Saturday, December 9, 2023


Around the Campfire: What makes for the best RV trip—the people or the place?

By Gail Marsh
Think about your favorite RV trip. Have you ever wondered why that trip ranks as your favorite? Was it the place itself—the scenery, activities, food, etc.? Or does one trip top your list of favorites because of the folks traveling with you and the people you met along the way? We discussed this question recently around the campfire.

No right/wrong answer

Frank wondered, “Is this a trick question? I mean, will it reveal something negative about my character if I answer one way or the other?” No trick, just curiosity, Frank.

“Well, then,” he continued, “I’d say my favorite RV trip has to be the one we took in 2011 to the Rocky Mountains. I’d never seen mountains before and was blown away by the views. I’d definitely say the ‘place’ is what makes that trip my favorite.”

“Mine, too,” chimed in Frank’s wife. “But for me, it was because we went there together with another couple. I was so happy that we caravanned with experienced RVers—especially navigating the steep, mountain inclines and attempting to boondock for the first time in our RV! Yes, we saw amazing sights, but I knew our friends were constantly watching out for us and I really relaxed and enjoyed that trip.”

More favorites

Bonnie spoke up next. “I’d have to say the ‘place’ is what makes the RV trip to Chesapeake Bay my favorite. I haven’t eaten such marvelous seafood since. The ocean was magnificent, as was the weather. It was just perfect, in my mind.”

John commented, “Well, if you’re including ‘food’ in this discussion, then Texas BBQ is what made that trip my favorite. And we arrived in Texas at the perfect time of year. The weather was fantastic every single day we were there.”

How to choose?

“How do you choose a favorite?” someone wanted to know. “Even if it was possible to drive an RV to Paradise, if you’re traveling with complainers, worriers, or negative folks, it’ll soon feel like, well, not Paradise!” Everyone around the fire agreed.

Your favorite?

Do you have a favorite campground or RV trip that ranks number one on your list of favorites? What makes it the best in your mind—the “place” or the “people”? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.




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Monique Smith (@guest_264177)
1 day ago

I manage a group of single RV nomads. I can say none of these people are my “best friends”. They are a fickle bunch – showing up at the last minute, if it suits their mood, usually unprepared. When I led a hike, one woman showed up in flip-flops and no water….. I feel like I am in my corporate career managing adult children…. So for me, I prefer the place over the people….. however, I have made a few key relationships over the past three years and those people I greatly enjoy over the place. I have learned to set boundaries such as: if you decide to bail you either need to drive your own car or wait for me because I didn’t come all this way to leave.

Tracey Francis (@guest_264145)
1 day ago

I have been to mediocre places with wonderful people and enjoyed myself. Likewise I’ve been to spectacular places without wonderful people and still enjoyed it. The trips that will forever stand out in my mind are those where both the scenery were spectacular AND I made a real connection with people. Those are the trips that speak to my soul and bring me to tears when it’s time to leave.

M. Rizzuto (@guest_259194)
1 month ago

In our humble opinion, anyone who prefers the place over the people is missing out on what camping is really all about! Hey, don’t get us wrong, new sites, expansive rocky mountain views, and others, are fantastic! But nothing and I mean nothing, takes the place of the camaraderie, shared with people at a campground Over a campfire! Hey, simply one’s opinion! We’ve been doing it for 40 years!. Our friends make our trip and make our day complete. The Rizzutos.

Bill Byerly (@guest_259187)
1 month ago

Our best trips, 1 from San Diego to Maine, and back through Niagara FalIs, Michigans’ U.P. , Minnesota, etc. and back. Then 1 from home up through Oregon, Washington then on to Jasper, Banff, and down through Montana, Idaho and back. None of which would have been quite as enjoyable without my traveling companion of the last 47 years, my wife.

John Whitney (@guest_259186)
1 month ago

We just completed an 8 month trip around the. Country. When friends ask what was our favorite place they are looking for a spot, of which we have so many great memories. But when my wife and I talk about it, we often talk about the people we met at happy hour and around the campfire.
So my answer is it takes both to have a memorable trip. And oh yes, those exciting problems that we managed to get through do add to the experience.

Vince S (@guest_259180)
1 month ago

I think a “great trip” is neither place nor people but rather a frame of mind. Some would say a few of my best trips should easily qualify as the worst yet they’re amongst my fondest memories. No, things didn’t go as planned but the adventure easily overcame the dismay.

If forced to choose, I refuse. Great people make mediocre locations better and great locations can often overcome mediocre people….LOL

Drew (@guest_259173)
1 month ago

The place, but it’s great when you have nice neighbors!

Neal Davis (@guest_259166)
1 month ago

Our favorite campground is in Alaska. It is a BLM campground named Cripple Creek ( With my senior discount it was $3/night. There is/was a potable water spigot requiring a water bandit ( to fill your fresh water tank, vault toilets, and no electric. Both the place and the company (DW and dog) made this very special to me and DW. Second on our list is Birch Lake Campground and Recreation Area in Innisfree, Alberta ( The campsites were separated by rows of evergreens, barely leaving room to extend our slides. Fantastic fir same reasons as above. Also, no utilities.

Last edited 1 month ago by Neal Davis
Steve H (@guest_259164)
1 month ago

Alaska, with Jasper and Banff NPs thrown in for good measure on the trip home! Of the more than 20 trips I had made to Alaska for work and play since 1972, that 2013 RV trip was the last and best. Just the two of us in a 22′ travel trailer for 3 months!

Cancelproof (@guest_259176)
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve H

Agreed Steve. The wife and I spent (some would say wasted) much of our youth skiing, hiking and riding the 250 mile half radius of Banff, Jasper, Fernie and Kananaskis country. We return as often as possible, It never gets old. Celebrated our 30th anniversary in Waterton Lakes area a few years back. It was part of our original honeymoon roadtrip, done on a shoestring 3 decades earlier with far less comfort than life offers us now.

The company is always #1 (married a dime) and the place #2. If we meet some nice folks then that’s the trifecta but we’re pretty content being a party of 2.

Mike (@guest_259144)
1 month ago

We have had so many great trips including both destinations and people we were with or met along the way. That is why we enjoy RVing and have done it for over 40 years.

Jim Johnson (@guest_259135)
1 month ago

What works is the right place with the right people. Get one wrong and the experience enjoyment factor goes down a lot. Miserable is when you get both wrong.

Tom Gutzke (@guest_202706)
1 year ago

I usually say something like “My favorites are different places for different reasons.” The view, The history. Historical significance. A beautiful sunrise [or sunset]. Colorful boats moored in the harbors in New England. A dozen other reasons can be added to the list.

Gary (@guest_202699)
1 year ago

The place.

KellyR (@guest_202662)
1 year ago

We like to get away from people and it be just the two of us. Other than that, it is the trip itself. We take off with no destination in mind. If the roads have changed since our last map was published, we find another road and find the gems along the way.

Bill Fisher (@guest_202622)
1 year ago

Every trip is my favorite and primarily for the places and things we see, but some are memorable because we met wonderful people. For example, in 2017 we did 13,000 miles from Florida to Alaska and back. The sights and places were fantastic, but what made it even more memorable was the couple from Australia we met early on in Canada and kept bumping into and eventually traveled together with. We maintain contact with them still via phone and email. Special people that made a special trip even more special and memorable.

Matt Colie (@guest_202582)
1 year ago

We have owned this coach for 18 seasons (where we live, seasons are important) it was built shortly after we married and we have been married for 50 years. As to whether the place or the company is most important, I would have to say the company. We did a lot of camping (real camping) and other kinds of excursions, but having a companion that is amenable to doing this makes it all the more about precious memories. I don’t know how much longer I will be capable of keeping our coach going and how long we will be able to continue at all, but we have memories that are amazing.

Gary Yoder (@guest_202543)
1 year ago

For us all camping trips are special, with the current state of high gas prices, we’ve been staying closer to home. So to be special, it only takes being with friends around the campfire sharing in life’s adventures, being understanding when those bumps in the road come, and genuinely caring about each other. We are fortunate to have close friends like that to camp with here in SW PA. The camper of Chapter T. And thank God for each day we get to enjoy outdoors.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_202527)
1 year ago

In 2018 we took off on one of our favorite kinds of trips. No plans. Just drive. From NV (home) we went up to OR, then over to ID and then MT, boondocking as much as possible. Then back down through ID and on to NV. This adventure took about a month. We found two fabulous boondock sites that required multiple night stays (one for a week!). It didn’t take much discussion for wifey and I to pick this as our fave trip ever.

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