Exploring in a Different Way

Mark & Hilary Steves
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Editor’s Note: Mark and Hilary Steves are members of LTV’s sponsored content team, The Leisure Explorers. Do you own a Leisure Travel Van and enjoy writing? Learn more about joining the team.

This blog site has many articles about fantastic trips taken by LTV owners. We’ve posted a few ourselves (read our articles here). LTV owners take their rigs on overnight and multi-day adventures to campgrounds, national and state parks, beaches, forests, wineries (a favorite of ours), and many other exciting places. That’s why we all bought our RVs – to go travelling with all the comforts of home. But we’ve also found there are other ways to use your RV that might be considered “unorthodox”. While these types of activities could be done in a normal vehicle, we’ve found using our LTV to be a better way (and over this past year, an excuse to take it on the road, even for a little bit). Here are a few of our recent excursions:

Day at the Beach

We’re lucky to live on the coast of California, with easy access to some great beaches. One of our favorites is Avila Beach, and specifically the dog beach just to the north of the town (technically Port San Luis beach). Our dogs enjoy running free along the surf and getting to meet other dogs out there at any time of the year. We even meet up with fellow corgis as part of a Central Coast Corgi meetup group every other month. The beach is only about 45 minutes from our house, so we normally just drive up there, park next to the beach, hang out for an hour or so, and then drive back. We’re not big fans of sitting on the beach, and while the dogs would enjoy spending more time after a quick rest, we tend to just dry them off and head home. But when we got our 2018 LTV Unity FX, which we call Zephyr, we started wondering about bringing it to the beach. Turns out, it’s a fantastic way to enjoy a day at the ocean.

A nice spot to park.
Talk about a room with a view!

If you get there early, before it gets crowded, it’s easy to find a parking spot on the ocean side. This provides you a great view over the water and the harbor, and an easy walk to the steps down to the sand and water. The dogs play, we walk, and everyone gets tired out. But instead of going home, we’ve brought “home” with us! So we can dry them off and sit either inside or outside the Zephyr while we take a rest, have lunch, and relax a bit before heading back to the beach for round two. Is taking an RV on a 45 minute day-trip overkill? We don’t think so anymore. If you want to spend the day at the beach, or at a lake, park, or anyplace, we’ve found our LTV to be an easy vehicle to drive, park, and hang out in.

Date Night

RV “day use” isn’t limited to just daytime, either. Back at the beginning of 2020, we made a pact to have more date nights, going out to local restaurants, movie theatres, etc. Obviously, the events of 2020 put obstacles in that plan, especially with all restaurants closed for dining in. We thought about getting take-out or delivery, but unless the restaurant is really close, the food is invariably cold when it gets to your home. And “date night” just isn’t as special when you’re eating in your kitchen or in front of the TV like we do every night. So we thought, if we don’t want to bring the food home, how about we bring the home to the food? So, time to fire up the Zephyr, phone in an order for pickup, and then drive to the restaurant. Since they were all closed, there was no problem with parking. It’s a quick minute to set up the table, get out some drinks, and then grab our takeout. We could even take it out of the styrofoam containers to make it a little more “special”. And viola! Date night is achieved. We have great food, nice and hot, and a comfortable place to eat with just the two of us. We did this a couple of times and enjoyed it, whether it was at a very nice Italian restaurant or the local Cracker Barrel. When the prospect of leaving the house for any reason could be worrisome, we could still go out and enjoy ourselves in complete safety.

Only vehicle in the parking lot.
It may not be fine dining, but it was fun dining.

Short Term Parking

One time, we found ourselves using our RV on a day-trip for an unusual reason – surgery. I had to get surgery done for my eye, and while it was outpatient, I was still going to be a few hours and Hilary wouldn’t be able to wait inside. We had also JUST gotten our new puppy, Apollo, two days prior, so we couldn’t leave him at home all day. We figured he’d have to come with us, and our default was to drive the minivan. But then we got the inspiration to use the Zephyr. It would give Hilary much more room as she waited for me, including more room for the puppy to play in. A quick Google Maps search showed us the parking lot would be big enough, and the morning of the surgery we drove the hour north. We even got a surprise when we arrived and walked over to check in. Two people came up and introduced themselves as soon-to-be owners of their own LTV Unity FX. It turned out that we’ve connected on the LTV Enthusiasts Facebook page, and they have also read the other articles posted by us on this site, including the Odin Adventure series. We’ve never really come across another LTV in our trips before, so it was unexpected to meet LTV folks in the parking lot at a surgery center. Hopefully when Jessica and Jim get their LTV, we may even be able to meet up.

Guest House

The last way we’ve used our RV in a “nontraditional” manner probably isn’t that unique to many of you. We’re lucky that we can park next to the house, and have 30-amp and water hookups while we’re docked. That makes it easier to keep the batteries charged and to load and unload for our trips. But the added benefit is we have a “guest house” for visitors. As you know, it’s a very self-contained apartment, with its own power, climate control, water, fridge, kitchen, bathroom, bed, TV, etc., and privacy for our guests. We’ve used it as a guest house for a while now, especially if we had more guests than could fit in the house or just guests who wanted a little extra space.

We think it’s a first-class guest house.

During this past year, while we had much fewer visitors, on the few occasions when we did have a family member visit, the use of the RV allowed extra distance and spacing, making it a bit safer for everyone. And for one nervous night, when we thought one of us had been exposed, it provided a quarantine zone (luckily only needed for one night and nobody was actually exposed). In a way, it’s kind of a version of “moochdocking”, where RVers use friends’ or family’s driveways to camp in. In this case, the friends and family are the ones traveling to us. Oh, and a bonus? They get to “experience” a little of what it’s like to have an RV, and particularly an LTV, and everyone has exclaimed how nice it is. Who knows, maybe we can convince them to get one of their own for future travels with us!

I’m sure many of you have your own unorthodox uses for your LTVs, and I hope you can share in the comments. Without a doubt, an LTV is best when exploring new places or new experiences. But sometimes you can find ways to explore new uses for such a versatile vehicle.

Mark & Hilary Steves

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