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Rethinking RV Travel

A recent study conducted by the RVIA discovered that “RV ownership has increased over 62% in the last twenty years.” In addition, when looking specifically at Millenials and Gen Zers, “84% of 18-to-34-year-olds [are] planning to buy another RV, with […] 78% preferring to buy a new model.”

Even with a slight slowdown, year-over-year, the RV industry is booming, and RV travel is increasing.

But that’s not necessarily positive information for people who have been traveling for years. Many are rethinking RV travel and considering what to do about their future. Let’s dive in!

Are RVers Rethinking Travel? 

With the current state of fuel prices, increased campground fees, and overcrowded destinations, some RVers are considering whether or not RV travel is the best way to see the country. When anyone has been traveling for an extended amount of time, it’s normal to rethink the lifestyle.

Even traveling can get monotonous. RV travel can also get old after years of setting up, tearing down, moving locations, etc.

So it’s not surprising that RVers are thinking about settling down or changing the way they travel.

Man drinking cup of coffee inside RV while planning trip on laptop
Now more than ever RVers are reconsidering how they travel.

What Makes Someone Rethink RV Travel?

Not only does the routine get old, but other factors may make someone rethink RV travel. The boom in the RV industry over the last couple of years has made many RVers consider leaving the lifestyle.

In prior years, they had no trouble making reservations or just showing up for an overnight stay somewhere. But times have changed, and even more people are hitting the road.

Overcrowded Campgrounds

Because there are millions of Americans booking campgrounds across the country, they’re staying full. Gone are the days of pulling up to the guard house and asking if anything was available for the night.

Many RVers don’t like to plan in advance; it’s one of the perks of the lifestyle to just be able to go somewhere on a whim. So, booking reservations months in advance is turning some RVers away from the lifestyle.

Gas Prices

As gas prices increase, more RVers are rethinking whether or not traveling is a good idea right now. A Class A motorhome may have a 100-gallon fuel tank. If the owner is filling up the tank at $5.00 per gallon, that’s $500 before the trip even begins.

Diesel prices are even higher. So, to save money, some RVers choose to stay home, not travel as often, or travel shorter distances.

Pro Tip: We took a closer look at whether or not Increasing Gas Prices Will Ruin It for Everyone.

Tired of Maintaining an RV

RV maintenance is similar to the monotony and routine that can get old after a while. It’s never-ending. RVers are constantly checking lug nuts, tightening screws, washing the roof, recaulking seals, and more. Staying on top of the regular maintenance schedule is tiring.

It can also be expensive. If something major has happened and an RV owner has had to put thousands of dollars into repairs, it’s no wonder they may be rethinking the lifestyle.

Engaging in Other Types of Travel

Some RVers still love the travel lifestyle but just want to go about it differently. Perhaps they want to switch to hopping from one Airbnb to the next. Or perhaps they want to go backpacking in Europe. They still have the travel bug but don’t want to do it in an RV anymore.

Engaging in other types of travel is a common reason RVers are rethinking RV travel.

Man making campfire while boondocking in camper van
With the cost of gas and campsites rising, one way to make RV travel more affordable is by boondocking.

How Do You Change How You Travel in an RV?

If you’re rethinking how you travel, there are a few ways to change it up without leaving the lifestyle altogether. These ideas can break up the monotony and save some money. Let’s take a closer look.

Consider Boondocking

Boondocking is free. There are no campground fees or reservations. If you’re looking to save money, this is a great option. It’s also a good option for RVers who don’t like to plan ahead and won’t be able to get into a campground at the last minute.

In addition, boondocking breaks up the day-to-day routine. You have to conserve water and energy. Boondocking can provide stunning views and allow RVers to really connect with nature. This style of travel may be the fix you need to do something different.

Pro Tip: Use these 22 RV Boondocking Tips to make your boondocking experience a success.

Travel Shorter Distances

Another way to save money and protect your rig from wear and tear is by traveling shorter distances. Traveling shorter distances saves on fuel, which saves money. It also doesn’t put the same stress on your RV that traveling six or seven hours does.

If you just drive an hour or so down the road, you’re protecting your rig from possible damage and reducing the bumps, holes, and rough terrain that hours of driving will bring. This means less money spent on repair and less time doing maintenance.

Rent an RV

If you still want to travel in an RV but just don’t want to do it in your RV, consider renting one. Maybe you have a travel trailer and would love to spend a few weeks in a Class B van. Changing the environment and doing something new will help generate excitement that perhaps you’ve lost over the years.

Or maybe you have a 40-foot Class A motorhome and want to see if your family can survive in a 35-foot Class C instead. There will be new challenges, but changing the rig itself may reignite a passion for travel.

Buy an Extended Warranty

Another way to save money is to buy an extended warranty. You’ll still have to conduct regular maintenance, but if something major should happen, you won’t feel trapped with an enormous repair bill. An extended warranty can bring peace of mind, and less stress is always better.

Just make sure you do your homework and choose the best warranty for your rig and travel style. Know what is and isn’t covered.

Get a Camping Membership

Finally, if you want to change how you travel, check into camping memberships. Coast to Coast, RPI, Travel Resorts of America, Thousand Trails, and more membership options can help RVers save money in the long run.

You may have to pay a big chunk up front, but if you plan on camping for years to come, it’s one of the best ways to save money on nightly fees.

For example, with a Thousand Trails membership, your booking window will be longer than someone else who doesn’t have a membership.

This reduces the chances of not getting a reservation because you’ll be able to book before other campers. Also, instead of paying $50 to $75 per night, you’ll stay for free and be able to hop around from one Thousand Trails campground to the other.

Little boy looking out RV window
RVing full time with a family can be really hard to maintain.

Why Do Full-Time RVers Quit RV Life? 

It’s not surprising that some full-time RVers leave the RV lifestyle. It’s hard work to maintain an RV, plan travel routes, book campgrounds, and research locations. The planning and prepping part of the lifestyle can wear travelers out. Plus, the lifestyle doesn’t always save people money. RVing can be more expensive than living in a house depending on where you go, how long you stay, and what you do while you’re there.

Some RVers have not enjoyed the growing number of new travelers either. Their favorite boondocking locations are now full of other campers. Their secret hiking trails are now flooded with new foot traffic. How they used to travel has changed, and because of that, they think it’s time for a break.

Are You Rethinking RV Travel? 

RV travel has changed. Campgrounds are overcrowded, fuel prices are soaring, and RV maintenance never ends. But there are some ways to embrace change and shake up the way you travel if you’re not ready to quit the lifestyle. Consider staying in other types of locations, reducing the distance you travel, and buying a camping membership. Not only will it help break up the routine, but it will help you save money, too!

So what about you? Have you started rethinking RV travel? What types of changes have you made? Tell us in the comments!

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