Shortly after moving to Connecticut from California in 2017, my husband, Cameron, and I fulfilled a longtime dream of ours - we bought a travel trailer!
We’ve since taken our rig all along the east coast, from the tops of Acadia in Maine down to the Florida Keys. It's created more room for us to enjoy the simple things like riding our bikes, sitting by campfires, and living with less. We've loved it -- so we decided to take a big leap: an epic three-month trip across the United States.
We packed up all the things -- work essentials, some good cookware, our best pillows, etc. -- and took off. The trip started off by heading down to Florida, where it was warm, and then west through the southern route to California. There were stops along the way, of course, including Charleston, Savannah, West Palm Beach, New Orleans, Austin, Tucson, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Zion National Park, Boulder, Santa Fe, and more. It was cool to escape the cold and a thrill to wake up to new scenery each week. The most notable challenge wasn't finding a good wireless signal, as you might think, but finding campsites at the last minute -- it seems this kind of journey has become more popular since the pandemic.
Something we've treasured most about this experience is arriving in California to be with our family while having everything we need right there with us, including our dogs.
Buying your first RV or travel trailer? Here are a few quick tips:
- Do your research! Visit at least a few dealers and explore your options -- walk through different rigs to get an idea of what'll work best for you and your family. For instance, we wanted wanted big windows. Once you've settled on one, ask for an in-depth tour of the rig and what are (and are not!) its capabilities.
- The internet is your friend. The number of YouTube videos we've had to watch to understand "how-to" seems endless. We're constantly figuring things out as we go and mostly through trial-and-error. A great example of this was learning how to get the rig off-grid ready for working in the middle of the desert. We pulled it off while not having much of a clue going into it. Trust us - if we can do it, anyone can.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. Everyone remembers their first trip and learning to set up the rig is tricky at first -- we've yet to land anywhere where the community wasn't delighted to lend a helping hand.
- Be prepared for some dirt. Though an RV feels like a hotel on wheels, you’re still camping! You'll most likely be outside a lot more than usual and with that comes a dusty camper. The good news is it's a small space and easy to clean!
- Bring only the necessities. I'm personally still working on this one as I love to pack all my favorite outfits! But I rarely wear all that I pack. The best advice I can give is to be prepared for a little of everything. Bring a rain jacket (I don't know why but it always seems to rain at least once!), some weatherproof shoes, and of course, sunscreen and bug repellant!
Being outdoors is good for the soul and is a positive experience for our family. We’ve learned we don't need much to be happy, and that there's something mesmerizing about that open road…