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Campground Crowding: Stop selling RVs to folks under 50

RV sales have skyrocketed and more people than ever are taking up RVing. The result is campground crowding like never before! In this weekly blog, RV Travel readers discuss their experiences. Maybe we can find some helpful tips and ways to work around the problem.

Here are a few observations from our readers.

Why would I submit myself to this turmoil?

Joe D. reports on the turmoil he sees in the current RV world. He writes, “If all of the news on the RV industry is correct, it appears to me that the current condition of the marketplace will soon be self-correcting. If I’m interested in buying an RV and using it, the news I read would be a huge persuader for me to seriously think twice or three times.

“The cost of RVs are going up, with no guarantee of real price when it is to be delivered months down the road. If the delivery delay is long enough then I will likely miss the 2022 camping season. Especially if the unit has to spend weeks at the dealership correcting manufacturing defects. Then once I have a usable unit, I have to secure a spot in an RV park that is overbooked and overcrowded.

“Why would I submit myself and my family to this turmoil? Perhaps a better plan for my family’s vacation and travel would be BnBs, motels, resorts, etc. Given all of these considerations, perhaps RV dealers will soon have a large inventory of unsold units and RV manufacturers will no longer have a large backlog.

Booking when you want is nearly impossible

Candace S. writes about trying to book the day you want. “I’m finding that booking on the day you want to get there is practically impossible. People book two weeks at a time and then go back a month or so later and modify what they really want. So it’s a mess! If you don’t do that, you don’t get in. I think all the different booking windows in different states are confusing. Should all be a year out. Some people actually work and can’t be sitting by the computer for 10 a.m. Eastern time to book a site that they’ve been planning for a year. Just crazy!”

No “kids” allowed!

Mike J. remembers when camping was for relaxing and has some suggestions. “Stop selling RVs to folks under 50 years old. Camping had always been for relaxing, not partying and acting like idiots. Keep all that at home. Start opening seniors-only campsites. It will be less crowded and more peaceful.”

Pet peeve

Terri H’s pet peeve is with the big RVs. “RVs are the size of small houses. Some with 3-4 slideouts. Hence crowding. My pet peeve is no one ever comes out of the big rigs … all you hear is their AC or see the 55-inch TV through the window … crazy.”

John H. counters with this comment: “I’m not ‘camping,’ I’m residing in my traveling residential vehicle.”

Back to the dude ranches they should go!

Linda A. is hoping the newbies go back to their hotels and dude ranches. “I am the Wagon Master for an Elks RV club. We make our reservations 6 to 12 months in advance. The virus panic is over so the newbie RVer will probably sell the RV and go back to hotels, resorts, and dude ranches. Or at least us long-time RVers are hoping!”

Traveling in a motorized mansion? You might be turned away

Frank D. has seen a lot as a workamper and full-time RVer. He says, “My wife and I have been full-timers for a number of years and are also active workampers with a major campground corporation. We have most definitely seen a change in the ‘type’ of people now RVing and would like to share a few observations:

  1. The cost of a site has indeed risen and is likely to continue to do so; it is all about the rule of supply and demand. And no, the fact that you have a micro-miniature camper does not alter the fact that you are using a site and that site is worth X dollars per night.
  2. The fact that you are traveling in a motorized mansion and dragging another 30 feet of trailer does not mean that you can be accommodated; many campgrounds will only have a very few sites that can handle extremely large rigs. And yes, when you fail to mention that your true length is larger than what you told the reservationist there is a very good chance that you will be turned away even though you have a reservation.
  3. Just because you see empty sites around the campground does not mean that they are available.
  4. The world is not an ashtray for those who smoke; pick up after yourself. Likewise, fire pits are not trash receptacles.
  5. Realize that employees of the campgrounds do not make the rules; but they are tasked with enforcing them. Rules are there to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the guests.
  6. Above all, be considerate of your neighbors and the campground.”

Those are great tips and reminders, Frank. Thanks!



Neighbor’s awning within 6″ of bed slide

Tim P. shares this about the RV park he is in: “In a campground now for a long term. The park fills up pretty well from Thursday to Sunday then drops off Monday to Wednesday. Spaces are so close that almost any awning touches the next slide out, literally. Anybody who parks on our road side and extends their awning is within 6″ of our bed slide. Can’t even imagine somebody sitting outside to watch TV. You would annoy the entire row.”

Now, some questions for you:

• Are you finding more and more campgrounds booked up? Or is finding a place to stay not a problem?

• If campgrounds continue to be crowded and RVing continues to become more popular, will it affect how or when you RV?

• Do you have any tips or secrets you’d like to share about finding campgrounds that aren’t as crowded?

Please join me in my forum to discuss your answer to these questions. Maybe other RVers have a solution for you!

Read last week’s Crowded Campgrounds column here

##RVT1038b

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Aaron
7 months ago

How about you quit being agist. “Camping has always been about relaxing” what a load of silliness. Camping is about a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Quit your elitist whining. You don’t get to dictate who can and can’t buy a camper and who can and can’t rent a spot next to you. Meeting new types of people is the game. If you want peace and quiet go by your own remote land and do what you want on it. Otherwise you play by the same easy rules as everyone else. Let the camp ground set their own rules. Maybe they’ll find enough relaxation seekers to fill one camp ground and enough partiers to fill another one somewhere else. But that is for the market to decide, not you. You vote with each dollar you spend, vote wisely.

volnavy007
7 months ago

The problem of reservations being made for a long duration and then cancelling most of those days can most probably be solved by increasing the penalty for cancelling using a per day amount that will discourage the practice.

Terry Bean
7 months ago
Reply to  volnavy007

Wholeheartedly agree. The only amendment I would suggest is a way to validate a true emergency that necessitates cancellation.

Rocco
7 months ago

I am 46 years old I own a Class A Motorcoach with a 50 inch TV inside and out, and if you look at the main sales Target number that by the moose RV trailer or coaches the exact age is 48! I’ve been camping all my life “I’m certainly not an idiot” Thank you very much!!! Keeping people from being able to buy an RV under 50 is absolutely absurd! Sorry for your small minded thoughts

Golden Rule
7 months ago

1: So what do you do to keep busy now that you’re retired?
2: Oh, I like to RV full time and troll the younger generations with my useless commentary and archaic points of view.
1: Oh? Why?
2: My wife ignores me and I’m seeking attention.
1: Did you read the article?
2: Yes! I read the sentence that said stop selling RVs to people under the age of 50. I 100% agree with the article!
1: That wasn’t the only thi…
2: KEEP THOSE KIDS AWAY!!!
1: I chose not to have kids. I also grew up RVing with my family and it’s not changed much since except the technology and space size is more accommodating. Are you aggrandizing the past?
2: Well quit your partying! I can’t wake the dead with the rumble of my snoring with all that racket at 8pm!
1: I think maybe it’s just time for you to accept if you don’t enjoy it, maybe you shouldn’t do it. Things change as newer generations come up. The generations before you probably didn’t like parking their dinosaur next to your parents’ either.

Rocco
7 months ago
Reply to  Golden Rule

Truly cannot believe how negative this post is against people under 50? What’s that all about, I am 46 with a 2018 Monaco signature “I guess that’s the dinosaur referred to?” With a 25 ft enclosed trailer a $30,000 UTV and 2020 Subaru Forester in it and the 14 ft Carolina Skiff strapped to the inside roof.. from Vermont to Spokane to Key West I’ve never felt that Vibe or got the attitude from anyone I’m sorry that’s the way you feel

Terry Bean
7 months ago
Reply to  Golden Rule

Wow Nimrod. You have “virtue signaling” down to a fine science.Sociology graduate from Berkeley or Oberlin?

Lorelei
7 months ago

Well, I don’t care what you camp in or if you come out or not. But I believe in respecting others’ privacy and rights and in following the rules. I do find it interesting that children feel a need to scream non-stop and “let go” because they are in a campground. They probably do so every day.

Yes, it is hard to find a place to camp even during the week. Some people reserve a bunch of spaces, then cancel. It’s hard for some to book so far out. One shouldn’t have to.

For those who do want to be outside, it seems like one should be able to do so without hearing screaming children, barking dogs, yelling adults, radios, guitar playing with caterwauling, generators, etc. I was a kid once, but never acted like that and still don’t. If I wanted to hear all that, I could go to the city.

I go out of my way to be quiet, and my dog is quiet and stays on leash. It’s called respect for others.

LJ Johnson
7 months ago

I take mine with me for work 250+ days a year. Never can schedule more than a couple days in advance. You think planning a vacation is hard? Im currently in the savannah ga area and called 20 or 30 RV parks before finding a single spot an hour from my job site.

Jimbo
7 months ago

While we’re at….boomers, I don’t want to hear about each of your 10 grandkids! Also sorry I stay up past 9!

Hannibal Smith
7 months ago

We also need to get all of these boomers off the internet. I can’t use Facebook and Twitter with out seeing all these old people in my space! Obviously sarcasm but also an analogy.

Rocco
7 months ago
Reply to  Hannibal Smith

💯

Zach
7 months ago

Gotta love that section “no one under 50” so I suppose everyone under the age of 50 should just be comfortable living at a crack motel weekly rental that cost over 1200 a month? it’s not an issue of people just wanting to buy RVs but rather because it is the cheaper of options when trying to find a livable place. Let’s see what sounds more appealing forking out over 1200 a month to live at motel that you can barely get any sleep in due to the constant yelling fighting and other “activities” or paying for something that you own yourself and only having to fork out about 6-900 a month for a decent spot to park I don’t know about you but being a 27 year old that works 6 days a week that does live in a crack motel weekly rental that he can barely afford I can bet you option B looking a lot better than option a. We have a societal problem not a problem with people under the age of 50 buying RVs. We have a problem with silver spoon fed ignorance not understanding that tent living costs more.

Zach
7 months ago
Reply to  Zach

P.s. the pet peev part just sounds like you being jelly, I mean really what’s wrong with someone one NOT making a bunch of noise NOT constantly coming and going with a loud vehicle NOT being rowdy?? Like it bothers you that all you can hear is an AC unit that all you see is a flickering of light from a TV

P.P.s I would also like to point out that I’m speaking on an actual housing aspect not just camping but actually trying to find somewhere to live in a world where there is nowhere to live

Rocco
7 months ago
Reply to  Zach

Truly cannot believe how negative this post is against people under 50? What’s that all about, I am 46 with a 2018 Monaco signature “I guess that’s the dinosaur referred to?” With a 25 ft enclosed trailer a $30,000 UTV and 2020 Subaru Forester in it and the 14 ft Carolina Skiff strapped to the inside roof.. from Vermont to Spokane to Key West I’ve never felt that Vibe or got the attitude from anyone
P.S. I tent camp collectively for about two and a half years and still do you’re certainly Beauty in both worlds

Kyle Howard
7 months ago

Wish I could make all the same argument for those of us that live in south Florida and have to deal with snow birds and canadiens 6 months out of the year. We don’t use our Rv to travel up there. I am a 5th generation Florida native and would love to spend 6 months of the year complaining about you [bleeped] but it doesn’t work like that. Get over yourselves and my family and I will keep an eye out for those like you on our next camping trip in our home state.

Tony Ferguson
7 months ago

Camping is for kids which typically have parents under 50. All your other points are valid, but those who are willing to learn shouldn’t all be grouped together with those arrogant ones who do not care about others.

Tom Bauman
7 months ago

I’m a retired campground owner.
I don’t know why anyone would take up camping after reading your article. Nothing but crying and whining.
I don’t understand why you camp or RV whichever one you want to call it since you seem to hate everything about camping so much.
When we owned our campground most people were a joy and pleasure to have as guest. Our campground was built in the 70s so the sites weren’t very wide. Most people understood that.
We retired just before Covid hit.
We were planning on being full time every but lost to many reservations. We bought a little cabin on a lake but still travel with our 5th wheel. Doing a Passport America caravan this summer.

Rocco
7 months ago
Reply to  Tom Bauman

Very well put my friend! It’s like they forgot what they came for

JAMES
7 months ago

Hope you don’t get that old RV Mama

basementpoet
7 months ago

There’s some serious “You kids get off my lawn!” energy here. Lol. I’m a 28 year old woman, work remotely, and travel from campground to campground. I likely intend to for as long as my work will allow me to be remote. My family vacations were always in an RV, so it’s familiar.

You would not believe how many people gripe about how I camp. Yeah, I’m inside from 9-5 looking at a screen, making a living. I enjoy my early mornings fishing or I hike in the evening.

I’m dead quiet most of the time, but I occasionally have friends come hang out and have a beer outside my camper. There’s laughing, but we quiet down after quiet hours start. But, some people are just so eager to try to get me thrown out for “being rowdy” when it’s just a group of young adults having socially-distant lively conversations at a reasonable hour.

I’ll camp my way. Y’all can camp yours, but it seems like a lot of people are really invested in dictating how other people camp.

Rocco
7 months ago
Reply to  basementpoet

Truly cannot believe how negative this post is against people under 50? What’s that all about, I am 46 with a 2018 Monaco signature “I guess that’s the dinosaur referred to?” With a 25 ft enclosed trailer a $30,000 UTV and 2020 Subaru Forester in it and the 14 ft Carolina Skiff strapped to the inside roof.. from Vermont to Spokane to Key West I’ve never felt that Vibe or got the attitude from anyone. They have to remember it’s camping, so many people griping about everything they obviously forgot what they came for! “”People in their twenties that camp or travel full-time I think they should be commended””… probably shouldn’t say this but most of that generation has a two or four-year degree living back at their parents house sitting on the couch playing video games or Facebooking in tick-tocking all day?? Think about how many 25 year old and younger you see that were at least 25 lb overweight not when I was growing up we rode bicycles went camping built forts good old healthy stuff

Just an opinion not meant to offend

basementpoet
7 months ago
Reply to  Rocco

I mean, if people want to spend their time playing videogames or being on social media, that’s also okay. I write for videogames as a job and they can be just as, if not more, narratively complex as a book. And, competitive gaming isn’t really very different from things like competitive shooting, chess, or golf and those are thought to be “legitimate” uses of time. Tiktok is just another creative outlet, as far as I’m concerned. Dancing or lip syncing on Tiktok is not too far off from karaoke. Just kids having fun.

And, I don’t totally get why people are bothered by young people living at home. It’s pretty normal in a lot of countries to have multi-generational homes.

As far as what you said about weight, I think a lot of that has to do with socio-economic issues. Young people have inherited a tough hand economically and it shows up in our health. It’s hard to find time to build a fort or ride a bike when you work two jobs to survive and don’t get vacation time, you know?

But, otherwise, I feel you. Young people should be encouraged to camp and commended for it, not pushed away from it. It seems bizarre that older people who enjoy camping would want to push people away from something they supposedly like. The US is fortunate enough to have so many green spaces left and there are so many health benefits to being outside; it only seems right for anyone to have access.

Also, side note: how do you like the Carolina Skiff? I’ve been thinking about one.

John Olson
7 months ago

It appears we are getting out of hand AGAIN on some of the comments and maybe the editor needs to remind some of the “rules of commenting”. Many of the comments really are not necessary…. or worth reading… If you cant say something constructive… just keep scrolling.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
7 months ago
Reply to  John Olson

Thank you, John. I’ve deleted a bunch of comments today, but left a bunch in which weren’t quite so derogatory or divisive. Other moderators have said they wouldn’t have deleted the ones I did. It’s a very fine line as to what should be left in or removed. Moderating literally hundreds of comments each weekend really cuts into my regular work on the newsletters, especially when they can very quickly turn into a free-for-all. If it were up to me, I’d just leave them all in, honestly, and let everyone just duke it out. But that would drag our website down to the level of too many other websites and/or social media platforms, so we’ll maintain our higher standards but try to be fair in the process. Also, lowering our standards wouldn’t be fair to our more thoughtful, reasonable, tolerant, respectful, etc., readers, i.e., the vast majority of them/you. So, we’ll allow comments as long as there’s no name-calling or demeaning others based on differing views, or are otherwise rude or derogatory. Thank you for your patience in the meantime. Have a good night. 🙂 -Diane

scott
7 months ago
Reply to  John Olson

well said sir.

jfreeham
7 months ago

Well, to build on the title of the article, “and people over 75.”

Terry Bartlett
7 months ago

Stop selling to senior citizens. They had their time. I’ve taken my kids every place I’ve gone. I Do not agree with the old man, Joe d who wrote this article.

RV Mama
7 months ago

I think just the opposite. Stop selling RVs to senior citizens! They can’t handle rigs with their slowed reaction times. Send them to senior living facilities instead. Campgrounds aren’t equipped to handle their senior problems.

Sailor Bill
7 months ago
Reply to  RV Mama

At what age does one become a senior citizen? Remember, one day you will be a senior citizen also.

RV Mama
7 months ago
Reply to  Sailor Bill

Yeah, and I plan to have my own hobby farm and stay out of the way then.

RV Mama
7 months ago
Reply to  Sailor Bill

RVing and going to campgrounds is actually a terrible plan for aging. At 65, you might be able to handle it still, but one stroke, or some dementia sets in and then what happens?

JAMES
7 months ago
Reply to  RV Mama

Your one step away from that

JAMES
7 months ago
Reply to  RV Mama

Stop selling RVs to people like you. RVs should be 55+ only

Suru
7 months ago

My best memories are camping with my kiddos, so I don’t know about the “no kids allowed” comment. However, we taught our kids to be mellow and respect others. If we were in a campground, they didn’t get to run amok yelling and screaming. If we were out in the middle of no where with no one around, then they knew that they and the dog could let loose (to a point LOL). Most people loved our kids because they were so well-behaved.

The thing is, parents need to teach their kids how to act in different situations. Just like kids can act crazy and loud at home, they should know they can’t act like that at school or in church or at a campground. Unfortunately, too many parents don’t want to take the time to teach their children self-control or limits or they themselves have no self-control. Believe me, it takes a lot of work, but it’s worth having polite little people around who then grow up to be polite big people.

JAMES
7 months ago
Reply to  Suru

You’re the exception to the way people let their kids run loose with no supervision. Good Job!

Dane
7 months ago

There are campgrounds, or RV resorts, that already exist that are for 55 and older. I cannot afford them. And i don’t want to be parked on concrete lined up like canned sardines! I spend most of my time at state parks when i am traveling

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