RV Tourist: Tips, Tools, and stories
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I want to tell you a bit about RV Tourist: Tips, Tools, and Stories. It is your one-volume resource for RV travel, whether you’re experienced, a beginner, or only dreaming about using an RV. Unlike other books that focus on just one or two aspects of the RV lifestyle, RV Tourist addresses a variety of crucial questions:
Is there an alternative to panic when you step onto the RV sales lot and see 478 rigs, in four basic styles and several brands, each of which has nineteen choices regarding length, style, layout, add-ons, and so forth?
What do you do when you have absolutely no idea where you are, and the cat has batted the map off the console and is napping on it?
What’s the correct reaction to opening the sewer dump gate … and discovering the dump hose connection wasn’t secure?
How do you plan when it’s almost vacation time, and you can go anywhere on our vast continent?
What do you do with sixteen rolls of developed film and all those happy memories?
Why do I think I can help you with these questions? Well, I have been traveling in some sort of recreational vehicle since the 1950s. My family car-camped, then bought a small trailer which we pulled with a Ford station wagon. My husband and I camped in our car, and I bought a self-contained RV in 1997. During those decades I’ve visited Canada, Mexico, and every state except Hawaii—I just can’t figure out how to drive there! My parents and I kept extensive notes on each stop, which form the basis of many of the narratives in the book. I generally travel alone, except for my pets, so I have fully experienced most of the joys and pitfalls of RV life on the road.
I’ve been writing about my RV experiences, with a good response from editors and readers. Some chapters of RV Tourist: Tips, Tools, and Stories were printed in similar form in RVing Women and Highways:
“Warning, Will Robinson! Planning Your Worst Trip Ever” as “How-to Guide for Planning Your Worst Trip Ever” (RVing Women, vol. 15 #5, Sept/Oct 2005);
“Magic RV” as “Traveling in a Magic RV with Dolphin and Lady” (RVing Women, vol. 15 #5, Sept/Oct 2005);
“Early Trailering Experiences—Historical Perspective: The Reluctant Draggin” excerpted as “Getting Started” (Highways, vol. 40 #11, Good Sam Club, 2006, p. 85).
Of course, RV Tourist gives you much more than I could fit into a few magazine articles, providing information and stories about the following:
• Technical issues (choosing a rig, connecting to campground utilities, backing and parking, dealing with fuel and power, organizing supplies),
• Itinerary planning (identifying vacation styles and goals, deciding where to go, designing local and longer trips),
• Campgrounds (choosing the right one, getting the most from your campground, coping with neighbors),
• Safety (not getting lost, traveling with a disability, traveling alone),
• Companions (traveling with friends, children, and pets), and
• Personal pleasure (what the lifestyle is like, how to find a church, how to make a memory book).
The five sections of RV Tourist cover Getting Started, Planning, Safety, Living with Others, and “That Was Fun—Now What?” which suggests easy ways to make a scrapbook of your trip. Within each section are several different types of chapters:
—Toolbox chapters give specific, detailed information on a topic; each ends with a Tools checklist as a summary. My Toolbox chapters are full of stories that show you my mistakes, so you don’t have to repeat them.
—TIPS help smooth your way through common problems in a concise manner.
—Trip Commentaries discuss one of my trips or a portion of a trip, illustrating and applying what I’ve learned about the subject.
—Side Trips are vignettes or meditations, giving a different view of the topic.
—Historical Perspectives look back across half a century of RVing experiences.
There’s even a glossary of RV terms, so you know what I’m talking about. Resource Materials and Contact Information for places, people, and references in the book form Appendices B and C. And a comprehensive Index allows you to find information, places, and people I’ve mentioned. The Tools and TIPS are collected in Appendix A.
You’ll meet my dog and cat, Lady and Dolphin, and my RVs, the Reluctant Draggin’, the Travelin’ Tortoise, and the Meandering Moose. I hope you will have fun wandering around North America with us.
Are there other books out there to help you get into the RV lifestyle? Yes, but mine is different because you get all the information in one volume, it’s more than just a set of checklists, and my stories give practical applications of what I’m talking about. With resource and contact information, plus a full index, you won’t have to spend your time and money figuring it all out on your own.
My stories of half-a-century of RV travels will give you useful information, make you chuckle, and show what I’m saying, because—trust me—I’ve done all this. I’ve been lost, traveled with friends, spent $4.20 for a gallon of gas, continued to travel in spite of serious hip pain, and made simple scrapbooks so I can remember the fun I had.
RV Tourist is perfect if you are looking for your first RV,
are wondering what RV life is like,
have been traveling in an RV but want to do and see more,
or, of course, if you just enjoy reading good stories!
And in return, please let me know about your travel adventures. I’d love to hear from you: elsidodge@RVTourist.com