There’s no denying that in the past year, interest in RV travel – whether in a deluxe 40-foot model, a converted van, a “Skoolie,” (a transformed school bus), or a tow-along trailer – has exploded. And why not? In a world that practically shut down last year, getting out in the great outdoors had enormous appeal, and still does.
RV shipments were up 39% in January 2021, compared to January 2020, according to a report by the RV Industry Association. Another interesting fact: 51% of RV owners are between 18-54 years old.
Anecdotally, I can attest to this trend, because I’m part of it. Last June, I bought a used travel trailer, having only seen it via video, almost on the spot. And I don’t regret it one bit. My little 13-foot 1981 Scamp has allowed me to travel during the pandemic in a way that makes me feel safe. Though tiny, it is mighty, with a sink, stovetop, heat, refrigerator, lights and room for three. Having purchased a privacy tent, a solar shower and a camp toilet setup, my family can be mobile and completely self-contained.
We aren’t new to camping; we’ve just used tents until now. Having a solid roof, a comfy off-the-ground bed and an indoor stove, is pure luxury to us. We’ve camped in Plymouth, Mass., Cape Cod and the Berkshires so far, respecting state travel restrictions and learning as we go: how to hook up the water and electric, back up into a tight space, check the propane and more. Maybe my curtain-making skills aren’t that great, but they do the job. And my husband, our household chef, is thrilled to have a fridge. No more endless runs to buy ice.
Countless RV groups and YouTube videos have been enormously useful. That’s how I learned to make no-sew curtains and discovered a foolproof way to back up the Scamp called the “scoop.” It’s already been an adventure for us, and we’ve hardly gone anywhere. I can’t wait to explore further afield!
Prefer to Test the Waters?
If renting and driving an RV seems too daunting (let alone purchasing one!), there are creative ways to get a taste of an RV vacation. Outdoorsy is a company that works like Airbnb, but with RVs instead of rooms or houses. You can book one you like and even have it delivered to the campground of your choice. AutoCamp Cape Cod just opened this spring, with luxurious Airstreams, fancy tents and tiny houses all decked out. Many campgrounds also offer RVs for rent. Sites like GoRVing, The Dyrt, Harvest Hosts and others are also great places to get advice and information.
AAA members can save at AAA.com/discounts.