RV Lifestyle

For Some it’s the Weekend.

Younger Me. Ready to hit the road 1986.

For Some it’s the weekend.  For Us it’s research.

This was an advertising tag line we put together at Trailblazer RV in 2006.  It is inspired by the number of staff at Trailblazer RV that enjoy the RV lifestyle.  Over my 40 years in the RV industry, I have been able to use various types of RV’s.  There is no better way to learn about the industry.

When I started in the RV industry in 1982 the tent trailer was the most popular RV.  The tent trailer was popular as it offered plenty of sleeping and could be pulled by the family car.  Cars could pull 2000lbs.  There were very few family trucks.  Today the tent trailer isn’t a popular choice.  They are expensive and vehicles are more capable or can’t tow at all.

On the Road. 1975 12′ Vanguard Camper & 3500 GMC.
2000 GMC 2500 & pop-up truck camper.
2003 Dodge 2500 & 2005 8.5′ camper

My love of boating determined my RV choices over the years.  I really enjoyed the truck & slide-in camper.  It allowed me to tow a boat.  The issue with the truck campers is it takes a lot of truck to carry a camper.  I have used more truck campers than any other RV.  Even the smallest campers are a lot for a ¾ ton truck.  Really a 1 ton is the truck for a camper.  Today’s truck campers with slide-outs even push the capability of a 1-ton truck.  Owning a 1-ton truck is great when you are using it to go RVing but the rest of the year it is a liability.  Expensive to operate and a pain to park as a daily driver. 

2007 Chev 1500 & 19′ Trailer.

2007, I traded the diesel truck for a ½ ton truck.  The best value for the RV dollar.  The ½ ton with a travel trailer is hard to beat.  My love of boating transitioned to a canoe then the aluminium boat.  I really enjoyed not having a big boat to look after.  The canoe or aluminum boat made smaller quieter lakes assessable.  I got tired of the antics of busy boat launches and large power boats.  The 1/2ton truck with travel trailer is the most versatile and affordable of RV packages.

2007 Chev 1500 w/ Boat loader and 24′ travel trailer

There are so many things that make the truck and trailer perfect.  The ability to leave the trailer at the campground and explore with the tow vehicle is extremely important.  I have used class c motorhomes and class b vans.  The disadvantage is not having vehicle to drive once you setup camp.

2020 F-Pace & 2020 Sonic Lite 15

Over 40 years in the RV industry.  I have almost always had a truck.  As a city dweller, parking and driving a ½ ton became tiring.  2 years ago, I got a chance to trade to a mid-size SUV.  I thought I would give it a try.  The ½ ton was too long to fit in my garage but a mid-size SUV would fit.  I know it’s a small thing but having a vehicle that will fit in the garage has been amazing.  The mid-size SUV is easier to park and way easier on gas when not towing. 

2020 F Pace & 2021 Sonic 15 VRB

Carry On Essentials

Here are my 10 carry-on travel essentials.  Over the years the list changes as travel changes.  Preparing ahead for a successful trip never changes. 

  1. Vaccination documents.  I printed a copy of the travel documents and organized them in a duo-tang folder.  We had them electronically, but it is far easier to hand over a printed booklet organized with tabs to customs or airline officials.  Especially when the officials are behind a plexi-glass divider. 
  2. Travel package sanitizing wipes and a pack of tissues.  Whether cleaning up after a meal or cleaning an area to sit we found them very useful.
  3. Extra Masks.  Times have changed due to Covid.  Several medical grade masks that are comfortable is a must.  I like having my mask on a leash so I can let it hang while I eat or drink.  2019 I was on a flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong.  One of the passengers became very sick. The stewardess attending to the passenger put on a mask.  Passengers around the sick passenger began to request a mask.  When the stewardess ran out of disposable masks passengers began to grumble about their rights to be provided a mask to wear.  How dare the airline run out of masks.  How times change!
  4. The cables, adapters, and the charging block.  Packing cubes have been on the market for a while.  I found one that fit our electronic charging accessories perfectly. 
  5. Power bank for charging phones.  I picked up a power bank to charge phones a few years ago and it has worked amazing.  It charges a phone quicker than the plug-in adapter.  I keep it in an outside pocket on my travel pack.  I take it out to go through security.  They don’t ask for the power bank to be removed but every time I don’t I end up in secondary screening.
  6. Two days of clothing.  I have had my checked baggage delayed so often it is better to assume I will arrive without my checked bags.  I found a packing cube that fits my travel bag perfectly.  It is so much easier to dig something out when my clothes are in a packing cube.  So much easier at security if selected for secondary screening. 
  7. Toiletry bag.  I use a Tumi bag that is airline approved for liquids and gels. I include medications for the trip (never in checked baggage).  Shaving needs, toothpaste, and deodorant. 
  8. Be security ready.  Plan for security by preparing ahead.  Slip-on shoes are so much easier especially for flights over the US as shoes must be removed and x-rayed.  Comfortable pants with a plastic belt buckle or no belt.  I have comfortable cotton dress pants with an elastic waist that are my favorite.  I also like to wear a sport coat as it gives me pockets for coins, watch and boarding pass.  Comes off quick to go through x-ray.  Remember that security is different every time you go through.  This is by design.  By being a little unpredictable makes it more secure.  Items that didn’t have to come out one time may need to another time. 
  9. Professional attire if you want to be upgraded.  I have found I am more likely to get moved up a class on a flight if you dress like you belong there.  They don’t pick scruffy people wearing sweats and move them up.  How you look and act goes a long way in how you are treated in the entire travel experience.  Look professional and smile! 
  10. Something to do.  A book or magazine.  I take my iPad.  Remember to download at home what you want to watch.  I bring noise cancelling headphones and cords to connect.  Some Asian airlines to not allow the use of Bluetooth headphones.  On long flights I find using the cord for my headphones rather than Bluetooth saves battery life.  On long flights I enjoy binge watching TV Series that I downloaded ahead of time.  Most streaming platforms like Netflix allow you to download content onto your tablet for personal viewing.