New to RVing? That’s okay. Campspot’s new CEO, Michael Scheinman, was new as well. He recently took his first trip alongside Campspot ambassadors and full-time RVers Kendra and Tyler. Now back from his trip with a new appreciation of the RV lifestyle, he’s here to share what he learned:
Since I joined Campspot in February, there’s been a lot to keep my team and me busy, including launching our mobile app, adding to our collection of 900+ bookable campgrounds, and talking about the unprecedented growth in camping with the Washington Post, New York Times, and CNN. But that hasn’t left me a lot of time to actually experience the outdoors! Furthermore, I’m ashamed to admit that while I’ve done plenty of tent and cabin camping, I’ve never experienced staying in an RV. However, this is something I was determined to change, and so I asked Campspot ambassadors and full-time RVers Kendra and Tyler to let me join them on their recent trip to Elkamp Eastcreek in Mineral, WA, and learn all about RV life.
Here’s what I learned:
1. You don’t need to be a pro to stay in an RV
In fact, you don’t even need to drive one – I was able to find a number of rental options on RVshare that offered delivery. My renters even offered to set up the trailer and show me how to manage all the hookups. And if I’d had any trouble, the wonderful campground owners, Brian and Tom, were more than happy to assist, as were my friendly campground neighbors. It was a great reminder that everyone was a camping novice once, and there’s no shame in asking for help!
2. Campfire food is the best food
RV travel allows you to bring more equipment, supplies, and groceries, which means that even though you’re out in nature, you can still enjoy a luxurious meal. We did a lot of eating during my trip, but my favorite meal was the first, where we grilled burgers over the campfire and put together a hearty salad as a side. We were able to use electricity from the RV to make coffee, and my guides also showed me how to rinse off dishes without adding too much waste to the gray water tank.
3. RVing isn’t just a hobby – it’s a lifestyle
I realized quickly that RVers love to talk about their rigs, the improvements they’ve made, and which one they’re considering upgrading to next. This was a great conversation starter with our neighbors, leading to several RV tours and ultimately some shared drinks by the fire. Given mine was a rental, I didn’t have much to offer to the discussions… until I realized that RVers are also looking for easier ways to book campgrounds, and that is something I DEFINITELY know about 🙂
4. A good RV trip includes a balance of nature and comfort
On our second day at Elkamp, we made the 45-minute drive to Mount Rainier and hiked the Nisqually Vista Trail. It was surreal to see so much snow and ice despite the 80-degree sunny day. And even more surreal was the incredible beauty of the mountain, which we experienced on the way there, at the site itself, on the way back, and even from a distance at the campground. And I must say: after returning to the campground tired and sweaty, it sure was nice to have my private shower and a comfortable bed.
5. There are many types of camping, and you don’t have to stick with one
People often ask me about my favorite camping memory, and it’s impossible to choose. There was the trip to upstate New York a few years back, where a group of friends and I set up tents on the grounds of a brewery for a weekend festival. And earlier this year, I staved off the frigid temperatures of the Indiana winter in a rustic cabin. My trip to Elkamp Eastcreek makes the highlight reel as well – this time in an RV (or, as I came to think of it, a luxury hotel on wheels). One of the reasons I enjoy camping is because it allows for a break from the norm. And as this trip showed me, it’s even possible to break from the camping norm with various trip types, accommodation types, and activities.
This was my first stay in an RV, but it won’t be my last. It was also a good reminder that while the “return to normal” has been a “return to busy,” it’s important to take the occasional break and experience the beauty that our nation’s campgrounds, parks, and natural sites have to offer.