If you’re an RV owner looking to make some extra income, or a wannabe RV traveler who just wants to get a taste of the lifestyle, this is the post for you!
Last week our family took an RV to the Grand Canyon. We explored the area, took in the sights at the national park, and enjoyed some quality family time!
We got comfy with books and screens in the heated RV when the weather turned bad, and when it cleared up we drove over to the Grand Canyon for the amazing views.
And when we were done, we returned the RV to her rightful owner and went on our merry way!
Our family has been traveling full-time for the past year and a half, and usually we travel in our minivan and stay in Airbnbs. But we wanted to see what it was like to travel in an RV — for our own experience and so we could teach you how in our Family Gap Year Academy!
RVshare.com is a site with a similar concept to Airbnb, but with RVs! RV owners list their RVs on the site and rent them out to vacationers. This way, the RV owners can earn some income from their RVs when they aren’t using them, and families like ours get to have a fun adventure without the major purchase of buying their own RV!
RVshare set our family up with an RV rental for our trip so that we could give RV life a try and share our experience with you. And what a fun experience we had!
We left in the afternoon and drove about two hours to Prescott, AZ where we picked up the RV. We got a full walkthrough and demonstrations on how to operate all the features of the RV.
The owner of our RV was out of town, but he arranged for a friend who knew the RV well to be there to walk us through everything.
We learned how to operate all the lighting, the heat, the water pump, and the slideout. On this RV, there was a slide on one side where the RV could extend to provide extra space while parked. It was pretty sweet!
We also learned how to access the cables and hoses to hook up to water, electricity, and dump the tanks when the time came.
Here are some of the amenities our RV (a Gulf Stream Conquest 6245) came equipped with:
- oven (though very small!)
- kitchen and bathroom sinks
- toilet and shower in the bathroom
- a full bed with a privacy curtain
- lots of cabinets and a larger pantry & closet with full-size mirrors on the door
- four-seat dinette table with seatbelts, which also converted into a bed
- two-seat cab
- sleeping bunk above the cab and access ladder
- ceiling vents with fans
Our walkthrough/learning session took about 30 minutes, including the time it took to load up all of our gear, and then we drove another two hours in the RV to our campsite right near the Grand Canyon.
At the Grand Canyon Camper Village, we had full hookups for electricity and water, a picnic table, and a campfire ring. The campsite is located right behind a general store that is full of any supplies you might need or want. We brought plenty of food with us but didn’t really need to. There are several restaurants right nearby and a Starbucks just a few feet away. I’m not a huge camper, so this was just fine with me!
The heated RV was a welcome respite overnight from the unseasonally cold weather outside. The big kids slept in the bunk above the cab, the littles slept on the dinette bed (the table folds down into a flat surface and the cushions become the mattress), and Daniel and I slept in the bed at the back of the RV.
The next morning we woke up to…SNOW. Yes, it snowed in Arizona on March 10th. And not just a little — it snowed a LOT!
The kids were thrilled and we even had a full-on snowball fight!
Although the weather was not ideal, that didn’t keep us from building a fire and roasting some marshmallows for s’mores that evening!
The weather cleared up the following day, so we pulled in the slide, unhooked from the campsite electricity, and drove into the Grand Canyon National Park.
We parked at Yavapai Point and walked to Mather Point, enjoying incredible views all along the way.
It started to rain just as we got to Mather, so we took the shuttle bus back to Yavapai. By the time we got back, the sun was out again, and a beautiful rainbow had formed across the canyon!
Back at the campsite, we built another fire and cooked hot dogs (and some more s’mores, of course).
We enjoyed warming ourselves by the fire well into the night while the kids played. It wasn’t hard to get everyone to sleep that night!
The next morning it was time to pack up and return the RV. We had such a fun time, and renting the RV was a great way to experience RV life without the huge investment of buying our own! We’ll definitely rent again from RVshare when we’re ready for our next RV adventure.
If you own an RV and want to make some extra cash, or if you’re looking to try out an RV for your next family vacation, definitely check out RVshare.com! And if you’re in Arizona, don’t miss the Grand Canyon. It really lives up to the hype!
Read more about our trip on our sister site, Shaping Up To Be A Mom: Grand Canyon RV Staycation
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