Why We Ditched the RV for a Car

Last week we packed up a rental car and headed out on the Great American Road Trip. From the snowy mountains of Colorado to the muggy green hills of Virginia, the three of us are living out of suitcases and sleeping in cheap motels for about 14 days.We left Colorado in snowy conditions and today we’re sweltering it out in Memphis.

road trip, rental car, RV, snow, Colorado, Arctic Fox
Our Arctic Fox buried in snow just two weeks ago in Colorado.

On the spur of the moment, we decided to head to Virginia for a major Tripawds gathering. It was totally worth the effort. The event attracted great people from as far away as Germany! Along the way we are seeing friends and family in Atlanta and Memphis.

Road-tripping without the RV is an entirely different experience and one that makes us miss the comforts of our fifth wheel.

tripawds, dogs, people, pets, amputee, three-legged
The Tripawds Community is amazing.

We brought our pillows with us, but that only goes so far. Since our meager motel budget only allows us to stay in low-end, pet-friendly places, I brought along a supply of anti-bacterial wipes. The moment we walk into a room everything gets a swipe, from the TV remote to the door knobs. That’s after I check behind the bed for bugs. So far, so good.

Our budget is so tight that the other day we checked into a Days End and were pleasantly surprised to see this. An old-school paper toilet-seat wrap proclaiming it’s been sanitized.

road trip, RV, rental car, motel, Salisbury, North Carolina, Days Inn
Old school motel housekeeping at the Days Inn, Salisbury NC.

And you know you’re moving up in the world when your motel provides you with soap, shampoo and lotion. What a thrill!

motel, Days Inn, toiletriese, road trip, RV, rental car
Movin’ on up in motels. We got LOTION too!

Why Did We Leave the RV in Colorado?

Why didn’t we take the RV, you ask? Because driving tons of miles on East Coast highways isn’t our idea of fun. Yesterday’s hellish traffic to get out of Atlanta was proof. We’ve done East Coast RVing before and prefer the wider, calmer roads of the west. The only way we’ll travel east in the RV again is if we go somewhere and stay in one place for a season. A short two week road trip in the RV to the East Coast just isn’t fun for us.

RV, rental car, road trip, Virginia
A sign from Jerry that we were on the right path in Kentucky.

Driving a rental car and staying in motels costs about the same. And since we don’t mind roughing it in budget accommodations, we’re paying about the same as bringing the rig. We also don’t eat out too often. For example, most of our dinners have consisted of bagged salads from grocery stores. We also save on fuel and go farther in one day, since I can help with the driving (I don’t drive the RV). Plus it’s much easier to swing by quirky roadside attractions, like James Reid’s severed foot grave marker in Salisbury, North Carolina.

rental car, RV, road trip, roadside attraction
Quirky roadside attraction graveyard in Salisbury, North Carolina.

After leaving Memphis tomorrow, we’ll book it back to Colorado, ditch the rental car and settle into a long, cool summer at Jerry’s Acres. See you there!



4 thoughts on “Why We Ditched the RV for a Car”

  1. We did a Christmas road trip from Eastern Canada to Houston Texas this past year, and we were so glad we’d left the trailer at home! We car camped there and back, sleeping at truck stops and rest areas. 4 days and 2388 miles one way, but we had the best time! Nothing like a good road trip. Safe travels! 🙂

    • I saw that on your blog Kelley! We know some Canadians who drive south right after Christmas and I think they’re gutsier than we are. Glad you had a great time.

  2. You are so right to not travel the east in your RV. We have been HATING the driving out here. Not to mention the lack of boondocking availability outside of Wal-Mart. So much so that we’re camped out for a few months at my mom’s place recuperating, then we’re high-tailing it back to the west coast. We won’t come here again in anything larger than a van.

    • Hey Maya, we were totally wondering how you and Ryan have been doing on the highways out there. As west coasters we know you get our frustration with driving out there. It’s crazytown and staying there is so expensive. Have a smooth road trip back and we’ll see you on the big open highways of the west!


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