Full disclosure: I did not even know Black Friday was a thing until I was in college. I grew up in a family that abhorred standing in line nearly as much as large crowds and aggressive, suburban housewives on the hunt for a new flat-screen. For us, the day after Thanksgiving was dedicated to digesting, eating leftovers, and then digesting some more before going to bed.
But then I went to college on the opposite side of the country, and the threat of a wintertime layover at O’Hare meant I begged my way into my roommate’s family festivities for four years. It was with her that I first experienced pre-dawn wake up calls, strategizing shopping schemes, and holding onto a DVD player like it’s your mother’s set of pearls. I was hooked.
Those first four times I stood in line in sub-freezing temperatures at 4:30 a.m., simultaneously loving the anticipation of great deals and hating my numb feet, I couldn’t help but think: I wish I owned an RV. Because it would make it so much better.
Benefits of a Black Friday RV
- Boondocking means you get to sleep in. Boondocking is RV lingo for camping out in a parking lot. It’s illegal in some places (the Pentagon), encouraged at others (WalMart). If you plan your first stop accordingly, you can arrive the night before and sleep during the early-early hours as everyone else drives 12 mph through snow-filled streets to line up before sunrise.
- You’re warm. Everyone else is cold. Part of what makes Black Friday Black Friday is the inevitable misery of waiting in a line of sleet, snow, and grumpy store patrons. But with an RV nearby, you and your shopping sidekicks get to set up home base inside a toasty-warm camper, complete with bed, couch, kitchen and lavatory. No port-o-johns for you!
- Turn Black Friday into a tailgate. All hail Black Friday royalty: those who get the bargain-hunting bash in full swing with hot chocolate (spiked with Bailey’s), breakfast scones, pump-up jams, chanting. No one is going to forget your generous contributions when it comes down to that last luxury toaster.
- Go where to deals take you. Live in the backwoods? Need to head out of downtown and into suburbia to land the truly plum deals? Just because you don’t live in the hotbed of hot deals doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all that is Black Friday; make an on-the-road adventure of it! Do your research, find the locale where prices are cheap cheap cheap, and camp out. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a relative in the area – no one really wants to cook a turkey in their fifth-wheel.
- Take a vacation instead. That’s right. Ignore Black Friday. Because guess what? The deals aren’t going anywhere. E-commerce and internet shopping are stronger than ever and retailers know it. Cyber Monday is the new Black Friday, and online deals are just as strong (if not stronger) than the one’s you’ll find in a store. So take you and your RV on a WinterLand holiday instead. Just make sure you have a WiFi connection (and your credit card ready) come Monday morning.
Guest contributor Emma Stover is a Seattle-based writer and shopaholic. She writes for Excel Distributors, the purveyor of RV mattresses which will transform your Black Friday experience.