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RVing With Toys: How One Couple Travels With Their Motorcycles

Have you ever gotten in your RV, headed in any direction, and wanted to leave all behind? Or are you traversing the same roads repeatedly and want to explore new space? We got into an RV to experience different roads, not travel the same ones leading from our brick-and-mortar home. We take our large toys on the road too- a motorcycle and a sidecar.  This is how we work; this is how we live, and this is how we ride.

Preparing for Full-Time RV Life

Being riders prepared us for full-time RV life. When you take long trips on your bike, you must pack light and prepare for all kinds of weather and unexpected events. Living in an RV full-time is remarkably like a motorcycle road trip. You don’t have a lot of storage so when downsizing, you must think ahead on what you believe you can’t live without and what will get you through the necessities and you leave the rest behind. When preparing for a long bike trip, packing is very liberating. It is a critical process at the same time. And so was moving into our new RV home. Although we have less space in our RV home, we have a greater space of landscape to explore. 

Our RV Home

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My husband Will and I travel full-time in a 44ft. fifth-wheel toy hauler.  We haul it with a large dually truck.  Our total length is about 65 feet.  We knew we would not stay in most national or state parks with this size, but we work from the rig full-time and haul our motorcycles, so we wanted the space. The past five years brought us what we sought- a way to ride through the United States, a different location, a different view from our RV, and our motorcycles. Because I have a sidecar, it takes up all the toy-hauling space in our rig. 

Traveling Full-Time with our Motorcycles

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We started our journey by hauling Will’s motorcycle on a lift on the back of the RV.  Eventually, the lift took its toll, and we spent months without the motorcycles.  The loss was excruciating.  But we have a new solution, we are back in the saddle. If you are full-time, you know it takes creative thinking outside the ‘box’ for solutions to keep you on the road. These details and stories like these we enjoy sharing with other toy-hauling RVers.

Besides learning how to strap down your bikes successfully in an RV, there are other trip details to plan.  Check with campgrounds to see if they permit motorcycles (a handful do not). Before you drive your rig to your site, make sure you can load and unload the bikes. You may need to unload them at check-in and then park your rig because there is not enough room to open ramps or park a trailer. Allow yourself an extra hour, for arrival and departure, to load and secure the bikes. You will also want to stop along the trip to check straps as they loosen some as you travel. So, we are not rushed when departing, we load our bikes the night before. We check out the campgrounds before we arrive via Google Satellite Maps. We can see the spots and know if we can load or unload at our campground site. These are some general tips, but you will have specific packing and unloading steps based on your hauling method and RV type.

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Now that we are in the RV, most of our trips are day trips. We can stay overnight, if we want, to extend our riding time and feel comfortable that our rig is in a safe area. If we do, the rig stays at the campground or boondocking spot. We usually spend one month in a location. This gives us time to do day rides and work full-time without extra hotel costs. After the month’s stay, we will drive 4-5 hours, spend the night, then drive 4-5 more hours and arrive at a new campground. This gives us a several-hour radius from our new location to explore new destinations when we ride. We also do not pass up the opportunity to run errands on our bikes. My sidecar will hold a whole week’s worth of groceries! And the bikes are handy when we need to take our truck in for maintenance. 

The motorcycles are an extension of our travel explorations. No matter what campground or boondocking spot we choose, RVing motorcyclists are in the area. Having the motorcycles with us also creates natural opportunities to start conversations with like-minded travelers. There is always someplace to ride no matter where you travel. We joke that any road great for the RV is not for motorcycles and vice versa. When we travel in the rig, we like straight, level interstates. On the motorcycles, we like curvy and hilly backroads. RVing with motorcycles is the perfect marriage. Between the two, you can travel all the roads and all the local experiences. Bonus: You can have your home with you and your hobby.

Twist Your Throttle- An Escapees Birds of a Feather Group

To give Escapees a place to share their hobby of traveling with large toys, we started Birds of a Feather Escapees group called Twist Your Throttle.  It is for any Escapee member who enjoys RVing with their large toy and expanding their travel zone.  It may be a motorcycle, sidecar, trike, side-by-side, or any street-legal, motorized large toy.  When you haul large toys, it isn’t about just strapping it on the back and heading out.   Through Twist Your Throttle, riders share experiences, ideas, and stories.  We also host RV and motorcycle events.  We hold them with Escapees and hope you can connect with us at one of these events. 

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Lucinda Belden

Lucinda Belden has been a travel content writer since 2010 and started RVing full-time in 2019. She is a team writer for several travel magazines, blogs, and books – Escapees MagazineRV LIFE,  RV books on AmazonRV Travel, and RV Destinations Magazine. Lucinda also hosts RV events and rallies across the U.S. with her husband Will and they share their adventures at Direction Wide Open. If there is anything she has learned, it is to travel like a local, not a tourist, and – you never stop learning!

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