THE ETHICAL TRAVELER

RVs are hotter than ever, and may be the ultimate in slow travel…

 

 

This year air travel has been only for the privileged or the brave.  

 

Booking a flight has been a gamble, for whether it’ll be cancelled or if your beloved belongings will make it, and then there’s the myriad standing-room-only lines along the way that challenge even the most mild-mannered of us. Going through an airport or trying to take a simple vacation has become a recipe for a mini breakdown. It must not suck having your own jet.

 

Now it’s cooling down, October comes as a relief and is a perfect time to take a road trip. Let’s ignore planes for now. They’ll sort it out. 

 

North America is an amazing and vast continent. The immensity of which you only begin to realize when you fly from coast to coast and sit in a window-seat, or you’ve slept for a few hours traveling at 500 mph, you wake up and you’re still over it. By road it’s an incredibly diverse country to explore, whether for its beaches and coastal routes, mountains, canyons, deserts, national parks, prairies, forests, lakes, or rivers. You can drive for months. And some people do.

 

If you live in a city, leaving it for a few days, or a couple of weeks, is a necessity for emotional and mental health and can work wonders. No matter where you live, you’re probably within two hours of something beautiful, weird, or amazing. 

 

I spoke to Cannon Combs at RV Station based in Texas. He has nine dealerships in Texas and Oklahoma and counting. Combs sells recreational vehicles, some of which are enormous and it’s literally like driving your house around, and for ever more people these days, it is indeed their house. Their mobile home. (We also reported on this trend a while back.  

 

 

View upstream from Divide Mountain along the East Branch of the West Fork Toklat River. Denali National Park, Arkansas. Photo by Kim Arthur

 

 

 

Cannon, some of these things look like tour buses. Do they have electric or hybrid versions? 

 

Not really, they’re talking about that – but most of them are too big for an electric engine,

because it’s like your house on wheels. Most of them are gas or diesel.

 

 

What’s the average mileage?

 

Between 8-15 mpg. A 45-footer can be 6-7 miles to the gallon, seriously. 

 

 

Do you find that a lot more people say in the past 5- 10 years are hitting the road?

 

Oh yes definitely. A lot more lately. It used to just be, 10 years ago, baby boomers, they retired, sold their house, bought an RV and toured the US, went up to Alaska, all that stuff. But nowadays the buyers are getting younger, they’re not all retired, some are selling their houses as they’re worried about the economy, and they want to make money, or they made money in the big housing boom, sold up, bought an RV and live in the RV.

 

Before, when the Keystone Pipeline was going, we sold a ton of RV’s to pipeliners, as they moved with the job as it moved through the United States. Then Biden closed down the pipeline.

  

 

And can you park anywhere?  Say, could you essentially go and live in a National Park?

 

You can’t just pull over in a national park as you need hook-ups, you have to hook up your sewer and your electric. That’s called wet camping, don’t quote me on the wet as it’s not really wet, but dry camping is where you have a generator, then you don’t need hook-ups as you have a black tank for your poo water, grey tank for shower water, that’s dry camping, so you can’t just go and camp anywhere. But here’s the thing, Sam Walton made it a schtick that you could go to any Walmart parking lot. They have huge parking lots and they’re everywhere and you can stay there for free, if you can dry camp. It’s a smart move on them, as then you go in and spend a hundred bucks.

 

 

Can you get a sat dish, or wi-fi for them? How about solar panels??

 

Yes, of course, all that stuff.

 

 

Can you get them custom painted, say in camouflage, so they blend into nature more??

 

Ha ha, yes we don’t do that, but you can do that.

 

 

So is it ethical having an RV?

 

Well around 75% sold are towables, 25% are motor homes, and they all have to pass their emissions test. They don’t put out any more emissions than cars.   

 

 

 

Cannon Combs offers top brands and 5-star service. 

  

Important, amazing, you-got-it-here-first Travel Advice from WONDERLUST: Check for extreme weather disasters before you go. And remember, leave no trace. You’re welcome!