Sometimes, the “emergency” is with your family and due to your fulltiming lifestyle, your current location is not close to them. You may also just need to make a quick non-emergency visit—we have returned for one wedding and one birth—(thankfully at different times). One was announced ahead of time and the other was a week earlier than planned. You have three choices: public transportation, car, or return in the RV.
As a side note here, we have our two carry-on suitcases with us in the RV at all times. We do not carry any large suitcases with us. If we need the large ones, our daughter will ship them (empty) to wherever we are. Because we rarely use those carryon bags, they are handy for storing long-term items—i.e., heavy winter coats, rarely worn shoes, etc.
Public Transportation… A flight, train, or bus is your option. Lots of RVers use a credit card for expenses while RVing (fuel, campgrounds, eating out, etc.) and have the accumulated credit card “points.” Many have these points converted to frequent-flier miles. They use these miles for emergency tickets.
RVers can often take advantage of simply driving to a major airport and parking their RV in a campground close by. Flight fares may be less from major airports than from some obscure location. Itineraries are nearly always more flexible. Smaller airports typically require additional flight segments—often in small aircraft.
We typically drive our RV to a good location (up to 100 miles from the airport), but then actually drive our personal vehicle to the airport. The combination works well. It provides security for the RV while we are gone, allows us to access major airports to reduce flight costs, and parking a normal car near an airport is easy to do.
[Author Note… Many motels located near major airports have implemented an unusual car parking policy. We have used this service on two occasions. One motel required us to rent a room for one night and with that, we were allowed to park our vehicle on the motel lot for up to ten days while we were on our trip. We flew back, picked up our car, and everything was fine. There was no additional cost for this. On a recent flight, we did not rent the room but the motel parking fee was minimal during the trip—much less than typical airport parking costs.]
Although it is not a trip “home,” we follow this same procedure when we go on a cruise. That is, put the motorhome in a campground away from airport or port and drive our car in. It works.
[Note: If you are hooked up to utilities at a campsite and plan to leave your RV for a few days…
- Fill your water tank and then unhook your water to prevent any accidents. That way, when you return, if there are any problems, you have on-board water ready to use.
- Turn off your water pump, too.
- Next, put in your slides (just in case of high winds).
- Always have an extra key hidden somewhere.
- In cold (potentially freezing) weather, unhook your sewer line, too.
- In cold (potentially freezing) weather, turn your furnace on—make sure it is the heat source that feeds some heat into the lower compartments. Roof-mounted heat pumps usually do not do this. (I know, I know, you want to use THEIR electricity with the heat pumps, NOT YOUR propane with the furnace. Sorry, but that’s the way it is.)
- Go and have a good time.
Personal Vehicle… If you find an ideal location to leave your RV, you can also drive your personal vehicle to your family’s location. While your family may provide a place to stay, having your own transportation available may be very helpful. Driving the personal vehicle will be less cost in fuel than driving the RV.
Drive the RV… Sometimes it is best to drive the RV to the “emergency.” The obvious disadvantage is the length of time it takes—there simply may not be time to get to where you need to be. Cost is also a factor especially if you want or need to return to your existing location.
The obvious advantages are that you have your “home” with you, can live normally for any length of time, will not be intruding as a “house guest,” have your own transportation (car or truck), and regardless of the length of stay, you will be prepared. While you may have to interrupt your planned trip, doing so will also create the opportunity for alternative destinations or routes.