Tuesday, December 6, 2022


Exploring the country in an RV is not a “road race”


RV Shrink

Dear RV Shrink:
My husband and I have always wanted to travel around the United States. We just bought a travel trailer. I was always thinking to do this it would only take a couple of months. I had no idea he was thinking it would take a whole year.

I can’t imagine being away from home for an entire year. Do you think he is exaggerating? It has been a constant argument since we discovered our individual concepts of the time it would take to see the country in our new abode on the road. Please help us sort this out. —Sixty-Day Tripper in Troy

Dear Sixty:
I think you are both way off the mark. So far it has taken us 60+ years and we still haven’t seen everything we want to see.

Everyone has a different slant on the definition of “seeing the country.” Two months will probably just whet your appetite. It will be a snapshot, not a full-length movie. If you want to jump on the super slab and see the whole country at 70 mph you can probably do the miles in a couple months. If you want to travel the Blue Highways, stop and smell the roses, it may take years.

My suggestion would be to pick a section of the country you would both like to explore and not try to paint on such a broad canvas. Exploring the country is like eating an elephant, i.e., “one bite at a time.” Even sectioning off a piece of the geography will not solve your time dilemma. You will have to decide what you want to explore – the big cities, parks, natural areas, museums, historical sites, eateries, rural communities, or a combination of these and more.

If you have the luxury of not setting a time limit, just begin at the beginning and let the trip unfold before you. My wife and I decided to travel for a year when we were 25 – we didn’t come back for a decade.

The journey will be what you make it. Setting limits and boundaries can hamper the experience of letting the trip take you, instead of you taking the trip. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

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2 years ago

When I bought my first class c motor home,it had 32000 miles on it. I bought it as a former rental. Ford made the cutaway in april. I bought it in the beginning of January So it made an average of 1000 miles a week. How do you see anything except highway lines driving that much.? Hope the people that rented it had a good time😁

Keith and Judy AKA Santa and Mrs.Claus
2 years ago

My wife and I ended up in a situation where the home we cohabitated with my father and uncle ( we took care of them because of their ages) was not feasible to stay in after their deaths. So we had to make a decision, what do we do now? Well the answer was to buy a used motorhome and travel these beautiful US!
It’s a decision we will never regret! After tire failures, a thrown drive shaft and lost brakes we learned a lot. The final straw came when the engine broke a piton and 4 of the 6 fuel injectors failed and we left our beloved road warrior in a Washington state RV park for homeless and disabled veterans.
It you know we are ready to head out again because we haven’t seen everything we wanted to see in the 31/2 months we were out in our great country! But this time it’s in a fifth wheel older trailer and a used ford pick-up.
We don’t travel from point A to point B, we travel where the wind blows us and stop to see what that part of the countryside provides us with. We have seen so many sights we never new existed and some of the most famous of the sites our country has. And never a dull moment, even while waiting for the tow trucks to take us to the next repair shop to fix whatever needed fixing!
In just a few short weeks we will start out again, first to the Imperial Valley to see my nephew and to explore the area in and around there ( I’ve already scouted out some inexpensive and free areas to stay down there and then it will be back to where our adventures ended last time to carry on where the wind will take us next!
Happy motoring guys and see you on the rode somewhere in America!

Lauren Baker
3 years ago

This past summer we took 3 months to drive the Trans-Canada Hwy (not NFLD) from BC and back. We felt that 3 months was way too fast. We have known people who think this trip can be done in 6 weeks. There are more roads and places to see in the USA so judging by our experience 1 year would be a fast trip.

3 years ago

Sounds like seeing the entire continent in 2 months would involve nothing but constant travel. We own a travel trailer and having to constantly be “on the go” in one would become very tiring after the second week.

If you both have no work commitments, why not pick a small area to explore and relax in fully? Then simply take everything as it comes and don’t limit yourself time wise. Who knows? You may discover that you have everything you need in your little home on wheels 😉

Best wishes on your journeys, no matter how they take shape.

Don and Connie Peterson
3 years ago

The biggest issue we have on our trips is being sure that we can find suitable places to stay. This requires reservations, sometimes months to a year in advance. We spent four months exploring Wyoming and western Montana (Big Horn, Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons) last year. We spend about 5-6 months a year on the road.

3 years ago

It took my wife and I 8 months to RV from mid Oregon to Key West this past year. Stop and smell the roses.

3 years ago
Reply to  Darrel

As we live in Wisconsin what we usually do is to pick a “warm” state like Florida, Texas, or Arizona, get info from State tourism bureaus, AAA Tour books, or brochures. Mark what we want to see, then highlight a map with the locations. Pick a central point with a 50-mile radius [roughly an hour’s drive], and keep the RV in one spot and travel to various attractions. Be sure to stop at the Welcome Centers in states and browse brochures. Add things to your list. Plan on taking a day “off” here and there to just relax. Also allow for bad weather, such as thunderstorms, high winds, etc. Don’t rush it; enjoy the extended vacation. We usually plan on one state for three months. We sometimes stop as we head south/east/west that we would like to see, such as the first KFC just off I-75 in Corbin, Kentucky. There is a nice KOA on the edge of town just west of I-75. Don’t follow your GPS but use the Guidebook directions. Our truck GPS wanted us to go way around on streets that we couldn’t navigate with an RV. Get an RV-specific GPS for your windshield. Car and truck GPS units don’t plan on towing or driving an RV.

Tommy Molnar
3 years ago
Reply to  T

A “Truck GPS” is designed for units bigger than RV’s, so that shouldn’t be a problem. But, nothing replaces a paper map for getting the “big” picture and finding alternate routes. We buy Gazetteers for every state we intend to travel in. We use our TomTom GPS primarily to mark places we’d like to be able to find again (usually the great boondocking sites we find along the way).

Tom Gutzke
3 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

It’s a Chevy Silverado 2500 pickup truck, not a semi-tractor, so the GPS is for a vehicle only, not towing anything. That’s what I mean by “Truck” as opposed to an Automobile GPS

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