Why travel in a motorhome?
The largest and probably best reason to camp in an a recreational vehicle (RV), whether van, travel trailer, or motorhome, is because it provides us with a hassle-free way to see America, particularly in our line of work.
Another reason we prefer our RV as it comes with a kitchen, bathroom, livingroom and bedroom. Okay, they are small but give us the comforts of home while we are on the road. Besides, the family room is as big as the great out-of-doors.
By not staying in a hotel/motel or eating every meal out, traveling in our motorhome is actually rather affordable. Example? Example? Our trip to Alaska. Six weeks cruising around that state and visiting the Chugach and Tongass national forests while surveying their developed campgrounds. The trip up and back cost was an estimated $10,000 (and that includes gas prices in the $5 to $7 per gallon range, all our lodging, meals out, repairs, maintenance, etc!).
Here are some cost saving tricks we used in Alaska, but they apply also to non-Alaska touring:
– Stayed in national forest campgrounds as much as possible. Our Senior Card gets our campsite for half the posted fee.
– Eat lunch, not dinner, out. On the days we ate out, dinner was a light snack (glass of local wine with cheese and crackers and some fruit is a favorite) around sunset.
– Kept the weight down, motorhome’s weight that is. Very few canned goods in the pantry. Books are paperback and given away when read.
– Fill gas tank in the early morning. I have no scientific proof but think you get more gas in the cool morning hours. Plus there is less temptation to purchase any “junky” food, beyond a cup of coffee, right after breakfast.
– Stocked up at chain grocery store and used a grocery discount card (Fred Meyers stores were plentiful and accepts Krogers’ grocery discount card).
– Look for and attend or use free or discounted activities. (Okay, maybe your idea of a great time isn’t watching pee-wee rodeo or little league baseball but we have found it to be an outstanding good time.)
– Cook once and have two, maybe three, meals. Leftovers from crock pot of beef stew makes a delicious meat pot pie and add a cup or two of beef broth and you have a healthy soup and sandwich dinner.
– Laundromats in Alaska, especially along the Inside Passage, are painfully expensive. I would wash small things at the motorhome and go to the laundromat only when I had a huge pile of dirty clothes. And I only uses the multiple load, front loading washing machines. Go as early as possible or during the week.
Soon our motorhome will be home sweet home. I remember talking with a young woman in a Laundromat years ago. After explaining to her I was an author writing about national forest developed campgrounds, she asked were I live. I told her in my RV and her response was priceless. She said, “You mean you are unemployed AND homeless?!?!?!” I guess for five or six months each year we are but with our motorhome it doesn’t feel like it.