We proudly attended our grandson’s college graduation this past weekend. Everything was just perfect: the weather, the Baccalaureate service, the Commencement, and the after-party, too! It was all “rainbows and kittens” until (dun, dun, DUN) our hotel room. After two grueling nights in that hotel room, we both desperately yearned for our RV!
No RV for this trip
As you may already know, a catastrophic hailstorm hit our area of Missouri a few weeks ago. The baseball-size hailstones busted the roof vent covers and ruined the RV’s roof. I wrote about it here. (We had hoped to only replace the vent covers, but an insurance adjuster took one look and declared our RV roof a total loss.)
The RV went into the shop for repairs, and we were forced to quickly change our lodging plans for the graduation weekend. We felt really lucky to reserve a hotel room but quickly discovered that our RV was, by far, much more comfortable.
I noticed the gloom the minute I glanced into the hotel room. As I hauled my overstuffed suitcase inside the room, I saw that the curtains were indeed open. However, the tinted window glass muted the outdoors’ bright sunshine, allowing light to only penetrate a very short distance into the otherwise dark room.
The low ceiling along with the dark wood tones, dark linens, and overabundance of furniture made the space feel claustrophobic. Even with the two floor lamps turned on and the reading lights activated near the bed, the room remained gloomy. “It will be great for sleeping,” I thought, optimistically.
Oh, how I wished we could be in our RV! With huge windows on three out of four walls, light and bright interior colors, and a high ceiling full of blazing LED lights, you could perform surgery in there! I missed our bright, cheerful RV.
Unpack or not?
My husband and I opened our suitcases atop the bed and tried to decide. Do we unpack our clothing and put it into the drawers? Or do we live out of suitcases for three days? We decided to live out of suitcases. It might prove to be less convenient, but at least we could drag our suitcases into the brightly lit bathroom to find our clothes! (Did I mention that the hotel room was dark?)
Again, the thought hit me. If only … I know where everything is inside our RV bedroom drawers and closet. The RV’s bright ceiling lights illuminate the entire space, too. Oh well…
As my husband attempted to get the combination air conditioner/heater wall unit to work, I took my toiletries to the bathroom. I don’t carry much with me, but even my small stash of makeup filled the tiny, vanity top.
Vessel sinks were mounted on the vanity and their overly large size gobbled up most of the counterspace. Quite stylish, really, but they left no space for much else. I briefly wondered where my husband could put his razor and deodorant—and then I began to sweat.
Yes, it was definitely getting hot in that bathroom. I looked up and saw the source of heat. A heat lamp was mounted in the ceiling. The heat automatically turned on whenever the bath lights were activated. While this is a great feature when jumping in and out of the shower, it wasn’t going to be ideal for applying makeup. A quick peek into the mirror told me the harsh mirror lighting wasn’t going to do my aging face many favors either!
I wanted to wash my face to freshen up, but the fancy sinks both lacked stoppers. I guess the hotel didn’t want any “trickster” flooding the bathroom. I settled for wiping my face with a wet washcloth. As I tried to clean away the day’s travel, I began daydreaming again.
While small, our RV bathroom is creatively arranged. There is enough countertop for both my makeup and my husband’s things. It’s not all that fancy, but at least our RV’s bath sink can hold water via a drain plug!
It was at that point that I heard my husband mumbling. He was having difficulty reading the heater/AC unit’s directions. (I think I mentioned that the room was dark.) I said, “Just open a window.”
“Ha!” he barked. “Hotel windows never open. And I don’t know why, but it’s feeling warmer in here by the minute.” Oops! I hustled to turn off the bathroom heater light and closed the door.
Returning quickly, I sat on the edge of the bed and sighed, “Don’t you miss the RV? When we open the windows, the cross-breeze is just so delightful.” My husband huffed in response, and I quickly shook off my daydreaming to grab my suitcase. I lugged it into the bathroom so that I could find the flashlight I’d packed. Finally, with help from the flashlight, we were able to successfully turn on the A/C unit.
Later, after attending the Baccalaureate service, we looked forward to a good night’s sleep. After all, the room was dark, right? I was sure that sleep would quickly come. I was wrong.
The bed’s mattress was okay. It just wasn’t the same as the mattress in our RV. My husband thought the hotel mattress was softer, while I thought it was harder than our RV’s mattress. In any case, it was quite late before I was able to fall asleep.
The next morning, my husband said he didn’t sleep well either. Without a bedside table to put his CPAP machine on, the machine sat on the floor. This arrangement made the air hose too short to allow him to turn over, so he slept tethered to the edge of the bed.
I didn’t think my tired husband would want to hear this, so I ruminated inside my head. Our RV bed is so comfortable. We have a small nightstand on both sides of our RV’s bed. We put a foam topper on the mattress and both of us usually sleep like the dead. I guess we’re creatures of habit, but our RV’s bed provides much better sleep! We both like to sleep with the windows open, but that didn’t happen at the hotel either.
The RV is best
Luckily, we spent most of our weekend in places other than our hotel room. I still couldn’t stop thinking about our RV, though. It would have been fun to invite our grandkids back to the RV for games and snacks. If we would have been in the RV, we could easily have made lunches for everyone instead of eating in a noisy restaurant. We might have picnicked outside, too. Maybe for the next graduation?
I learned a lot this past weekend. I learned that I’m not ready to trade our RV life for the occasional hotel stay. I rediscovered the many fine amenities our RV has (and I’ll bet yours does too): great lighting, operable windows, a cheerful interior, a useful bathroom, and a great bed, too.
For me, for now, it’s “No thanks, hotel room. I’ll take my RV!”
I show dogs and I travel a lot. I use AirBnB’s for the most part, but most motels are acceptable, too. Obviously it’s nice to have your RV with all your stuff and everything just so the way you like it, but in the real world things are often not just so. Speaking for me, I do NOT like bright blazing sun and retina-destroying bright lights in my house, RV, or motel room. I actually LIKE cozy, dark decor and (gasp!) old school vibe. I don’t want to stay in an operating room, thanks. Granted, most motel beds often leave a lot to be desired, but I’m not living there, I’m just staying for a night or a weekend. I bring soft crates for the dogs so they aren’t on the floor with who knows what filth. Like I said, Life isn’t always “just so”, and if you like to travel, then grow up and adapt. A big part of traveling is adapting and meeting new people & learning new things. Lighten up!
Wow. Maybe try and focus on some positive. This whole thing sounded like you just wanted to complain about anything and everything. Maybe choose a higher end hotel/motel.
I was thinking the same. What a Debbie Downer!
Our truck was waiting for service work so we decided to take a motel/Hotel vacation 2 years ago to Southern Colorado, an area we had skied but never explored in the summer. I used the hotel app Expedia and opted for 4 star only Mom and Pop options. We had a great time and experienced none of the issues that Gail had. The units aged from nearly new to the 1950’s. All were clean and neat. We enjoyed visiting with the owners who shared their experiences with us.
Were we just lucky? I think that if you select 4+ reviews and then read a significant number of the negative (if any) reviews you can weed out the bad ones. The big negatives we found vs. the RV were having to bring our luggage in and out and only 1 spot had a fire ring for a campfire. Oh, I also specified in the search to include locations with a hot tub!👍👍
What did you expect at Motel 6 other than they will leave the light on?
I travel away from the RV occasionally for work or family events. I use Expedia, or PriceLine, to find a hotel room at a reasonable price. I usually specify at least 3 stars, and drop to 2 stars if I think those prices are too high. If my wife is coming along, I add a requirement for a refrigerator, at least, in the room, and an exercise room and a restaurant onsite or within an easy and safe walk. I have stayed in some dark, ill kept places for a night or two, but for the most part they have been pretty nice. I keep a “fly away bag” packed with a change of clothes for two days, toiletries, and medicine so all I need to do is pull it out of the storage bay and I’m ready to go. My wife has to spend an hour or more figuring out what to pack and worrying over whether she has the right stuff. All things being equal, we’d much prefer to go in the RV.
We have a Class B+ RV which we live in full-time but prefer to drive our car and stay in hotels as those stays are a treat. We’ve only stayed in one questionable hotel over the past several years. The car makes good gas mileage (33-34 mpg), and I can drive it. Our RV makes 10-11 mpg, and only my husband drives it.
Great article, thanks. But why does one need a stopper to wash one’s face?
So they can complain about it when it’s not there.
I think I have to agree.
Well, I like to fill the sink with water. To each his/her own, I guess. Just the way I was taught as a kid. Happy and safe travels to you, Dan.
The last three times I’ve stayed in a hotel room (usually once a year) the rooms have been filthy, dark and dingy. Of course, a few times Covid was an excuse because of lack of staff so the rooms weren’t deep cleaned (YUCK!). The last time I was in a hotel room was this past February. We were given a “pet’s allowed” room even though we didn’t have a pet and didn’t request that room type. It reeked of pet urine and there was pet hair on everything. It took an act of congress to get the front desk staff to move us to another room. All this fun for $180.00 a night. I love my RV too!
Please! Never put your suitcase on a hotel bed.
If, by some horrible chance, the bed has bed bugs, they can get into your suitcase and clothing and you’ll end up taking them home.
Place suitcases on hard surfaces only.
We don’t do hotel rooms, but prefer Airbnb guest cottages or B&Bs. The cottages/guest houses usually offer all of the amenities we have in the RV, larger baths, plenty of kitchen space, laundry area, and most have some outdoor area to enjoy as well.
Our last quick trip we decided on a guest cabin on a farm right outside the city. It was delightful! $90 a night (which was about the same as the RV sites in the nearest city) and we didn’t have the extra gas costs associated with the rig, nor the setup/dumping/rude neighbors to contend with.
I know many folks like the familiarity of their rig, and for extended travel I agree. But the expression “familiarity breeds contempt” may also suggest we all need a change of scenery from time to time!
Yes I too prefer my RV, but after completing a 6000 mile trip to BC and back, it was nice using the car at 45mpg diesel vs 9mpg diesel towing the fifth wheel. Stayed at some not so great and some really nice hotels and a vrbo for two weeks. It was a nice change of pace and the extra 26mpg on diesel that was running $5 on average offset the hotel costs.
Please tell me what vehicle you have that gets 45mpg. I’d like to get this.
I can relate to this so well. I hate my yearly trip north in December without our RV to visit my son. We get a suite to have enjoyable visits since our son has three roommates. So we have a kitchenette (sorta) and bedroom separate from living room. But I have to lug my coffee making paraphernalia, air fryer 12 in 1 oven, and crockpot. This week once a year makes me love our rv (home) all the more. When we visit in the spring is so much better at the our son’s local state park. Even he enjoys those visits better.
Hotel/motel rooms are for sleeping only, not for living. However, I drove semis for 8 years, one of the last companies I worked for would pay for a motel room on my 4th day out. Now you think hotel rooms are bad, live in a truck sleeper cab 6-7 days at a time, those motel rooms were luxury places every 4th day. Just say’n! Lol
In my view, the main advantage of a hotel is being able to leave the shower running! Otherwise, give me our RV any day.
I’d prefer to pay for the room and stay in the rv. Hope the hotel people are paying attention, they need to have rv spots
We’ve stayed in motel rooms like this over the years. On the other hand, we’ve also stayed in several that were pure luxury for about the same price as an RV spot. It can go both ways. We also learned to ask to see the room if the place looks questionable. I can think of three we left without unpacking. Point is, it can go either way.
We too prefer our RV to any hotel or family or friends house. Although I have to add that my wife enjoys a bathtub once in awhile.
Our biggest problem with leaving the RV to spend the night somewhere else is packing. After living full-time in the RV and taking it everywhere with us it’s easy to forget something when you leave for a night or two. We’ve forgotten everything from shoes, to toothpaste, to underwear.
It’s the RV for us!
My trailer is too small for amenities, but I still prefer it to a motel. They are all dark and grubby looking. At least in the trailer, I’m at home with my dog and don’t have to pack a bunch of stuff in to keep it from getting stolen. There are bugs outside, but motels have bugs also.