Your RV may well be closed up for winter. Even if it’s not, perhaps this is as good a time as any to think about your overall RVing experience. If you were to assign RVing a grade based on your personal rubric or expectations, what grade would your RVing experience receive?
There are at least two good reasons to evaluate your RVing experience from time to time. Here’s why:
To aid communication with those who travel with you. If you and your travel buddy (or buddies) all grade your RV experience, you can use the resulting evaluation as helpful talking points to discuss everyone’s feelings. A couple we know have full-time RVed for just over a year. After grading their experience, both were surprised to discover that their travel partner shared the same exact feelings. But it’s not what you may think! Both partners admitted that they’d hang up the RV keys if their travel buddy didn’t like it so much! After evaluating, they decided to live full-time in their stix-n-brix home. They still RV in spring and autumn and now both are much happier.
To pinpoint and address stressors. An older friend admitted that the thought of RVing depressed him. The reason? He dreaded hitching and unhitching his fifth wheel. No longer as nimble as in his younger days, he struggled to step up to reach the hitch pin, emergency break-away cord, and electrical hook-up inside his truck bed. “I love absolutely everything else about RVing,” he acknowledged. By identifying his stressor, he was able to address it. He purchased a lightweight, aluminum stepstool that fit inside his truck cab. Last I heard, he was happily exploring the Gulf States region in his RV.
To help you get started in evaluating your RVing experience this past season, consider the following categories. Rather than assign letter grades, you can use a numeric grading system, 1-5, as explained here:
1 – Very dissatisfied
2 – Somewhat dissatisfied
3 – Neither dissatisfied nor satisfied
4 – Somewhat satisfied
5 – Very satisfied
Each of the following categories can be divided into specific subsections if you like. Suggestions for subcategories are given, but you may want to delete/add your own ideas. Then assign a numeric grade for each subcategory.
- Reserving/finding campsites (ease of using websites, time involved in securing a site, etc.)
- Readying the RV for travel (mechanical checks, packing, etc.)
- Traveling to the campsites (RV performance, fuel prices, road conditions, etc.)
- Setting up at the campsites (hookups, RV slides and rig equipment, etc.)
- Quality of campsites (“as advertised,” amenities, etc.)
Once each category/subcategory has been graded, add the numbers together. Then divide the sum by the number of your categories. The result will give the overall grade for your RVing experience. Those categories with lower grades may indicate stressors or “pain points” as you RV. Ask yourself: How can I ease this stressor? What can I do to make this more enjoyable or easier?
Evaluate the evaluation
Evaluating the RVing experience may not be for everyone. If you thoroughly enjoy everything about RVing, you’re good to hit the road.
For others, just thinking about the various aspects of RVing may be enough to spot stressors and work to eliminate them. Talking with those who travel with you is always a good idea. You may be able to brainstorm viable stressor fixes together. Or ask fellow RVers for advice. Also, check out RV blogs or websites for ways to make RVing better for you.
Share your RV grading experience with us
What do you think? Is it a good idea to occasionally evaluate your RVing experience? Tell us if and how you do this in the comments section.