So Many Choices – Life on the Open Road
One thing I hadn’t expected was the overwhelming number of options we can choose from on a daily basis with this RV lifestyle. Back in our sticks and bricks home, we chose when we wanted to go to the grocery store, which trail we wanted to walk for the day, whether we would shower first or work first … all the mundane stuff, right? We still have those choices on the road, of course, but now there are so many more.
Going from Point A to Point B: The first leg of our journey took us to Loveland, CO, by way of our customer’s address in Liberty, MO. That was fairly straight forward … a finite number of days to get where we needed to be determined our route. Finding our stopover point for the night was the daily adventure, and we found some nice ones. Still, I found it a little stressful to navigate using only my Allstays app and Google Maps. I didn’t expect that.
Out west, we found an easy rhythm of work one day, explore the next. We determined to enjoy this lifestyle, not just live in a moving box. And up until recently, we’ve held to that choice of a schedule whenever possible.
We learned along the way back from Colorado, through Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, and finally to Wisconsin, that it’s a lot of fun to deviate from the plan on the spur of the moment. One such deviation took us to Mt. Rushmore on a moment’s notice: “Honey, how about we see Mt. Rushmore today?” “Sure, let’s go.” One turn of the wheel and we were there. Loved that! Another abrupt change of plans sent us to Charleston, SC – and we thoroughly enjoyed that too.
But now our choices are starting to affect other people. We need to plan to be in certain locations in advance, then stick to the plan. That’s not as easy as it sounds when we have the whole country to choose from. If it sounds like I’m complaining, that’s not my intent. I’m looking for a solution – one that balances the nomadic lifestyle we enjoy with the realities of running a business from the road.
We were supposed to be in Wylie, TX last week visiting family. It was too cold there to be in our rig unless we would winterize it, so we opted for Houston instead. Our 12 day home became Lake Conroe Thousand Trails. From there, I caught up on some website development for my customers and we called on hobby stores in the greater Houston area as traveling brand ambassadors for our manufacturing clients.
Now, we’re enroute to a couple nights in San Antonio, where we’ll meet up with family, then spend Christmas week with my brother-in-law’s family in Rivera, TX. After that, we’re staying in South Texas for January and February, and I’m trying to map that out. Weather determined the region. RV site rates, Internet access, proximity to hobbyists, and ease of obtaining organic groceries will govern which park(s) we stay at. Maybe I’ll start a spreadsheet … might be easier than the notebook pages I’ve been filling with my research.
We take a multiple step approach to finding a suitable campground. I look for available campgrounds through Allstays, our Good Sam’s directory, and Google Maps. I check the websites of campgrounds that sound promising, then check reviews on rvparkreviews.com. That usually knocks a whole bunch of sites out of consideration. Jerry looks up the remaining parks on Google Earth to get a better idea of their proximity to highways/road noise, and to see how closely they pack in the RVs.
Each campground becomes our home for awhile, so we like to choose carefully. It’’s not that much different from renting a house, except that we get to take our house with us. We want a decent yard, to not be tight up against another RV, ease of access with our big rig, the laundry facility within walking distance, and the ability to pick up both cell and TV signals.
What do you look for in a campground? Do you sometimes find it stressful to decide where to go next? Are you a full-timer, a part-timer, or dreaming of life on the road?