Yesterday I talked about being at Prude Ranch and meeting Osa. As I wrote that story, I thought of a few other tips I could share with anyone thinking about RVing.
Michael and I began to travel by RV when he was traveling a lot for his job. The last thing he wanted to do when he got home from the airport was to get on another plane. Eating at restaurants was another thing not high on his time off to-do list. Throw into that equation the fact we had dogs at home, investing in an RV made a lot of sense to us. With our home away from home on wheels, we could spend time off together, fix and eat our own food, and splurge on some very nice bottles of wine.
When we started down the path of being full-time RVers, we learned some dos and don’ts of the road. These are a few of the most poignant ones.
Be aware of popular events going on in the area you will be visiting. Our full-time adventure began the last part of September. We’d planned on going to Sante Fe for a few days on our way to Carlsbad Caverns. Even though Michael is a balloon pilot, he forgot the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta begins the first weekend in October. When we tried to get a spot in one of our favorite parks, they were full. Every park around that area was full except for one park. They had one spot left. As we parked, we understood why this spot was open. We were on a little peninsula between the propane filling tank, the dump station, and the trash. It was a long three days in Santa Fe. Two big lessons learned on this leg of the trip. Plan way ahead and question the area around your camping site.
From Santa Fe, we traveled to Carlsbad, New Mexico. We’d made reservations at a campground there well in advance. We’d read the reviews and looked at the posted pictures. There were not many reviews or pictures–something we learned to see as a huge red flag. It was a long and hot trip to this rather isolated part of New Mexico. I went in to pay for our stay while he waited with the dogs. As we drove down to the campground, what we saw was not at all what we’d expected. We parked and set up our site but decided we’d stay only long enough to see the Caverns. When we went up to tell the desk that we would not be there for our full stay, we learned they did not do refunds. As you can see by the attached photo, it was not a place where you wanted to spend a lot of time. Our lesson from this experience was to investigate the park BEFORE you pay. We would have had to pay a cancellation fee, but that would have been much less expensive than what our full week ended up costing us.
Living and exploring our beautiful country by RV is a priceless experience. We’ve met some of the most wonderful people on our journies. When we began our adventures, I kept a journal, making notes about all the people we met and the experiences we had at each stop. My last bit of advice for you is to start your own journal. As I look at that little spiral notebook and read the entries we both made of those early days, I am so thankful we have that bit of recorded history of so many unexpected discoveries and joys.
Love and peace, Y’all.