Lessons From My First RV Trip

I just spent a week doing my annual father/son summer getaway.   Our crazy but fun RV trip is over. Back to reality; back to work. Before I forget, I want to share some things I learned along the way:

RV sales and rental companies should be required to follow concussion protocols similar to the NFL. Nicolas & I each hit our heads at least as many times as a typical linebacker during a full season. I’m still not sure what year it is or how many fingers you’re holding up.

Prius drivers are slow. I’m pretty sure they don’t even realize they are in a car. My guess is they meant to get on their bicycle and got in the Prius by accident. I’ve driven most of the East Coast TWICE in the past 5 weeks. I have lots of empirical data to back this up.

Google Maps Navigation does NOT base the estimated travel time on the posted speed limit and traffic conditions. As far as I can tell it is the average speed of traffic times your gross vehicle weight divided by 3,501.7. Since nobody drives the speed limit these days and EVERYBODY drives faster than the speed limit (besides Prius owners) you will be much later than Google says unless you are doing 90 in a 70. Also a loaded RV is slightly more than 3,501.7 pounds so there’s that. Case in point, doing 72 in a 65 – Google kept adding 1 minute to our arrival time every 7.25 minutes of driving time. Do the math.

Chevy cruise control blows. Set cruise control for 70. Start up a hill, speed drops to 62. Amnesia Cruise Control mode wakes up and RV downshifts to overdrive and speeds up to 78 using 37 gallons of gas in the process. Almost rear-end a semi , turn off cruise control and re-engage at 70.

You can jump a Prius in an RV. Remember that precision cruise control system? It is particularly good at getting and RV up to Evil Knievel Jump-The-Gorge speeds any time you approach an overpass hill. Just as you get partway up the overpass it will downshift to overdrive and floor it. It peaks at something close to 98 MPH, I can’t say for certain as that is the point I close my eyes. This sends the RV airborne at the crest of the hill. During one of the numerous daredevil stunts on the 8.5 , I mean 10.75, hour drive home I opened my eyes and the light blue all-electric Prius we were about to take out was somehow behind us. I’m pretty sure we jumped it. Either that or we just ran it over and the RV spat it out the backside like a used burrito.

There are many more things I learned from being an “RVer” this past week; DC public transportation is unreliable, RV Park WiFi is connected to dial-up modems, don’t drink the water, do see the Smithsonian museums, DC people are nicer than they look, and your congressmen and senators really ARE as lazy as you think.

In short, if you’ve never done the RV experience I highly recommend it. It may not be the most enjoyable or relaxing trip you take but it will certainly be memorable; other than those things you forget from short-term amnesia caused by your 12th concussion of the week.

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