July 5, 2010

Is This For Us?

How Does This Work?
RV America in Johnstown, Colorado, rents all sorts of RVs, including Class Bs, and the staff was so helpful and patient in answering all of our questions.  They even allowed us to take a test drive the week before our rental was to start.  We rented a Pleasure-Way Excel, the only Class B available, and we had a complete orientation the day we picked it up.

Of course, I had already purchased supplies and specialized equipment that would fit into a Class B, and I wanted to outfit the RV as if we were traveling for our extended trip.  Perhaps I went a bit overboard, but I really wanted to simulate that experience and not just throw things into cabinets.

Our plan was to spend the first night nearby at Horsetooth Reservoir and then make our way to Jackson, Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park where we would spend a few days with our friends Noreen and Mike.  Grand Teton National Park is one of my favorite places, and this seemed to be the perfect destination.

Our First Dinner at Horsetooth Reservoir, CO

Fish for Dinner?

Just Another Lovely Spot at Alcova Reservoir, WY
We thoroughly enjoyed our first two nights on the road.  The two campgrounds where we stayed were in county parks in beautiful settings directly on the water.  We even were able to camp without hookups in the rain the second night and had a great experience.  We had not been able to reserve a spot in a campground in Grand Teton National Park, so we had made reservations at a private campground in Jackson.  The sites were much closer together here, but there were lots of trees.
Ready for a Party in Jackson, WY
Visiting with Noreen and Mike was wonderful, and we enjoyed hiking in the park.  But camping in an RV, maybe that was not as much fun.  We had not been able to successfully make up the bed to be comfortable, and we were learning that there’s a lot of work involved in living in an RV.  My least favorite aspect, however, was campground showers.

Mike and Noreen in Grand Teton National Park

Sarah and Tim in Grand Teton National Park
When we left Jackson for our drive home, I was very discouraged.  “This is just not going to work,” I thought to myself.  “My dream is slowly dying, and there is no way we are going to be able to take the trip.  RVing is just not for us.”  I even suggested that we stay in a hotel that night and not look for a campground.

Camping at the Hampton Inn
On the drive home the next day, Tim and I were able to regroup, and we made a list of pros and cons, what our requirements might be.  With a good night’s sleep behind us, we were able to think more clearly.  We came to the conclusion that certain things would make a trip by RV work for us.

First, we decided that we would take a break and plan to stay in a hotel one or two nights a week.  We would try to camp in more natural settings, instead of private campgrounds.  We would also focus our search on Class Bs with certain features, including a shower with enough headroom to stand upright in and a taller entrance door.  Other custom amenities like bedding designed for the RV would also be a must.  Also, we had to determine how we would deal with the needs of the cat, particularly where we might be able to put a litter box.

We returned the RV with a new attitude, confident that our original plan to travel by RV was for us after all.

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