break we rented an RV and the five of us piled in for a week-long trip to
New Mexico. Kristi and I had been debating whether or not to buy an
RV. Our thinking was that with 3 kids travel would be very expensive
with airfare, a "suite" style hotel room, large rental vehicle, etc.
Since we all enjoy doing things outside, we started thinking that camping
would be good way for us to spend a large portion of our family vacations.
Many people would laugh at us when we told them our plans... including many of the people I sent this webpage to. But, in all honesty, this trip was AWESOME! The kids had an absolute blast and Kristi and I actually were able to keep smiling for the most part. Seeing the snow-capped peaks, chasing deer and turkeys, sitting by the campfire eating smores and listening to the coyote's yip and howl... it was a trip to remember. Below are several pictures of the fun times we had on the trip. (There are a lot of thumbnails, so it may take a few seconds to download.)
The RV cost was, with the additional mileage, about $1,600. On top of that we blew through about $850 on gas (1800 miles, 7 miles to the gallon.) State parks usually cost us about $25 for admission and camping. Of course we spent money on museums, zoos and such, but it was nice to have a fully stocked kitchen that travelled with us. I believe it was cheaper than it would have been to fly, rent a car, stay in hotels, buy restaurant food more frequently, etc. But, that said, the trip obviously wasn't "cheap."
Will we buy one? I think so. Kristi and I considered the money versus the benefit. The benefits for family vacations are obvious to us now. The other benefits we considered were having friends that would like to use it, the ability to head back to Indiana to see family and to have a "comfortable" place to stay, being able to use it on mission trips and for other church functions, and to have the ability at any time to pack it up and head to state park for a few days of fishing, hiking and "exploring." So, we'll see what happens.
Here are several pictures, some have comments and some don't. But the first few illustrate for me what made the trip so special.