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.”
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Just because you see empty sites around the campground does not mean that they are available.
- The world is not an ashtray for those who smoke; pick up after yourself. Likewise, fire pits are not trash receptacles.
- 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.
- 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.