Taking a Christmas RV road trip is a fun way to experience the many ways our nation celebrates the season and rings in the new year. From the blustery shores of New England to the sunny beaches of Southern California, hitting the road in December might be a little crazy because you’re taking a chance that Mother Nature will play nice, but the risk usually pays off with an unforgettable look at holiday traditions that our fellow Americans hold dear.
As a Southern California native I always took our sunny holiday weather for granted. I never knew the white Christmases that Bing Crosby sang about, but I was always glad we weren’t shoveling snow on the big day. When my husband and I hit the road as full-time RVers, I really looked forward to the opportunity to experience the holidays in other regions of the U.S.
Since I’m a cold weather wimp, one of my favorite Christmases on the road was while camping along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. On a warm, sunny December morning while waiting for NASA’s space shuttle to launch at our Cape Canaveral RV park, a fire engine rolled into the resort with a wailing siren. Like any nosy neighbor we peered outside and were thrilled to see cheerful waves from a full-bellied Santa leading the park’s Christmas parade! As the fire engine merrily meandered while playing Christmas carols over the bullhorn, the tropical, beachy scene was right out of a Jimmy Buffet song.
If you’re dreaming of a Christmas RV road trip like this, you’ll need to do a little bit of preparation first. Take time to think about weather preparation, holiday decorations and the menu and you’ll be set for the perfect holiday no matter where you land. Let’s take a look at all three:
When Old Man Winter is flexing his muscles, RV travel can be exciting at best and scary if you’re caught unprepared. Consistent weather watching and trip planning with alternate routes are two important keys to safely traveling cross-country in your RV. Keep your RV safe by ensuring it’s mechanically ready to travel under wet or snowy conditions and pack appropriate gear to keep you comfortable.
Decking the RV
RVers really know how to show their holiday spirit in RV parks and campgrounds. To the Scrooge types out there (like my husband who insists on limiting our décor to one shoebox), Christmastime decorations seem like a waste of perfectly good RV storage space. But I keep a few on board because I think they’re an excellent way to remind us that we should take time to celebrate making it through another year, healthy and happy.
Many full-time RVers travel with heaps of holiday décor, but for those of us living in smaller rigs we have to pick and choose our decorations carefully. If you live with a Scrooge who doesn’t want to give up his sock drawer for your ornaments, you might be able to win your case by agreeing to only keeping multi-purpose decorations in the RV, like all-occasion twinkly lights. Another way you can stay festive during your Christmas RV road trip is to buy cheap holiday decorations at a thrift store, then donate them back when January 1st rolls around. Your RV park might also appreciate these gently used items.
Preparing a Christmas Meal
Christmas cooking is always easier if you go out to celebrate, especially when you live in the close confines of an RV. But if the sentimental side of you insists on a traditional homemade holiday meal, keep your expectations in check. RV ovens aren’t usually as nice or accurate as the one in your stick house and your refrigerator won’t have adequate space to store everything you really want to make. Don’t try to do too much at once either: it’s best to tackle your recipes in small steps a few days ahead of the big day. Finally, remember that it’s better to have just a few really well-made menu items on the table, with a couple of store bought items to enhance the meal, instead of making a lot of mediocre things.
Whether you choose to spend the holidays in an RV park, at a public campground or in the solitude of the southwestern deserts, you’ll always have the makings of a great campfire story when you celebrate from your cozy home on wheels!
About the Author:
Rene Agredano, a Coach-Net member since 2015, is a self-employed full-time RVer who enjoys writing, jewelry design and animal advocacy. Her adventures with a three-legged dog and husband Jim are chronicled at LiveWorkDream.com.