Our First Family RV Experience

Source: A Healthy Slice of Life
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Last weekend we rented a Class C RV through Outdoorsy and drove the four hours east towards the South Carolina coast to stay at Carolina Pines RV Resort (see full resort review here). It was such a blast!

We chose to rent through Outdoorsy because David had heard good things about it. It works similarly to AirBNB. We entered our dates and specifications and saw what was available in our area. One model we’d been interested in was located within 10 miles of us and available for our dates. We booked it easily through the site and could communicate details with the owner through there.

You need a valid drivers license to rent, but no special license or certification. Unlike home rentals, there was no specified check in or check out time; we communicated with the owner about what we’d prefer and easily worked out the pick up and drop off time. They were really easy going and flexible, which was nice since we weren’t quite sure what to expect.

We picked up the RV on Wednesday afternoon. We spent about 30 minutes walking through the systems and use of the unit with the owner. It felt unrushed, but still a little crazy to be handed the keys to the big vehicle so easily. David drove it cautiously at first, quickly becoming comfortable.

We brought it home, backed it into the driveway, let the kids run out squealing to explore it, then started to fill it with our stuff. It was so neat to be able to carry clothes out and put them in a drawer versus pack a suitcase.

On Thursday morning we loaded the food and ourselves onto the RV and headed east! Since the goal was to see how this worked for our family in “real life,” the girls and I did school work while David drove. I’m not sure if I was expecting to feel like a floating living room or what, but it was less conducive to school work than I would have guessed. David drove smoothly, yet it was bumpier and louder than I expected, and books slid around the table. It was doable, but within an hour the girls switched to chilling and listening to their audiobooks and I buckled in up front next to David, where it felt like a smoother and more comfortable ride.

We stopped once in an abandoned parking lot to stretch the dog’s legs and make lunch. It was super cool to be able to make lunch with our own food right in the vehicle. A couple hours later we arrived at Carolina Pines!

I picked up our golf cart and followed the escort golf cart to our spot. David hooked up the black water drain and plugged us in all in about 15 minutes. We put out the one slide and that was it; we were ready to explore!

We walked Finley to the dog park and let her run before crating her in the RV and heading to the giant clubhouse/common area of the resort. The kids were getting hangry and they were about to be surprised with a visit from Mema and Grandpa, who happened to be staying in their RV only 20 minutes away.

I ordered some snacks from the snack bar and we explored the giant grassy area, surrounded by couch swings, the fire pits, the arcade, the bowling, and the other amenities in the area. When Mema and Grandma arrived, the kids squealed! After snacks we headed back to our spot to chat and and show them our set up.

The kids took off with bikes and walkie talkies (to easily stay in touch) in search of the giant jumping pillow. We toured the RV with David’s parents, chatted for a while, laughed at our rookie status of forgetting charcoal, not having a skillet, and misplacing the key to the golf cart, and overall just enjoying the beautiful evening. When they took off I cooked burgers in a pot on the stove because of the aforementioned “whoops.” It all worked out just fine and after a little campfire time we all tucked in for the night.

The next morning we woke up to drizzle and the promise of impending heavy rain. David and I got up and walked Finley to the dog park to let her get in about 45 minutes of exercise in sprinkling rain. We got back just as the sky started to open up, probably around 8:15. The kids were still snoozing, so we set up our work station, made tea and pour over coffee from my favorite electric kettle and cozied in for the morning.

I have no doubt the kids could hear us moving around but they stayed sleeping or at least relaxing in their bunks until 10:00ish. It was still raining hard so I made breakfast while they listened to audiobooks.

The rain was supposed to last through early afternoon, so after breakfast (brunch?) we made our way to the commons are on a rainy golf cart ride. We bought the kids credits for the arcade and they had a ball while David and I played around in the fitness facility. We got back to our site to make lunch, throw together the slow cooker ziti for dinner, and for the rain to finally made away.

We spent the afternoon at the dog park, the playground (where the kids met friends), taking showers, and then had dinner. That evening we returned to the main common area for bowling and the arcade, which was a ton of fun. We all acted like kids and had a blast!

We were pumped about Saturday because it was supposed to be gorgeous, and it was! Sunny at 60+ all day long; we were ready to spend some time outside. The morning filled up with the dog park, an organized Gaga Ball tournament for the kids, a trip to the gym, and grilling hotdogs and smores by the campfire.

In the afternoon we played putt putt, which is free and a ton of fun. The kids participated in kid trivia, we joined in the dance party at the outdoor commons area, we played bingo, we golf carted, we returned for more mini bowling, then ended the night with more marshmallows by the campfire. The kids loved it all; how could they not? It is resort living and this place is geared for families.

Sunday the rain returned and the time sprung forward, so after a long walk for the pup, we packed up and headed home. Returning the RV was easy, as our hosts were flexible with the timing. We returned it, cleaned out, by 5:00.

Overall, the weekend was a fun time and served its purpose well. RVing is something we are considering doing more of, as we’d love to hit up some National Parks, get off the beaten path, and then every once in a while live it up at a resort like this one.

After the weekend, we are thinking that maybe we are more 5th Wheel people, as it would allow for a little more kitchen space, a separate sleeping area for the kids, and a more smooth drive, as everyone would be in the truck. We’re continuing to noodle it around!

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