Say “recreational vehicle” and some people think of tailgating while others think of retirees taking to the open road. Others will point to an RV demographic that is as wide open as the roads they travel. As a way to experience personal growth while seeing more of the world, it is interesting to hear from those who are living the dream with recreational vehicles.
Carin Ponder and her family use their RV to go camping, but also to relax and get away from everyday stress. Before owning an RV, Carin and her family showed horses, but decided they wanted to be able to travel and see more without tending to horses.
“We absolutely love it,” says Carin of the RV they have owned for about 10 months now. “It’s the best thing we’ve ever bought.”
The RV has become a way for the Ponders to simply enjoy life and focus on family. Carin recalls their first camping trip, saying the weather was absolutely awful. Freezing cold and rainy, it was every Texan’s nightmare. Regardless, Carin says she, her husband, and 12-year-old son all had a great time. They played card games and board games, and most of all, enjoyed each other’s company.
For them, it’s not about an extravagant experience; it’s about being with each other and tuning out the rest of the busy world, says Carin. The Ponders’ son is also enjoying this new experience. His birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and what does he want to do? Go camping in the RV!
The Ponders try to go camping in their RV at least once a month, with spring and fall being Carin’s favorite times to go. In August, they take the RV in to have maintenance and repairs done, as August is not exactly great camping weather. Carin says they live quite sustainably on the trailer and do not generate much trash.
They use everything on their trailer, including the shower and the toilet, about which Carin admits is a dirty side to keeping up with the trailer. Maintaining the RV is not difficult, and is worth the upkeep to keep the trailer in perfect condition for years to come.
“The trick,” Carin reveals, “is to keep it simple.” In other words, the most fancy trailer, although appealing, is not always the best option. Concentrating on the adventure, rather than the means, is what makes the RV experience special, she says.
Paige Naumann, marketing coordinator for RV Source in Bryan, meets customers daily with different stories and travel desires. Some rent an RV for a few days for tailgating. Others are the adventurers, filled with wanderlust and a desire to see the United States. Families now account for as many RV owners as seniors, and the recent trend is sales to younger couples who have decided to take the plunge and buy an RV for exploring.
If you think RVs come in one shape and size and look like your grandfather’s camper from the ’60s, think again. There are different types of recreational vehicles, with the most popular being the bumper pull and the fifth wheel. According to Paige, the bumper pull is mostly used for shorter time spans of travel and activities like camping and hunting. This type of RVs attaches to the end of your pick-up truck, versus the fifth wheel, which attaches to the bed of a truck. Fifth wheel RVs are top of the line, designed for luxury and living. Similar to a small home, travelers can live in these for months at a time while traveling.
If you’re worried about leaving your larger animals at home or need them while you’re on the road, there are even RVs with a place for them, too. Horse trailers can have stalls at the back of the trailer with living quarters up front.
Sometimes it is tailgating. Sometimes it is transporting animals. Sometimes it is all about a dream to see what’s out there. If you fancy the idea and the opportunity arises, go ahead and take that drive.