A road trip, despite rising gas prices, might actually be cheaper this summer, offering an opportunity to make special vacation memories without breaking your budget. All you need are two magic words: recreational vehicle.
Whether you use a motor home or a travel trailer, RVing is an economical form of travel. Let’s say you want to take a trip to Seattle. You’ll need to book a flight, rent a car, find a hotel and budget for meals before you even create your activities itinerary. If you take an RV, there are no flights, no hotels, no need to eat out, and you can bring your own car with you.
Sure, the trip will take longer, but that’s part of the fun, according to Road Runner RV owner Scott Ylitalo. “When you travel in an RV, you get to appreciate the journey,” he said. “When you’re in a plane, you’re missing all of the nature and beauty. They’re just these little specks you see from high above. But when you RV, you get to see the sights and stop at obscure places along the way. When you take a vacation with an RV, it’s not just a trip; it’s an adventure.”
RVs come in different shapes and sizes and can be customized to meet your traveling needs. It’s like putting your home on wheels. You have a refrigerator, a bathroom, beds, and with the addition of sideouts – RV extensions that offer up to 3 feet of additional space – there’s room for the whole family to kick back and relax. And traveling in an RV eliminates many traditional travel troubles.
“RVing gives you the freedom to set your own schedule,” Ylitalo said. “There’s no line to get through security, no limit to the number of bags you take, and it’s just a more pleasant way to travel. You can pack your own food and supplies so you don’t have to go to a restaurant every day. And with an RV, you can take your pets with you, which is nice, since most hotels don’t allow animals.”
While gas prices are daunting, Ylitalo suggests that RVers take advantage of local wonders such as Lake Tahoe or Santa Cruz. Plan a trip that involves just one day of driving and then enjoy the ambiance of your destination. Many state and national parks offer an array of activities for the whole family. And many RV parks are located near towns where there are museums, golf courses, movie theaters and other local attractions that you wouldn’t find otherwise. A little research is all that’s needed.
For those new to the RV experience as well as veteran road-trip enthusiasts, Ylitalo offers an advice line, 800-644-7908, so that travelers can check in if they run in to trouble on the road.
But if current gas prices keep you off the road this summer, make sure to properly store your RV. Ylitalo recommends keeping the engine in good condition by installing a fuel stabilizer. Make sure to drain the water system, cover the tires, disconnect all gas appliances, switch off any battery-powered items and close the windows and blinds to avoid sun exposure. And cover the RV if possible to protect it from exterior damage.
When you’re ready to return to the road, Ylitalo recommends a full maintenance check to make sure everything’s working. Road Runner RV’s crew has a 20-step inspection checklist to ensure safety and high performance. Open in Brentwood since 1998, Road Runner RV’s parts and accessories shop supplies everything you need before hitting the road. For more information, visit www.roadrunnerrv.net.
Road Runner RV, located at 415 Beatrice Court in Brentwood, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.