RVs are having their moment in 2020. You may have read or watched us on Good Morning America, USA Today, Forbes, or more. Seen as a safe way to travel in COVID reality, RVing offers a great way to get outside and enjoy a summer vacation – safely. You can socially distance from others because everything you need is self-contained to your home on wheels!
As a member of the content team here at RVshare, I’m clearly pro-RVing. (My husband is, too! He works in our engineering department.) But today I write to you as a renter to share our recent camping experience to celebrate our second wedding anniversary.
Finding the Right RV
The first step for planning our getaway was deciding where we wanted to go and how far we were willing to travel. With so many park closures, we wanted to be extra careful while still being able to experience something new. Once we had an idea of where we wanted to go – Shenandoah National Park – we just searched for RVs in the area. It was super easy to search for a rental on the platform. Below are some considerations that helped us hone in on what we wanted:
Driveable vs Towable
Did we want to drive an RV from Ohio to Virginia? Were we able to tow? The answer to both of these off the bat was no. Since this was our first time renting, we didn’t feel comfortable driving that long-distance, and we also knew that we would want to have our car available to be able to drive to the park and hike. Having an RV delivered was the best solution for us, and it worked out so well! I’ll dive into the benefits of delivery later on.
Bringing the Dogs Along
We’ve been to a cabin with our dogs (and cat!) before, and they did well in the car and being away from home. For the Shenandoah trip, we knew we wanted to bring our two dogs along. This played into how we searched for both the RV and campsite.
Using the Platform
Once we knew the general idea of what we were looking for, we got to searching! Using the RVshare platform was very easy to drill down to available RVs. We put in our dates, general area, then used filters for ‘Allows Pets’ and ‘Offers Delivery’. There was a great variety of campers to choose from! At first, I was partial to a campervan, and my husband liked some larger ones (not quite Class A size but close). Ultimately, we found one that was just right – a 26’ trailer that was perfect for the two of us and our pups. (Though, it could comfortably sleep 6-8 people!) You can find the exact RV we booked here.
Checking out was easy, especially since the owner offered Instant Book. We entered the address for delivery, filled out the rest of our info, and hit submit! Right away the owner was great with answering some questions we had.
Choosing a Campground
While we secured our RV, we simultaneously booked our campground. At the time, Shenandoah National Park campgrounds were still closed, but there were many available places nearby. We chose to stay at KOA. KOA campgrounds are great for travelers, especially families, and while we didn’t take advantage of certain amenities, such as the pool, it was nice to have the option.
Benefits of Delivered RV
Simply put – having the RV delivered was SO nice. Joe, the RV owner, had it completely set up before we arrived, and he just had us leave the keys inside when we were ready to leave. No set-up, no guesswork, no stress! But even when talking to Joe about various things, we feel confident we could set it up ourselves next time if we wanted to! For our first time RVing, having it all set up by the owner brought a lot of comfort, though. Let me back up and walk you through the process.
RV is Dropped Off at Campsite
One of the questions I initially had was how the campground managed someone coming in to deliver the camper who wasn’t actually staying there. That was very easy – I put a note on our reservation, then we called them the day before we were set to arrive. We let the owner know when we expected to arrive, and he planned to get to KOA an hour or so earlier. It was clear they do this all the time, so there was no worry.
With our Subaru loaded up with all we’d need for the long weekend (check out the downloadable packing checklist found under our guides here), we set off for Virginia. We were in communication with Joe as we got closer to the campground. Once we arrived, we checked in at the front desk and were led to the campsite.
Walk-Through with the Owner
The travel trailer we chose was all set up, meaning jacks were leveled, water and electrical hook-ups ready to go. Joe was there waiting for us to give a tour. He showed us everything we needed for our stay – temperature controls, hot water switch, controls for the awning, and more. He also showed us how to convert the booth and couch for additional sleeping or lounging space if needed. Included were basic amenities such as plates and cutlery, bed sheets, cooking pots and utensils, a mini propane grill, and he also brought kindling for our campfire.
Joe was great at communicating with us when we had a couple questions throughout the weekend. When we were ready to head back home, all we had to do was pack up and check out. Joe came later in the day to pick up the RV and handled everything, including the waste and water tanks.
What We Enjoyed Most
Outside of the easy breezy RV set up, we really enjoyed most everything about our trip to the Shenandoah area. The park had just lifted most of its restrictions the days leading up to our visit, so there were more people there than we anticipated. However, we were about to find really private, quiet trails that were dog-friendly. (Check out this post I wrote about 5 Quick Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting a National Park This Summer – I share more about what I learned from our experience visiting the National Park!)
Ultimately, we really enjoyed a quiet retreat for the weekend and safely exploring somewhere new. When we weren’t hiking, we loved taking it easy around the campsite, whether cooking, watching movies, or playing games by the fire. We were lucky enough to have our site right next to a chicken coop – the birds definitely provided entertainment during our stay!
We loved our time away and can’t recommend RVing enough! Sure, we may be biased since we work for RVshare, but the trip was so relaxing and fun that it wouldn’t be hard to share the RV love even if we didn’t! Just watch out for ticks – trust me!
If you want to learn more about taking an RV trip this summer, check out these other blog posts:
- What You Need to Know About Buying or Renting an RV Summer 2020
- Keeping Travelers Safe With Rental Guarantee
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