Monday, August 25, 2008

RV Travel is Inexpensive Overall

Camping in a tent or sleeping on the hard ground isn’t everyone’s idea of a meaningful experience with nature. Nowadays, a camping trip often means roughing it in a recreational vehicle. Many campers today are looking for something a little more comfy.
A motorhome, travel trailer, or other RV is like a small cabin on wheels, usually complete with stove, oven, refrigerator, shower, toilet, beds, heater and 12-volt electrical power. Smaller units may not have bathrooms or hot water. Some rigs, though, have lounge areas, air conditioners, bathtubs, microwave ovens, built-in color televisions and generators for extra power.
When asked why they like the RV lifestyle, RVers cite the convenience of cooking their own meals, sleeping in their own bed, and taking a hot shower at anyplace, any time, even in a remote campground. They also mention that with an RV they are always packed and ready-to-go.
Compared to automobile travel, where motorists eat at restaurants and sleep in motels, vacationing in a RV is economical. Gasoline and campsites are the major expense. Food costs the same as at home because you cook your own meals. Overnight accommodations are reasonable, usually from about $5 to $25 a night. A surprising number of public campgrounds are still free.
There is, of course, an initial investment. You don’t have to buy a palace on wheels to enjoy the RV lifestyle. In fact, the more you spend the more gadgets you get—and the more gadgets you get the more maintenance problems you have. Do you really need a doorbell that plays a hundred different tunes? Do you need a step that automatically comes down when you open the door? Shop hard and buy used. That’s my advice. There are plenty of people who have purchased a rig and found out they didn’t like the RV lifestyle. Their loss can be your gain. You can even rent a rig for a few weeks and try before you buy.
Camping can still be inexpensive depending on how fancy you want to get. We love to camp in National Forest campgrounds which are usually under $10 per night. Many small communities have free city and county parks often with full hookups.
Seniors can obtain a Golden Age Passport, which is a lifetime admission and discount pass for citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are age 62 or older. The pass is valid at National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and Tennessee Valley Authority sites with admission fees.
The Golden Age Passport also provides a 50% discount on federal use fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and specialized interpretive services.
If you are just making time and want a safe place to park for the night, try Walmart. Most stores allow overnight parking and provide around the clock lot security.
You will make a lot of new friends living this lifestyle. Expand your horizons!

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