Friday, December 9, 2022


Take a moment and grade your RVing experience


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?

Why evaluate?

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.

Grading system

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.)

Averaging grades

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.


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Bob Weinfurt
23 days ago

The biggest issue is having a lazy girlfriend. I’m the one that has to do 90% of the loading and other chores and being handicapped makes it even harder on me. Haven’t been to an RV park for a few years but getting out and boondocking locally in nature makes it all worthwhile.

25 days ago

When I neared retirement age, I prayed that I would know the right time had come to retire: that I would not be one of those who just take up space and thwart potential promotions for those younger, deserving employees. The same is true for our post-retirement RVing career. This last trip did not need a formal evaluation. We knew halfway into the journey that the changes in RVing were not in the “plus” column from our perspective. (PS. One thing not listed was actually having the RV available vs. months in the shop! A definite minus-column item for us.)

26 days ago

Just finished a 5 month trip from TX-Novia Scotia-FL-TX. Overall rating was 3.8 but when I remove the low rating for high fuel cost and terrible roads in the Northeast and Louisiana the rating comes up to a 4.5. We have seen a constant degradation of our nation’s highways over the past 10 years. We travelled numerous roads this summer that were in worse shape than what we have driven on the Alaskan Highway!

Neal Davis
26 days ago

Great idea! Thank you! I plan to print the questions and evaluate each trip with DW. I tend to like traveling to/from the destination as much, if not more, than where we go.

26 days ago

Our last trip was great in all respects with the exception of the cost of diesel which ironically, may have also provided a benefit. There were markedly fewer RVers on the road thru out the trip. Cancellations were abundent enough to allow us to make reservations on-the-fly at popular RV parks on a much shorter notice than our privious experience would suggest. The break downs were few and easily fixable. The fall colors cooperated fairly well.

Micheal Whelan
26 days ago

Our worst trip was still great. I guess we set our expectations properly and see every experience as a chance to learn and grow. We will do this until we can no longer safely travel.

Leonard Rempel
26 days ago
Reply to  Micheal Whelan

Perfectly describing my experience!

Gordy B
25 days ago
Reply to  Micheal Whelan

I love traveling, as a truck driver, I was in my glory. I scored over 3,000,000 commercial miles in my career. Since 1967 when I moved to California for the first time, vacations have been either back to Michigan or out to California with not too many years missed. I have moved out and back five times, the first time (while in high school) with my parents. I now reside in Michigan where I was born and raised. My philosophy for travel is the same as life. “There are no bad days (trips), some just don’t measure up to the good ones!” Never let a break down interfere with the overall journey thru life or a trip. This has helped me to enjoy many things that a glitch could have ruined. May you all adopt a similar policy and enjoy your trip thru life. Happy Trails

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
25 days ago
Reply to  Gordy B

Excellent advice, Gordy. Thank you! Have a great day. 😀 –Diane