t personally know anyone who is a full-timer, nor do I know much about it. All I know is that we have come to conclusion that it’s not the type of lifestyle we want. I admire those that can sell everything, and hit the road, but I like knowing I have a home and garden to come home to.
We purchased our Leisure Unity with the intention of taking longer vacations and being able to go where we want, when we want. For us, vacations with no hotel bills, and not needing to find dog-friendly hotels was appealing. No more lugging our belongings into a hotel room, and wondering about the cleanliness of the room. I love the idea of being able to stop along the way, fix something to eat, or even take a nap. An added bonus is not needing to use some of those gross restrooms along the road! Taking vacations in our Leisure Unity has made our trips much more enjoyable. We get to sleep in our own bed, with our own bedding, and eat when we want.
Home is Where You Park it
Whether it’s for a few days, weeks, or months, wherever you park is home for that time period. The abundant choices for RV lifestyles and activities can be overwhelming. It’s the journey that matters, so just enjoy it, however, and wherever you choose.
“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle
I can appreciate all the different types of RV lifestyles, as they are a diverse as we are. If we were younger, I am sure our preferences would be completely different than they are now. My husband has limited mobility, so we enjoy what is available to us, in every way possible. Others may choose to explore boon docking and available public lands as their preferred camping spots. And, for those that like to be spoiled, RV Resorts are an option that offer all the amenities you would find in a high end hotel. There is no way to cover every RV lifestyle, since it is so personal to each family.
Personally, we like quiet and quaint RV parks that offer the basic amenities, with the added bonus of a beach, river, lake, or scenic view. I love listening to the sounds of nature, like the whistling wind, as it swirls through the trees, or the trickling creek, hidden in the surrounding trees and bushes. Morning song birds, the howl of a coyote, or wolf in the distance. Sometimes, it’s just the total silence.
What is your RV lifestyle? Share with us.