The following article was originally published on Crazy Camping Girl as part of a partnership with Go RVing. The original post can be found HERE.
RV Adventures: Rent, Relax, and Roam with the Family
Dannelle Gay shares her experience renting an RV in Louisiana and why her family loved the hassle-free convenience of showing up to an already set-up RV.
Are you like me, a person who loves to wake up and hear the sounds of nature? The birds chirping, the rustle of leaves, and the gentle flow of a nearby stream? Ah, there’s nothing quite like it. As someone who cherishes these moments and believes that spending time with family is invaluable, I’ve long since discovered that a fantastic way to embrace the great outdoors while creating unforgettable memories is by hitting state parks with my family.
If you camp or have an RV of your own, you “get it”. We’re in total control of our journey once we get behind the wheel. There is nothing like cruising down the open road, windows down, and the wind in your hair. No crowded airports, no security lines, and definitely no baggage fees. Just you, your family, and the open highway.
We tried something different this time as we were challenged with a timeframe and wanted to travel several states away. Let me tell you about my latest adventure: renting an RV instead of taking my own on a long trip.
We were ready for a Louisiana adventure filled with mouthwatering food, vibrant art, fascinating history, and some good ol’ fashioned crabbing. We couldn’t wait to explore the wonders of this beautiful region, where fun and flavors collide in a delightful way.
Let’s talk about food. If you’re a foodie like me, Louisiana is an absolute paradise for your taste buds. Its rich culinary heritage and unique blend of flavors make it a haven for gastronomic exploration. And where better to indulge in all that deliciousness than Lake Charles? From gumbo to jambalaya, from crawfish boils to sweet potato hand pies, this city is a culinary gem waiting to be discovered. Working with Visit Lake Charles for ideas on what to see and do, you’ll have the chance to sample mouthwatering dishes at local eateries, meet talented chefs, and maybe even learn a secret recipe or two.
Now, let’s dig into the historical side of things. Louisiana’s history is as diverse as it gets, and Lake Charles proudly preserves its rich heritage. Get ready to step back in time as you visit historic landmarks, soak in the stories of the past, and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural roots.
We wanted as much time as possible to experience all of that in our intended destination, so we went through RVshare to rent an RV, had it delivered and set up in Sam Houston Jones State Park and then flew in and out of the area. It really was the best of both worlds – we had our immersion in nature as we played in a new area and that extra time to do it.
When do you need extra time?
Limited Vacation Time: If you have a limited amount of vacation time and want to maximize your stay at your destination, flying can be a time-saving choice. This is particularly beneficial when you have a specific itinerary or activities planned and want to make every moment count.
While I often enjoy long hours on the road, have fun with the family games, and actually have a little time to read a book, you can arrive at your destination faster and make the most of your vacation immediately if you fly.
This was a trip where saving time was more important than my “Oh look – we are close to the largest ball of twine and need to stop for a picture” moments. Honestly, I would have us stop at every Historical Marker I see on the road, if I could get the gang on board with it, LOL!
It is EASY to Rent an RV
Renting an RV has become incredibly easy and convenient, akin to the Airbnb concept in the world of mobile accommodations. It’s a fantastic way to experience the joys of RV travel without the commitment of owning one. Thanks to the sharing economy, many RV owners rent out their beloved vehicles when they’re not using them, providing travelers with a vast selection of options.
Just like browsing for accommodations on Airbnb, renting an RV is as simple as a few clicks away. There are numerous online platforms and websites dedicated to connecting RV owners with potential renters. These platforms allow you to search for RVs based on your preferences, such as location, size, amenities, and budget. You can easily browse through detailed listings with photos, descriptions, and even reviews from previous renters.
If you want to know more about our rental experience, what we learned, and what you should know, check out our article for GoRVing: Fly, Rent, Relax.
What to Look for
When renting an RV, it’s crucial to communicate with your hosts to ensure your needs are met. If you’re flying into the area, consider renting a fully stocked trailer. We knew we needed this as we were flying in. It had to be a fully stocked unit to have everything from sheets to towels. We knew our rental car wouldn’t be able to tow anything, so we would need it delivered and set up for us.
Like any vacation rental, renting an RV gives you a unique and personalized experience. Each RV has its own charm and character, offering a home away from home while you explore your destination. You can choose the type of RV that suits your needs, from cozy and compact trailers to spacious motorhomes with all the bells and whistles.
Sam Houston Jones State Park
Nestled amidst the natural beauty of Louisiana, Sam Houston Jones State Park stands as a testament to the resilience of both nature and the human spirit. We feel that state parks, in general, offer fantastic value for the money, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the wonders of the great outdoors without breaking the bank. And Sam Houston Jones State Park, currently in the process of rebuilding after the devastating Hurricane Laura, is a shining example of the enduring spirit and commitment to preserving our natural treasures.
State parks are a treasure trove of outdoor recreation, providing various activities for individuals, families, and nature enthusiasts alike. From hiking and biking trails that wind through picturesque landscapes to tranquil lakes and rivers perfect for fishing and kayaking, state parks offer endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.
I Don’t Fish
I joke about my idea of fishing being all about visiting a Wisconsin Supper Club on a Friday night. It’s funny because I am often invited to the Wisconsin Governor’s Fishing Opener Weekend as a travel writer. Don’t get me wrong; if someone baits the hook, takes the fish off the same hook, and cleans it, I will gladly cook and eat it. That is my comfort zone – and I am not afraid to say it.
Crabbin’ is Different
Roadside crabbin’ is different. If you’re up for a hands-on adventure, get ready to experience the thrill of catching Louisiana Blue Crabs firsthand. Picture yourself standing by the water’s edge, casting your crabbing line, and eagerly awaiting that exciting tug. It’s a fun-filled activity that brings out the kid in all of us.
Crabbing is the art of enticing those sneaky little critters with a tempting treat. Let’s take a closer look at this exciting activity and the clever tricks involved. Now, picture this: you’re armed with nothing but a frozen chicken leg tied to a sturdy string, and those greedy little crabs are in for a surprise they won’t be able to resist.
Crabs, as it turns out, are quite the food enthusiasts. They have an insatiable appetite and a penchant for anything tasty that comes their way. So, crabbers have devised a simple yet effective technique to lure these crustaceans to their traps. Securely tying a frozen chicken leg to a string creates an irresistible treat that the crabs simply cannot resist.
The secret lies in the art of tying the chicken leg tightly to the string, ensuring that it stays connected when you toss it into the water. After all, you wouldn’t want to lose your precious bait to those wily underwater creatures, would you? So, with a bit of knot-tying prowess, you’re ready to entice those greedy little buggers.
As you toss that chicken leg into the water, you’ll notice that the crabs waste no time making their move. They’re like tiny underwater detectives, swiftly scuttling toward the scent of their next meal. Once they latch onto that chicken leg, they’re in no hurry to let go. Those crabs have a firm grip and are determined to savor every last morsel.
And that’s where the thrill of crabbing truly lies—the tug-of-war between you and the crab. As you slowly pull the string back to the surface, you’ll feel the resistance, a tiny tug telling you that your clever trap has worked. It’s a battle of wills between human and crab, as you both try to claim victory. Will you outsmart the crafty crustacean and bring it ashore? Or will the crab prove to be the ultimate escape artist?
What Else Did We Do?
If you want to know about our adventures in Lake Charles, you can read our article: Lake Charles Louisiana: How Businesses are Bouncing Back After Hurricane Laura. You may want to add these “must do” things to your list like kissing your sweetie under the Salier Oak, and learning how to eat crawfish like the locals do.
Would I Do it Again?
Heck, yes – I would certainly rent an RV again! We got all the perks of RVing we love and had more time to enjoy ourselves in a new area. Think when you are limited for vacation time, like when the kids have a spring break or when you can only take snippets of your work paid time off. Flying in and out gave us the use of a little extra time to unwind, learn a new area, and then create more memories.
As our personal unit ages and is getting close to that upgrade/replacement time, I think this is a brilliant way to “test drive” other kinds and classes of RVs before making a long-term commitment. Renting allows you to experience the latest models and innovations without the pressure of purchasing right away. It’s like trying different outfits before deciding which fits you best. If you haven’t figured out which RV is right for you, or just want some help, check out GoRVing.com. This site will help you explore the different types of RVs that might be right for you!
Not only does renting allow you to explore different types of RVs, but it also provides an opportunity to discover new features and layouts that may better suit your evolving needs. Maybe you’ve been eyeing a Class A motorhome with luxurious amenities, or perhaps a cozy camper van is more your style. Renting lets you indulge in these options and see how they enhance your travel experience.
Furthermore, renting an RV can be an adventure in itself. The process of researching and selecting the perfect rental becomes part of the excitement leading up to your trip. It adds an element of anticipation and anticipation, building up the excitement for your upcoming adventure.