There isn’t much good to be said of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there’s no doubt it fueled a nationwide surge in outdoor recreation. With “social distancing” mandates making it impossible gather in large groups, Americans flocked to the relative solitude of the outdoors in record numbers. Activities from hunting and fishing to hiking and biking to boating and off-roading enjoyed an unprecedented rush of first-time participants, and even now — with the worst of the pandemic in the rear-view mirror — it appears the country’s newfound appreciation for nature is here to stay.
Another outdoor activity experiencing explosive growth is the use of recreational vehicles (RVs). Massive sales gains are occurring across the entire RV spectrum, from small pop-up and truck campers to the largest Class A motorhomes. According to the RV Industry Association, total RV shipments will hit an all-time high of more than 576,000 units in 2021, with an estimated 56 million Americans traveling this summer using an RV they own, rent or borrow.
1. Location, Location, Location
There’s an old adage that says the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. Hunters certainly understand the importance of finding good ground, and many of the very best hunting areas across America can be found in remote locations far from civilization. Given that, an RV is tailor made for helping you live comfortably far from the nearest motel or restaurant by bringing your accommodations along with you. And since an RV is mobile, it also gives you the flexibility to pull up stakes and strike out in search of greener pastures whenever necessary.
During our Nebraska turkey hunt, we camped in two different areas several hours apart. After struggling to consistently find turkeys early in the week, our move paid off in spades as we secured permission to hunt an excellent farm loaded with birds and some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever find in hunting camp. With the RV parked high on a ridgetop overlooking the Niobrara River, we were treated to a breathtaking vista every day and stunning sunsets every night. Better yet, we literally had turkeys outside the RV door, allowing us to literally roll out of bed, walk out the door and go hunting. You can’t do that at Motel 6!
Sure, you can pack into the backcountry or tent camp along a forest road in your hunting area, but neither of those options can hold a candle to an RV when it comes to comfort. Granted, you can’t get an RV quite as steep or deep as tent, but then again, there’s an awful lot to be said for a roof over your head when it’s raining, a heating system when the nights turn cold and — most importantly — a comfortable bed to sleep in after a long day of burning boot leather in search of game.
During our hunt, we experienced unseasonably cold spring weather, along with two days of heavy rain and three days of 40-mile-per-hour wind. Could we have survived all that in a tent? Sure, but it would have been miserable! Thanks to the RV, the weather was no big deal, and it sure was nice to come back at the end of the day, grill steaks and enjoy some relaxing time on the couch as we recapped the day’s events and made plans for the morning.
Check out the full article from Petersen's Bowhunting here.