Packing up the entire family and hitting the open road in a RV is something of an American tradition. There is something quite appealing about the idea of going anywhere and everywhere you please. RV fans argue it is the ultimate way to travel, especially for families on a strict travel budget.
That isn’t to say RV traveling is for everyone or every vacation. There are plenty of possible problems to consider when planning your trip that could potentially waylay an otherwise fantastic vacation opportunity. Consider the following pros and cons to make sure you are making the best decision for you and your family.
Traveling in an RV can be exceptionally freeing. You are free to go anywhere you choose, so your vacation can be more spontaneous. You can stay anywhere you can find a hookup and don’t have to ever worry about hotels being full. Even if you can’t find a hookup and need to stop for the night, your bed is already with you — you just need to find a place to park until morning.
Renting an RV can be surprisingly affordable and convenient. With rental fees ranging $40–175 per day, the cost definitely beats booking hotel rooms for a family of four. RVs can sleep several people, further increasing the economic value. Adding in fuel costs definitely sways the scales, but not when you consider the savings on food when you cook your family’s favorite meals in your rolling kitchen instead of splurging on costly restaurant meals three times a day. Save those dollars for fun family activities like visiting national parks, amusement parks, tourist attractions or even souvenir shopping.
Companies like Cruise America make renting an RV easy with internet booking and more than 100 locations around the country. You can even return the RV to a different state than you started out from if that meets your needs; however, you will need to make a customized reservation like that over the phone rather than online.
Not every destination is an ideal place to visit via RV. Say for example, you want to visit New York to see the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero and Times Square. There is a reason most residents of New York City don’t own cars — the traffic is horrendous. Your RV will be cumbersome and ineffective and it’s hard to enjoy the ride when you are stuck in traffic for hours on end.
When your family lives in such close quarters for an extended length of time, tempers and patience tend to wear thin. If your young children and teens tend to fight during a routine car trip, you may want to explore other options before packing the whole family into a RV for several days in a row. After all, sometimes a little space or change of scenery does us all wonders.
While renting an RV alleviates the responsibility of regular maintenance and upkeep, there are some unpleasantries you still need to account for. (Yes, I am referring to the cleaning of the sewer pipe!) If you aren’t willing or able to fulfill these duties, renting an RV may not be for you.
Finding a place to park can be a challenge. It is important to be aware many cities do not allow overnight parking, even if you aren’t requiring any services. The freedom of stopping wherever you choose can quickly be compromised when you get a ticket for parking illegally.
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