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RVs are great for other things besides camping

| Updated Jan 29, 2018

One of the most surprising discoveries over our near six years of traveling across the country in our Roadtrek motorhome is how many other uses there are for an RV besides camping.

Let me give you some examples.

A while back, as we drove down to Georgia to visit my son and his family, we brought our coach to a grandson’s soccer tournament. It was one of those weekend-long events, with a series of games played over several days.

Those are entire family affairs. Mom and Dad, grandparents and little brothers and sisters are packed up and are in it for the duration, with long hours between games in which there aren’t a lot of things to do to help the time pass faster.

Our motorcoach, though, was a kid-magnet, especially when two of my grandsons told their friends that grandpa’s motorhome had a bathroom, food, a DVD player and a place to charge the deleted batteries of their assorted iPods, iPads and video game players.

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Kids love to hang out in RVs! My grandsons Matthew (left front row) and Jacob (right back row) were joined by their pals at a soccer tournament in taking over our Roadtrek between games

The kids loved it. They sprawled all over the coach, watching movies, hanging out and, naturally, eating. I made four bags of popcorn, which were instantly consumed almost as soon as they came out of the microwave. They guzzled down pretty much a case of bottled water and devoured every snack food, cracker and cookie that we had packed for a trip to Florida we were heading to as soon as the tournament ended.

Our dog loved the attention, getting pretty much non-stop pets from kids – his favorite type of human.

Several Moms and Dads from the team also poked their heads inside and were duly impressed by how many conveniences we had in our little motorhome. But I think what they liked most about it was they knew where their kids were.

Me? I had a ball being the unofficial weekend babysitter of every bored little brother and sister. After all, kids are my favorite type of humans, too

When I later talked aboutr about it on our Facebook Roadtreking Group, I heard from other motorhome owners who had stories about other ways they use their RVs.

At the same time I was babysitting the kids at the soccer tournament, Charles, of Sylvester, GA had his  Coachman Freelander in the parking lot of Palymyra Hospital in Albany, GA.. His wife was in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital after suffering a minor stroke. Fortunately, she suffered no serious side effects and was discharged after a weekend of observation and treatment.

“Instead of making the 65-mile round trip from home to walk the dog, I had her in the RV,” he said. “I just had to go out to the hospital parking lot to walk her, have a snack, and have a familiar, comfortable bed.” The hospital had no problems with him temporarily staying in his coach as his wife was being treated.

I also heard from a reader named Allison who had just used her Class B Roadtrek during another time of family stress.

“We used the Roadtrek last week for a hangout place at a family funeral,” she posted. “It gave Mom, age 93, a napping place between visiting hours. This was very helpful during an emotional event.”

Lots of RVers use their units as extra bedrooms when friends and family arrive. Janine, of Ridgway, PA says “ours makes a nice summer retreat for our daughter and grandson's when they visit. It gives them a little space of their own.”

Lorraine, from Toledo, Ohio says her RV provides “an extra oven when cooking for a crowd or holiday meals.”

And Gabe, from Olympia, WA found his motorhome was a welcome sanctuary. “When our daughter's family moved into my home for a couple of months, my RV was my new bedroom and quiet place. Love them all but I need a bit of alone time,” he said.

Peggy is a teacher in Sylvania, OH. She’s used her motorhome as a portable study hall where she could write lesson plans for her students without being bothered by the rest of her family. And in the summer, she says, she “loved having our RV for a mid-day break when we took the kids to Cedar Point, America's best roller coaster park. They had lunch, went swimming, changed, and went back to ride.”

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We parked our RV as a windbreak, letting us sit in the sand on the leeward side at the Gulf Islands National Seashore on a chilly day

RVers are major multitaskers with their motorhomes.

Jennifer and I a lot of time along the Emerald Coast of Florida’s panhandle. The weather this time of year is usually beautiful,  but noticeabley more chilly than Southern Florida. That cold can be made even worse by stiff northerly winds. At the Gulf Islands National Seashore just west of Fort Walton Beach, we have been known to drive our unit to what has to be the most beautiful stretch of beach we have ever found.

Parking right next to the sugary white sand, our little motorhome serves as a day-long wind break. We can put out our beach chairs and, lounging in the lee of the motorhome, soak in all that sunshine without the wind.

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My mobile fishing camp on Choctawhatchee Bay

On another cool winter's morning down there, i well remember sitting sitting in my motorhome, parked on Okaloosa Island in Florida, literally 10 feet the 27-mile long Choctawhatchee Bay.  It’s was half hour past sunrise and too cold yet to comfortably sit at my computer outside. There were white caps on the bay.  My fishing pole, though, wass propped up against a low fence right outside my window and I had to stop writing a couple of times to go check the bait.

On one of those checks, there was a 14-inch sea trout on the hook.

How have you used your RV…besides camping? Use the comments below.





Mike Wendland

Published on 2018-01-29

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.

One Response to “RVs are great for other things besides camping”

January 30, 2018at3:08 am, Bobbie said:

When we had our Class C, we used it for a couple of non-camping activities.

One year, we were doing voter registration and used the RV at community events. Instead of using an event “pop up” tent, we put out the RV awning, hung a big “voter registration” sign, set up a table and chairs and helped folks register to vote.

Another year, we used the RV to follow and support a statewide candidate, who was on a marathon campaign walk in a very remote area of the state. He was able to take breaks and have snacks in the RV, then continue his walk.

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