DISCOVERING A NEW LOVE OF TRAVELING WITH LUPUS.
Every year my husband, son and I would try to take family trips. We would pack up our Toyota Sienna minivan and be on our way.
When I became ill with lupus and started suffering intense joint pain, back pain, and started losing bladder control, riding by car became difficult for me. Due to a medical history of strokes and seizures, flying was not an option for me. We decided to look at traveling by Recreational Vehicle (RV).
There are many different options when it comes to RVs.
You can either look at towable travel trailers or motor homes. My parents had a motorhome and I knew that was the way I wanted to go. My husband also had no desire to tow a trailer. Plus, when you tow a trailer you better have the right size vehicle to tow the trailer.
And another fact to keep in mind, with a motor home you can hop up and use the bathroom if needed without going outside the vehicle. You can't with a trailer.
So with the decision made that we wanted a motorhome versus a trailer, we now had to decide what class of motorhome we wanted.
Class A motorhomes are your big bus style motorhomes. They are very very nice with living rooms, dinette, kitchen, bathroom, showers, bedrooms, and TVs. Some come with clothes washers and dryers and fire places. A class RVs range from 25 feet in length up to 50 feet in length. They are also typically the most expensive type of motorhome.
The one thing to keep in mind is you can't just pull into any gas station or restaurant and expect to park. Those babies are big. It's like driving a big rig truck.
That brings me to the next class of motorhome. C class.
C class have your pickup truck looking fronts with a cab/ bunk bed over the front.
They have a similar layout as A class but are often not so long in length. My family owns a 31 footer and we love it. Often the C class is the least expensive class of motorhome.
Then there are the B class motorhomes. B class motorhomes are like your excursion vans but may come equipped with a refrigerator, sink, toilet, bed, and kitchen, all of the amenities of the larger motor homes, but on a smaller scale. Though smaller than C class motorhomes, for some reason they are typically more expensive than C class.
Most B class motorhomes are only 2 passenger. However, my husband and I found a B class with seat belts for 6 people including the driver. It came equipped with sink, refrigerator, stove, microwave, shower, toilet, table, and couches. We ended up purchasing it for everyday use. We still have the C class for long trips.
Let me just say I love having the B class for when I go to the doctor's office. I have my own bathroom and I can rest on the couch after tests.
So why do I love and recommend traveling by RV so much for people with Lupus? For several reasons:
1. LESS STRESS - We all know how we hate to pack. With an RV your have clothes closets and drawers. So you can simply take your clothes on hangers from your bedroom closet and place them right in your closet in the RV.
2. LAUNDRY - Some A class RVs are equipped with a clothes washer and dryer.
3. YOUR OWN SHOWER AND TOILET - Comes very much in handy if you suddenly need to go or feel sick. And having your own bathroom means you aren't exposed to germs in public restrooms.
4. NO BEDBUGS.
5 .YOU CAN EAT HEALTHIER - You have a refrigerator, pantry, microwave in all 3 classes of motorhome so you can fix and eat what you want or need to eat.
6. MEDICINE CABINET – There is typically a medicine cabinet in the bathroom to store your Lupus medicines. Very, very convenient. (The refrigerator is also convenient for storing insulin in if you are diabetic.)
7. A PLACE TO REST IF LUPUS FATIGUE HITS - If you get tired when sightseeing or when you're on the road you have the convenience of the couch or bed to rest on. Often when my family and I are traveling I'll head back to the RV to rest and relax and let my husband and son go off sightseeing.
8. AIR CONDITIONING AND A COLD DRINK - If you are like me and get overheated and don't sweat properly it's nice to come back to a very powerful air conditioner in all 3 RV classes and an ice cold drink from the refrigerator.
9. PHOTOSENSITIVITY - My dermatologist recently told me if you are very photosensitive even riding in a car and having the sunshine thru a window can affect you. In an RV you can pull down the shades on the windows. Not recommended if you are driving though, LOL.
10. LEG ROOM AND JOINT PAIN - We all get muscle spasms or stiff when we ride by car. In an RV you can stretch your legs out and even move around although is recommended to stay belted in when the vehicle is in motion.
11. YOU CAN BRING THE PETS ALONG.
12. EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE - No need to go searching for restaurants or hotels to stay in. You have everything right within reach; convenience and less stress.
13. STORAGE - Both A and C classes have lots of storage, which is very handy if you use a fold up walker or a folding wheelchair.
AND THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON - You get to spend more time with your family and loved ones doing something you all enjoy that you otherwise may not be able to do.
And as every Lupus warrior knows, that's pretty important!
So when are you going to take your first, or next, road trip?
Article By: Amy Noble
Amy was born and raised in upstate New York. She was diagnosed with Lupus three years ago but believes she had it longer than that. She also deals with diabetes, seizures and is a two time stroke survivor. Amy currently resides in northern New York state where she lives with her husband, son, six dogs, three cats, and a horse. When she is not busy with family and pets she likes to write, draw, paint, and travel in her RV.