RVing America: What 5 Years on the Road Taught Us

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There was an understandable pause when we first told our friends and family that we were embarking on a year-long trip RVing across America.

They didn’t know how to process the idea of us leaving behind stability and familiarity to embrace a life we knew very little about at the time.

However, here we are five years later. We traveled thousands of miles in an RV and, as a result, we have much more experience.

Today, we want to share what the five years of traveling the United States (and Mexico) in an RV have taught us. Let’s dive in!

Why Did We Start RVing America?

We hitched up and headed out of Los Angeles, Calif., in July 2017. We caught the travel bug during our month-long honeymoon to Europe.

However, we quickly fell into a travel funk when the chaos of life and work got in the way. Traveling the country and working from the road was an appealing option that we quickly embraced.

The original plan was to return to the Los Angeles area after a year of traveling. However, much like on our honeymoon, we quickly realized how much we loved the lifestyle.

We couldn’t imagine going back to “normal” life. We decided to fully embrace the idea of traveling full-time in our RV to see some of the most epic locations in the country.

One of the first videos we shared on our YouTube channel addresses why we started RVing. Click the link if you’re interested in learning more!

Are We Planning to Continue RVing Across the USA?

When we announced that we had sold our Grand Design Solitude 375RES, many in our Getaway Gang worried we were done traveling.

However, we’re happy to report that we have no plans to stop RVing across the USA. Our RV and travel style will just look a little bit different.

We sold the massive 42-foot fifth wheel and replaced it with a truck camper we’re completely renovating. The hope is for us to be able to travel further and faster while enjoying shorter trips.

While we won’t be full-time travelers, we still plan to continue our adventures together as the Getaway Couple.

Don’t worry; we’re bringing Carmen along on our future adventures too! You can watch our full update video below:

Pros of RVing Across America

RVing across America has been an incredible adventure for us. It’s allowed us to see many places up close and personal that we’ve flown over all those years.

Discover Places You Never Knew Existed

Getting to see new areas and experience towns that we never knew existed was much more fun than learning about them in geography class. Getting to experience places like Mesa Verde National Park and seeing the cliff dwellings in person was something we’ll never forget.

Meeting Like-Minded People

Another benefit of RVing was getting to meet so many new people. We were constantly running into people who subscribed to our YouTube channel.

While we tried to minimize the amount of time we spent in campgrounds, we loved getting to interact with other RVers enjoying the lifestyle.

There was nothing better than sitting around the campfire and enjoying a cold beer while swapping stories about the adventures on the road.

Us and friends at an RV event that we attended while RVing America
The picture might be blurry, but the memories are not

You Learn New Skills

Additionally, RVing across America was how we learned so many new things. We learned the ins and outs of our rig while fixing things that broke along the way.

We would have laughed at you if you had told us before hitting the road some of the projects we’d get into while traveling.

However, by the time we sold our fifth wheel, we had done projects on just about every major system. 

Cons of RVing Across America

While RVing across America on an epic five-year road trip was an incredible experience, it wasn’t perfect.

There were times along the way when we wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits. So don’t make the mistake of thinking everything will be perfect because it’s not.

Booking Campgrounds

One prime example is booking campgrounds. When we first started RVing, you typically only had to worry about campgrounds filling up on holiday weekends or in extremely popular touristy areas.

However, in the past couple of years, RVing has become incredibly trendy, which has made it nearly impossible to get campsites in many places.

If you can snag a reservation, you’re paying a premium price now, as many campgrounds have taken the opportunity to increase their prices.

Pro Tip: You’re going to want to read our First Come First Serve Camping Tips To Always Get A Spot! These are great options to snag a last minute spot.

Decision Fatigue

While this may sound like a good problem, we often experienced tremendous decision fatigue when planning routes.

When you can practically go anywhere in your RV, deciding where to go can be a bit overwhelming. You also must consider all the complicated factors required when towing a trailer.

Moving a massive RV around the country is a lot of work. When we planned our routes, we had to worry about low clearances, propane restrictions, and whether an area was big-rig friendly.

Construction or an accident could completely derail our plans and cause us to reroute on an entirely new route that we hadn’t researched.

There’s not much scarier than finding yourself hauling a 42-foot fifth wheel on a windy road with very little shoulder.

Us stressed out from decision fatigue standing in front of our RV in a campground while RVing America

Keep Learning: There are a few more reasons you might want to reconsider RV life. Here are 13 of the Worst Things About Full-Time RV Living!

What 5 Years on the Road Taught Us

The past five years of traveling have taught us quite a bit. We discovered a bit about ourselves and about life that we wouldn’t have otherwise experienced. So here’s what we’ve learned over the past five years!

How to Work Together

To be successful at RVing, we had to find a way to work together. Did we always get along when backing into a campsite or trying to line up the truck with the RV to hitch up?

Absolutely not. However, we can say with 100% confidence that we’re a stronger team and couple now than before we hit the road.

We’ve gotten ourselves into and out of some tough situations because we were able to work together. Working together has helped us grow our YouTube channel, social media, and blog.

Not only do we work better together, but also with our business partners and the sponsors we get to partner with.

We’re Capable of More Than We Thought

Just like learning to work together, we’ve learned that we’re capable of far more than we ever could have imagined, both as a couple and as individuals.

RVing across America has helped us to see that we’re stronger mentally and physically than we thought.

We lived 28 years of our lives before we realized the ceiling on our talents and abilities was much higher than we thought.

With so many people jumping into full-time RVing, we hope many have this same experience. If you’re one of them, we hope RVing helps you to see that you can do much harder things than you thought was possible before RV life.

Changing a flat tire on the side of the road or figuring out how to level our rig in an incredibly unlevel campsite will teach you a lot about yourself.

Jason under our RV trying to fix a broken jack

We Love Boondocking

The idea of setting up camp in the middle of nowhere wasn’t all that appealing to us at first. We liked the comfort and security of a campground and rarely imagined any other way.

However, once we saw how much fun everyone else was having and eventually gave boondocking a try, it was love at first “site.” We’ll never forget how that campsite gave us a taste of the benefits of boondocking.

We had no clue how much public lands were available, especially in the western states. Many of these lands have tremendous amounts of free camping opportunities available for just about anyone.

We found some incredible places to boondock all over the country. We can’t wait to get back out and boondock in some epic places again soon!

Our fifth wheel boondocking in Florid, one great stop while RVing America

Pro Tip: Are you ready to test the waters with boondocking? Make sure to read What Is Boondocking and How To Try It!

Many Incredible Places Are Waiting to Be Discovered

While we enjoy visiting popular national parks, there’s something special about discovering some hidden gems. Some out-of-this-world state and county parks are equally breathtaking and inspiring as those managed by the National Park Service (NPS).

We were always blown away at how much natural beauty there was that we had never seen or heard of before traveling.

When traveling from point A to point B, we always enjoyed seeing what was between them. We’d pass through both large and small cities along the way; each was unique.

We’d see signs for monuments and other attractions that somehow had missed our travel planning radar. We also made it a point to add many of these attractions to a list. That way, we can visit them the next time we pass through the area.

You Learn More By Seeing and Doing

If you’re anything like us, you took years of geography classes growing up.

However, no matter how good your geography teacher was, they couldn’t hold a candle to you getting to see and do some of the things written about in geography books.

No picture can capture the feeling of standing in front of the massive expanse of the Grand Canyon.

You can’t respect the falls without seeing the power of the water as it rushes over Niagara Falls. RVing across America allowed us to learn about many things we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Us sitting on a rock with the vast Grand Canyon behind us

Travel Has Forced Us to Grow As People 

It wasn’t until we left the safety of the bubble we created for ourselves that we discovered how good it was for our brains.

RVing across America has allowed us to be more comfortable talking to people and made us friendlier folks in general.

We’re also now more accepting of those who are different than us. We’ve seen that there’s not only one right way to do something and that we often only see part of a much bigger picture.

We are thankful that RVing has helped us better understand ourselves and what we want out of life.

One Area Isn’t Better Than The Other 

Many people have tremendous pride in their state and think it’s the best. However, as cheesy as it sounds, we’ve learned that each state is special in its own way.

If you had asked us five or so years ago what the best state was, we would have easily said California. It’s where we both grew up, lived, and spent most of our time.

However, as we left the west coast, we found that other locations were equally as impressive and beautiful in other parts of the country. One isn’t better than the other, but it’s simply different.

It would make for a rather boring cross-country road trip if everything were the same.

Jason face to face with a manatee under water. A great experience while RVing America

RVing America Taught Us More Than Any Textbook Ever Did

We mean no respect to any of our teachers, but our RVing trip taught us more than any textbook.

We got to see and experience many of the same lessons we learned in school. However, seeing it in person was life-changing. 

What has RV life taught you?

1 comment
  1. RVing has taught us patience. We have learned, easier since retirement, to wait if the weather isn’t good for travel. Wait & slow down so we don’t make mistakes. Wait & check out an area even if we couldn’t get in to a campground, there is usually a fabulous alternative out there. Mishaps happen, we have learned that they don’t have to be end of the world. Stay calm & think things out before proceeding. Love RVing.

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