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Wrapping up the long, long RV trip: Final thoughts and takeaways

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!

##RVT1080

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pursuits
2 months ago

Well said, Cheri!

I would add that Harvest Hosts, like many other “membership” groups, is getting harder and harder to find an opening. To be expected, I guess, with more and more campers looking for cheap camping. Hopefully more businesses/hosts will join to provide for the additional campers coming on board.

Bob M
2 months ago

I don’t believe the modern definition of climate change. The weather has changed for centuries than eventually comes back to what we think is normal. RVing is expensive, especially with politics presently causing fuel prices to go up. My trip this summer would have cost me half three years ago for gas. I agree we are more divided than ever, but their are also good people in this world.

Kirk
2 months ago

Lol.. we had bad weather… climate change.

No doubt climate change is real but weather is not climate.

Spike
2 months ago

Cheri…thank you for putting down these final thoughts! All of them were excellent observations.

Donald N Wright
2 months ago

I hope you write an instruction book. I would like to follow your trail someday soon.

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