Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series about Stella and Flore, two twenty-something Belgian travellers who embarked on an epic, van-powered journey from California to Canada.
They weren’t sure what to expect. It was the first time the Belgian-born sisters had rented a Class B RV, and they were in unfamiliar territory. How would they find the right camper? Or locate places to stay that would suit their tastes? Would they be able to drive a vehicle that was larger than they were used to? Luckily, Outdoorsy was there to help them each step of the way.
“We wanted to do a trip across the U.S. for a while now and when it turned out it would work out timing-wise, I started thinking of options,” Stella says. “I always wanted to live in a van, and it seemed like the perfect way to be mobile while covering a lot of ground at the same time and not having to deal with hotel reservations and planning ahead.”
“But one of the best parts of the entire road trip,” Stella adds, “Was when we picked up the van and first drove it around! It was fun to meet (Outdoorsy founders) Ryan and Jen on the first day and then leave with a mix of fear and excitement!”
Armed with a 35 mm camera and a sense of adventure, they set out behind the wheel of a vintage Coachmen camper van to have the road trip of a lifetime. Under big, open skies, through snow-capped mountains and along the sparkling blue Pacific Coast, they made their way to places they’d only dreamed about until now.
“I thoroughly enjoyed driving Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park at sunset, as we drove up people were leaving the park and heading to their campsites so we had the road and scenery for ourselves,” Stella recalls. “It is a beautiful scenic route with many curvy bends, and each turn bore a new set of trees and sunset colors. Waking up in beautiful campsites and having breakfast and coffee right there was amazing too.”
Despite a little bit of trepidation at the beginning, an RV adventure proved to be just what they were looking for.
“It was a thousand times better than staying at a hotel or traveling by airplane,” they say.
“We loved the fact that you can plan or not plan, because you have all your stuff with you and can sleep anywhere. We also wanted time away from people and quiet nights, and state park provided convenient camping sites. It is also nice to not be a customer all the time, something I find a bit difficult at time in hotels. We only had to buy food then we could get lost in nature; that truly was the best part about RVing. You could reach wild places and stay right there.”
Read the other parts of the adventure!
This post was originally published on Nov 22, 2015 and updated on April 4, 2017.