RV camping is a unique way to experience the outdoors. We were tent campers for years before we bought our RV. I have always enjoyed any kind of camping. Spending time outdoors, especially in the evenings, around a camp fire, is a special experience whether you are in a tent, in camping trailers, or just sleeping out under the stars. Camping is great!
The major difference between tent camping and rv camping can be summed up in two words, climate control. With an RV, you can spend an entire day and evening outside, enjoying nature, and when it is time to go to bed, you have air conditioning and a soft bed to sleep in.
Since we have owned our travel trailer, we have experienced three types of camping in Texas; RV Parks, State Parks, and my friend's back yard.
We generally stay in RV Parks when state parks are too far away. The camping sites in RV parks tend to be much closer together than the RV camping sites in state parks. They also tend to be a little more expensive. Be sure and use your Good Sam Club membership to get a discount at participating RV parks.
RV Parks definitely have some advantages over state parks. All of the RV parks that we have been to, have cable TV hookup, internet access, sewer, and laundry facilities. Most state parks don't have those amenities, although there are a few that do.
Texas state parks generally have larger campsites than RV parks and, when possible, are separated by patches of trees that provide a little more seclusion between you and your neighbor.
Camping in my friend's back yard was definitely different. I don't really consider it camping. In fact, when I think of camping, real camping, I think of backpacking in the mountains with all of my food, water, and shelter on my back. This trip was different, our RV provided a place for us to stay while we were visiting our friends. Sort of like a portable hotel room. It allowed us to have food and drinks into the late evening hours without having to worry about driving home afterwards.
We weren't ready to buy an RV when we started going to RV shows, but knew that we would buy one someday. My Tacoma was still new and I wasn't planning to sell it any time soon. I knew that it was perfectly capable of pulling pop up tent trailers and maybe even a small camping trailer like the Casita, but we wanted an RV that was slightly larger and would require a larger tow vehicle.
Choosing an RV to buy can be lots of fun, especially when you're not in a hurry. We went to RV shows for several years before we were ready to purchase our RV. At the RV shows, you can walk through a variety of camping trailers and motor homes without feeling pressured by a salesman.
A decent size RV show will have plenty of models to choose from, ranging from small pop up tent trailers under $5,000 to large motor homes over $250,000.
Before going to our first RV show, we didn't know what features we wanted, because we weren't aware of what features were available. As we looked at the different models, we began to compile a list of things that we found appealing. For instance, one model had an outdoor cook stove that slid out from the side. We knew that we definitely wanted that feature. Another model had a shower surround with a door (that we liked), as opposed to a tub with shower curtain.
Everyone has their own specific needs, depending on the size of your family and your budget. Here are some of the items that we looked for:
We found all of these features in the Passport (195RB) by Keystone. Since we bought it last year, we have taken it on several weekend getaways as well as one week long adventure to Palo Duro State Park. We have no regrets. It is the perfect size travel trailer for us.
We haven't been to an RV show since we bought our Passport, but we have decided to start going again. We might buy one to live in one day, and it isn't too early to start gathering information about the different models. Enjoy RV camping!