Monday, November 9, 2009

Cross Country Car Travel Comes to An End

I took Seymour on two more cross-country trips in the car and found the same issues both times:
1. Some hotels made me pay extra for having a pet.
2. None of the hotel rooms were as good as the ones I stayed in when I didn't have a pet.
3. People in hotels usually aren't friendly toward people with dogs.
4. When I stopped at highway rest areas, I didn't have a place to sit and eat lunch because the area that allowed pets most often didn't have picnic tables.(although I found positive changes in that during my trip this past summer)
5. I had to really plan on where I was going to stop in the evening because otherwise I couldn't find a hotel that allowed pets.

Because of these problems, I decided to try taking Seymour on trips in a camper van. I bought a VW Eurovan because I was too nervous to drive anything bigger. It has plenty of room and included a sink, stove, frig, a porta-potty, and a pop-up so that I could have picked up a couple more people along the road who needed a place to stay (or a person with a pet who didn't get lucky when looking for a hotel)

The gas mileage was pretty good, at about 19 mpg and I could park in a regular parking space when I toured. If I needed to - and I did once - I could park in a parking space and camp for the night without plugging in.

It cost me less than 1/2 the price of a hotel room to stay in a camp ground. I knew how clean my bed sheets were and could easily stumble the few steps from my bed to my porta-potty during the night without walking into a door. I also loved waking up and looking out the window to see nature and not a parking lot.

When we stopped at a rest area, I could eat in the camper and then take Seymour for a walk in the small "pet areas". Many more people talked to me in the camp grounds than in the hotels. I decided that the camper van was the way to go.

I took weekend camping trips for about 6 months and then took my first cross country trip in the camper this summer. Mostly it went well -- more details to come.

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