You see a motorhome or a travel trailer wheeling down the Interstate. That looks like fun, but you wonder how much fuel one of those big things use. “I’ll bet they save a lot of money by not staying in hotels,” is another thought that might cross your mind.
I’m here to set you straight on some of these misconceptions and myths about RVing. We’ve been RVers for 25 years now and traveled all over the U.S., Tasmania, New Zealand and parts of Canada with RVs. We’ve switched from a 5th-wheel to a motorhome, to a campervan and now a travel trailer over the years.
How fun. They’re taking a trip in their motorhome and towing a vintage car. (photo by Virginia Allain)
RVs use a lot of gas. (This one is partially right. The consumption for a big motorhome might be as low as 10 or 12 mpg. The reality is that people travel to their destination, then the RV stays in place while they take excursions via car. That’s why you see motorhomes towing a car behind them or with motorcycles on a trailer.)
RVs are cheaper than staying in hotels. (Wrong! One doesn’t buy a $75,000 or $150,000 motorhome so they can save money on hotel costs. Campgrounds cost $30 to $50 a night depending on the amenities. Resort-style RV parks can be even higher.)
This travel trailer, a Scamp, is loaded for fun with bicycles and kayaks. (photo by Virginia Allain)
RVers are back-to-nature types. (Not totally. Some take their RVs to state parks or remote areas and spend their time fishing and hiking, but many others do not. Some belong to RV clubs and attend rallies with dozens, even hundreds of other enthusiasts. Others are people who like to travel with their pets which are unwelcome in hotels. These often stay in RV parks right along the interstate highways and are more interested in being comfortable than in kayaking the rapids.)
Here’s an RV rally in New Hampshire of Airstream owners. (photo by Virginia Allain)
RVs are crowded and uncomfortable. (Nope, not necessarily so. Since the invention of the slide-out, the inside of a motorhome or 5th-wheel is surprisingly spacious. Usually the dining area or the living room slides out once the RV reaches an RV park. Some have 2 or 3 slide-out sections.)
Look at the lovely kitchen in this RV. It even has an island. (photo by Virginia Allain)
RVing is a carefree recreational option. (Here’s the reality. Getting away from home and traveling is fun but having an RV is like having a 2nd home. There’s lots to learn and take care of in one of these homes-on-wheels. You travel with your own electrical, water and sewer system which need specialized care.)
Stopping for gas while towing a travel trailer can be tricky. Most gas stations aren’t RV-friendly. Usually a truck stop works best. (photo by Virginia Allain)