PROS AND CONS OF THE RV LIFESTYLE - 1010 Park Place
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PROS AND CONS OF THE RV LIFESTYLE

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One of our readers, Joanna, asked for my thoughts on RV-ing, and it’s a topic my sweetie and I’ve been discussing a lot lately. Here goes…

(+) First thought: We love the freedom to visit favorite places and explore new ones. We prefer our RV over a hotel: I always have all of my ‘stuff’ with me; I know who slept in my bed before me, and we don’t have to dine-out every meal.

(-)  On the other hand, our freedom to roam has become limited in the past two years. We have been faced with “no room at the inn” more than once because of a festival or holiday, peak season, a hurricane, and Snowbirds. As the sale of RVs continues to rise, competition for space has risen. Many of the nicer RV parks in popular areas are full during peak season, unless you book months, or even a year, in advance. 

RVs of all shapes and sizes have become an affordable alternative to homes, and not just in “trailer parks,” but in the nice resorts. Our favorite home-base in Austin is at least 40% full-time residents. It’s not uncommon to see Mom, Dad, 2-3 kids, and a dog living in an RV.

While it makes sense for the park to have steady income, it results in less available spaces for travelers. With the rise in RV numbers, a new concept called “dynamic pricing,” has gone into effect, and since there are only so many good parks… rates have risen dramatically. The best rate is to stay for a month, the most expensive is to only stay a few days.

(+) We have met some really interesting, knowledgeable people that we wouldn’t have met otherwise and become friends with a few. RVers always share info about “must-dos” in each town, about other great parks in the area. The men share info about the mechanical workings of their rigs.

In fact, I’ve noticed that the men generally connect first since they’re outside setting-up, while women generally manage the interior after a relocation.

(-) There are things we both miss about a having a house since we live/travel in our coach: We miss an office with with reliable wi-fi. He misses a large shower-stall, our King bed, and closet space. Since his clothes are twice the size of mine, I can empathize. And I miss quality girlfriend time, and a private place (with scheduled hours) to write. 

(+) Because of our frequent lack of wi-fi and cable, we have talked to each other more than ever. We are outside more. We listen to new music and have learned to dance together in our kitchen/living/dining area (check out Pink Martini on Pandora!). He taught me to play backgammon, and I now win regularly. He maintains that, “he’s tickled to death that he did such a good job that I can beat him.” 

But it doesn’t stop him from grumbling when I do…

XO


13 Comments

  • Reply Joanna October 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you for writing this post, Donna! I know we wouldn’t live in ours full time because I need a House & a Home with my garden to tend, groups and activities, and girlfriends. It’s a conversation my husband and I have danced around often. He doesn’t need a Home and all that entails, so would happily become a full time traveller.
    I hadn’t realized that finding a spot at a good RV park would be so difficult. It’s not surprising as baby boomers are finding an alternate lifestyle in their retirement. Hordes of people get off cruise ships and flood towns/ cities / villages in Europe and beyond. So much so, that it has become a problem to those that live there. I’m glad you brought this aspect to our attention. Only one who traveled extensively throughout the U.S. would be aware of this fact.

  • Reply Donna O'Klock October 23, 2018 at 9:27 am

    You’re welcome, Joanna. It has been clarifying to us to go over these ideas for ourselves. We’ve seen and experienced a lot of places differently than if we’d flown in for a few days, and that’s been the very best part!
    XO Donna

  • Reply 1010ParkPlace October 23, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Interesting post Donna. Does this mean you need to plan your route and how long you’ll stay further in advance?

    • Reply Donna O'Klock October 24, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Yes, in part. We planned this trip months ago to be sure we had a space here in the French Quarter. And we’ve been booked November in Austin, and December in San Antonio for months… so we are planners – but, the crowds and exorbitant prices take some of the whimsy and flexibility out of the equation. Darn it!
      XO Donna

  • Reply TJ October 23, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    You sound like you have an absolute gem of a man there Donna. Loved the story Xxx

    • Reply Donna O'Klock October 24, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      Thank you, TJ. I certainly think so, too! So glad you liked the post!
      XO Donna

  • Reply Mithra Ballesteros October 25, 2018 at 8:08 am

    I love the idea of driving an RV. (I always envied the school bus driver.) How is that? Does the process of watching all those miles disappear under the tires have a positive effect on your creative output?

    • Reply Donna O'Klock October 28, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      Mithra, Driving was okay on a straight and empty highway… but it’s terriying in traffic, rain, or wind. I don’t want to drive anymore!
      I’ve been feeling more introspective, but loving photography more now. So, maybe yes! I see a new camera in my future. XO Donna

  • Reply Donna O'Klock October 25, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Mithra,
    Driving this coach is nerve-wracking… so I don’t! (I would gladly drive a smaller one.) As far as creative output… it’s actually had the opposite effect! I’m so busy having fun, exploring, learning, photographing, that I don’t sit down to journal or write. My hope is that everything I’ve experienced and absorbed will come to fruition in a novel I am outlining… and here, in my blog.
    XO Donna

  • Reply Diane October 25, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Something Husby and I are seriously considering. This gives me much food for thought!
    Thank you!

    • Reply Donna O'Klock October 28, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Diane, Sorry to be a downer, but the whole “landscape” has changed in just a bit over 2 years. We’d enjoy it more as an occasional getaway, than a lifestyle – maybe you’ll find a way to make it witk for you!!
      XO Donna

  • Reply Haralee October 26, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Damn baby boomers getting the reservations! I am one so that is tongue in cheek. It makes sense like vacation rentals having the best monthly rate that the same would hold true for nice RV parks. Happy trails!

    • Reply Donna O'Klock October 28, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      Haralee – I am one, too! But it’s not just us Boomers… This morning as we left a park I asked what the full-time RV occupancy rate was – 98%. These people live here yearly, leaving very little room leftover for “travelers.” We’ve been very lucky and always had a place to spend a night on the way from ‘here’ to ‘there.’ XO Donna

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