For many, the end of another trip around the sun calls for a few moments of reflection and goal-setting. New year’s resolutions typically encompass intentions to develop healthy habits, learn a new skill or trade, and build relationships. Although we may be initially set to tackle each one head-on, after a few weeks or a few months, the determination dwindles down to an afterthought.
How about changing up that list and incorporating those resolutions with something we love to do year-round, like RVing? As RVers, we live for the next camping trip, the opportunity to use our outdoor toys, and just find a change for some fresh air and a little relaxation. What better way to keep the motivation and focus rolling than with our RVs.
Give your RV some much needed TLC.
If you have been neglecting regular care and maintenance of your RV or procrastinating on those upgrade projects, this year may be the time to get on a schedule and complete those honey-do items. The more attention you give to your home-on-wheels, the more you can enjoy time on the open road and the great outdoors.
Perform regular maintenance on your RV.
Just like your car, your RV requires regular check-ups to ensure optimal performance and safety on the road. The roof, tires, windows. slideouts, water systems, and batteries are just a few of the major components that should be checked on a regular basis. Although they use their motorhome as an example, the following video from the RV Geeks gives a general rundown of RV parts to inspect and maintain at least annually.
If during your regular check-up routine you find that you are in need of new tires, check out Coach-Net’s hassle-free discount tire program. With this deal, Coach-Net members have the option to purchase high-quality tires from Michelin® or Goodyear® at a significant discount. The process is simple. Fill out an online form and Coach-Net does the rest.
Get familiar with your manual.
Although RVs generally require the same maintenance routines and care plans, there are some aspects of your rig that differ. That is why it is important to read your RV manual and become familiar with the various systems of your RV and what parts of your particular RV need to be checked and maintained throughout the year.
Now is the time to finish those RV upgrades.
Investing in RV upgrades is a must-do, especially if you utilize your RV on a frequent basis. If you like to boondock, improving energy efficiency with solar power and conserving water with low flow faucets are possible upgrades. If you take our work on the road, investing in decent cell boosters may be something to look into. Replacing your mattress for a more supportive one or adding a backsplash to the galley can make a huge difference in the comfort and overall ambiance of the space. The following article A Complete Checklist Of RV Upgrades And Modifications gives a list of RV upgrades to consider, many of which are DIY projects.
Explore more national parks.
With over 400 National Park Service sites, there are plenty of options for your next RV weekend getaway or extended vacation. Take pictures of Yosemite’s mystical waterfalls, view exhibits about the first national park at a Yellowstone visitor’s center, or hike one of the many trails in the Great Smoky Mountains. America’s national parks have much to offer in the way of scenery, activities, and history.
The U.S. Department of Interior recently made an announcement regarding fee-free days in 2021. The public can enter any national park, free of charge, on these six designated days listed below.
– January 18: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
– April 17: First day of National Park Week
– August 4: First anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
– August 25: National Park Service Birthday
– September 25: National Public Lands Day
– November 11: Veterans Day
Six days may not be enough to reach your new year’s resolution to visit X-amount of parks, however. Is there a way to take advantage of more sightseeing, exploring, and camping at other national sites? Absolutely. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas. Depending on the type of pass you are eligible to get, the annual fee ranges from free to $80.
Keep track of your visits with a National Parks Passport. Simply stamp your book before departing and continue to add on more throughout the year. Stamps are typically located at the visitor’s center. Check out our list of national park articles for more suggestions on places to visit.
Allow more time to get to your next destination.
There are two main types of RVers: those that stop to smell the roses in between destinations and those that set their stopwatch with a goal to make a cross country trip in under 24-hours. Although the second type gets to the new location in record timing, it’s not necessarily the safer, less stressful, or all together healthy way of traveling.
Breaks in travel are usually reserved for fill-ups at fuel stations, grabbing a bite to eat, or stopping to let the whole family use the restroom. Stopping for extended periods of up to 30 minutes to walk and stretch is beneficial to your overall well-being. You and your traveling crew (including Fido) need opportunities to get the blood pumping after being sedentary for an hour. Frequent breaks to move around (especially vigorous exercising like power walking or jogging) have proven to increase energy level, heighten your feel-good sensors, decrease back and neck pain, among other benefits. There are many rest stops, small hiking trails, and oddball roadside attractions to stop at and explore on your travels. That is half the fun of RVing. Your end destination will still be there when you arrive. What’s the rush?
Change up the camping scenery.
Staying at the same campground or dry camping at the exact spot by the lake every year might be a tradition for the family, but it doesn’t hurt to change things up and get out of your comfort zone. If RVing with full-hookups is your thing, great! There are so many RV campgrounds and resorts that offer countless amenities like swimming pools, kayak or paddleboard rentals, activities for the kids and entire family, evening concerts, restaurants, shops, and shuttles to local attractions. The campground/resort is an all-inclusive vacation spot.
If you like to RV away from crowded parks and commercial conveniences, then boondocking might be more your speed. This year can be all about finding new off-grid locations, and if you have never experienced this type of camping, this is the year to do it.
The following article, What is Boondocking and Why You Should Try It, covers topics like fun aspects of boondocking, how to prepare your RV for extended stays, and how to find boondocking locations. The article mentions, “Boondocking is one of those things that may require some experience and practice before it becomes relaxing. Once you’re good at conserving and managing your resources, you’ll be glad you put in the time.
What RV resolutions have you made for the new year?
Whether you have decided to try out one or more of the above resolutions or have some goals of your own, make sure to keep safety in mind on your future travels. RVing is all about experiencing new places and making memories. It all begins with resolving to make sure your RV is ready for the road and having a plan of action for the journey.
About The Author: Natalie Henley and her husband, Levi, have been full-time RVers for over 5 years. They have also been Coach-Net customers for the same amount of time. They travel and workcamp around the U.S. in their 26-foot Itasca Sunstar motorhome with their two cats. They write for multiple RV-related publications and recently co-wrote “Seasonal Workamping for a Living: How We Did It.” You can follow their adventures on the road at henleyshappytrails.com.
Millie W. ~ “Our experience was smooth, smooth, smooth. Enough said.”