Thank you for following along on my Long, Long RV Trip. This tour is now officially “back in the barn,” as we say in circus terms.
I started last May in Southern California and am ending in November in Northern California.
In between, I stayed in or passed through: Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Idaho, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, and Oregon.
You can’t do this much travel and not come away with some observations and takeaways. Some are on the state of the world, some are on the state of RVs and RVing.
Takeaways on the state of the country and the world
- Climate change is indisputably REAL. Everywhere I went I was told, “This weather isn’t typical.” From heavy snow in May in Colorado to warm November Northern California temperatures, and everywhere in between, locals always remarked on how untypical the weather was.
- The country is more divided than ever, yet we are far more alike than the polarizing media accounts and clickbait articles would have us believe. I can cite numerous conversations I had with people on the opposite end of the political spectrum from me, where we discovered that we actually had a lot in common and agreed on many issues. We just had to move past the labels and preconceived notions.
- This is a beautiful country filled with amazing and kind people. No, not everyone is kind. But in my experience, the balance is overwhelmingly in the plus column.
RV and travel takeaways from the long, long RV trip
- One of the smartest things I did before leaving on this long trip was getting the roof resealed. Shout out to Aaron’s Mobile RV in Orange County, CA. Aaron did an amazing job and boy did I need it! My trailer was put to every weather test imaginable on this trip (see point #1 above): extreme wind, extreme rain, snow, hail, blazing hot and freezing cold temperatures. Aaron’s job got me through all of it with no leaks!
- RVing is EXPENSIVE! Don’t believe all the hype about being the cheapest way to travel. Especially with today’s fuel prices. However, if you balance travel days with periods of staying in one place, it’s manageable.
- Campgrounds have also gotten ridiculously expensive. But if you use options as I talk about below, you can avoid them for the most part.
- It takes a while to find your “on-the-road rhythm” but it all gets easier and more routine the longer you travel.
- Army Corps of Engineers Campgrounds are AWESOME! I stayed at quite a few ACE campgrounds across the country. Most had full hookups. All were in beautiful locations around lakes, rivers, and dams. All were extremely affordable even at full price, but with a National Parks pass they are a steal. This is one of the best books on ACE parks.
- Harvests Hosts are also awesome. I stayed in and experienced so many unique places I would have otherwise never visited. I have yet to have a bad Harvest Hosts experience, but my favorite of all was South Dakota’s Porter Sculpture Park. Learn more about Harvest Hosts here.
- Moochdocking with friends is also amazing. I was able to reconnect with old friends all over the country on this trip. I also got to meet some social media friends in person. We all had tons of fun and created memories to last a lifetime.
- On a long trip like this, especially if you are working while on the road, it’s important to balance time with friends with alone time in order to have time to accomplish what you need to do. When staying with friends you can easily fall into an “on vacation” mode.
- You will have bad days and problems. They are just part of RV life. Take a deep breath and continue on. Overall I was lucky during this trip, although Week#2 and Week #6 had me rethinking the entire idea and almost ready to head for home. Thankfully, despite early hardships, I continued on and ended strong.
Check out the ENTIRE long, long RV trip!
- Week 24: Eureka! Humboldt County Adventures
- Week 23: Propane danger; more Oregon explorations
- Week 22: Riverfront Camping in Portland, OR; Hood River Fruit Loop
- Week 21: Through Montana and Camping on the Oregon/Washington Border
- Week 20: Visiting Mt. Rushmore and Deadwood
- Week 19: Amazing and Amusing South Dakota Tourist Attractions
- Week 18: Three Minnesota Army Corps of Engineers Campgrounds
- Week 17: Three Great Minnesota Harvest Hosts Stops
- Week 16: Mississippi River Camping and Wisconsin Wines
- Week 15: Why you should avoid the PA Turnpike; Back to Chicago
- Week 14: The Urban RV in Baltimore and Atlantic City
- Week 13: Virginia Camping on a Civil War Battleground, Montpelier, Monticello, Fried Chicken and more!
- Week 12: Summersville Lake Camping – Almost Heaven in West Virginia
- Week 11: Ohio Turnpike Camping, Airstreams, Caverns, and Beer
- Week 10: Circus World, Wisconsin Dells, Gearing up to Go Again
- Week 9: Circus Graveyard; Taste of Chicago Festival
- Week 8: Iconic Chicago foods (get ready to drool); RV electrical issues
- Week 7: Moochdocking in the Chicago burbs; Re-evaluating this trip
- Week 6: An EXPLOSIVE tire blowout and an emotional goodbye
- Week 5: RVing in Kansas, and an amazing campground
- Week 4: Having fun on more Colorado explorations
- Week 3: RVing during Colorado’s surprise snow, and a castle!
- Week 2: Friday the 13th, road trip woes set in
- Week 1: RVing sites and attractions in Las Vegas and beyond