Author Topic: Why rent an RV for a vacation?  (Read 9878 times)

COEE

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #50 on: October 26, 2017, 09:55:58 PM »
We used a pop-up trailer a lot as a kid.  I recall the whole trailer only being a $1300 or something.  Many can also be pulled by cars.  We pulled ours with a Olds Cutlass Sierra.  It takes a few minutes to setup - but less time than car/tent camping.  The beds are somewhat more comfortable.  We had a portable toilet we stashed in a storage compartment for late night use or camping when we didn't have access to toilets.  We used it for 4 or 5 years and dad sold it for about what he paid for it, but I still have fond memories of camping in Mexico and Arizona mostly.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2017, 12:28:59 AM »
RVing has always been my dream. I hope to do it sometime.

thinking back to when i had a 1 & 3 yr old -- the best trips we took were to ONE place that we would stay at for awhile. Like a condo in the mountains; or dessert, or a relatives house on the coast.  We would do occasional road trips from the condo, but always had that one place to come back to -- and would make dinner, swim, nap in the afternoons, and etc. Going from hotel to hotel, and traveling lots of miles was hard on the kiddos (and parents). 

you will have many years to do more adventurous vacations and trips. Road tripping is SO FUN with kids. We've been all over. But not when they were that age. Make a home-base in your sweet-zone and do day trips. (just my thoughts!)

Yeah, I'm leaning this way myself. All the detailed responses made me realize that attempting any kind of multi-day road trip with littles would not be fun. We're thinking of going someplace and renting a condo for a while.

researcher1

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #52 on: October 28, 2017, 05:22:44 AM »
Yeah, I'm leaning this way myself. All the detailed responses made me realize that attempting any kind of multi-day road trip with littles would not be fun. We're thinking of going someplace and renting a condo for a while.

Given the age of your kids and limited time, I agree with your idea to picking one place to stay instead of a long road trip.

However, I would strongly suggest using VRBO/Airbnb to rent a single family cabin/cottage instead of being stuck in a condo complex.
- This would allow your kids to play outside, run around, explore, roast smores, ect.
- Then after the kids go to bed, you and your husband can unwind by the fire, stream, hot tub, ect.

Find a place that isn't directly in the city center of wherever you plan to stay.
- If you are going to Nashville, look at Franklin / Leipers Fork
- For Smokey Mountains, try Townsend TN or Bryson City NC
- I'd also strongly suggest looking at the Asheville, NC area.

elaine amj

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #53 on: October 28, 2017, 06:52:34 AM »
Yeah, I'm leaning this way myself. All the detailed responses made me realize that attempting any kind of multi-day road trip with littles would not be fun. We're thinking of going someplace and renting a condo for a while.

Given the age of your kids and limited time, I agree with your idea to picking one place to stay instead of a long road trip.

However, I would strongly suggest using VRBO/Airbnb to rent a single family cabin/cottage instead of being stuck in a condo complex.
- This would allow your kids to play outside, run around, explore, roast smores, ect.
- Then after the kids go to bed, you and your husband can unwind by the fire, stream, hot tub, ect.

Find a place that isn't directly in the city center of wherever you plan to stay.
- If you are going to Nashville, look at Franklin / Leipers Fork
- For Smokey Mountains, try Townsend TN or Bryson City NC
- I'd also strongly suggest looking at the Asheville, NC area.
I don't know about some of the other places but man, the Smokies has cheap (gorgeous) cabins!! We rented a giant place on the Bryson City side that could sleep 12 and was very luxurious for under $100/night! And all the activities on that side of the park were super cheap. We had a fancypants vacation with a ton of normally expensive activities that I refuse to pay for (horseback riding, whitewater rafting, gem mining) for $1000 for the week for the 4 of us.

Anyway, hope you find an amazing vacation for you and your family, OP! So many ways to do it and so many amazing things to see.

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SnackDog

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #54 on: October 28, 2017, 11:48:44 AM »
Like most aspects of life, it pays to be as frugal as possible. Donít use the RV toilet except in emergencies. Donít use the RV water except sparingly. Eschew electric hookups and live off what little battery you have for an hour of light before bed. Trailers pulled by frugal tow vehicles make a lot more sense and have more flexibility than RVs. RVs have more convenience at times but at significant cost.

Find someone selling an RV on Craigslist and ask to trial it for a week for $500.  Borrow one from a family member. Imagine the sheer number of RVs which are idle at any given time in the US. They should be cheap as heck to rent.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2017, 05:16:27 AM »
I think I’d plan the destinations and then see what makes the most sense.  You might be able to rent cabins that are closer to or in the parks, but they usually book up far in advance.

I have two kids who are 2.5 and 6 months.  We still tent camp, but setting up and striking camp with the toddler is hard. It would be my preference to tent camp or rent cabins, but that may not be your preference and that’s okay.

Syonyk

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2017, 10:51:36 PM »
You simply aren't paying attention or looking closely if you haven't encountered a dirty hotel room.

One of my worst ideas ever: "Hey, a blacklight would be fun on a trip!"

Never.  EVER.  Turn on a blacklight in a hotel room.  It will tell stories you cannot forget.  Ew.  I mean, I don't even know how you get stains up that high on the wall!

Like most aspects of life, it pays to be as frugal as possible. Donít use the RV toilet except in emergencies. Donít use the RV water except sparingly. Eschew electric hookups and live off what little battery you have for an hour of light before bed. Trailers pulled by frugal tow vehicles make a lot more sense and have more flexibility than RVs. RVs have more convenience at times but at significant cost.

... seriously, what's wrong with dragging the drain line for a blackwater tank to the dump site?  I do not understand people's objection to this concept.

And "frugal tow vehicle," on this forum, probably means something towing twice it's rated towing capacity or more.  Pass?

sequoia

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #57 on: October 30, 2017, 01:26:49 PM »

One of my worst ideas ever: "Hey, a blacklight would be fun on a trip!"

Never.  EVER.  Turn on a blacklight in a hotel room.  It will tell stories you cannot forget.  Ew.  I mean, I don't even know how you get stains up that high on the wall!

LMAO. My wife thought about bringing blacklight. I told her not to, exactly because of this. Ignorance is bliss...

boarder42

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #58 on: October 30, 2017, 02:23:52 PM »
You simply aren't paying attention or looking closely if you haven't encountered a dirty hotel room.

One of my worst ideas ever: "Hey, a blacklight would be fun on a trip!"

Never.  EVER.  Turn on a blacklight in a hotel room.  It will tell stories you cannot forget.  Ew.  I mean, I don't even know how you get stains up that high on the wall!

Like most aspects of life, it pays to be as frugal as possible. Donít use the RV toilet except in emergencies. Donít use the RV water except sparingly. Eschew electric hookups and live off what little battery you have for an hour of light before bed. Trailers pulled by frugal tow vehicles make a lot more sense and have more flexibility than RVs. RVs have more convenience at times but at significant cost.

... seriously, what's wrong with dragging the drain line for a blackwater tank to the dump site?  I do not understand people's objection to this concept.

And "frugal tow vehicle," on this forum, probably means something towing twice it's rated towing capacity or more.  Pass?

there are very few things that can be done with a "frugal tow vehicle" in my research into this its better to tow a fuel efficient car behind a class C than try to figure out how to tow a popup with a prius.

avrex

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #59 on: October 30, 2017, 03:39:30 PM »
My general thoughts on RVs / Travel Trailers

Vacation.  Time frame: Two weeks.
For many vacations, my wife and I have car/tent camped in national/state parks.  We've always enjoyed this type of vacation.
Renting (or owning) an RV for just a short trip is probably not cost effective.  However, regardless of the high rental cost, it would make sense to rent an RV at least one time, just to determine if you actually enjoy this mode of transport/accommodation.  A few years ago, we found a 'repositioning deal' on an RV.  We loved it.  This helped us determine that once we reached FIRE we would enjoy....

Slow Travel.  Time frame: Months.
When you reach FIRE and have many months available for slow travel, then purchasing an RV would be very cost effective.

boarder42

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #60 on: October 31, 2017, 12:49:54 PM »
My general thoughts on RVs / Travel Trailers

Vacation.  Time frame: Two weeks.
For many vacations, my wife and I have car/tent camped in national/state parks.  We've always enjoyed this type of vacation.
Renting (or owning) an RV for just a short trip is probably not cost effective.  However, regardless of the high rental cost, it would make sense to rent an RV at least one time, just to determine if you actually enjoy this mode of transport/accommodation.  A few years ago, we found a 'repositioning deal' on an RV.  We loved it.  This helped us determine that once we reached FIRE we would enjoy....

Slow Travel.  Time frame: Months.
When you reach FIRE and have many months available for slow travel, then purchasing an RV would be very cost effective.

you dont have to search far for repositioning deals they are frequently available on cruise america.

MrsPete

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #61 on: October 31, 2017, 02:21:39 PM »
You seem to be confusing YOUR vacation with the trip the OP asked about... 
- The OP wanted to take a road trip to see several national parks with 2 young toddlers.
- They plan to rent an RV...OR...in a small car and stay in Motel 6's.
The OP said that's where he or she stayed as a child -- not that this vacation would be either an RV or that specific brand.  I'm under the impression the OP's looking for ideas -- not that he or she is married to Motel 6. 

How far of a drive is it from Yosemite valley, Grand Canyon, or Zion to the closest Motel 6?  The answer is 2+ hours round trip.
I haven't been to Yosemite, but hotels (not necessarily Motel 6) are absolutely available near Grand Canyon and Zion; in fact, so many people stay in hotels just outside the Grand Canyon /South Rim that they no longer allow private cars to enter the park -- they run buses.  Also, many of the parks rent cabins inside the park. 

How close are restaurants to these places?  Do you want to spend an hour at the end of a long day in a restaurant with 2 tired/cranky toddlers?  Do you rush out of a park to find a restaurant at a reasonable time for dinner?
Many national parks have restaurants inside their borders, restaurants exist very close to most parks, and it's easy to have dinner out of a cooler regardless of where you are. 

I don't know about some of the other places but man, the Smokies has cheap (gorgeous) cabins!!
Another thing that's growing in the Smokies area:  Glamping.  Platform tents or teepees with real beds, etc.  It might be a good choice for a family who wants to try camping but hasn't invested in tents and sleeping bags yet.

Like most aspects of life, it pays to be as frugal as possible. Donít use the RV toilet except in emergencies. Donít use the RV water except sparingly. Eschew electric hookups and live off what little battery you have for an hour of light before bed.
That makes perfect sense.  Walking to the bath house as often as possible means your RV needs "emptying" less often.


WSUCoug1994

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #62 on: November 01, 2017, 02:59:37 PM »
Although I have never rented one of these - I see them all the time particularly up and down the California Coast.

https://www.jucyusa.com/

It might be another option to consider.

ixtap

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #63 on: November 01, 2017, 03:37:11 PM »
Although I have never rented one of these - I see them all the time particularly up and down the California Coast.

https://www.jucyusa.com/

It might be another option to consider.

Now that would require you to use the campground toilets. I didn't realize they were capable of sleeping so many, though! I have only ever seen couples getting in and out of them.

We have pulled the trigger and made a reservation. Our costs will be shared between two couples, but we will still have to watch our budget in other areas because it is a pricey vacation for us.

Acastus

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #64 on: November 02, 2017, 01:18:22 PM »
Via my friends who RV camp:

An RV is perfect for those who want to get out into nature, but their body no longer wants to sleep on the cold, hard ground. plus cooking, chairs, awning, bath, etc. Not quite glamping, but way better than a tent.

avrex

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #65 on: November 02, 2017, 01:24:15 PM »
An RV is perfect for those who want to get out into nature, but their body no longer wants to sleep on the cold, hard ground.

Yep.  My wife and I have car/tent camped our whole lives.
We are in our 50s now.  I think it's now time to look for an RV and get off the cold, hard ground. :)

noplaceliketheroad

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #66 on: November 06, 2017, 12:27:29 PM »
Staying a month in various motel 6s or super 8s around the american southwest sounds more like hell than a vacation.

I spent close to a month at 2 different motel 6s while working on a low budget film shoot a couple hours outside of LA and I still have nightmares.

You have to pay for really crappy internet, the laundry rooms are disgusting, there were worms coming out of a hole in the closet, there was a foot print punched out of the shower pan which left a hole in the middle of the already tiny and hard to navigate shower, there were dark red splatters on the walls and ceiling (blood??), their towels felt like sandpaper, the bedding was hard, scratchy, and the bedspread was crusty. Brought my own bedding and pillows and slept on top of everything. Also had to wear flip flops in the shower. During our stay, a SWAT team showed up and had the motel surrounded for an hour while they raided a room.

Unless you're looking for some family drama and near constant fights with your spouse, avoid these kind of motels in the southwest. The only way I got through it was working 16+ hour days on set AND I'M STILL SCARRED 5 YEARS LATER

mm1970

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #67 on: November 06, 2017, 03:22:37 PM »
An RV is perfect for those who want to get out into nature, but their body no longer wants to sleep on the cold, hard ground.

Yep.  My wife and I have car/tent camped our whole lives.
We are in our 50s now.  I think it's now time to look for an RV and get off the cold, hard ground. :)

We are in our late 40s and instead of RV'ing we have "transitioned" into using cots.  Way better than sleeping on the ground.


Cashonda

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #68 on: November 12, 2017, 02:28:32 PM »
Hi! Ahhhh Love Hawaiíi!
Renting an RV or camper can be quite expensive indeed. And yes you need to add on the costs like gas and campground fees. Which can get crazy expensive! However as others have said there are advantages to having your house with you like cooking meals, familiar place to sleep, not having to drag your stuff in and out of random hotels. Indeed some of those motel 6 kinda places can be sketchy!! Some are really nice and have mini kitchens. Either way you probably wonít wake up to trees and birdsong and hikes on your doorstep .

But campgrounds in National parks can be crowded and expensive. Definitely check out the BLM and National Forest lands nearby the parks you plan to visit to see if they have campgrounds or allow RV dispersed camping often for free. Campendium is a great website with campsite reviews. Also check out Hipcamp.

Lots of people mentioned boondocking to save money and thatís awesome just make sure you understand the systems you are getting in the rental and how long you can be off grid. (ie is the fridge electric? How much water can you store and how fast do you use it etc)

Also as others mentioned you can look into companies like Outdoorsy and many others that might have better pricing for RV rentals. Check Jucy, RV share, escape campervans, Lost Campers, roamerica.

I think it really depends what you want out of your trip and how you prefer to travel. Also for me, I would not be comfortable driving a big huge vehicle so an RV would probably be a no go for me driving solo . But some are easier to maneuver than others.

Have fun on your trip! Sounds like it will be awesome no matter what!

englishteacheralex

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #69 on: November 24, 2017, 12:08:03 AM »
We're over the RV idea. BUT just saw this post over at the livingstingy blog:

http://livingstingy.blogspot.com/2017/10/camping-cabins.html

Anybody ever stayed in one of these? They look perfect.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Why rent an RV for a vacation?
« Reply #70 on: November 24, 2017, 11:25:46 AM »
We're over the RV idea. BUT just saw this post over at the livingstingy blog:

http://livingstingy.blogspot.com/2017/10/camping-cabins.html

Anybody ever stayed in one of these? They look perfect.

Yes, I have stayed often in such cabins. Sometimes a bigger one for a week, sometimes a smaller one for one or two nights. Often the bathroom and shower is elsewhere on the camping. But the luxury ones might have their own. They are often reasonably priced, have a kitchen where you can cook, bunk beds, a sitting room and a dining table. Camping should provide the nice surroundings. For children, find a camping at a lake or with a swimming pool amd a playground.