What We Live For: A Weekend RV Escape

With Dustin & Sarah Bauer

Dustin and Sarah's Tiffin Wayfarer parked at a campsite with lightning off in the distance.

“Tomorrow is not promised.” It’s a simple phrase, but one that has become a guiding light for me and my husband Dustin—our own personal “why.” It’s why we choose to travel, to packraft, to mountain bike, to hike, and to document our days with pictures. Most importantly, it is why we choose to live boldly and travel as far as possible in our Tiffin Wayfarer RV.

While it’s true that you can see a lot of the world today through your windshield or even through a screen on your phone, nothing can replace the feeling of dirt in your hiking boots, the relief of mountain air filling your lungs or the sound of your paddle breaking the water’s surface. These are the small moments we live for, and we do our best to make sure we’re taking in every bit of the world that we can.

Bigger Adventures, Smaller RV

Dustin and I bought our first RV right after we got married 13 years ago. At the time, we were looking for a way to easily escape and get out into nature, without sacrificing some of the comforts and amenities of home. As newlyweds who were just starting a family business together, our days were long and hard and our schedules were often unpredictable. We wanted to make sure that when we did get a few precious days off, we took full advantage of that time and could hit the road at any moment.

Fast forward a few years and our family business has grown exponentially, with an incredible team in place to help make everything run smoothly. This has allowed Dustin and me to take more RV trips and expand our outdoor hobbies. Living in Colorado, we’ve always loved to hike and camp, but more recently have picked up mountain biking and packrafting. And while our traveling and interests may have grown and expanded over the years, our preferred method of travel has actually simplified. We’ve come to learn that we can still do everything that we want to do, we just don’t need a big RV to do it.

Bring All the Gear

When Dustin and I were first shopping for a new RV in early 2020, we looked at a lot of different units, especially Class B camper vans and small travel trailers. The Wayfarer, a Class C RV, ended up being the perfect model for us—large enough to comfortably fit us (and our four dogs) and all of our gear but small enough to be easily drivable and fit in most places. It has everything we need to create an epic weekend adventure—we can mount our mountain bikes to the back, keep our hiking equipment in the overhead sleeper space and securely store our packrafts and paddles in the waterproof underbelly.

As most couples can attest to, Dustin and I are not always on the same fitness level or have the same interests. For instance, Dustin likes to race down black diamond biking trails and I like to take pictures of sunrises over a lake. So, an added benefit of having all our gear in one place is that it gives each of us options—we don’t have to prioritize Dustin’s bike over my camera equipment. We can bring both! Not to mention, when we travel with friends, the packrafts are always a huge hit and we love to be able to share that hobby with others.

Go Beyond the Standard Trails

If you ask Dustin and I when we’re the happiest, we can confidently say it’s when we’re out in the RV doing all three of our favorite hobbies in one day. And we do that quite often! We will spend hours scouring maps for locations that let us raft straight to a remote trailhead or bike to a river that we can raft down. It still amazes us that we can roll-up our packrafts, strap them to our backpacks (each raft weighs about 15 pounds) and set out on a hike or bike ride until we reach water. Then, all we have to do is unroll our rafts, pump them up and we’re onto a completely new, different adventure. 

Just recently while on an RV trip in Page, Arizona, we arrived at our campsite only to discover that parts of Antelope Canyon were closed. Hiking through this iconic canyon was the main reason we came to Page in the first place. But after doing a bit of research, we learned that even though the trails and paths to the canyon were closed, you could still access it if you traveled by water. We were so excited at the idea of finally being on the water that the very next morning, we packed our backpacks and dry bags and dropped into Antelope Marina. From there, it was three miles of gorgeous, cliff-lined views until we reached the entrance of Lower Antelope Canyon. Once we got to the entrance, we pulled the rafts onto a nearby beach and proceeded to hike into some of the most breathtaking carved canyons we had ever seen. This trip proved to us that when you get creative and expand your boundaries, you just might find something totally unforgettable. We hope this is a lesson that all travelers and RVers can take with them—don’t be afraid to go beyond the standard trails. Enjoy those moments and weekend adventures right now. Afterall, why wait until later when tomorrow is not promised?

Regardless if it’s hiking, mountain biking or packrafting that you're into, here are a few quick tips to help ensure you have a fun, safe adventure on the road:

  1. Pack the essentials. Never leave the RV without packing plenty of water, snacks and a first aid kit. This goes for whatever adventure you have planned.

  2. Rafting gear 101. A back-up pump and repair kit, a life vest or belt, sunscreen, and a safety horn or whistle are all essentials for a rafting adventure.

  3. Share your itinerary. Tell someone where you’re going and when you can be expected to return. Dustin and I rarely have cell service on our adventures, so we always make a point to share our itinerary with a close friend or family member, even if they’re in a different state.

Dustin & Sarah Bauer RV in a 2020 Tiffin Wayfarer 25RW.

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