By Rhonda Marcantel
Admit it. You’ve seen them on the highways and thought one day you’re going to get an RV and travel the country. One day when you’re retired and have time to travel. But why wait? Why not make that day today? Why not get an RV and hit the road?
Well, there is probably a long list of reasons why you don’t go out and purchase a new RV. But did you know you can rent one? That’s right. Rent one!
There are several companies in the metroplex where you can rent an RV, including Cruise America RV Rental and Sales in Carrollton and Texas RV Owners Rentals in Richardson. Planning ahead can save you money so look ahead on the calendar, pick your destination and make your reservation today. It’s more affordable than you think and destination options are endless.
If the idea of roughing it in a tent during the summer’s heat at one of Texas’ many State Parks doesn’t sound like your ideal vacation, but you want to get out and explore nature, rent an RV. Research is critical because not all state parks offer RV hookups but a quick look online or call can give you the information you need to pick the right state park for you. Eisenhower State Park in Denison, Caddo State Park in East Texas, and Stephen F. Austin State Park outside of Houston all offer full hookups, in addition to fishing, bird watching and hiking.
Don’t limit yourself to staying close to home once you have an RV reserved. Take advantage of your hotel on wheels and head out on that long sightseeing vacation. Visit Yellowstone National Park with a reservation at the Fishing Bridge Campground. You’ll be close to the showers, laundry facilities and food, not to mention surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery your eyes will ever see.
For those who don’t want to attempt to navigate the Rocky Mountains in an RV, go east to the southern tip of Florida. Gator Park just outside the Everglades National Park offers hookups, airboat rides and wildlife shows including alligator wrestling. Holding a baby alligator could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the kids while the adults can spend relaxing evenings soaking in the sights and sounds of a peaceful Florida night.
On your way home, stop by Disney World. Hook up your RV in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and relish the campsite atmosphere just minutes away from the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride across the lagoon and the peace of mind knowing you didn’t have to navigate the parking situation at ‘The Most Magical Place on Earth.’
For a unique look into Americana and the creativity that makes this country so great, head down to Wharton, Texas just southwest of Houston and visit the Teepee Motel. Ten teepees stand in a row, awaiting travelers, along with an RV park complete with laundry and bath facilities. Built in 1942 as a quirky motel for tired travelers, Teepee Motel has been renovated and updated and is ready to greet a new generation. The teepees book up fast but park your RV and get a few snapshots of this motel from a time period where families knew the value of a road trip.
It may not be your first idea when you start thinking about a vacation but consider it. Who among us hasn’t watched a news report about tailgaters setting up their RV’s in preparation of a large sporting event and wished we could do the same. Now is your chance.
Find the details on the event you’ve wanted to attend, pull out all those great grilling recipes and tailgate to your hearts content. No doubt you will make some new friends who have a similar interest and you’ll be able to scratch one item off your bucket list.
RV renting tips
Think of your RV as a condo on wheels. Things you would need to bring when you rent a condo are necessary when you rent an RV. Before you head out, plan on bringing the basic necessities like pots, pans, sheets, pillows, dish soap, and groceries in addition to your normal suitcase. Some rental companies will offer the ability to rent packages that include the basics but to make sure you have everything you need (and save some money) bring these items from home.
Do your research. Destination options are numerous as you can tell. However, taking off in an RV is not the same as getting in your car and hitting the road. You need a plan. RV’s are not designed to go everywhere so you might want to consider pulling your car behind. Leaving the RV in one location and using your car to sightsee might be a better idea than trying to navigate the RV through tight parking lots.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking all RV parks are the same. Amenities vary from place to place. Would you like a pool? Laundry facilities? Is Wi-Fi important? Would you like to be close to activities or far from everything? How important is a playground for the kids or a dog park for your best friend? All this and more can be found at RV parks across this state.
If you are thinking all this sounds great but you don’t have the right license or experience driving a large vehicle, don’t worry. Experience is not necessary and neither is a special license. Anyone over 25 with a valid driver’s license can rent an RV. The Standard C25 is the standard motorhome that sleeps up to 5 people. It has a V-8 engine, automatic transmission, cruise control and is very similar to driving a full size van.
With so many options for new adventures, why not rent an RV this summer and explore. Move your family vacation expectations to the next level of togetherness. The open road is calling. Get out there and do some cruising this summer.