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What do you think when you imagine six months on the open road in a RV with most of the luxuries of home. If you’re like my husband and I, you probably imagine yourself booking perhaps your first camping spot or two and then letting the road take you where it will and booking spots as you go.
The Little Known Truth About The RV Life: And How It Cost Us A Month Of Our Trip
If that is you, let me tell you–you are dead wrong! We found this out the H.A.R.D. way very recently and it has cost us dearly.
We were planning on leaving for our 6 month RV trip with our 20 year old son, 16 year old son and 14 year old daughter shortly before Christmas of this year–that is, until we sat down a few weeks ago to rough draft our route and book a few camping spots for the first leg of our trip.
We thought we would keep things to a 2 hour relaxing planning session while we watched some TV and snuggled on the couch. Instead it ended up being an all afternoon and into a late, TV off, voices raised, nightmare of an evening.
There was even a “let’s walk this out a while” 30 minute walk thrown in there.
You see, it turns out my husband and I are a bit clueless. We thought that RVers were a laid back, B-personality pack like we are. Turns out they are type A personality planners. The slogan should not be “Happy Wanderers” it should be “Happy Planners Who Map Out And Book Everything Months In Advance–Leaving No Spaces For The Wanderers!” Seriously, I’m not kidding.
We had read to book Florida early, we thought 5 months out was early! What we learned is that state parks in Florida and many other states for that matter, start taking reservations 11 months in advance and people do book that early–a lot of people.
Enough people, in fact, that we could only get a spot there for a night and then another spot there for a night. Doesn’t sound too bad until you start figuring out the distance between the two parks and realize it is a good two days drive in between them.
Book a private campground you say? We did look into those but discovered many wanted as much as $100 a night or more and our nightly budget for the trip was $50. I thought I had this problem solved by buying a discount camping card only to discover they had black out dates during the times we wanted to book sites.
At one point of the evening I threw my hands up in the air and said, “Let’s just book some plane tickets to Universal Studios and then later to your parents and give up on this crazy RV trip idea of ours.” That is when taking a walk was suggested by my–only slightly calmer–husband.
Our New RV Trip Plan
During the walk we decided if we cut off lower Florida, which seemed to be the most packed, we could leave a month later and that would take the strain off our budget and allow us to book the more expensive private campgrounds on the way when needed.
Refreshed from the walk, we set to mapping out our new plan and it worked! We found spots in North Carolina, spots in Georgia, a week on the upper east coast of Florida, 3 days near Universal studios (private spot) and a week on the upper west coast of Florida. We booked them all right then.
In the following weeks we have booked New Orleans and have begun booking in Texas. Our plan is to hold a planning session of one to two hours almost every weekend until we have the entire trip booked.
The only time we will stray from this plan is when the 6 months out date hits for our arrival in California. We are a bit scared their state parks will fill up just as fast as Florida so we plan ti spend as long as needed the day our dates open up for booking there.
We have learned our lesson and we are planning on beating the type A personality planners (who cloak themselves as wanderers) at their own game. I guess the laid back part of RV living begins when you hit the open road with a fully booked itinerary in hand–who knew!
Read more about our upcoming trip:
- Swapping A Practical Goal For A Crazy One
- 3 Adults, 2 Teenagers in 3oo Square Feet for 6 Months. (Make that 5 months now 🙂 )
And If You Love To Camp:
- 10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Camping
- How To Keep Children Busy While Camping In The Rain
- What To Pack When Camping With Children
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