Me and my RV
By Brad Herzog
ON THE ROAD novelist Jack Kerouac
declared, “The road is life.” On the other hand,
Little House on the Prairie creator Laura
Ingalls Wilder claimed, “Home is the nicest
word there is.” Combine the two notions and
that best explains my love of the house-on-wheels experience: An RV journey combines
the life-affirming adventure of the open road
with the comforts of home.
As an author of American travel memoirs, exploration is my job. But it’s also my
hobby and passion. I have visited 48 states
(several times over) during my family’s annual
summer-long RV adventures. Whether it’s a
weekend jaunt or a cross-country excursion,
there is no better way for your family to build
lasting memories. Over the years, I’ve discovered how to make the most of the American
road trip. Let me help you get started with
yours by offering the following tips.
local dealer where you can test-drive the different options. Most can be rented, so you can try
before you buy. Search the nation’s 16,000
campgrounds, ranging from rustic to luxurious, at Go Camping America (www.gocamping
america.com). Both sites also offer packing tips
and easy road recipes (a traveling kitchen beats
paying for three restaurant meals a day).
Before you hit the road, map out the estimated travel times, campground reservations
and splurge-worthy adventures. Then you can
weave worry-free detours into the journey. In
other words, a little pre-trip compulsiveness
allows for mid-trip impulsiveness.
• PFK Consulting found that it’s 23
to 59 percent less expensive to travel
via RV than by more traditional means,
making it one of the fastest-growing
travel options for families.
• Visit the Go RVing website
( gorving.com) for vehicle types,
suggested itineraries, a camping
checklist, road-trip recipes and
favorite activities for the ride.
• Campground fees range from $10
to $75 per night (most areas suggest
making reservations ahead of time).
Being unplugged is part of the allure of
the road trip, but if you want to
stay connected, look for campgrounds
that offer Wi-Fi.
• Nearly half of all RVers travel with
their four-legged friends, saving pets
and owners the stress and expense of
boarding. Most campgrounds welcome
pets, but confirm prior to check-in.
• Build your road trip around what’s
most important to you—outdoor
adventure or spa experience, family
fun or wine tasting, beaches or
mountains, eco-conscious explorations
or intellectual pursuits.
• Don’t miss America’s scenic and
historical treasures in the form of 398
national parks, or the regional gems to
be found among 6,624 state park sites.
Visit www.nps.gov and www.state
Plan and scan
Flexibility and serenity are constant companions in an RV. No airport hassles. No
hotel-room remorse. No limiting luggage. No
cramped-car conflicts. You travel on your
own terms. But first, you’ll have to decide
where you’re going and how you’ll get there.
Visit Go RVing ( gorving.com) to find a
Quest for the quirky
Some of my fondest memories have
resulted from setting a course for whimsy. Last
summer, en route to the Grand Canyon, we
stopped at Cadillac Ranch, a collection of
graffiti-covered Caddies half-buried in a pasture just west of Amarillo, Texas. On the way
back, we spotted a billboard for “The World’s
Largest Hand-Dug Well” in Greensburg,
Kansas. We exited the highway with a shrug,
but the well turned out to be one of the few
local structures to survive a massive tornado
in 2007. The Big Well Museum now serves as
a memorial to the heroes of that day—and to
Greensburg’s decision to rebuild itself as a
green community. We had expected a silly
superlative. Instead, it was a road-trip highlight.
ster the scene playing on your big windshield.
Revisit the works of Mark Twain while camping on the banks of the Mississippi River, or
John Steinbeck while visiting the Monterey
Peninsula. Sometimes the memory of a single
song or sentence can enhance the scenery.
Seek out what most fascinates you about
our history. There’s no substitute for in-person
enlightenment, whether it’s the stunning
exhibits at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois,
or the battle scars at the Alamo in San
Antonio. When you walk the distance of the
first powered flight at the Wright Brothers
National Memorial near Kitty Hawk, North
Carolina, your spirit soars.
Of course, with all due respect to the
Wright brothers, I’d rather drive my RV than
fly any day. C
Costco member Brad Herzog has written
dozens of children’s books and three travel
narratives about his RV journeys through
Tablet or smartphone?
Scan or click here to watch
Brad Herzog talk about the
joys of RVing. (See page 5
for scanning details.)
Appreciate and educate
Immerse yourself in a sense of place.
Bring along an inspiring soundtrack to bol-
The Costco Connection
Costco offers RV financing through the
Costco Auto Program. Go to Costco.com,
click on “Services,” then click on “Boats and