Ten Terrific Ways to Use a Recreational Vehicle – without Going Camping
When your RV’s not logging distant miles on the open road, you might as well use it locally in unconventional ways.
Are the outdoor delights of the spring season beckoning you to purchase a motorhome, travel trailer, or pop-up camper? If you are especially fortunate, you might already be a recreational vehicle (RV) owner. In either case, a spring camping trip in a comfortable, convenient RV is a great way to liberate your family from the chill and confinement of the winter season.
Whether your chosen RV model is new or used, mini or mammoth, basic or luxurious - purchasing a recreational vehicle requires relatively major investments of time, effort, and dollars. In light of current economic challenges, it’s sensible to make the most of all your available resources, including your recreational vehicle.
My husband Dennis and I have owned five different RVs since 1984, and we set out to use each one frequently and creatively. We assumed from the beginning that a rolling RV (like a rolling stone) gathers no moss - as in no dust, mold, or cobwebs. Over the years, each of our RV’s became a second family home. Through trial and error, we developed alternative methods for maximizing each rig’s potential – in between camping trips.
When your RV’s not logging distant miles on the open road, you might as well use it locally in unconventional ways, like we do. Following are ten easy suggestions to help you get started...
If you decide to buy an RV (or you already own one), there’s no need to let it fall idle between camping trips. Just try one of the unconventional strategies described above to keep the recreation rolling in your recreational vehicle, every day of the year.
- Guest Suite
A well-appointed travel trailer, fifth wheel or motorhome is the obvious best option when your house guests prefer peace and privacy. Separate onsite sleeping quarters, complete bathroom, and kitchen facilities provide lots of obvious advantages for house guests and hosts alike.
- Party Central
One sunny Saturday morning 26 years ago, we drove our motorhome to our oldest son’s fourth birthday party at a local playground park. Within minutes of our arrival, we realized we’d effectively cracked the ‘super party’ code. Standard conveniences in a recreational vehicle surely save the day when you’re storing perishable foods, lighting candles in the wind, scooping ice cream cones, or speed-cleaning sticky picnic tables. RVs also score high marks at kids’ sleepovers. And let’s not forget a recreational vehicle’s ‘chuck wagon’ capabilities. A motorhome, travel trailer or pop-up camper can serve as a snack bar at club functions, church picnics, or community events. The choices are all up to you.
- Crafters’ Corner
Your family’s parked RV can be used as a personal studio space for visual artists, crafters, puzzle makers, seamstresses, furniture assemblers, or model airplane builders. It’s also a secure hideaway for gift-wrapping and storing ‘top secret’ packages for birthdays or holidays. There’s a rumor circulating lately about the Easter Bunny preferring to hide out in his RV while arranging candy in baskets, decorating straw bonnets, and supervising egg hunts.
- Homework Haven
Back in the days when our sons were handling high school projects- from writing term papers to designing bottle rockets- they often visited our RV(parked in the driveway) for distraction-free study time. During earlier elementary school years, our motorhome helped keep family evenings on track at the local youth sports complex. There were plenty of ‘marathon’ nights when all three boys had games to play– on staggered schedules. While Dennis coached the kids’ baseball or basketball teams, I prepared and served meals in our galley and supervised homework sessions between games. We look forward to hosting similar evenings with our future grandchildren someday.
- Beach Cabana
A camping vehicle is made to order for surfing safaris, beachside picnics, fishing trips, and other excursions to the ocean, river, or lake. When you take your RV to the beach or pool, you’re automatically equipped with a shady snack shack, shower stall, and changing station – all rolled into one. Remember to set out a big pail of water and a thirsty doormat so water sports enthusiasts can rinse and wipe sandy (or muddy) feet before they enter your cabana on wheels.
- Date Night Headquarters
Dennis and I like to plan candlelight dinners - RV style - even when we’re not going camping. Over the years, we’ve progressed from pizza and garden salad in our woodsy backyard (with a babysitter inside the ‘main’ house caring for our kids) to lobster bisque, filet mignon, asparagus tips, and panoramic ocean views - at our favorite local park. After an RV-based dinner, you can add a sunset walk on the beach, play a favorite game, or watch an in-rig video for the ultimate casual night ‘out.’
A camping vehicle is made to order for surfing safaris, beachside picnics, fishing trips, and other excursions to the ocean, river, or lake.
- Escape Hatch
Have you ever longed for a quiet, familiar oasis where you can contemplate life without intrusion, ponder an important decision, practice yoga breathing techniques, focus your thoughts, or simply pray? Consider escaping to the serenity inside your RV.
- Office Retreat
Today’s laptops, notebooks, tablets, smart phones, and digital files make RV-based office operation a practical possibility. An RV performs well as a temporary or permanent workplace, and it goes wherever you want it to go, whenever you want it to go there.
- Nap Nook
Sleepyheads come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. A cozy bed (or crib) and restful environment are the essential elements that wannabe nappers need. Chances are your RV fits the bill as a first-rate place for everyone, from the newest baby in the family to her proud Great Grandpa - to catch a few well-deserved winks.
- Music Studio
Do you have family members who like to play or hear their favorite music in relatively unrestrained surroundings? Set them free in your RV with musical instruments or related electronics. The full spectrum of tuneful elements - from kazoos, keyboards, and classical guitars to media players and HD radios - are allowed, provided all windows are closed securely.
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"Ten Terrific Ways to Use a Recreational Vehicle – without Going Camping"
Paula Loehr, R.N., B.A., worked in the fields of community health and nursing education, and was a school health nurse at the elementary, secondary and collegiate levels before becoming a fulltime journalist. Her writing specialties include family tr...