The breeze carried a whiff of campfire into the open window. Outside, the sound of waves lapping the rocky shoreline set a rhythm of easy solitude on the night.
A light rain began to fall and I drew the down comforter tighter around my shoulders, thankful that I was in a warm, dry travel trailer and not a tent.
Recreational vehicles offer the freedom of travel and the natural immersion of camping with the comforts of home. And it’s a safe way to get out of the house in a pandemic.
While I’m not really the camping kind, typically abandoning the tent for the car in the middle of the night, RVing is a comfy, cozy way to enjoy nature.
My family purchased a pre-owned 17-foot travel trailer in August. We did some light renovating and hit the road in early October.
Along the way, we’ve learned a lot about spending our weekends in a tight space and finding fun things to do away from crowds.
It’s not that hard
Getting a rig was intimidating at first. I can barely handle the dump cart hitched to my lawnmower. How am I supposed to haul a living space?
Turns out, it’s not that bad.
We started small with a 17-footer but we’ve seen some RVs that stretch to 40 feet. Our little Coachmen Clipper looks tiny in the parks next to the big rigs, but we like knowing we can handle it.
Initial setup only takes about 20 minutes. Once we’re leveled with water, electricity and sewer hooked up, we like to start a fire.
Campfires are a necessity. The sound, the smell, the warmth — and who hasn’t just zoned out staring into a campfire? It’s meditative. It satisfies the primal lizard brain or something. It makes you feel like a cowboy. You'll forget all about your cellphone.
In less than an hour after arriving at your campsite, you can be kicked back by the fire, having a cold beverage and knowing that you’re free for the weekend.
It’s a cheap way to travel
The most we’ve paid for a nightly stay at a campsite has been $75, and that was a park with full hookups on cement pads and a waterslide perched on the coastal marsh.
Most state park sites I’ve seen range from $15-$45.
North Carolina’s state parks are outstanding and they’re usually booked up well in advance, so you need to make reservations a few months before your stay — longer than that if it’s a holiday weekend. Some parks have walk-up camping reservations, but they fill up quickly on Fridays.
We’ve had better luck in South Carolina and we’ve booked state park campsites just a few days ahead of our visits there.
Camp cooking is also a payoff. We prep food at home so that it’s ready to go on the grill, and we pack snacks for travel time. That RV is not going through a drive-thru.
We even had a Thanksgiving meal with turkey and gravy, dressing, dinner rolls and fresh corn in the camper. We gobbled it up with a view of kitesurfers working the Pamlico Sound on the eastern shore of Rodanthe.
Check out the full article from The Fayetteville Observer here.