By Laura Ballance

‘Rookie’ might be overstating it, more like a novice.

I’ve been RV’ing before, but wouldn’t call myself an expert. Experts don’t have to read manuals to empty the sani dump. I, on the other hand, am an expert at reading the manual while directing my husband on that task. But I do love the idea of a hotel room on wheels that allows families to vacation almost any weekend of the year.

There is no doubt that as British Columbians, we live in one of the most beautiful and exciting regions of the world, perfect for exploring. So when my husband Rick and I, along with my 12-year-old stepson Kaleb, had the opportunity to head out in a 22-foot Adventurer from Fraserway RV in Abbotsford, we jumped at it.

The destination was set, three days at the Rockin’ River Music Festival in Merritt, but the journey was the real point of our adventure. British Columbia in summer – what’s not to love!

The upsides of RV vacationing are many. Today’s RVs are priced competitively – you can buy a trailer for under $20,000 and, of course, the sky is the limit for those mansions on wheels! And, of course, renting is a great option.

RVs allow families to take weekend vacations throughout the year and our three-day adventure was a perfect mini break. Complete with kitchen’s RVs are also a cost effective solution to constant restaurant eating during most hotel-based vacations.

Other huge pluses include having your own bathroom; room for video games and miscellaneous ‘must have’ teenager electronics and enough snacks to keep an almost teenager fed.

Surprisingly, driving an RV is easy. Our Adventurer is a Class C, which means drivers do not require a special drivers license, it’s essentially like driving a truck. The biggest things to get used to are the height and length of the vehicle, and giving yourself extra turning radius.

Packed up and ready to roll, we set out from Abbotsford heading east to Merritt. The drive was fantastic. British Columbia really is spectacular, and today’s RVs are equipped all the modern devices such as GPS and Bluetooth, making the conversion from my daily driver SUV to RV surprisingly easy.

We stopped in Hope for supplies and a coffee refill for me. There seems to be camaraderie within the RV community, and even on a short stop we met lots of fellow travellers headed further west.

The convenience of having your own bathroom, kitchen and all your personal items along for the ride makes impromptu stops and meandering routes very possible.

The ride to Merritt reminded me how lucky we are here in BC, the scenery is beautiful and seeing it roll by through the RV window made us all look a little closer – we weren’t commuting, we were vacationing.

Arriving at the family camping area of the festival I started to notice little tricks the expert RVers use.  A rug just outside the door for dirty shoes.  Storage containers that fit the RV shelves.  Solar lights for the ‘patio’.  I filed this information away because someday soon we’ll have an RV of our own.

The festival delivered as promised, great country music ranging from the country music of my teens (John Michael Montgomery) to today’s most popular artists (Sam Hunt). There were also some great Canadian acts like High Valley and local up and coming band Me and Mae.
It was a great weekend, and one that I would highly recommend. The best part of our trip was the freedom to do what we wanted, when we wanted.

If this piqued your interest, check out the Snowbird RV Show this weekend at Tradex in Abbotsford. It opens at 10 a.m. daily, closing at 9 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for youths (13-19). Children 12 and under, free
The Family Pack – $20, includes 2 adults and up to 4 youths and the Multi-Day Pass is $10 adults or youth.

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