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Three Weeks in a RV: The Ultimate College Tour

Here at Empire, we’re like a tight-knit family. We celebrate birthdays, encourage each other’s successes and occasionally check out our local happy hour. Recently, when discussing our alma maters, we got down to talking about the actual college selection process. Our social media manager, Melissa, shared her unique experience.

At the beginning of her college selection process, she was invited by a family friend, Rebecca, to join her own college search. For over three weeks, they toured 22 colleges up and down the East Coast, along with Rebecca’s parents. Starting in Southern New Jersey, the trip spanned across West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and ended in Florida.  Their mode of transportation? Rebecca’s family RV, a Class C RV nicknamed “Sally”.

“Sally was named after the song ‘Mustang Sally’,” Melissa says. “We listened to that song over and over the entire time.”

To keep track of the colleges, Melissa made a rating sheet. The two judged colleges on a point system, based on their location, size, housing, and extracurriculars. On some days, the girls toured the campuses on a tandem bike- a bicycle built for two. Out of all of the universities, High Point University in in High Point, NC gained the highest score.

“High Point had a really homey feeling,” Melissa recalled. “The campus wasn’t too big, and they gave us free t-shirts on the tour.”

The University of South Florida also had a high score.  Melissa remembers the campus being “really aesthetically pleasing” with “beautiful, clean facilities.”

But their college tour wasn’t just about universities. During the process, they visited famous attractions and sites such as the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, Skyline Drive,  Dollywood, and Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL. The girls favorite stop was Myrtle Beach, where they parked at the Ocean Lakes Campground. The campground, boasting consecutive wins of “RV Park of the Year” by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, provided direct beach access.

In the end, Melissa chose to attend Temple University in Philadelphia. As for “Sally”, Melissa says she’s securely parked at her home in New Jersey, taking occasional road trips. While parked, Sally is kept clean and protected with an Empire RV Cover. 

“It was an amazing experience,” Melissa says of the trip. “I really got to see parts of the country I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I had never been in a RV before that.”