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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Going Mobile

In the RV timeline, we’ve finally grown up

My how we’ve grown as RVers.

It was four years ago this month when we bought our Thor Gemini at Camping World in the Spokane Valley and started traveling. In that time, we’ve come a long way -- literally 50,000 miles -- and we’ve also grown into our role of RVers.

We were like little kids when we started out in 2018. We experienced our early life on the road with childlike wonder -- everything was fresh and amazing. We wanted to see it all!

We zig-zagged our way through the West, going from beautiful location to beautiful location, exhausting ourselves in the process, and then kept going across the vast country. When things went wrong, we acted like little kids, too: We whined, cried and threw some memorable tantrums. (And John occasionally lost his cool, too.)

There was the time we found ourselves on the Gulf Coast of Florida during spring break without any reservations. Boo-hoo, we wailed when we couldn’t book any of the crazy-busy campsites for more than a day. Not fair!

And there was the time our rig froze up in Colorado during a ski trip. So wrong! Waa!

But of course, adversity helps you learn, and we certainly got schooled. When we entered our second year on the road, we had grown into RVers with a cocky teenager ‘tude.

We thought we knew it all. We were overconfident, too sure of ourselves, impatient. “Let’s stay in that sketchy RV park in North Phoenix,” we said. “What could go wrong?”

When one of our bikes was stolen, we were shocked, even though we knew that crime was common in the area. The lessons of our “teenage year” were sometimes painful.

Then we hit year three, also known as the pandemic year. Uncertainty reigned. Was it safe to still travel? In the “young adults” phase of our RVing lifetime, we had lots of experience and enough confidence to keep traveling.

By year four on the road, we felt like we had things figured out. We were fully functioning RV adults now, smart enough to know that we didn’t know everything, and calm enough to fix everything from a leaky ceiling to an underpowered coach battery system.

But we made one classic mistake. We overpacked, brought way too much and schlepped around clothing and gear that we never really used.

So now, as we begin year five on the road, we finally see ourselves as RVing grown-ups. We know where we want to go and are cognizant of our limits.

We no longer try to see it all. Instead, we’ve booked an itinerary of well-chosen locations in Oregon, California and Arizona, staying in our favorite places longer for deeper connections as we travel south for the winter.

We have decided to leave a lot of things home this time around too. No trailing car, no outdoor shelter, no ski gear.  We’ve evolved, seeing the beauty of keeping things simple in our trip to the sunny southwest.

How have you grown as an RVer?

Enough about us. We’d love to hear your stories about lessons you’ve learned and how you’ve grown on the road. Send us an email at and we’ll include your stories in the next column.

Leslie Kelly
Leslie Kelly is a freelance writer.