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RVing in Hawaii: Not very common

| Updated Apr 12, 2013

RVing is a huge pastime across the U.S. in 49 of the 50 states.

Chilling out at one of Hawaii's state parks on the island of Oahu.The one state where RVs are very hard to find is perhaps the most beautiful state: Hawaii

There just is not a big RV presence there. One exception is Al Waterson, a popular entertainer, singer and actor who tools around the island of Oahu in a 1995 Roadtrek 190 Versatile Class B motorhome. Ah this is the life!  Nothing like pulling up to my favorite beach in my Roadtrek, and watching my favorite video...""!

“On the mainland of course, there are thousands of RV’s, but out here, they’re as scarce as Edsel’s at the Roadtrek factory in Kitchener (Ontario, Canada),” says Waterson, who uses his RV as a dressing room when he's shooting a movie or TV show or getting read to perform as a singer or emcee at an event. “I always get a kick out of people curious about my ‘trek and where I bought it. And when they ask what’s inside and I show them, they’re so shocked and amazed with all the space and amenities.”

Although there a a couple of places that rent small camper vans in the islands, full-fledged Class A, B or C motorhomes are seldom seen. That's because there are no RV parks with hookups as there are in other states. Tourism in Hawaii is a huge industry and the hotel and tourism folks want tourists filling rooms and condos, not RV parks. Hawaii has lots of parks and scenic pull overs. But not for overnight camping.

looking for the rallyWaterson had many parts in the original Hawaii Five-0 series with Jack Lord and acted alongside Frank Sinatra in a Magnum P.I. episode. He also has held a principal role in the television show North Shore. And he stars as Detective Al Fadog (say it out loud as one word), a TV show about a pet detective who helps find lost fadog holding badge

With his wife, Nancy, Waterson also uses his coach as an RV. While he doesn't camp overnight in it, he notes that, “as you can guess, every beach front out here becomes our own private restaurant with a view.”

For fun, he sent me a bunch of photos of he and his Roadtrek in action. He loves Hawaii but misses driving the wide open spaces of the mainland, as he did when he lived in the Midwest for several years. One of his photos is a spoof, pretending to be looking for Branson. Branson, MO is where the big Roadtrek rally will take place in May.

When I wrote on Facebook that I had heard from Waterson in Hawaii and that he may be the only RV owner in Hawaii, I heard from Bobbi Braun, who said she and husband, Carl,  used to live in Hawaii and knew of a couple of other Class B RVs there.

The couple purchased a 2007 Roadtrek  and now fulltime in in on the mainland. But while they lived in Hawaii, she said “I know of two (Roadtreks) in Kona on the Big Island. One belongs to the family that owns (a restaurant) in Kailua Kona. They use it when they visit their family in Hilo and the other belongs to a lady who moved there in 2007 from Washington believing that she could use it around the Island.”

Are there more RVs there? I don't know.

But when Jennifer saw me writing this post, she said she thinks we need to go over there and investigate first hand.

Waterson has already offered to show us around.

Sounds like a great idea to me

 (Photos sent by Al Waterson)


Mike Wendland

Published on 2013-04-12

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

2 Responses to “RVing in Hawaii: Not very common”

May 30, 2013at11:28 pm, Aleshia Clarke said:

It would be amazing to RV in Hawaii – maybe someday we will!

May 06, 2013at11:06 pm, Jason said:

It’s true! I’ve seen 4 Roadtreks on Oahu, 3 190’s (one mine) and a 200.

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