There’s something about an RV, from tent trailer to Class A motorhome, that makes it more than the sum of its parts.
As reported by the Windsor (Ontario) Star, RV owners aren’t just looking for a place to spend the night, cook meals and hide out of the rain; they are buying into a lifestyle.
Ask anyone who has driven to the Northwest Territories to see 24 hours of sunlight, or has spent a spring or fall enjoying the scenery of Canada’s East Coast — a recreational vehicle is a ticket to a very different kind of vacation.
Ken Maines has been spending weekends at campsites since he was a child. His family owned a series of RVs, and as an adult he continues the tradition. In fact, he now works in the RV industry.
But Maines still takes time away from running Race Track RV in Airdrie, Alberta, to hit the road with wife Charlene and take in the fresh air of the great outdoors.
Maines says the RV lifestyle is about freedom, and it’s a complete 180-degree turn from everyday life.
“When you get to a campsite it doesn’t matter if the Flames lost or the Dow Jones dropped points,” says Maines. “The most important things become ‘what are we going to do this afternoon?’ and ‘what are we going to cook on the open fire?'”
He says it is a joy to be able to park in a beautiful location and go fishing, take a walk or simply relax by the fire. What makes the experience even better, he adds, is that wherever he goes, he meets people with the same priorities.
Not only is taking a trip in an RV a great way to meet new friends, Maines says, it is also a great way to get to know your family.
He says once you get away from all of those distractions at home, you can really have a chance to sit down with your kids and teach them how to fish or make a fire, or just talk.
One of his fondest memories is camping as a child and being taught how to whittle by his grandfather.
“Are you going to teach your kids how to whittle in the backyard? That’s not going to happen — they’re too busy with their Playstations and Nintendos or whatever.”
He adds that people who want to bring all of the conveniences of home along with them have plenty of options. Today’s RVs can include premium stereos, large-screen televisions, microwave ovens and everything else that might make a trip a bit more comfortable.
The RV lifestyle also provides people with the ability to go where they want, when they want.
Maines says instead of taking one trip that may cost $3,000, putting that money every year toward an RV allows people to take vacations, from overnights and weekends to weeks-long holidays, whenever they want.
He says there is so much to discover within driving distance in Alberta, the northern United States and the rest of Canada that there’s no reason to hop on a plane.
An RV owner can take a drive out to Lake Koocanusa one weekend, and then visit the Taber Cornfest the next; take a drive up Highway 7 in Ontario in the fall and see the amazing colours, tour through Quebec — and then do something completely different next time.
“The RV lifestyle is fantastic because you can stay for a day, you can stay for a week, you can stay for a month, or whatever you want.
“It’s whatever you want to do,” says Maines.
When you hook up the tent trailer or climb into the camper or motorhome and hit the road, memories are created.
“Things happen when you’re camping or RVing that would never happen at home,” says Maines. “Every day something happens.”
“I have so many memories of camping and RVing