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Balancing the RV Escape and the Convenience of Digital Devices

February 15, 2013 10:00 am Published by / 2 Comments
A lot of travelers feel that the most advantageous aspect of the RVing lifestyle is the ability to “get away from it all.” While this is one of the great benefits of the RV, it is possible to take it too far. For RVers who crave the conveniences they have left behind at home it’s important to remember that you don’t have to “get away” from the aspects of the modern digital world that you enjoy. This is your RV vacation. You can pick and choose whom you want to invite along, and that includes your digital devices and tools.
A Sell My RV Tip Sheet: Digitize Your RV
#1: Turning “off” vs. Basic Safety: Many attempt to “turn off” when they get in the RV. They go so far as to actually turn off their cell phones. While this is a personal choice, there are a few things to consider. First, consider the fact that cell phones are great safety devices. Many have built in services that can be used to pinpoint the location of the phone (which could be useful in the event of an emergency). That’s not to mention the sheer convenience of being able to call for help when necessary. Then there’s the entire issue of the availability of so many useful applications on the  smart phones of today.
#2: Spontaneity vs. the Mapping Application: Jumping in the RV and traveling on a whim can be great fun. But with the advent of smart phone mapping applications (available for immediate download at affordable prices), spontaneity no longer has to go hand in hand with getting lost. RVers should consider the mapping application as an accessory for spontaneous trips rather than a disruption. It’s not hindering your ability to be spontaneous…it’s actually increasing your ability to indulge in spontaneous side trips and surprise destinations.
#3: Focusing on the Great Outdoors vs. Digital Entertainment: Ditching the video games, the TV, the movies, email, social media, etc. sounds like a cool idea. It leaves you with all sorts of time to spend going on outdoor adventures and getting to know the feel of the sun on your face and the grass between your toes. It could be conducive to the evolution of an actual relationship between you and the great outdoors for the first time in your life. But this type of “cold turkey” media fast isn’t the only way to encourage outdoor interaction. It’s quite possible to listen to music on your iPod while you make breakfast, take a hike with the kids in the morning, stop for a picnic lunch beside a cold creek at noon and then play a rousing game of Nerf Tag in the afternoon, then follow it all up with a favorite movie in the RV before bedtime. It’s the best of both worlds. You got out and made good with the great outdoors and you got to spend some time indoors relaxing, too. The availability of indoor activities doesn’t have to inhibit access to outdoor activities.
#4: Home Cooked Meals in the RV vs. Finding Local Hotspots: The RV is prized for its kitchen area. Vacationers are no longer forced to endure fast food joints along the highway as they travel from place to place. Home cooked meals and healthy snacks prepared in the travelers’ own RV kitchen are an amazing benefit of traveling by RV. But that doesn’t mean that you NEVER want to eat out. You are on vacation after all. And food can be a definite part of a regional experience. For instance, who goes to Austin, Texas without stopping at The Hills? And on the way out of town, it would be a crying shame if you weren’t aware that you should head to The Roadhouse in Bastrop. Finding these hot spots and others in any area you might be visiting is easy when you utilize the digital tools at your disposal. Find a great road trip application and download it. There are countless options. One that we’ve tried is Along the Way.
#5: “Getting Away from it All” vs. Working from the RV Home Office: The epitome of bringing your work home with you is to work from a home office. In the same vein, it’s hard for individuals who work from their RV home office to feel as if the RV still offers an opportunity to “get away from it all.” While it is harder, it is still possible to achieve that mythical balance that will allow you to have all the digital tools that you need AND feel that you are able to regularly enjoy the traditional RV lifestyle. Our advice? Simply turn off when work hours are complete. Many find it useful to physically put work away. Don’t leave it spread all over the main area waiting for you to start up again in the morning. The best way to separate your RV work life from your RV home life is to clear work from the area when it’s no longer time to work. Designate a cupboard for your work supplies and paperwork. If you’re organized this process shouldn’t be overwhelming.
This tip sheet is for all the RVers out there that are attempting to incorporate digital services and devices into their RVing lifestyle. All those modern digital tools have a place in your RV. They just might not be in the exact same place that they occupy when you park the RV. You make the rules. Set the rules up so that they work for you. You’ll find that you aren’t as out of balance as you thought you were when it comes to getting back to the basics AND using the available digital tools to keep things running smoothly.

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  • My favorite is to transfer all the favorite movies the kids or my husband and I might want to watch while out and about in the RV onto out handy, dandy external hard drive. It’s SO much easier than carting around books of DVDs or trying to access movies through internet services in out of the way locations that may or may not have internet service capable of video streaming. The external hard drive is a definite staple in our RV.

  • Our kids are so obsessed with their phones that we decided to make them a part of the outdoor activities once and for all. As a family we decided to create travel journals. We chose to use the popular application Instagram because it’s got the fun filters and bit of photos editing that the kids like and family and friends back home can “follow” and immediately see what we’re up to. Now the kids are excited to get out and hike because they’re all trying to end up with the coolest photo along the way.

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