Thursday, December 8, 2022


Couple can’t agree on public or private campgrounds


RV Shrink

Dear RV Shrink:

We have been traveling for almost nine months. We bought a fifth-wheel, a new truck and all the toys. We plan to travel for several years and look for some special place to spend winters, once we have seen all the sights. The problem is campground choice.

I like to stay in commercial campgrounds with all the amenities and my husband likes to rough it in remote scenic campgrounds. He told me, “If I wanted to spend my retirement sardined into a shoebox campsite I would have bought a mobile home.” He complains that we are so close to neighbors he can hear them talking, smell them smoking and listen to their TV programs. I don’t think it’s that bad. I get bored sitting out in the woods, desert or ocean by ourselves.

Are we normal? Do others have this problem? —Unhappy Campers in Concord

Dear Unhappy:
As with most disagreements, it takes compromise. If only everyone had your small problem to deal with. I’m sure you have favorite campgrounds you both have enjoyed. Start with those. Look for commercial parks with bigger lots. Often you have to pay a premium for more open space, but perhaps it’s worth it to buffer yourselves from talk, smoke and TV.

As for being bored in remote public campgrounds, you could work on that situation. It’s surprising how many people dive into this RV lifestyle without giving any thought as to what comes next. Is travel your only hobby? If you are bored you may need to explore interests that you can take on the road. Join activities and meet fellow travelers. Play cards, explore bike trails, swim, dance and go out for dinner and a movie.

Living on the road should not be much different than the life you lived before shoving off. It just encompasses new places, new friends, new experiences.

Your choice of campsites is a personal matter involving cost, locations, hookups and so much more. There is no shortage of areas to camp, park or even put down semi-permanent roots. I think if you work together to choose camping options, your husband will find parks he can live with, and you will find rural settings that keep your interest. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including the brand-new Book 2 in his two-book series: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.


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Michael Sheldon
3 years ago

Our motto: ANYTHING public is better than ANYTHING private…!!!!

3 years ago

May I say – “Do both!” Take a few days in a campground to get to know the area and spend a few days in remote off grid camping. You see more this way and save a little. A few days here and a few days there. What could be better!

3 years ago

As the saying goes, variety *IS* the spice of life and fortunately Grace and I love “mixing it up” a bit, enjoying trying different accommodations on our cTv adventures. That said, we generally agree with the notion of having a sufficient degree of living space between neighbors, so we’d prefer going to popular RV spots when the demand is not at its peak – so avoiding a weekend holiday Summer day at a tourist location would be the worst case scenario.

3 years ago

I am a female RVr. In my opinion if I had to stay in a commercial campground all winter, I may as well buy a condo and park the RV for the season. The point in having an RV is so I DON’T have to be stuffed in to a crowded village type environment!

3 years ago

Variety is the spice of life, right? Something this couple will discover is that on especially long RVing trips (or while full-timing), they’ll still need groceries and supplies. They’ll find they forgot to bring an X thingy or a Y gadget and will need to spend some time in an area where they can do some shopping. Or get mail. Or access wifi.

We’ve found (after ten years of full-timing) that after spending several weeks or a month in a pretty remote spot that we’re ready for some mall walking in a larger urban area.

If this couple doesn’t find a way to compromise (a week in the boonies, a week in a private campground… something like that), they probably won’t be RVing for long, which is sad. So much to experience out there!

3 years ago

I’m a female fulltime rver. We BOTH prefer staying at COE and State Parks.
For the last 5 years we have been staying at 13 different Florida State Parks from late October til May. In between travel from Florida to N.Y. we will stay at COE Parks and private parks for overnight stays.
We must be fortunate that neither of us need a clubhouse or a bunch of activities to keep us entertained.
Walking our dog around the campground loops and hiking is an enjoyable activity that gives us plenty of conversation with fellow campers.
FYI. All of Florida State Parks have water and electric hookups and many have sewer too.

Allen Schott
3 years ago

I have to agree with the husband, I prefer the larger spaces in the Fed/State parks. When I go by the commercial campgrouns that are packed to the walls, all that goes thru my mind is I’d rather motel/hotel stay than suffer. One of the Northeast Connecticut campgrounds I stayed in had plenty of space between campsites, but it suffered from being bought from a larger campground company. The owners have upgraded it a little and have set aside spots for tents and truck campers. The federal Army Corp campgrounds are well maintained, and have some hook-ups available. State parks usually don’t have hook-ups but the bathroom facilities are clean.
My wife needs people around her to chat with, so it makes my selection a little harder.

martlin c chambers
3 years ago

This is the difference between camping and glamping. I personally feel that RVing is for camping, which means being out in nature, not in some man made “resort” where you are surrounded with people, have a pool, golf course, showers, and a laundry facility. You might as well stay in a fancy hotel and get the workout gym as well! Glamping is not camping.

Bob p
3 years ago

Amen, but I have the same problem, my wife wants to be where everything is available including shopping. I on the other hand am not a shopper, activity user, nor anything else a resort has to offer.