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Could you get away from it all in an RV?

Spring is quickly disappearing into summer, and I am again caught off guard by the approaching end of the school year.

All around me, I hear conversations of summer plans.  People are booking time off, renting cottages, flying to visit family or planning restful days by the pool or patio.  I’ll be honest, we’ve spent much of our vacation time over the years either moving, preparing for a move, or just relaxing around home.  We stay busy enough that there is great relief in time to relax, time to stop rushing and time to just enjoy the life and home we have built around us.

But then, as time goes on, we realize that time off spent in the home we occupy every day can get lost in real life very easily, especially now that we have children.  Before kids, we might have had lazy mornings to stay in bed catching up on sleep.  We might have had coffee while reading the newspaper on the deck, and drifted through afternoons of sun, rest and the occasional umbrella drink.  If you have kids, you know how far our reality is from that little daydream, yes?

So what to do? Last year we rented a chalet in Canmore, and spent our holidays exploring Banff, Canmore, and surrounding areas.  It was lovely, and I’ll admit we were tempted by discreet information showing chalets for sale on the property but as we come to realize how many places we would like to visit, we start to wonder – could we ever choose just one?  And in fact, as we drove and explored, we came to realize someday it might be easier to keep travelling rather than staying in one central location.

And then the discussion rises once again.  Would we ever consider an RV or camper?  Could we be that family?  I know plenty of families who own campers and who head out every summer to enjoy their holidays in a favourite campground, or to tour around areas they want to explore.  They all enjoy it, come back with great stories, and there are campers aplenty available new, or used if you want the best deal.

Hmm…could I, would I?  Best way is just to go looking myself, so here are a few currently for sale on Used.

It would be easy to start with something like this:

And then perhaps move up to something more like this one:

Okay, I probably would start with that second one, if we’re being honest.  I have bear issues. Yes, I know people sleep in tents, in the woods and live to tell about it.  I, however, want a metal wall and door between me and any part of nature that comes with teeth and claws.  I adore bears…just not, you know, hugging me through canvas.

And then, what about the truly glorious hotel room on wheels, the epitome of “glamping” aka glamourous camping:

I’ll admit I can see the appeal.  I hate packing for air travel, and love the idea of travelling without relying on hotels.  With two young kids, a holiday with plenty of outdoor play and fresh air sounds just about perfect.

But I’ll admit, though we discuss it, and I do browse the used sections, I still am not quite there in my head.  I look at ads, floor plans and photos and try to figure out where to put my kids.  Then I think of the families I know with three children and think, where is everybody going to sleep?  One actual bed means my three year old sleeping out on a makeshift bed in the middle – what’s to keep her from wandering around, getting into things, opening a door?  And honestly, I have two kids under the age of eight – where do I put them when they are making me crazy?  How do I separate them if they need a little space?

Admittedly, these are the wanderings of a mind that hasn’t camped in twenty-five years.  Oh, I camped as a kid, but by age twelve we had purchased a cabin and now all the memories I can dredge up have two bedrooms, locking doors, and a bathroom.  There was always a little room to breathe, a little privacy.  There was a fridge, and a deck for eating and lounging.

And yet, adventures beckon.  The roads beckon.  And the freedom to just while away the hours and days in an RV will always make it into our conversations…

I obviously need guidance from those in the know.  Who camps?  Do you camp in an RV?  A fifth wheel?  Or do you prefer cottages, cabins, chalets and the like?  Strictly an airplane and five star hotel enthusiast?

Tell me how you’ll be travelling this summer, and why?

And if it’s in close quarters, how do you manage your kids?

Writer, editor, recovering chocoholic. Most often found writing, drinking coffee, and chasing kids. Find her on Twitter @littlemissmocha.

6 Responses to “Could you get away from it all in an RV?”


We camp all the time. We have a camperote like the second one. The key is to buy the right trailer. Ours has a big bed for me & hubs and then bunk beds & a couch that folds down. There are lots of trailers that have enough beds so no one has to sleep on the table. I think you should DEFINITELY buy one & come camping with us.


    Jen Taylor

    So the trick is to shop carefully, and look at beds. Hmm. Oh, and I’d love to camp with you!

June C

We started camping when our kids were babies. They grew up spending summers on the beach during the day and around a campfire in the evening. Admittedly, we didn’t “rough it”; a friend told us once, “You don’t camp. You relocate!” But we did get to spend quality time with our kids and family friends with everyone contributing to the food prep and clean-up. Our yard is 3 acres in size, so the idea of owning a cabin with another yard to care for did not appeal to me. We explored some lovely campgrounds in Saskatchewan and the kids, who are both adults now have fond memories of it. Unfortunately, it is difficult to just pack up and go now that camping is so popular. It seems if you have a particular location in mind you have to book your site in January or everything is reserved!
I loved our camper vacations but now that it is usually just my hubby and me, I am leaning toward the 5 star hotels more and more.


    Jen Taylor

    Ha! I think I’d fall under the “relocate” column as well. And you are so right about the two yards – when we got our cabin when I was a kid, it came with a move to a smaller home with a small yard. Only practical.

Big Daddy

My advice – go for it. My second advice is to buy your 3rd RV 1st. Many people start off in something like the popup you show above. They quickly outgrow it and get a bigger one – this can be a small travel trailer or a hybred (half trailer – half slide out tent trailer) then move to the one they really needed in the first place. Each time costs them money they could have invested in the 3rd trailer. With kids you need a trailer with a bunk house (you will usually see BH in the model number which makes it easier to search). Make sure that you do not exceed 80% of your tow vehicles tow rating with the trailer loaded not the empty weight. When you make your decision on what size RV to buy think about where everyone will be at night, eating or when it rains all day.


    Jen Taylor

    Thanks for your comment! You’ve offered some great perspective and advice in making a decision that will work over the long term. Always good to be practical when planning!

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