RVing is a great way to explore the great outdoors, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. Rain can put a damper on your plans for hiking, swimming, spending time at the campfire, and other outdoor activities. Plus, being cooped up inside a small space for an extended period of time is not ideal. But, it’s important to remember that rain is an inevitable part of nature and it can also be an opportunity to make the best of a bad situation.
And I’m the first to admit, I love a rainy day every now and then because it gives us an excuse to do indoor activities we might not have the chance to do while exploring the outdoors. So, when the rain starts pouring down, here’s a few things we do so our camping trip doesn’t turn into a damp, dreary experience.
My husband and I love to play games at the dinette – anything from cards, to cribbage, to board games. Of course, due to limited space in the RV, it’s important to pick awesome games that are easy to pack away. We have a good mix of card games, travel size board games, as well as pen and paper games, too. And of course, a classic deck of cards can be used for so many different games.
Here are just some of our favorite games to play in the RV:
The classic card game is great for 2 people or for 10 people. It’s easy enough for kids to learn and challenging enough for adults. Hint: it’s more fun with two packs.
What’s the worst thing about Monopoly – it’s that it takes forever. Well, Monopoly Deal is a game for 2-5 players – and each round takes about 15-20 minutes to play. Again, it’s easy for kids to catch on but also really fun to play with adults.
This matching game is super fast-paced and challenges your attention to detail and your speed. My husband actually hates this game one on one, because I beat him like 80 percent of the time. The original pack is for up to four players, but this expansion pack allows up to 8 players.
I remember my great aunt and grandma would play cribbage for hours. I never understood why until I started playing as an adult — and found out it’s addictive. The goal is to get to 121 points before your opponent – using a deck of cards to gain points with various card combinations. It’s best as a two player (or three player, if you have a three track board) game, but cribbage boards are so small that you could have a few boards and create tournaments.
Hasboro makes a lot of the classic board games in a mini travel size. Some are the classics, and some have modifications like dice instead of cards, etc. Our favorites travel size games are Trouble, Battleship, Sorry, Boggle, and Clue.
In 5th grade, my teacher had Mad Libs Friday. She’d create a Mad Lib, put it on the board, and as a class we’d fill in the blanks. It’s funny that – as an adult – it’s still so funny, and maybe funnier because we can be a bit more raunchy. A quick search will give you many options for Mad Libs, and you cannot really go wrong with any of the adult editions. Also, if you’re a fan of The Office, you may enjoy this version.
Solve Jigsaw Puzzles
Puzzles offer a fun challenge that can be enjoyed alone or with a group and can be a great way to relax and unwind. Puzzles are generally pretty small when apart in its box, but can get in the way if uncompleted on the dining table. I’d suggest a puzzle roll up mat to keep the RV tidy. Also, when you’re done with the puzzle, it’s likely your campground has a “freebie” books/dvds/puzzles table where you can leave it for the next group to use.
What’s really cool about puzzles – you can find one for literally any subject. So if you’re traveling to a new place, maybe pick up a few puzzles about that region. Or use it as a surprise to announce to the kids where you’ll be traveling next.
Catch a Movie, or Binge Your Favorite Show
This is the obvious one, right? Of course watching movies or catching up on your favorite shows is an ideal way to spend a rainy day inside. I like to make it full activity when we’re “stuck” inside the RV on a rainy day. Popping popcorn, and having “movie theater” snacks like M&Ms or Milk Duds is another way to make it special.
For streaming, we use Calyx Internet’s T-Mobile truly unlimited hotspot. It’s 5G coverage is just $33/mo and works in most places in the US. Most importantly, it doesn’t throttle. When we’re totally off-grid, in the boonies, we often don’t have cell service so we rely on movies previously downloaded on our device from Netflix or from our purchased collection. Also, many RV parks and campgrounds have free DVD libraries – and mini DVD players are very inexpensive, so it’s worth picking one up for your RV.
Color Inside the Lines
I love adult coloring books, and a fresh set of colored pencils. There’s something so relaxing about coloring within the lines, and then completing a beautiful colorful print. It’s such a mindful activity, and I believe it really does reduce my anxiety. And coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore. Like puzzles, you can find a coloring book on any subject. Here’s one we recently purchased that I especially liked because of the motivational quotes. Also, when choosing pencils, I prefer the twistables so pencil dust doesn’t end up all over the RV.
Cozy Up with a Good Book
I love reading in general, but there’s something extra special about curling up on the dinette and listening to the pitter patter of raindrops on the window while I’m cozied up with a good book. Since books take up a bit of space, I tend to read more on my Kindle than actual books. Love to turn actual pages? Some campgrounds have little free libraries where you can take or leave a book.
Deep Clean the RV
We generally keep our RV pretty clean – considering it takes about 20 minutes to clean 160 square feet – but sometimes you just need to do that deep clean. Rainy days are great for doing laundry, scrubbing the shower, and decluttering boxes, pantries, etc. And there’s nothing like settling down at the end of the day, freshly cleaned and organized home.
Plan Your Next Adventure
Rainy days often become planning days for us. We get out the map, we look at destinations, we research routes, campgrounds, RV parks, roadside attractions. (It’s 2023, and I still cannot figure out why it’s so hard to find campgrounds and RV parks – let alone the ones that don’t have online booking.) It sometimes can take us 2-3 hours to book our next spot – especially in areas with not a lot of options. And sometimes we get so frustrated we give up and book at the nearest KOA… which is why I feel better about doing it inside on rainy days so it doesn’t cut into our outdoor activity time.
Take a Moment to Pause
A rainy day can be a perfect opportunity to catch up on some much-needed rest and relaxation. Take a nap or simply rest and enjoy the sound of the rain. If it’s not too windy, put the awning out and sit outside and watch the rain come down. Listen to the soothing sound of the rain, and enjoy the peace it brings. And maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a rainbow.
Sure, rainy days can seem like a disappointment when you’re RVing or camping, but with a little creativity and an open mind, they can be an opportunity to enjoy some fun indoor activities that you might not have the chance to do otherwise. From playing games and solving puzzles, to watching movies and binge-watching your favorite shows, there’s no need to let a little rain ruin your trip. By being prepared and having a plan, you can make the most of a rainy day, and turn it into a memorable part of your camping or RVing experience.
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