The color, the curves, the shine, you got to love this.
I’ve been an advocate of RVs for some time now. What I find amazing is that so many people genuinely believe it’s not possible to camp comfortably in an RV. Given my own experiences, I beg to differ. Comfortable RV camping is a real thing and it can be done. Read on to find out how.
Think Outside the ‘Box’
The key to keeping comfortable while RV camping is to not spend the entire time in your RV. While I love RVs dearly, I will be the first to admit that they are small spaces that don’t work very well 24/7, especially when you’re travelling with the family like I do ever so often. Therefore, it is a good idea to spend a great deal of time outdoors. After all, that’s what camping is about anyway.
Try a Hammock
Yes, I’m being serious. Hammocks aren’t just for island paradise escapes. In fact, once you can find two sturdy trees roughly 12 feet apart in a shaded area with no obstruction between them, you’ve found a good place for your hammock. My Brazilian hammock is by far my best outdoor companion on our family RV camping trips. My wife and I generally share one and the kids have a separate one for themselves. What’s great about these hammocks is that they’re made of tightly woven fabric, not mesh (which means they don’t leave unsightly marks on my arms and legs after a lazy afternoon nap). They even have their own carry case, which is great since we move around so much.
Get Good Seating
“Sitting on a log for evening supper isn’t so bad, except when the log’s inhabitants decide your legs are fair and free territory for one and all to conquer.” Those are the words of my teenage daughter who petitioned for months until I finally gave in and bought chairs. After much searching I decided on the Picnic Time Portable Folding Sports Chair as it was recommended by a few friends. I’ve got to hand it to Picnic Time. Every time I sit in one of these chairs I forget for a minute that I’m out camping. Now I’m not afraid of going rustic and sitting on logs but for meals this chair is great with its fold out tray. It has quite a few bells and whistles (insulated bottle pocket, pouches etc) that my daughter enjoys and the best part is that it’s light enough to carry hassle free. Despite their awesomeness (my daughter’s word), we only own two of these chairs. My go-to seating solution when we all want to sit together is the Travelchair TravelBench Original 6 Seater. This is because it tends to be more convenient that carrying two chairs that we have to take turns using. This chair is a God-send in terms of value for money and is high on the comfort factor. My son even uses it as a bed sometimes when no one else wants to sit. The fact that it gets my daughter’s stamp of approval is even greater proof that it’s a good choice if you’re looking to up the comfort level on your next RV camping trip.
The best thing about going camping in an RV, apart from taking on the open road, is packing up the family and saying goodbye to the confines and routine of your everyday life. The experience can pull the family closer together and for me it always make me appreciate the finer things, like gorgeous sunsets and fresh air. These are all benefits you don’t get much of in the city.
One of my biggest worries when I hit the open road is the safety of my family traveling with me. There are many things we can’t control but I try my best to take care of the things that are in my control and at the top of that list is my driving. When I’m driving an RV trailer the stakes are higher. A heavier vehicle requires greater control and focus. For the past two years I’ve been using the Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Controller and it makes me breathe easier on these family road trips.
I have to say one of the greatest things about this proportional brake controller is how easy it was to set up. It came with a bracket for mounting and the entire thing was a breeze. I set up my brake controller within thirty minutes.
I haven’t tried many brands of proportional brake controllers but to be honest, given the experience I’ve had with this one I have no interest in trying another. Before I started using a proportional brake control I had heard countless reports about just how amazing they are but it wasn’t until about a year after using one that a near accident left me with a full appreciation for it. In one particular instance heading home from a camping trip with the family an impatient (I called them more than impatient at the time) driver swerved in front of us leaving me with very little time to react. Luckily for me, the brake controller did exactly what its manufacturer claims it does and I was able to stop our RV abruptly by slamming on the brake.
And that is the beauty of the proportional brake controller. It is able to adapt and respond to various braking situations differently. These controllers use digital sensors and the reason for the superiority of digital sensors is that they are definitely quicker to respond and are generally more accurate. With traditional brake controllers (before digital became available) the controller would sometimes send a weaker signal than what was needed by the driver, or worse, none at all. This could sometimes prove catastrophic, especially when navigating a downhill slope where a sudden stop was required.
I know firsthand what that scenario feels like and I am grateful for the peace of mind I get from using a proportional brake controller with a digital sensor, specifically the Tekonsha 90195 P3 Electronic Brake Controller. The peace of mind and an enjoyable driving experience at an affordable price are just a perfect combination. Better safe than sorry, always.
- Look for public free days at federal, state, and even community parks. USACE/COE has fee free days per annum, as do most states parks systems.
- Join a Discount RV Camping Club. The most popular being:
- Federal campgrounds nearly always give a 50% discount to folks holding the federal Golden Age Passport offered at national parks and monuments, and select BLM and Agriculture Forest Service offices.
- Moststate park systems honor the Golden Age Passport.
- Several state park systems will have state residents discounts for seniors.
The short answer is yes. Ebay.com RVs & Campers has recently become an increasingly popular way to buy and sell campers and RVs. The new popularity is mainly because it’s by far the best place to find a good price on an used camper or RV.
- You pay or make a refundable deposit for a camper, but never receive it.
- You pay for a vehicle and receive it but end up suffering a loss due to unethical practices from the seller.
As soon as you purchase a camper or RV on eBay, you’re automatically enrolled in the program. The protection is for up to $50,000 and you have a month to make any claims.
Even though you have this protection program, you should still do your homework before making a purchase. Here are some good references to get you started:
- How to buy a vehicle on eBay.
- Pros and Cons of Buying a Camper Online
- Accurate Ratings of Camper and RV Manufacturers
- Buying a Camper Guide
- Vehicle Purchase Protection program
Make sure you are at the correct camp site and it’s available.
Don’t block your neighbor’s access route to facilities or the exits.
If you’re arriving late, keep loud noises and bright lights to a minimum.
Treat it like your home. For many, campgrounds are a home away from home.
Know the rules and policies on dumping trash, smoking, parking, fire wood, washing dishes, showers, quite hours, speed limit, etc.
Use only the designated fire pits.
Leave no trace. Always leave your site as you found it (or better)
Leave enough wood to start a fire for the next person.
Be friendly and say hello to people passing by.
Don’t cut through other people camp sites without warning.
Teach your kids to have fun camping while respecting the rules.
Help your neighbor out if they need it.
I love dogs, but not everyone does. Keep pets under control and pick up their dodo if it’s on the trail!
Need a campground directory? Check out the 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory.
If you look ing for campgrounds that are less crowded check out Off the Beaten Path: A Travel Guide to More Than 1000 Scenic and Interesting Places Still Uncrowded and Inviting.
If you want to learn how to buy a camper online, please look at our buying a camper guide.
Advantages of Buying a Camper Online:
- The biggest advantage is having all the options right in front of you. Being able to look at multiple dealerships and private sellers all together at the same time allows you to compare your options easily. Also, in person you will never get to look at so many options before making a purchase.
You avoid any pressure from sales people and show rooms. You can shop at you own pace on your own time.
- Ease of information. If you have questions about the camper you can quickly look up the answer from an outside source.
- No business hours. No traveling. Driving to dealerships can be really time consuming and depending on your work hours, it can be near impossible.
- If you buying a new camper, manufacturer websites allow to to customize easily.
- The coffee is better at your house.
Disadvantages of Buying a Camper Online:
- The location of the camper may be far away and require delivery.
- Sometimes dealerships don’t let you complete the purchase without actually coming down to the dealership
- No matter what, you are going to want to inspect the camper and have your own mechanic look at it (unless it’s a trailer of course).
- For some people there is some comfort in getting to know the previous owner of your camper. It’s hard to really trust someone without looking them in the eye first.
- No free show room coffee