Ever since our son was born, my husband has talked about taking him camping. All I can do when this happens is remember the one and only time my husband and I ever went camping together:
It was May 2014. We hiked through eight miles of tick-infested, overgrown trail, set up our tent in the dark, made a little fire, cooked dinner, and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning, neck stiff from sleeping on the ground, drank one cup of coffee, looked at my husband and said, “Let’s go home.” I share this story because it’s important to understand my relationship with camping before I talk about our recent experience with RVshare.
The RV camping industry is booming as 62% of campers say they prefer RV camping to a tent. On RVshare, owners list their RVs and renters choose a vehicle type, pick up or delivery location, and travel dates. Pricing varies but is very reasonable. If you can afford a hotel, you can afford to rent an RV.
When I first heard about the opportunity to experience a weekend camping trip in an RV, I was excited ... and a little scared. I was excited because my family had not been on vacation in well over a year, thanks to COVID-19. I was scared because I remembered our last camping trip with the ticks and the stiff neck and the food I don’t remember eating because it was too dark to see.
RVshare set us up with a fully loaded 2021 Forest River Cherokee Grey Wolf at Nashville’s Elm Hill RV Resort—a small peninsula surrounded by stunning Percy Priest Lake in Tennessee. The RV, roomy enough to sleep six campers, came with a full kitchen, a bathroom (shower included), a TV, WiFi, lots of docking stations to charge your devices, air conditioning, and even an electric fireplace. Our son especially loved the bunk bed, which he dubbed his “secret lair” and was content to hang out up there during what little downtime we had on the trip.
Elm Hill RV Resort in Nashville, Tenn.
Once we arrived at the resort, we drove right up to the RV and parked the car. No hauling heavy packs to our campsite. No tent setup. No awkward cooking over a campfire in the fading sunlight. We unloaded two overnight bags and were ready to explore.
Elm Hill RV Resort is like a little community. It features a pool, a pavilion for gathering, a playground, bathroom/laundry facilities, a small sandy beach by the dock, and plenty of open space to wander around and look for a spot to go fishing, kayaking, or lake swimming.
We got a chance to sample almost everything the resort has to offer:
My husband and son experienced their first father/son fishing excursion along the shores of the peninsula.
RVshare was kind enough to provide us with a guided boat tour in the afternoon. My son was thrilled to enjoy his first time on a boat—a pontoon with a real live captain—and even got bold enough to get in the water.
Everything we wanted to do was within a short walking distance of the RV, which served as the perfect home base for fixing meals, showering, watching TV, and, of course, sleeping comfortably off the ground. Even with all the perks of the RV and the resort, we were still camping—we grilled out, made a campfire, ate s’mores, and played in the woods.
I woke up to the sound of rain on our last morning there, but we were cozy inside the RV. Breaking down a tent and packing up in the pouring rain, especially with a five-year-old in tow, would have been miserable. Instead, we cleaned up, packed the car, and headed for home.
I’m so glad I was willing to get out of my comfort zone and give camping another try. RV camping is perfect for families with little ones or just anyone who loves the experience of camping, but not the logistics of setting up a tent. For my family, this trip opened our eyes to a new way to enjoy more family fun in the future. We’re already looking forward to our next adventure through RVshare!
Disclaimer: This writer received complimentary accommodations for the purpose of writing this article. However, all of her opinions are her own.