RVing Will Change the Way You Road Trip


What is your most dreaded part of the family road trip?

Is it the constant packing and unpacking when you change hotel rooms?

Is it the incessant bickering of the kids as your drive?

Or is it the never-ending complaints of “I’m hungry” or “I have to go to the bathroom” (often mere minutes after you’ve left a gas station)?

I understand!

My family travels often- and most often by driving.  But last summer we took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park and back- with stops at Devil’s Tower and Mount Rushmore- that had no packing woes, no bickering and no whining.

How did we do it?

We rented an RV!

Class C RV
Class C RV from Road Trip RV Adventures in Polk City, Iowa (click image to go to their Facebook page)

What’s So Great About RVing?

Often the journey is the most overlooked part of a family adventure, merely seen as a way to get to and from your destination.  With an RV, the journey becomes part of the adventure.  You can stop at that quirky roadside attraction with no worries of being late to hotel check in.

Family RV Road Trip
Playing- nicely!- in the RV

If you’ve ever left items (like your complete overnight bag) at a hotel, you know how frustrating it can be to get it back (or replace every. single. thing. in. it).  When you’re vacationing in an RV the chance of forgetting things is practically non-existent.

And food!  The ability to bring food along significantly lowers your costs.  Instead of eating out 3 times a day, you can enjoy your own meals for much less and splurge on a really memorable meal or two.

And, best of all, everyone isn’t cramped in a car or hotel room!  You can spread out in the area around your RV- when you’re there. It’s amazing the activities you’ll find at many RV parks now…  swimming, bicycling, mini-golf, crafts & activities.  It’s like a resort- for a fraction of the cost!

What You Should Know About RVing

Unless you are choosing to rent an RV instead of flying to your destination, it’s unlikely that renting an RV will save you much money.  But do the math- you may find that you are very close to breaking even.

When you rent an RV, you supply the insurance.  Most insurance companies can add this on to your existing policy relatively inexpensively.  Or the RV company has a provider you can use.

RV gas tanks are huge.  Expect to spend $175- $250 to completely fill the gas tank.

You won’t want to take the RV for short jaunts from where you have parked.  If you don’t plan to tow your vehicle (check to see if the rental company will allow that), many RV parks offer car rental by the day.

Simple Cost Analysis Form

Before we vacation, I break down costs.  This is the simple budget form I used when we rented the RV last summer.

Trip Cost Analysis RV Flights Drive + Hotels
Travel (rental) (cost) (hotel rooms)
Fuel/ Transport (rental car)
Lodging (RV park) (hotel at destination) (hotels for trip)
Sanity (priceless) (TSA/waiting/layovers)


Inside Class C RV
Inside our Class C RV- bed over the front seats, bed in the rear plus the table and couch both fold down for more sleeping area. Kitchen, refrigerator, and tiny bathroom in between.

We rented our RV from a small local company, Road Trip RV Adventures in Polk City.  We found the prices to be reasonable, the RVs to be easy to use and the service was excellent.

Road Trip RV Adventures is offering Des Moines Moms Blog readers a 10% discount off a reservation of a week (7 days) or more when you mention Des Moines Moms Blog!

Have you ever considered renting an RV?  What do you think you would like or dislike about it?


  1. I want a small camper someday.  Jody this sounds like a really fun idea to do.  I remember family summer vacations growing up.  Although we had a large van the RV would be a lot nicer.

  2. Jody L Halsted I’ve wanted to look into this for our trip to Colorado so thanks for the post! My only concern is having to rent another vehicle for transport when we get there (steep passes, etc). Totally worth having my 3 year old have space to run instead of being crammed into her car seat!

    • @Claresmama   Jody L Halsted I have to admit that crossing Nebraska in an RV was much nicer than in a car!  Where do you plan to stay in Colorado?  If you rent an RV and stay at a campground, you may be able to rent a car there.


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