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The two kinds of RVers: Two lifestyle choices, one open road

As we travel it seems that we meet two very different kinds of RVers. These RVers have different ideas about what makes for a good campground experience. Folks around the campfire discussed these two groups and the campground best suited for each. See if you agree.

Traditional RVers

Traditional RVers are generally the ones who prefer to stay in basic campgrounds. Full hookups are a welcome amenity but not necessarily required.

Frank began, “I guess I’m old school. I don’t need all the extras that many campgrounds offer. And I don’t much like paying for those amenities either.”

Todd agreed. “We started out camping in a tent,” he said. “I like the indoor comforts our RV provides but I miss the wide-open spaces. Now many campgrounds are crowded with pools, jump pads, coffee bars, and yoga classes. I camp to enjoy the outdoors. I can see all that extra stuff at home.”

“I agree,” Anne joined in. “I prefer the simpler, basic campgrounds myself. But families new to RVing seem to demand all the extras, so camp owners feel compelled to offer them. It all comes down to money. And with more and more families joining the RV community since Covid, I think the trend for added amenities will continue.”

Frank added, “Well, I guess I’ll need to boondock more if all I want is to enjoy nature. I mean, how can a yoga class compare to discovering a waterfall?”

Resort RVers

“It’s all well and good for you,” Marci spoke up. “Let’s see you keep three teenagers happy for a week just looking at a waterfall. These kids are used to constant entertainment. If there isn’t something new or exciting, they’ll check out.”

Grace nodded. “We try to keep a balance. I understand what Marci’s saying. We do take the boys hiking and biking. But I’m happy to have extra amenities available. Sometimes I just need a break and the campground activities keep my kids busy and out of trouble.”

RVers then began to describe the various campground amenities they’d seen in various campgrounds. In addition to those already mentioned were craft lessons, private campground waterparks, golf cart and other motorized rentals, karaoke, food trucks, various contests (BBQ, trivia, pickleball, and more), zip lines, on-site microbreweries, organized tours, music concerts, ropes and fitness courses, and much more.

Right or wrong?

We concluded our discussion with the idea that there is no right or wrong way to RV. It depends on your individual reason for RVing in the first place. Do you RV to experience nature, build relationships with travel mates, or simply relax? The “why” will often determine “where” you end up.

What kind of RVer are you: traditional or resort? Let us know in the comments and tell us why you prefer that kind of RVing.

Previously in “Around the Campfire”

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Suru
17 days ago

Another article that tends to divide people. Do what you do and don’t worry what others do or how you compare.

Wolfe
24 days ago

I’ll second “Joe” below… needing to *provide* constant distraction for your kids doesn’t reflect well on parent or child. I confiscate cellphones once at the RV parks, and my kids NEVER claim they are bored… they form roving packs with other kids, and often have to be chased down at meals if they lose track of time. They swim in lakes, not pools. Ride bikes, hike, play soccer. They collect new friends’ numbers, but can’t use them while in person is still available.

Karen
25 days ago

I prefer traditional, but, I’m single, done raising kids, n camp solo. I live the solitude a forest or the desert gives me. My adult son in the other hand has 3 under 10 kids. They “camp” with every amenity their home has, n their campgrounds have to have activities, a pool, n a large space to bike ride around the camper. Raising my kids we mostly did traditional with a pool n bingo on weekends.

Neal Davis
25 days ago

Traditional. All the amenities we want/need are power, potable water access, and a dump station; full hookups are nice, but not necessary. We travel with our dog, so a dog park is welcomed, but often so small and unkept that we just walk him along the roads.

William Horton
25 days ago

I have done both kinds of camping. When my family was younger and we didn’t have much money, we tent camped. Now that I am older and have a small travel trailer, I like the convenience of full hookups. But I am prepared for ‘dry’ camping as well.

Leslie P
26 days ago

When we started full time 6.5 years ago in a Class A we would be considered resort RVers. We went to a 40’ 5th wheel and had to stay at sites with power. We started realizing that we were missing so much of the country. We were too big. So for the last 15 months we’ve been living in a truck camper, exclusively boondock, and couldn’t be happier. We fit in all the places we have seen and get to enjoy nature mostly to ourselves. Along with we avoid interstates and see what’s off the beaten path. So I guess we “evolved” to a traditional RVer.

Heather
25 days ago
Reply to  Leslie P

Congrats! What kind of truck camper are you enjoying now? Happy Travels.

bill
26 days ago

Dry camping where nature and a lack of human noise are prevalent is our choice.

Heather
26 days ago

I prefer boondocking & campsites that give their campers the space & feeling they are actually in Nature & not in some carpark. Those campsites, whether “traditional” or “resort,” that are willing to have less lots and more green space between those lots, are the ones that get my money.

Dennis G.
26 days ago

My wife and I started with pop-up and slide-in campers respectively. Today we travel in a vintage 30′ class-a. We have camped with FHU and boondocked. I’d say the mix has been about 50/50. Our son does love entertainments, wifi and his iPhone to keep him busy, but also like playing card or board games when we boondock. He’s now 16, and has finally decided, down-time can be a good thing.

Denny Wagaman
26 days ago

We like to travel and stop at different places stay for a few days…. if we find a place on the water like in the Keys or a thousand other locations that is for us. Being on the road pulling into a campground whether its a “loaded” campground (one with all the the goodies) maybe for a night or two or longer…if the town has places to see and enjoy. Or the small mom and pop camp ground located on a small lake… We have stopped in such a place several times and stayed up to two weeks, just living..reading, walking, watching TV, doing something on the MH. We have had several lots in a favorite town in a big resort… stayed off and on there a couple of times season. The town changed, thousands of people…. but still great places to eat… great weather but we decided if we were going to stay parked for the winter why not buy a condo…. but we agreed our love is traveling in the MH… seeing new and old favorite and I love to drive leave at 8A stop at 4P. So its on the road again

wanderer
26 days ago

I think there are many more than two kinds of campers. And some of us enjoy spending time in most every different kind of environment. There is a time for serene spots in quiet public parks, a time for open-range boondocking with friends, a time for ‘full-service’ parks complete with swims, laundries, and libraries.

bill
26 days ago
Reply to  wanderer

Well stated..

Marie Beschen
26 days ago

My favorite is state parks. That way I get hook-ups, but also get “nature” without all the extra-noise amenities. It is just the two of us now, so no longer need them. When the kids were little and/or the grandkids were little, we tried cg with a few “extras” to help break up the week’s activities of hikes, rock climbing, nature hunts, etc. Did go to a couple of full-on family cg with all the “stuff” – drove me crazy with all the noise and constant activities – too much for me! They lose the sense of nature, family time and doing something different than what they do at home with all that stuff. I feel camping should bring families together, discovering nature and each other.

Sheryl Hendrix
26 days ago

I’m with Todd. we boondock more and also army corps parks if we need electric or water or a place to dump. We stay away from all those amenities. we love the peace and quiet!

Joe
26 days ago

If you think it’s tough camping with teenagers try sailing with them! Every year I got 6 weeks of vacation and 4 of them was spent sailing our boat or a rental in other places of the country. To keep both of our teenagers engaged especially on long passages each would take the wheel for an hour then rest for a few hours. Each would plan every other passage as to where they wanted to go, charting the course, deciding what we were going to do and even meals. When off the wheel they learned to use a sextant even though we had the GPS to keep us on course. But the big way our teenagers entertained themselves was reading, I believe that has become a loss educational tool and has been replaced with the age of electronic toys for entertainment and only because parents find it easier. What I am saying is engage your children in the process and they more than likely will enjoy the experience more.

Spike
26 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Excellent response!

Sheri Ken
26 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Thank you, Joe and everyone else who teach their family! Only if more parents are as responsible as you, we would be seeing a more peaceful and educated USA!
Use Joe’s example and apply to all types of travel. Your kids, whatever age, will be learning life’s lessons and having fun without even knowing they’re learning! The memories of engaging with parents grandparents and siblings will be cherished and passed on to the following generation!

Jesse Crouse
26 days ago

Today’s kids and teenagers are a ” different kind of animal”. They think or do run the show. Parents need to be “Parents” and run the show at home and on vacation. Your “job” is to raise socially well adjusted and productive members of this society. Not to be their friend or buddy. That comes later after doing your job and they are out the door and on their own.

Sheryl Hendrix
26 days ago
Reply to  Jesse Crouse

Yes!

Sheri Ken
26 days ago
Reply to  Jesse Crouse

Exactly!

Jesse Crouse
26 days ago

The last sentence in the article say’s it all. ” The why determines the where you end up”.

Jim Prideaux
26 days ago

We are talking about two different traditions that have ‘recently’ met. Dial thing back 50 plus years. You had folks who liked to tent camp in the woods and you had folks who liked to go to a hotel/resort. Both pretty much used a car to get to where they were going but their worlds never met. As things developed tents were put on platforms. Hard-sided trailers became more popular, Some sported a water tank or propane stoves. Then fridge, AC, slide-outs and TV. So much more that now some are condos on wheels. Thats the path of the tent campers. The hotel/resort folks were content to stay at hotels and resorts all this time until they looked around and discovered that yes, these RVs are pretty much hotel rooms on wheels. Campgrounds developed to serve both traditions.

John S
26 days ago

We choose our camping locations specifically based on added amenities. If they are available, we either avoid that location or wait until off season when they’re not open. When we camped with our three children, we hiked, explored, swam in the ocean or lake, fished, played catch, read books, etc…Other than an occasional swimming pool, there was no other provided entertainment – we made our own.

Jeanette Walker
26 days ago

We full-time so do both types of ‘camping’. In the summer we move around a lot so we don’t need all the amenities. In the winter we stay at a campground for one to three months. Then we want the pool and lots of activities.

Curt L Coffee
26 days ago

traditional-best playground

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