This year, summer vacation season is luckily and definitely not cancelled! However, for the airplane weary or skeptical, there is a tried and true means of getting to your favorite destination this summer and no, it’s not your SUV. It’s even bigger and better: a Recreational Vehicle aka RV. Now that humans know how to get to Mars, we can relax and focus on what we all need – a fun and reliable way to get from Point A to Point E, while being able to comfortably stop at Points B, C, and D, making memories along the way.
While you may think RV’s are a 70’s by-product, they’ve been around longer than your grandmother. One of the earliest stories of the Motorhome was 1915, when the Conklin family customized a transportation vehicle to take their family from New York to Los Angeles. The trend caught on. Americans needed a way to enjoy modern comforts and feel like they were escaping the everyday routine and enjoying nature.
Sorry BMW owners but RVs are another type of ultimate driving machine. First, they have powerful engines – an average of 350 horsepower and 455 lbs of torque. But the real fun happens in the back! Even before Tiny House Nation, RV designers knew a thing or two about maximizing every square inch of an area and making it feel like home. From marble countertops to a gas fireplace and a cherry dining room set, RV’s can be outfitted for anyone on any budget. They can be a short-term vacation destination or a permanent home. Now, RV’s come in many classes, sizes, and types from the ones you can hitch to the back of your car, to a complete Motorhomes, more suitable for a multi-week stay. The key is to find the right one for you.
Just like motels and hotels differ by amenities, RV’s come in all sizes and embellishments. To own one of these bad boys, expect to pay around $300K. But if you’re just looking to take the kids for week long getaway, you’ll expect to pay $150-$250 night and that doesn’t include tax, security deposit, and other special features. Throw in Wifi, satellite, extra gas, and who knows what else and you’re looking at $1600/ week, not including the cost of overnight parking in some areas. Compare that with a weeklong hotel stay at your local Courtyard Marriott, and your costs may in fact come out higher with an RV.
So why is this my favorite hospitality trend this summer? Well, for me it’s all about the details of the experience. Since an RV is not just part of your journey, it’s part of your destination. It’s a moving memory generator filled with unforgettable moments (for better or worse) and lots of fresh air! I love the fact that you can stop in remote places you would have never stumbled across in an airplane or train and don’t have a one suitcase limit. I also love that you don’t have to worry about cancelling reservations or late check-outs, or getting ripped off by the mini-bar. Even if you go to a nature area, unlike camping in a tent, you can rest assured that you’re not going to get eaten by bears or get caught in a downpour.
While I’m dying to get back on a plane, I’m yearning for a scenic RV vacation right now to bridge my pre-Covid and post-Covid lifestyle. Top of mind for stops are Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. Hope to see you on the road!