Twenty-four: The exact number of hours from the front door of our family home to Orlando.

Eleven: The amount years our family has made the journey from Ottawa to the Sunshine State in our RV.

One: The number of times we’ve made the trip without children, and dare I say, one of the best RV experiences yet.

Our annual journey south has always been a family affair, which is why we jumped into RVing in the first place. It’s the perfect way to spend time with children and my hope is to create vaults of memories for ours. Still, sometimes I envied RVers whose children had grown and left the nest. What would it be like to RV alone, I’d wonder. Is there more freedom? More care-free wandering? Less fighting and fewer bathroom breaks? Or are child-free travelers missing out? Perhaps adult-only vacations bring new challenges which balance any benefit. I wanted to find out.

So, with these questions in mind, my husband and I decided this year we’d dip our toes into the unknown waters of “kid-free RVing.” My parents – who cannot get enough of my children – accepted the “offer” to watch them for a week with the glee only grandparents can muster. And so it came that my husband and I would get a sans-children trip while delivering our RV south for the winter. With arrangements in place for our children to be spoiled rotten, err…be wrapped in loved for ten days, we hit the road. In case you’re wondering, a Type A Motorhome can indeed burn rubber in a suburban driveway. What can I say? We were excited.

In years past, the trip south has been – in a word – loud. I’d estimate that in the distance between Ottawa and Florida I hear “Mom!” over 16,000 times. I can also confirm that sibling rivalry packs light and makes an excellent traveler, because it always seems to find a seat in our family RV. Also, a One Direction CD can withstand the piercing glare of a pair of 40-something Eagles fans and when two pre-teen girls play it on loop they possess the collective power to cause temporary insanity. Yes; “loud” is exactly what best describes our family journey each year.

The first thing my husband and I noticed this time was the sound of silence. Sweet, sweet, silence. I was even able to drift off a few times without being startled awake with cries of “MOM! She touched me! And can you hit replay on that CD?” Hours would go by and not a word was uttered. It was heavenly.

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Family photo at Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

Howdy y’all and Happy New Year! I love this time of year. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is behind me and it’s a fresh start to a brand new year – so many possibilities. What better time to start thinking about and planning for the upcoming RV travel season, right?

My name is Carley and I started writing about my family’s adventures because I love traveling in my RV. I wanted to share the experiences and inspire others.

My family and I have been RVing since 2011. We are transplants from Texas and moved to the beautiful state of Washington in 2004. Exploring the great Pacific Northwest quickly became our passion.   Finally, we wised up and bought our first 24 foot travel trailer after enough time spent tent camping. We hit the road whenever we could. Retirement is a long way off and we decided we didn’t have to be full-timers to RV. We just had to be fun-timers! So, during the summer, Spring Break, or just about any time the kids have off from school, we hook up the trailer and my husband, my three boys and I head out. Whether we are going for a weekend or a week, I LOVE our second home. So much so, we upgraded to a 34 foot trailer this past summer! Our travels have taken us through 11 states so far: Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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Editor’s Note: Together with her husband and young son, Monica Bennett seeks out non-stop RVing adventures and culinary discoveries in the Pacific Northwest.  Her travels on the road inspires her work as a photographer and writer for her blog, “Just 5 More Minutes,” where she shares her passion for cooking in her RV, demonstrates creative d.i.y. crafting projects and writes about mastering the art of RVing domesticity.  The RVing lifestyle is Monica’s escape from her 9-5 as a graphic designer in busy corporate America.   

From the East Coast to the West Coast and all across our land, there is no question that the holiday season is upon us.

The anticipation of holiday celebrations are enough to make children, both young and old giddy with excitement.  There are cakes to be baked, gifts to be wrapped, decorations to be hung and lights to be strung.  Traditions both old and new run strong this time of year.

One of our family traditions is adventuring with our trailer here in the Pacific Northwest, specifically to the San Juan Islands of Washington state.  We board the ferry, sit back and if we are lucky, have some pretty incredible wild life viewing opportunities.  If you ever come, make sure to bring your binoculars.  It’s an experience you wouldn’t want to miss.

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Editor’s note: Candace Derickx has been RVing now for 11 years with her outdoorsman husband and their three children. Candace’s life now revolves around when and where she can escape to next with her family. 

When I tell people my husband and I often drive our RV from Ottawa to Florida, we get a lot blank stares. We know what they’re thinking.  Yes, we understand that a plane could have us there in three hours but still we choose to take three days to get there. But those who stare and wonder if we’re crazy? They don’t know what they’re missing.

Many Canadians move their RVs south in the winter, and we’re no exception. Snow squalls and sub-zero temperatures aren’t favorable RVing conditions and can take a toll on your RV if you don’t have proper storage facilities. And you’d also miss out on the chance for one last drive south – something not to be missed when the opportunity arises. After eleven years making this journey south we continue to be amazed by the beauty of America and the boundless hospitality its people possess.

Every time we leave the house in our RV we set out with a general idea of where we’d like to end up. From there on, it’s a connect-the-dots adventure to our final destination. We are free to roam for as long as we’d like on the trip to Florida. Adopting this nomadic lifestyle on our journey is easy because we know no matter what route we choose, we’ll feel safe and welcome in America. We are not bound by a schedule, nor are we hostage to hotel reservations. Airline cancellations have no effect on us, and our vacation starts as soon as we leave the house – not after standing in countless boarding lines and custom booths.

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Another favorite camping spot for our family is Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the second largest canyon in the country, second only to the Grand Canyon. It is rugged canyon land that has a lot of hiking and biking trails.

The State Park campsites are down in the canyon along with most of the hiking trails. The Hackberry Camp Area offers more trees and privacy.

For this trip we went with some good friends who also enjoy RVing. They brought their own travel trailer and camped in the site next to ours. Our kids had a blast having their friends along.

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