Have you ever thought about going on a road trip in an RV, but worried about what your every day would actually be like?
As a continuation of the previous article, I'll show you below what a day of a VanLifer is actually like en route to the great American cross-country road trip. Our day’s itinerary is in the great state of Arizona, a land of many monuments and national parks.
8:00AM：Rise and shine
Everyday starts with a stunning view of nature, reminding you each time of the expansive landscapes of America far away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. We took this picture just outside an RV campground to watch the breathtaking sunrise at the Grand Canyon. You can only experience that by camping near the site overnight.
9:00AM：Before we hit the road
Things to do before leaving the RV park:
・ Empty the RV holding tanks
・ Disconnect campground water and power hookups
RV campgrounds usually provide water and power hookups, as well as a dump station for holding tanks. In addition, they have toilets, shower areas and washing machines too, so you can stay there as long as you want without ever needing to check in at a hotel. We parked at RV campgrounds for the most part of our trip.
10:00AM：Back behind the wheel
As we headed for a scenic tour in the Antelope Canyon, the only sight that touched our eyes were those landscapes that you can only see in American road trip movies. We had two drivers that took turns on the wheel every two hours. It’s good to have at least two (ideally, three) drivers with valid US or international licenses when you go on long trips. The GPS installed in the RV was a US-type and kind of hard for us to understand, so we mostly used Google Maps. It’s extremely convenient to have a smartphone with a local SIM card or a pocket Wi-Fi.
We often ordered food to go at fast food chains like McDonald’s or KFC to save time. This picture was taken at McDonald’s in Sedona, and it’s the only one in the world to have a sky-blue logo, perhaps to match the blue sky and preserve the beautiful background. You shouldn’t miss it when you’re in the area.
1:00PM：At the scene
We finally arrived two hours later! After we parked the RV, we hopped into the back of a pickup truck, which took us close to the main site.
This photo of Antelope Canyon doesn’t do justice to the glorious feeling when you see it in real life. The real one looks like Mother Nature’s artwork herself. From the rocky façade down to cathedral interiors, every detail looked painstakingly carved to perfection. Saying we enjoyed the walk is an understatement.
After sightseeing, the plan was to go straight to our campground for the night, but we came across some local people at the McDonald's who told us about an interesting park nearby. And so into the park we went. Sure enough, the park had some of the original steam locomotives that used to roam the American plains. Finding hidden gems outside guidebooks is Van life.
7:30PM：Home sweet home at the camp
The RV campground we stayed at that night was quite bigger than usual. Lots of RVs lined the semi-dirt lot just like in the picture below. Check-ins sometimes have cut-off times, so we always tried to get there by 8 PM at the latest.
We usually made our own dinner to save money, and this time it’s rice omlet. The ladies cooked for everyone and there was plenty of booze on the table... Everything was peachy keen!
・It was a surprisingly low-cost trip compared to doing it in Japan, but the best parts were when we're eating and sightseeing together.
・Each day was actually spent either just traveling, or traveling and sightseeing, so it's really important to plan your route beforehand. (Here is more information)
・Did you know that there are over 100 RV campgrounds in Japan? If planning the great American road trip is too much for you right now, maybe you can get your feet wet with Carstay first and experience the Van life in Japan right now!