Camper Quest Part 1: Expanding Our Kayaking World with an RV
My wife and I have been kayakers for about 12 years. Over the years, as we paddled rivers, Great Lakes and oceans, I expanded my knowledge and love of kayaking and today I share it with others as an instructor and volunteer. These days Lake Michigan is literally in our back yard, making it possible to walk down to our beach and paddle anytime (as long as the bay is not frozen like it is today). We’ve also been tent campers for years, and I expect we will continue to kayak tent camp as often as possible.
But here’s the thing…
Like a lot of baby boomers nearing retirement, we hear the call of the open road and the appeal of sleeping in a bed that’s not in contact with the ground. I’m calling this project our “Camper Quest” — a deep dive into all things RV. Mary will tell you I’m kind of obsessed with it all. There’s so much I’ve already learned, so many choices we’ve already made, with some of the biggest choices still ahead of us.
Our goal is to buy an RV and explore North America. We want to enjoy life spontaneously on the road for days and weeks at a time with only a vague notion of where our next stop might be. Along the way we’ll visit family, friends and other natural wonders. We’ll dip our kayaks in rivers, lakes and oceans we haven’t yet paddled. That’s what our Camper Quest is all about; expanding our kayaking world via the RV lifestyle.
“What’s the big deal?” you may ask. All we have to do is figure out how to carry kayaks with us in an RV. Easy, right? Well, not exactly.
Choosing an RV sometimes seems overwhelming. For first-time RV owners, which is what we hope to become, the choice involves a whole range of benefits and potential pitfalls. When you add the need/desire to tote along two kayaks, you have an even more complex array of options and solutions to sort through.
For us, finding the right RV is especially tricky because of the length of our kayaks. They’re 17-1/2 feet long, which is nearly twice the length of most whitewater kayaks and many recreational kayaks. It’s not easy to strap these bad boys to a car, let alone an RV.
During the coming days and weeks I’ll blog about visits to RV shows and dealerships, share highlights and links to many of the resources I discover, and outline major and minor decisions we make along the way. I’ll also write about choices we “unmake” when we discover new information that sways our decisions.
Topics I’ll examine in upcoming blog posts include:
- What are our requirements for an RV?
- Camper trailer or motor home?
- Rent vs. buy?
- What type? What brand? What model?
- Are roof racks or back-of-RV racks an option?
- Other methods to carry kayaks
- What about more easily transportable kayaks?
My goal in sharing our camper quest is to help others thinking about buying an RV; especially kayakers thinking about buying an RV. If you already own an RV, I want to hear from you. How do you RV? What have you learned? What works? What doesn’t work?