Dear RV Shrink:
We are going to take our first major road trip with our new travel trailer. We bought it just for weekend camping but decided this summer we would go to Alaska. I read a lot of online RV forums, so I am aware of how many people use Walmart as overnight stops while traveling.
While planning our route from Ohio, I scheduled several Walmart stops during the first week of the trip while we are making time and doing big miles. I never realized how this part of the planning was going to freak out my wife. It seems so foreign to her. She had never heard of such a thing. She said, “If you call that camping, then count me out.”
How do I convince her that this is standard operating procedure in RV circles? —Walsmarting in Wooster
In the future, try not to get so far ahead of your wife in the world of RV education. As you discover the little nuances of the RV lifestyle, while cruising forums, mention them to your wife so she is not suddenly bombarded with new ideas the day you shove off.
I can see where she is coming from. In her mind she is picturing all the picturesque campsites she has seen in the magazines. She has put herself in a comfortable chair next to a glass smooth lake, drinking a glass of wine, watching the sky turn crimson at sunset. Now you tell her she is going to be next to the grass-lined retention pond on the tarmac at Walmart. You need to ease her into these changes.
Explain to her that this is not going to be the Walmart Alaska tour. It is just a safe and convenient occasional stopover that Walmart considers another customer service. It also gives you both the opportunity to browse the stores and pick up items you might have forgotten, rent a RedBox movie, get a good night’s sleep, and best of all, “It’s FREE!”
She will be much more comfortable with the idea when you arrive and find several other RV’s already there taking up the best spots.
She will certainly get her fill of beautiful campsites where you are headed. On the return trip, she will be a full-fledged member of the RV fraternity, suggesting convenient Walmart stops on your route home to Ohio. —Keep Smilin’, RV Shrink