Get more from your RV trip – Sit a little longer

Get more from your RV trip – Sit a little longer

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Still unpacking the rig after several weeks on the road, we’ve finally hit the point where we can slow down a little and philosophize a bit about the trip. Our trip was one of those “planned out pretty well, but you know, things got in the way” affairs. But in some cases, maybe it was for the better.

The idea had been to circuit up from southern (or “inferior,” as my father-in-law put it) California, north through Oregon to Washington. Across the top of the map through Idaho and Montana, down into Utah, over to Colorado, back into Utah, then down into Arizona. Total time on the road – end of July to end of September, with plenty of little dots in the travel map for stories we were to chase down, sites to be visited, and friends to reach out to.

But as any seasoned RVer will tell you, the road doesn’t always cooperate with those kinds of plans. Mechanical failures can (and fairly often do) get in the way. A lot of those proposed points on the map were never reached, route changes became routine, and a lot of those “things” we planned on doing/seeing just didn’t get done/seen. But after years of RV touring, you would’ve thunk we would have already connected the dots with one big resolution for next time: SLOW IT DOWN.

After weeks and 4,833 miles on the odometer, we had to reflect on what parts of the road trip were the “best” of the bunch. While it’s true, the journey is half the adventure, being awake enough and rested enough to appreciate the journey certainly figures into it. What were those best parts again?

When a tire and wheel failure caused us to hunker down for a few days, waiting for parts, that little, bitty, almost-dry-lake in northern California had to be one of the quietest, most picturesque spots we’d seen. How about that remote part of the National Forest from the wife’s childhood camping experiences – the one we never planned to visit – it just happened we made our way there? The seemingly endless days in Utah’s high country – 30 minutes from the pavement, and another 20 from town. We hadn’t planned to stay there for a week, but you know, one thing led to another, and some of our better memories (and best sunset-hour photographs) came from “out there.” Maybe that little bit over a week spent along the Columbia River where the wind howled for hours – and we got plenty of hands of cards played.

No, we didn’t get the “number of stories” that would have made the trip more “profitable.” We certainly didn’t put on as many miles as we had originally planned. But those days where we sat in the saddle and toughed out mile after mile of roadway to “get there,” just weren’t near as nice as those when we just “stayed put.”

So next time? Next time we plan a few less miles, but still as much time as we can work in. We’ll find some of those quiet spots, where a little bit of cogitation just seems to come naturally. And yes, we still have to pay the bills, but we’ll leave the trailer in camp and plot out a few “hub and spokes” trips out into the surrounding countryside to get some of those oddball stories that RVers like to read.

We’d like to think of this is as our own great idea – we won’t need any mechanical mishaps to recommend it to us.

 All photos, R & T De Maris
 
##RVT816

Facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrmail

Related

9 thoughts on “Get more from your RV trip – Sit a little longer

  1. Bonnie Bowers

    I think ours best to not rack up so many miles (we normally do 3500), but rather take our time and relax during the same months of travel we normally do. I’m cutting our trip next year to just over a thousand miles and doing more site seeing where we plan to go, at each stop. I think it will be more,relaxing, more fun, and less stressful and I’m sure our RV will love us for it too. Happy Travels!!!

  2. Mark Elliott

    Ditto the philosophy of longer stays between road days. One of my travel heroes, Rick Steves, espouses the strategy to not rush through (Europe) as if you will never return but rather to savor each stop and spend extra time along the way so you can form strong memories of your travels, which is exactly what I did and it made all the difference for me.
    With that in mind, it is completely insane to me that anyone would want to cover 5000 miles in their RV in 60(!) days. If you stay just 2 nights/1 day at each stop you would have to put in 150-200 miles every driving day and at that pace what’s the point of going?!?
    My philosophy is to spend a minimum of 3 nights/2 days at every stop (unless the area has little of interest then a single night stopover is in order) but if there is a lot to see and do I want to spend 5-7 days. That way I can park the rig and take off hiking or on my bicycle or in the truck to explore the countryside and/or get to know the locals in town. After all, I’m not in a race to see how many dots on the map I can check off. I want to savor each day as the horizon looms closer, not hurry to see how many miles I can cover each week…

  3. Wolfe

    Although I totally agree with being able to sit longer, I can’t yet fulltime, and live on the far-right side of the country, so all my trips have to return home in a week or two. Last week, I went NY to Branson, MO and back in 3 driving days — 2400 miles pure “get there” transit, about 3000 miles total with at-destination exploring. My truck gets free oil changes, so it really raises eyebrows when you get two changes in as many weeks….

  4. Harry salit

    During 6 months of traveling our average daily miles covered is about 25! A long day might be 150 miles.
    It is not a marathon, relax and enjoy, sleep in!

  5. Robbie

    We’ve been on the road now for 12 years, our average mileage is 500 miles per month. Wherever we park, we are at home. We are not on vacation, and never in a hurry to put-down-miles.

    We love to experience new sites, but have figured out that we can plan “possibilities” and research how to eventually get there in our own sweet time, and only dependent on the time of year or the season.

  6. Astrid Bierworth

    We are planning a trip next year from Ontario, Canada to North Dakota, then south to Colorado, over to Utah, Arizona, California and up the west coast. We would love to just go at our own pace but I worry about campsite availability, especially along the west coast. Did you find that to be a problem?

  7. theresa

    This is a great philosophy—sit a little longer. We have tried to follow that in our travels and have greatly benefited from it. After all, our goal is relaxation.!!
    One question—I noticed the photo of your trailer (I presume it’s yours) shows you have a wind generator attached to the back. Could you give all of us the info on it, please? I am certain more than just I am interested. Thanks.

    1. Tommy Molnar

      theresa, I just noticed that picture myself. I have a 20+ year old Air 403 that’s never been used because I just can’t figure out how to mount it so the noise is ‘almost’ negligible. I would be interested in that mounting system.

      BTW, we’ve discovered that just ‘sitting’ in place while boondocking (our mode of choice) uses much less diesel fuel . . . Just sayin’.

  8. bjensen6

    When we retired my wife and I left Iowa for Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and back to Iowa. We left the first of March and got home the middle of May. We had just retired and we were crazy travelling over 200 miles a day. Now that we have unwound from working we plan on a maximum of 150 miles every other day. We have found that if you stop you really need to stay the second day to see where you are. We never travelled when we worked and we want to see our country but now we are doing it slowly enough that we can really see it.

Leave a Comment