Oh my goodness! I had the opportunity to try traveling in an RV. A friend asked me to join them on a short trip to see their kids, adult kids. We left the Austin area and drove out to an area a few hours away. We spent two nights in an RV park and visited with their kids.

The RV we took, they own it, is about 25 feet long, with a cab type of front. It has a small bathroom (toilet and shower), two separate beds, a stove, refrigerator, an area that bumps out when parked, and some cabinets. It was an experience.

First, let me say that taking an RV in 100+ degree weather, in Texas, during the summer is not the best idea. Yes, it was cool driving, but when you were parked someplace you have to run the air conditioner inside to keep the area cool enough. Just a note, this air conditioner was a bit loud. It was difficult to talk over. That was okay at night, since it blocked out road noise in the RV park. But during the day it could make conversation difficult.

Bear in mind this was my first time being in an RV. I’ve never so much as stepped foot in one before, so it was an entirely new experience.

Things I learned: you have to pack differently. Where there are storage drawers and cabinets, depending on what you take you may not have a lot of room. Don’t forget some of this storage and cabinets hold your food and other items. This RV had a small area to hang clothes up, and I mean small. And you are sharing it with someone else. I took a duffel with a minimum of clothes and toiletries.

The RV park we were at had toilets and showers. There was a code given to us that allowed us access to these. You needed to bring your own soap, shampoo, towel, washcloth, razor, etc. The toilet and shower were in one room, but there were 3 private rooms of toilet and shower in the park. You had total privacy (I’m not sure if all parks are this way). But it means you will have to carry your soap, etc. when you go to take a shower. The rooms did have toilet paper, paper towels, and hand soap dispensers. They also had switches for turning on the lights, fan, and ventilation. What I did was walk in, turn on the switches for lights, fan, ventilation, set my stuff down (there was a chair inside), take my shower, change, brush my teeth, etc. then gather my things together and walk back to the RV. So shoes were a good idea, I wore sandals.

I will admit the bathrooms were clean and appeared well taken care of. They had something, table, chair or both to put items down on. They also had a hook to hang your towel on.

What I did learn on this adventure was to take a minimum of clothes. We were only gone 2 nights so I was okay with what I had. But I could see a longer trip might mean better organization and choices. I took one pair of pants (what I was wearing) and a couple of tee shirts. It didn’t help that at the last minute I was told we would be going out to a Country Club for dinner – didn’t have anything nicer with me (oh well!!). Also, this RV was tall enough to stand up in and change clothes, but you don’t have a lot of room. And, you have to remember to check the windows and make sure they are covered before changing. Otherwise you show everything to everybody around you. Just sayin’.

Small toiletries like you would take for airline travel worked well. But I needed something to carry them in when going back and forth to the bathrooms. Even a small makeup case would have worked. Something to carry your change of clothes would have been helpful too. I really needed something for the dirty clothes I brought back, even a plastic sack would have worked. It wasn’t the end of the world without them, but it would have been helpful. Just something for me to add next time.

In our case we ate out for meals (our choice), and only had tea/coffee, and breakfast bars in the morning. For me that was fine as I don’t eat much breakfast anyway. We did use a coffee and tea maker. We had a small coffee pot, but too large of an electric hot water/tea kettle. If we do this again, getting a smaller one would be a good idea. We plugged the RV into a plug at the RV park, so the RV had electricity. I’m not sure if all parks have that or what. This was my first time.

All in all I would not say it was my best adventure, nor was it my worse. I’ve told my friend I would be willing to try it again, preferable in cooler weather. This was just too hot of weather for me. Also we took 2 dogs with us so life had to revolve around them. We couldn’t just leave them for long periods alone in the RV without us. But taking them also meant we didn’t have to find dog sitters to leave home. And that, I admit was nice.

2024 UPDATE:

My friend (boyfriend) sold that RV and has since gotten another brand new RV. In some ways this has been good. It’s like a clean slate. Everything works, it’s all new, well designed, all the windows have coverings that fit and work. We spent a couple of nights in it already, just to get some kinks out. It needs a few more nights of testing before it will be ready for a longer trip. We need to get the basics ready and loaded into it. I’ll let you know how this RV experience goes.