We all know that storage space is limited in RVs. So, many people are confused when they learn we use some of our precious RV space to carry a tent. After all, why would we need to carry a tent when we take our house nearly everywhere we go?
Honestly, when we first set about packing things into our RV I also wondered if it was necessary. However, after three years of RV living, I’ve come to realize that our simple 4-person tent has a number of fantastic uses. In fact, this is one item we may never remove from our regular RV cargo.
Wondering why we find our little tent so useful? Here are several of the reasons we carry a tent, and why we suggest you do as well.
Generally speaking, we only keep what we can fit into our tiny home. However, once in a while we do need to temporarily hold onto things that just don’t quite fit.
Other times, we have extra people staying over and need to clear some of our son’s toys out of the trailer to make room. When these occasions arrive, it’s always nice to be able to pop up the tent and store some items in it for a few days.
Don’t worry! We are always able to get rid of excess stuff before moving time rolls around, meaning the tent can be packed away once more.
Separate play space or office space
We aren’t the biggest family, there are only three of us. Still, it can be pretty hard to find personal space in a 27-foot trailer. For this reason, we sometimes find ourselves setting up the tent just to provide our son with a shaded play area that isn’t right under our feet and give ourselves a bit of peace and quiet.
Another great way to use a tent as added personal space would be to set it up as an office or reading nook. No matter what you use the extra space for, it’s always nice to have a bit of extra room to spread out.
If I’m being honest, the vast majority of our tent usage has been dedicated to sleepover fun. When you’re a kid, not many things are more exciting than sleeping in a tent. Unfortunately, our kid doesn’t get to go tent camping nearly as often as he would like, and no matter how many times I tell him we are technically always camping, the RV life just doesn’t cut it for him in terms of outdoorsy activities.
We love to pull the tent out when cousins and good friends are around. We fill it with sleeping bags, pop some popcorn, break out the flashlights, and let the little campers have a blast creating memories they’ll treasure for years to come.
Quick and easy side trips
On a more practical note, tents are the ideal solution for those quick side trips. Getting the RV ready to move is no small task, meaning we prefer to stay in one place for at least a week at a time. When we want to stay somewhere for a shorter amount of time it’s often easier just to pack the tent up and head out rather than hitch up and move our entire house down the road.
Of course, this idea is also perfect for those who like to wander out into nature, where bringing a big rig isn’t such a good idea. After all, it’s much easier to drive a car to the top of a steep mountain and pitch a tent. Likewise, it’s often much safer to put up a tent on the beach than it is to park a heavy trailer on soft sand.
Our RV is our home. Because of this, I always like to have a backup plan in case something should go wrong. We all know how long an RV can end up stuck in the shop for even the simplest of fixes, and staying in a hotel for weeks or months at a time simply isn’t in the budget. Our tent would give us a temporary lodging solution until we could make our way back to family, find a temporary apartment, or until our RV was fixed.
Obviously, living in a tent isn’t ideal, but we could definitely handle it for a few nights while we were getting things sorted, and cost-wise, it sure beats a pricey hotel room.
As you can see, there are lots of wonderful reasons to stick a small but durable tent in your RV storage area. Sure, storage space is limited, but most tents won’t take up too much of that precious space, and they can be used for so many things that will more than make up for the lost room.
Go ahead and pick up a tent of your own. Toss it in the RV and come back in a few months to let us know how you feel about your new addition. We’re betting you’ll be glad you took the plunge!