Camper Quest Part 2: Rent Before You Buy

A photo from the 1954 comedy, The Long, Long Trailer, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Last week I introduced here the topic of our Camper Quest — our search to find the perfect (or at least acceptable) solution to expand our kayaking world via the RV lifestyle. I’ve been doing a ton of research on the topic because RV’s ain’t cheap. Before we fork over that kind of dough, I want to feel we made a reasonably informed choice. Another reason I’m conducting so much research is because RV shopping is fun… to me anyway. It’s a middle-aged guy thing to do, combining my affinity for gadgets with our anticipation of open-road freedom.

One helpful and enjoyable resource I’ve discovered during my research is, hosted by a fun-loving couple from Utah — James and Stef — who blog and post YouTube videos about all things RV.  In addition to solid RV advice, theirs is an active, outdoorsy lifestyle, so I can relate. The general tone of their blog toward RV’s is positive. I haven’t yet seen them warn viewers to avoid a particular RV model or brand. However, to their credit, they do a nice job of showcasing layout, features and operation and then letting you decide for yourself.

Out of all the videos and blog posts from, the information I found most helpful so far is this page: 8-Step Program for Choosing Your First RV. This well-thought-out plan starts with step #1: “Stop thinking about RVs”. Now, I’ll admit, this is not easy for me, a self-acknowledged victim of RV fever. But I like to think I have successfully mastered this bit of advice, especially the recommendation to consider your “special storage needs.” In our case, our special storage need is for sea kayaks. Figuring out how to take them with us is a very special need that will have a major influence on our eventual RV decision.

Anyway, from comes Step 2: If you’ve never owned an RV, rent one. So… that’s what Mary and I are about to do. I found a great website called It’s  like AirBnB, only Outdoorsy is for for RV owners and renters. Mary and I will rent a class C motorhome from a private owner in California. The campsite we reserved is just footsteps away from a Southern California beach. I’m looking forward to not only our vacation time together, but also our upcoming experiment to see if the RV lifestyle suits us. Who knows? Maybe we’ll hate the whole experience, but I doubt it.



What do you think? Please comment!