Tuesday, November 28, 2023


What will your 2020 Thanksgiving look like?

By Dave Helgeson
Lately the news media has been telling viewers how their Thanksgiving celebration will look different this year due to the Coronavirus. “Keep gatherings small, stay outside, stay six feet apart, don’t share food, etcetera, etcetera”. Whether viewers decide to follow the instructions is yet to be seen.

As RVers we have  multiple options to change up this year’s Thanksgiving celebration. Some ideas:

• I once met an RVing couple with no immediate family to celebrate Thanksgiving with, whose tradition was as follows: 1) Load up the RV with everything needed for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. 2) Place a turkey in the heated oven. 3) Start driving in a set direction with no preplanned destination. 4) Let the turkey bake* while they drove, stopping every so often to check on the progress. 5) An hour or so before the turkey was scheduled to be done they would find a campground for the night and set up camp. 6) While the turkey finished cooking they would prepare all the side dishes to go along with the bird. 7) Enjoy their meal and check out the surrounding area the next day.

*Yes they traveled with the LP on in their RV. That is a subject for another time. I never asked how they secured their oven door.

Start driving and see where you end up

• Head to a campground near family members and move the celebration from their house to outside under the RV’s patio awning. Enjoy the big game on the exterior TV prior to dinner and then enjoy Thanksgiving dinner around the campfire.

Family time around the campfire

• Go somewhere fun this Thanksgiving and make memories you will remember for years to come. My wife and I once stayed at an RV park that featured an aviary with free range turkeys, chickens and peacocks. You are sure to treasure the memory of when the Holiday bird showed up at the doorstep of your RV at dinnertime strutting his stuff!

We are here! When do we eat?

• Many RV parks located in southern snowbird destinations offer Thanksgiving celebrations as one of their scheduled activities. Here is a list of parks that have offered Thanksgiving meals either hosted or potluck in the past. While some have likely curtailed their celebrations this year due to the pandemic, I suspect others have made changes that meet state and local safety guidelines allowing the annual tradition to continue. Since they are located in warmer climates, socially distancing outside can be easily obtained.

What will your 2020 Thanksgiving look like? Will it include use of your RV? Please share using the comment box below and maybe inspire others to start a new tradition in this less-than-usual year!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and stay safe.


Dave Helgeson
Dave Helgeson
Dave Helgeson has been around travel trailers his entire life. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership long before the term “RV” had been coined. He has served in every position of an RV dealership with the exception of bookkeeping. Dave served as President of a local chapter of the RVDA (Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association), was on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college and was a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. He and his wife Cheri operated their own RV dealership for many years and for the past 29 years have managed RV shows. Dave presents seminars at RV shows across the country and was referred to as "The foremost expert on boondocking" by the late Gary Bunzer, "The RV Doctor". Dave and his wife are currently on their fifth travel trailer with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications on his own unit.



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Ed D. (@guest_103011)
3 years ago

We will celebrate Thanksgiving this year in Key West, Fl. Just my wife and myself.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_102875)
3 years ago

We will be having BBQ’d quail this year. We tried this a couple months ago and really liked it (four frozen quail in a package). We’re stuck in a campground in Houston for months (for medical reasons). We gave up the huge turkey mess years ago. We laugh at the size of the quail, but they’re actually tasty. [grin]

Drew (@guest_102819)
3 years ago

I loved the couple who travels with the turkey in the oven. Almost ready for carving when they get to the camping spot.

Bryan (@guest_102804)
3 years ago

My wife and I for the past three years have gone camping/glamping for Thanksgiving. We will be doing it again this year and will enjoy ourselves the whole time, even if the weather is bad. I would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

Rich (@guest_102771)
3 years ago

for us this year’s Thanksgiving will be no different than previous years. it’s just the two of us. we’ll get a cooked 1/2 turkey breast and dessert from the store, make our sides and remember our departed friends and family.

Sherry (@guest_102763)
3 years ago

Our family of 7 started isolating yesterday. We are in our camper, and my daughters and spouses are in their homes, working from home. The kids are not going anywhere. Dinner has been ordered from a local business and we have purchased outdoor propane heaters. We had to make a choice between celebrating our grandson’s birthday or thanksgiving. We zoomed for my grandsons 7th birthday. This has taken a lot of effort but my daughter is immuno compromised. and we have tried to support my former nurse colleagues by strictly following scientific guidelines since day 1. This is not a political thing for us but an issue of life and death. While driving from the covid hotspot in Texas to Seattle we stayed primarily at KOAs as we felt they were safe and following covid rules independent of the political stance in any particular state. This proved to be true. All meals were made in the RV. No dining out and no tourist stops. Nobody has seen the inside of a bar in months

Neal Davis (@guest_102747)
3 years ago

Our celebration will be confined to my wife and me, and our parents. We currently see them almost daily because of their ages and rates of decline.

Ken (@guest_102744)
3 years ago

We’re thinking maybe Cracker Barrel will offer something for the Thanksgiving dinner. If not, maybe a Cornish game on the barby. We are on our way to Arizona for downtime.

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