The future of RVing is not necessarily pretty

92

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
I saw it coming, RVing as it is today. That was 20 years ago.

What I envisioned was not simply bigger and better RVs, although anyone who paid attention could see that there were more gizmos and gadgets each passing year. No. What I envisioned (among other things) was an ever-increasing number of old, beat-up RVs.

I knew the day would come when some of those RVs would be either hauled to junkyards or purchased as shelters for next to nothing by our poorest citizens. That day has come.

Twenty years ago, our nation’s homeless problem paled in comparison to now, when every day tens of thousands of people stand on street corners begging for money. Some need the money to feed their families, others to feed a drug habit. Others are schemers who can earn more begging than from traditional employment.


Cities across America are home to modern day “Hoovervilles,” squatter settlements where poor people live in tents or RVs that barely run. My city of Seattle has a terrible problem. My daughter just returned from a trip to Austin, Texas. “There were areas you didn’t go,” she said, referring to homeless encampments.

The fact is, it’s a whole lot better to spend your nights in an RV, no matter how beat up, than in a cardboard box on a sidewalk. Who can blame the poor for wanting a roof over their heads?

THE SQUATTER ENCAMPMENTS, the “Hoovervilles,” are the extreme. People a little better off can afford to hole up in cheap RV parks. A couple of years ago I counted 11 unsightly and unregistered RVs, or RVs with long-expired licenses, in a Seattle area KOA. Those people were living there, not passing through. Hundreds of such parks, maybe thousands, are scattered across America.

Walmart, which has long allowed RVs to spend a night in its parking lots, is banning overnight stays store by store as they become home turf to communities of beater RVs and their often questionable inhabitants.

Where does this lead? The way I see it, look for more and more “Hoovervilles” and more RV park “slums” in the years ahead. Many 25-year-old RVs are a potential home for someone who desperately needs shelter. A junker works just fine when there’s nothing else.

In case you forget, RV means “recreational vehicle.” People who live in RVs out of desperation are not RVers in the way the RV industry portrays them, and have little in common with most readers of this newsletter who own an RV for pleasure, and not out of necessity.

This depressing situation is a whole lot bigger than just “RVing.” There are, needless to say, no easy solutions.


92 COMMENTS

  1. Sometimes I wonder if chuck with all his negative comments should really be the editor.Chuck I heard Camping World is looking for help

    • My observation from your statement is that your glass is half empty. Your tunnel vision fails to see all of the good and informative information contained in the rvtravel.com news letter.

  2. There is an answer for the homeless: https://mlf.org/community-first/
    It’s working and its in Austin, Texas and could work anywhere with some organized backers, volunteers, community support, City council support and a philanthropist with a big heart.
    Some RV park owners exploit the poor and raise their rent knowing they cant move, then foreclose on their rig when they get behind and rent it out to someone new and start all over again. There’s an owners association that hold’s workshops on how to do it.
    Seattle would be a great place to adopt Austin’s model.
    THE ABOVE IS FACT AND NOT OPINION
    https://mlf.org/community-first/

  3. Judging by some of the comments, it seems to me, that some readers confuse observations as opinions. This seems to happen in the Facebook RV groups I belong to. Sometimes it gets complicated when someone posts an observation, followed by their opinion. Either way, we should all learn to play nice together, before someone comes and takes all of our toys away. Happy Trails.

  4. My wife and I waited 2 years to get a seasonal site. We almost did not get it because of the age of our trailer. The owners of the campgrounds wanted to come and see it before they offered us a site. So we spent a weekend there so he could see it. He took a good long look inside and out. Our trailer was at the time 11 years old they do have a 10 year rule there. But ours was fully insured and registered. He said that he could see that it is well taken care of plus roadworthy. And we told him that we will be taking it out of state at least once during the season to go on vacation.
    He then told us about some of the stories about people who use and abandon them. They had 40 one year!

  5. I contend that my 22 year old Lazy Daze class C is built better than anything rolling off the line currently from Thor or Forest River.

  6. I worked as a park host for several seasons and had a enjoyed the experiences. I did not work because I needed the money but to see if I wanted to own park. My experiences with the older RVs was that if they looked good and the occupants looked good that there was never a problem. I did, however, observe that there are some park owners that are jerks but most of them do not last long in a people oriented business and some just run sleazy junk yards. One thing that became apparent was that without the long term business, it is impossible to be economically viable. The overnight and weekend business is great but you cannot survive without your long term revenue.

  7. After reading your article “The future of RVing is not necessarily pretty” I thought; based on the junk being sent out the door at the RV manufacturers today, we won’t have old RV’s available for this purpose in twenty years.

  8. The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. Anatole France (16 April 1844 – 12 October 1924)

  9. Funny how Chuck, the editor of this newsletter, recently became a full time RVer. Now he is becoming aware of the things that most of us long time full timers have been aware of.
    The people living cheap did not just start living in old RVs recently. It has been going on for decades. There have always been RV parks that “went to the dogs,” and filled up with cheap RVs and dubious inhabitants. WalMarts have had this same problem periodically.
    I realize that Chuck is a journalist, and is not really an expert on anything. Just remembering that he is learning, and expressing his opinion. I have to keep reminding myself that the articles in this newsletter are opinions, not facts.

  10. I made a judgement 2 years ago in a county campground in MN. There was an old yellow/orange class C which was running pretty rough. I called it the “meth lab”. When my sister went to use the ladies’ washroom there was a mom and her special-needs, adult daughter in there taking showers. It was their RV. They had current tabs and paid for their RV spot just like I did. They were there for 2 weeks and then they left. Returned a few days later with another 2 week ticket. You know the rules. 14 days and then you are out. I felt bad for them and for judging them. I also worried for them wondering what they were going to do when the winter hit. That mother was doing her best.

  11. I really think most of you are missing the point so completely, it’s scary. Your tax dollars are supposedly going to help the poor and let them gain a foothold in society they can then leverage into success. Is giving them and old, worn out RV they can’t really afford the upkeep on and is temporary at best really fullfilling that social contract? Is putting them on the streets of LA in front of someone’s home in an RV they can’t move to empty the sewage tanks or get fresh water really helping them? Is it helping the real RV community’s reputation (and by that I mean the people who actually use an RV as a recreational vehicle and not as a last grasp on civilization)? It’s shameful.

  12. Future of RVing; kind of a direct parallel to the surge of camping popularity pre-1900 and in the first 2 decades of the century contrasted against the tent and shack communities of dust bowl migrants eking out existence as farm laborers. Can’t call that “camping out” or “tenting tonight”.

    • I’ve told this tale before: prior to the Dust Bowl years, the city of Boise, ID had a lovely riverside park where local families would all through the summer pitch tents and enjoy the cool evenings and weekends. It became quite a social scene, according to historical reports. Then came the “homeless hordes” of American families fleeing the ecological disaster, looking for a new start, a new home. In response to the “undesirables” camping enroute to Oregon and California, Boise City officials outlawed overnighting in the parks. It remains so to this day. In the end, only the Boise residents themselves suffered. Most have no idea of what an ‘idyllic pleasure’ the former residents enjoyed.

  13. RVtravel.com will post stories from time to time that may cause you to desire to climb on your political soapbox.

    Editorials we post are indeed the opinion of the editor. And they may stir up controversy. That is their purpose, to inspire thought and civil discussion. Our focus is on how these types of issues affect our readers and fellow RVers. We’re not placing blame on a political view but pointing out, and editorializing on, an issue that is affecting the RV community.

    We ask that you keep your comments and opinions civil toward one another. And keep the discussion on the issue that affects you or your fellow RVers and your ability to enjoy RVing.

    We’re all in this together!

    • As a “retired” couple 9not well retired but we get by) we have run into the problem of rv parks that will not let us park our 1993 rig. I asked one owner recently how old his park was in he told me he had been there 17 years. I said to him; Well that’s old and you probably run down and trashy so I would not stay in a place like that. You judged me sight unseen so do I judge you. The real problem now in this country is simple GREED. Everyone wants MORE. Look at Camper Worlds situation. Greed is costing them dearly now and most of our corporations are just the same. As long as people cheat and lie without regard for others our problems are going to get much worse God Bless us all.

  14. FYI: Skyrocketing housing prices, often driven my non-resident real-estate owners and investor/speculators, has driven even employees of Silicon Valley high-tech firms to living in RVs on the peninsula streets of the Bay Area. So, the reason “Demo cities” attract the dispossessed is because they demonstrate the kind of Christian charity that is too often missing from other less democratic communities…

  15. My prediction: You can expect communities and agencies fed-up with the problem of homeless encampments and trashed boondocking sites to pass progressively more ordinances and laws forbidding overnight camping throughout the country, and for the attitudes of those communities and agencies to turn decidedly against camping on public lands. And you can further expect private campgrounds to get progressively more expensive and exclusive…and crowded.

  16. How does Workampers fit into your scenario?
    I have been Workamping for over 3 years now and find it a great way to keep off the streets and at nice resorts, sometimes even make minimum wage to rebuild the coffers after a large repair bill and a smile on my face. Workamping is a great way to visit resorts you might not normally be able to afford and meet some really nice people doing the same thing at the same time.
    I drive a 1997 Discovery 36ft class-A. I have never been refused a workamper job because I have an old rig. Later this year when I am wintering in Arizona I will get the rig painted in Mexico.
    My complaint is the flagrant “rig age discrimination” that some are enforcing..

  17. Interesting Chuck, we own a 5th wheel that is a 1993, Old doesn’t mean junker. I wouldn’t spend my hard earned money on a new RV. They are overpriced junker’s. Anybody who borrows money to purchase one of these overpriced piles of junk IMHO is crazy. North America society needs to start thinking differently. Developers and builder’s need to lobby governments to start building tiny home communities that people can afford. If something keeps rain from hitting your head its a home, fancy and expensive doesn’t make it better or make people happy IMHO

    • Wow! Tiny homes? Have you seen how tiny and hugely expensive they are? I’m not expert, but I suspect that “tiny homes” may not be the answer. We have millions of people/families living in their cars. I saw this firsthand when I was a kid back in the 60’s. Nothing has changed.

  18. So what if a lot of RVers now live in RV’s out of necessity! Has chuck ever thought of people who can no longer afford new houses or apartments? Where do you think they should live? Most of us buy RV’s then live in them, in RV parks or resorts, like Thousand Trails. Why? bec houses/apartments have become so expensive! RV’s are one way we could lessen our expenses and save our money for old age. Have you ever thought of it chuck? Maybe you are a billionaire, that’s why you look down on us who can’t afford your way of life! Instead of commenting negatively on the problem, why don’t you just help out? Use your billions to help out those in need? If you can’t, then just pray for them!

      • I respecfully disaggree Chuck needs to take the new “facts” with the new data he now has from this feedback. New journalism calls it crowdsourcing as he attempts in his surveys. Hope he follows through on the RVs as affordable homes for working homeless with not enough for a deposit for rent . There’s a Church in Buda Texas that installed some tiny homes on their property.
        https://mlf.org/community-first/
        has daily rentals in Refurbished RVs for one to experience their park.
        Chuck go there and tour and help spread their story.
        Austin housing has become unaffordable for any of the 150 PER DAY moving here. I’ve recently met several boondocking, moochdocking, or living in RV parks

  19. Somehow I think everyone here has missed the point that Chuck was trying to make – the plethora of old, used and unwanted RV’s act as an enabler for the concentration of folks who would otherwise be considered homeless. I didn’t see it as a treatise on social class or means. I saw it as a statement about how our disposable economy has created an abundance of semi-portable shelters. Where these shelters can be lodged en masse, even temporarily, tend to show the beginnings of urban blight simply due to the infrastructure NOT being built to accommodate semi-mobile lodging.

    Or, I am totally off base and Chuck hates the poor since they don’t shop at his advertisers?

    • I once had a good friend tell me the hardest place to find in America for an itinerant traveler was a few square feet to lay one’s body down at night. Or try finding a public toilet (paying customers only!) or a public bathroom/shower. Or public shelter after hours from a storm or freezing weather. Or a place to change clothes. How about an address or telephone number to leave a prospective employer? Or where do you get mail? General delivery? How far apart (walking distance) are the public services? Where is public health care available? Where can one safely leave one’s necessary possessions?
      Admit it: America’s only answer is: “Not here, loser!” No wonder an old RV seems so precious!

      • g – Interesting comment. I never thought in those terms, but your friend is right. Hmmm… now I have something to ponder on.

    • Dry Creek, you are on track with your understanding. I don’t believe Chuck was criticizing the folks, he was addressing the ghetto aspect of putting a bunch of junkers into a small area. I have yet to see a tent city that was clean and tidy. In the end, the occupants are in fact responsible for the blight when they refuse to clean up their sites. Sooner or later local and state governments will be forced to spend the bucks necessary to provide real solutions. Otherwise you will start seeing news accounts concerning severe health risks in large numbers. It has already started in some areas.

  20. As we travel, we see the dichotomy of occupants of RV’s. There are the travelers, there are the short-term jobs – traveling medical professionals and construction, mostly, and those who live in a park for years, because it is the least expensive way to live. We see a lot of seniors/poor people who have taken to this life because they can afford it. Rental housing prices are going through the roof.
    Once you have an RV, you can probably live for $500-$600 in reasonable park. Far cheaper than $1200-2000 for an apartment.
    Let’s call it what it is – a housing crisis. I know that the RV park owners are just as puzzled as the rest of us to see a better solution, but this is one that works.

  21. The most amazing thing about the Seattle homeless situation is the homeless are running things. The city council even de-criminalized felonies that the homeless are committing. They can camp anywhere they want, they can urinate and defecate on the street, sidewalk or the entrance of Nordstroms. Seattle cleans up these encampments, hauls away the trash, human waste, needles, bikes, tents, propane tanks, furniture, whatever isn’t there naturally. Then in a week or two they move right back in. When they do this they have to have a place to live for each person, an army of city workers, social workers, fire fighters/medics, police, trucks & excavators. BOY IS THAT MONEY WELL SPENT.

  22. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since 1969, but wages have not kept pace with housing costs. When I bought my first house in 1986, the rule of thumb was that housing costs should not be more than 25% of pay. Now it is close to 50% for many people. You can see why a used RV would be appealing if you could find a place to park it. Anyway, what should we do with all those used RV’s? Crush them and fill up a landfill? If someone can use them, maybe spaces should be created for them near the areas where population density and housing costs are so high.

    • Anne. Why not turn them into “cars for Jesus” or habitat for humanity and let them restore them for the military and use them on military posts for housing for our hero’s?

      • So you want to let our HERO’S live in fixed up pieces of junk? What a reward for them and their families for saving your lifestyle.

    • Unemployment numbers only count those still looking for work. During the long economic downturn that began in 2008, many unemployed fell out of the tally once their unemployment benefits ran out or they gave up applying for work altogether. Many of those became homeless. So, the “improved” unemployment rate is helped as much by people falling out of the count as by becoming employed, which is why you see so many homeless people on the streets and living in decrepit RVs these days, in addition to skyrocketing real-estate prices driven by investor/speculator owners and lack of affordable housing being built.

  23. I did not like the tone of this article. In my travels, I am seeing an increase in large, over the top rigs, for 1 or 2 people, occupying the preferred spaces for weeks at a time, while the occupants rarely venture outside and leave their generator running for hours and hours. Arrogance and inconsideration at it’s finest. If I had a choice between camping next to a “beater” rv or one of the high cost rigs at a campground, I would choose the “beater” any day of the week. I probably wouldn’t have to listen to their generator running all day and night while they are inside watching TV!!! And they call it camping….

    • Alice, as much as you don’t like the tone of the article I don’t like the tone of your comment. We travel full-time in a ‘high-cost’ rig you’re referring to and I can assure you that most people in expensive RV’s stay in nice RV parks where power is provided and generators are not permitted to run. We are equipped to boondock or stay in campgrounds with no electric but choose not to. We also never refer to our lifestyle as camping.

    • Got to agree Aiice, the proliferation of huge 5th wheels and Class A RVs is also a problem, the RV parks are full of these units. I find an unusual older or different camper something rather special! Not to suggest that Class A people are not good people – I enjoy meeting many of them. While I can certainly understand those who are living in one and traveling around visiting their grandkids, I kinda don’t understand why so many people want something that can barely venture off the interstate and carries all the amenities/luxuries of a home.

      Well written article, I am sure Chuck is not making any sort of political commentary , rather he is making a accurate observation of a trend.

  24. I wish i had an answer i could give. I know in my area (so cal) it’s like having a motorhome is good and bad, a place to go in bad conditions or a target vehicle for people to steal or kill the occupants for possecion. The police care but cannot be there in time

  25. There are many reasons for homelessness aside from the usual drug/alcohol/PTSD issues. I remember watching a YouTube video about a father with two children who lost his construction job in Florida and spent his last $1,000 to fix up a van they could live in. There are plenty of videos about people living in their cars. I am tired of people blaming one political side or the other, or the wealthy people, or whatever. (Well, the government/industry/wealthy people do have to take some blame, but the situation is much more complex.) Things roared after WWII, but we are simply shifting into a much-changed world–increasing globalization with decreased jobs, etc. It’s tough with no easy answers.

  26. Um. Gee. I live in my RV for financial reasons Yes. Not everyone who lives in their RV is some “squatter low life”. After reading this article I sort of feel singled out. Like…”this newsletter is not for YOU”. I can tell you there are many MANY people who live in RVs BY CHOICE and LOVE IT. I am finding this article quite smug actually. Maybe you didn’t mean to come across this way. What you say is possibly true with regards to the trend. But the judgements and lack of compassion is loud and clear here. I am disappointed in rvtravel for publishing this article let alone making it a cover story!

    • This is just one man’s view. I do not share it. I share your point of view. That said, there is a wide continuum of financial situation Americans have. My only concern is that as the numbers of “campers” go down the American financial drain, that the numbers of people in the initially expressed category will overtake those of us interested in using our RVs for what they were originally intended: to camp with.

    • I wonder if Chuck is resorting to controversial commentary in the classic “if it bleeds it leads” mentality of yellow journalism to improve viewership after his notable excursion into the hot-button political issue of gun ownership in another recent issue of his blog garnered so much feedback? As we all know, this kind of pandering to the audience with controversy is a tried and true tactic of all media, in general…

    • We have a 2004 Fleetwood 4 slide 5th wheel. Huge. All the comforts of home. we live in it by choice. we have a good deal of disposable income and can handle any emergency that comes in . rents average 3K per month in our area for 2-3 bedroom. Our overhead is 500$ per month. Our rig is totally worked over and updated, all safety precautions have been taken and upgraded if necessary. New rigs are absolute safety cautionary tales. From walls falling off slides falling out, running gear breaking, rigs cracking in half, floors falling through, fridge fires, to basic things not working , they are a complete waste all the way around. We have put ALOT of money into our rig and its awesome.

    • Having said that, We are real Rvr’s and set out to be RVrs. Proper and true. But the element discussed here is the people who really arent rvrs. They at some point came across an rv and started living in it as opposed to living in an alley. No upkeep, no pride in ownership, no rv courtesy (walmart trashed parking lot), they are just homeless living in rvs. Being a full time rv’r is not necessarily the same as just living in an rv full time. The two cross over but are not the same at all. That in and of itself is what causes cross confusion.

    • Ex: Years ago I had a friend who was very transient, had variety of mental problems (dont know what they were) . house to house, man to man, had 6 kids across 5 guys, lost 3 kids to the state somewhere, told me lots of stories i knew were untrue about a variety of things. One day ( I had been a full timer about 8 years at this point traveled all over, and was on my 3rd rig) she called me up and said “im a full timer rvr now”. I said what? How much was your rig? she said “free, we cleaned up someones yard and they had us haul their old trailer to the dump, but we kept it instead and decided to take it and live in it instead” . I asked her to send me pictures. it was a dump. not the same.

  27. “Otherwise, we’d be like so many South American countries… the ultra-rich in gleaming mansions on the hillcrests, looking down on gulches and ravines filled with fetid squatter camps.”

    Isn’t that what the upset people are complaining about here?

    Your vocabulary makes you sound like an ass. How about conversing like a regular person and not like Frasier on TV. You turn people off making it sound like you are more enlightened that they. Do your really need to do that?

  28. Just how do those damn libs accomplish this? Raising taxes? Well then, it sounds like the money is being spent on the rich and not the poor. Unless we non libs roll up our sleeves and come up with a solution that is not right out of Hitler’s play book the problem will only get worse.

    By the way, the rising cost of housing is not caused by homeless people, nor the raising of taxes. It is caused by greed, the rich get richer and then complain about the poor not paying their own way. Become poor and try to solve your issues.

  29. The problem is not caused by the RVs, RVs were the easiest solution to the real problem, poverty.

    Until our governments stop spending trillions on wars and other non “Homeland” issues things will only get worse. Our government seems to be unimpressed with taking care of those in need but studies and history has shown that by taking care of these people’s basic needs in the end it is cheaper. But the government seems to not want to spend anything on them at all!

    Homelessness and poverty has to be addressed case by case and not just thrown into categories like: Poor people. Lazy people. Crazy people. Find out why these people are this way and develop a strategy to help each one.

    • Someone “FAMOUS ” said something to the effect “the poor will always be with you”. That was 2000 years ago and like everything else that He said….it is and was TRUE!
      Many if not most of the poor in this particular country are poor because of personal CHOICES! All the Government help in the world will not cure what is really at the bottom of there poverty.

    • Cities like Seattle spend hundreds of millions on the homeless. Watch “Seattle is dying” on youtube, most of the homeless are on the streets due to drugs.

    • “Our government seems to be unimpressed with taking care of those in need.” I beg to differ. Half the people I know receive enough money from the government for shelter, food, and free healthcare. Some people that are homeless don’t receive free care from the government because they don’t want to conform to requirements (if there is any). Some of the people receiving aid are doing so under fraudulent claims and information.

    • The long and short of it is corruption, lobbyists run the United States Of America. The politicians and their friends run the companies that profit from the needless wars. State dinners that cost $100,000 a pop instead of feeding the homeless. The US of A is broken and has been for a very long time.

  30. “Libs” have nothing to do with the increase in housing costs, geesh. I’m currently spending some time in Rockport, Texas, which had two KKK marches in the 90’s, so it’s not “lib” territory. There are people living in truck campers and likely in trucks. Yes, there was a hurricane two years ago, but just like in places like Austin and Seattle, it’s the wealthy who are driving up prices, and the housing industry is catering to them by building multi-million-dollar homes. “Libs”–in case you don’t know this (since you’re clearly NOT one) favor affordable housing and work to make it happen.

    • Liberal policies certainly do have an impact on the homeless problem, as well as does Seattle’s sanctuary status. Now, thanks to liberal Gov. Inslee, the entire state is a sanctuary state. Sanctuaries attract illegals as they know that law enforcement cannot ask them their legal status. If jailed, law enforcement cannot notify ICE even if a detained illegal is a known felon or is wanted for deportation.

      Seattle’s lenient drug laws (a person can posses up to two grams of heroin with no consequences). They give out free needles. They allow encampments and RV parking almost everywhere. They don’t allow law enforcement to do their jobs. This attracts the homeless.

      See next …

    • I know a Lt who is a Vietnam Vet. He could receive a substantial amount of money for compensation for what he went through but he won’t go because there was no help back in the 70s and he has become bitter. Such a shame, he could have a much better life.

    • If they are Truly Vets, there is help available for them. They have choices with the VA that can help them, more so than the non Vet.

  31. We are heading in the direction of our South American neighbors because of the huge income and wealth disparities in this country. People who have means are quick to judge those who don’t and often don’t have any facts to back them up. They are just bullies on the playground.
    We are living within our means and have purchased an 18 year old RV to live in and selling our home at the ages of 55 and 65. We know that we will be judged purely on the age of our RV at some places. What a sad statement.
    One of the things that we look forward to is knowing that most Rvers are friendly people who do a better job at living in community than most of the sticks and bricks communities in the US.

  32. I have mixed feeling about this issue. Were a far cry from Rich, but also from living in the gutter. and NO, I also would not even say were middle class. Our Biggest reason for Moving into and living in an RV, is because of our dogs. Yes, Dogs…. Biggest reason we “Stay” living in an RV, is because we like it much better then in mixed neighborhoods. And if the neighbors get to bad, We can bring the slides out in, and MOVE!.. Not everyone can be a Dr. Lawyer, Or work for the goverment and get over paid to afford a 120K mobile unit to travel the country. Over 68% of Americans live in or near poverity. And rather then turning up your nose to the 68%, what have you done to help at least one?

    • Dude, America is mixed, that is why we called ourselves the “melting pot of the world” for over a hundred years.

      My dogs have always been happy living wherever I do. Don’t get what your saying.

      Yes, if the neighborhood is bad I would recommend not living there from the start. Was it not noticeable from the first minute? How did it go from heaven to hell? If it was nice when you got there and it went to crap from then on it sounds like you brought the problem. But I think you brought the perception instead.

      I agree with your idea of “if you don’t like it there, move”. That is why they put wheels on those things, mobility. Maybe if you keep looking you will find somewhere you like.

    • 9 out of 10 homeless, at least in Seattle, won’t accept help. They don’t want to live by anybody’s rules but their own. If you did give them money to help them, they just spend it on drugs. That is not true in every case, but how do you find the ones that will use it to lift themselves up?

  33. If you want to view a documentary on Seattles drug problem (aka homeless people) google the documentary called Seattle Is Dying. This gives you a total perspective on the Drug (aka homeless) problem Seattle, Portland, Houston and even East coast cities.
    As pointed out in the Documentary There is no Intervention Programs for these people (except New Jersey). The cities continue to turn a blind eye to the problem and continue to let these people distroy these cities. The documentary is long but worth the time to watch it.
    The city of Seattle has hired a top PR Company to counter the news papers making of this documentary. Their response to the problem.

    • Three summers ago, we went to what used to be one of my favorite cities…Seattle. But no more. We were downtown to just wander and enjoy the day, but having to literally step into the street in order to walk around a homeless person sleeping across the sidewalk was depressing and at times distressing as we were shouted at and assailed by a putrid stench of body odor and urine. Even saw one man doing a poo right out in the open. There was no place in the downtown area that we could walk without encountering this. As well as when driving out of downtown making our way back to the freeway….all along the raised embankments under the road were huge tent cities of homeless.

      • So are you saying that the issue would be solved with housing, proper hygiene, and proper restrooms for everyone? Fine, let’s do it.

        Just as long as your point is not to just get rid of “those people” to solve the issue. That’s draconian you know.

        And look a little closer, many of those smelly people are the same heroic people you most likely admired when they went off to fight wars in the name of “homeland security”. Or in many cases their families as well.

        • I’m not offering “a” solution…as there is no one solution or even 10 solutions to this situation. I’m only relating what I personally experienced in what used to be a gorgeous city. And, casually suggesting what is happening all over our country all of our so called “asylum cities”. This is not a new problem. It has existed here in the US many times in the past as well as in many other countries.
          By the way, my military vets come first over all the illegal immigrants who are being paid to live in our country. I currently have 4 military folks in my family serving us and this country.

    • Portugal over 15 years ago de-criminalized all drugs and American “experts” predicted they doom. Instead they have cut drug use in over half. And use of drugs by non adults is at an all time low. How? Government programs to stop addiction, homelessness, and mental illness. IT DOES WORK! Drugs are the escape from issues like mental illness and poverty. It is easier to see the truth with a roof over your head and a meal in your stomach.

      • “How? Government programs to stop addiction, homelessness, and mental illness. ”
        Well, let’s tackle the drug addiction problem that Big Government can suddenly “fix”. In regions where all of the target products are decriminalized, the government can now tax it at a very high rate to show disfavor for the practice of using that product. It’s worked so well for smoking (tobacco), why *not* try it with illicit drugs?

  34. Chuck, you used a KOA in Seattle as an example? You know as well as anyone from the Seattle area….rich people can’t afford to stay at that KOA.

      • Just began our 8 month summer adventure…currently in a tiny old town in Nebraska and guess what…$47 a night. Two years ago, $30 a night seemed to be the average for a nice rv park, this summer it’s a minimum of $50. In fact, last summer we paid $79 a night in what could generously be called a rustic park. No sewer, decrepit bath houses, dust and dirt everywhere, and 10 mi outside of a small town. Folks, get ready, just like everything else in life, prices go up and up and up.

  35. I choose to travel and live in my RV. Having said that, I consider myself HOUSELESS not HOMELESS!! But, in order for me, as a retired used to be middle class female, I have to choose…. sticks and bricks OR RV??!! I own a 1996 Campervan. It is small but homey. Due to finances I have to stay on BLM land mostly. When I do travel, I usually need a place to spend a night here or there. So, Walmart is my first pick. Now, I dont go and *set up camp*…. I leave the area as clean or cleaner than when I stopped…. I try and purchase a little from them…..and the next morning I move on. Its what I said…a place to stop when I am tired and need to feel safe. BLESSINGS TO ALL WHO TRAVEL!

    • Even if I could afford the most luxurious RV Park I would prefer BLM lands. This is camping, not moving your luxury apartment from location to location.

      I am sure that Wally World appreciates people like you. But it takes only one bad apple to destroy it for everyone. Keep up the good work.

  36. As your daughter said” there were places you just don’t go”. Perhaps RVT could do a series or expand on that theme and list places where “you just don’t go”.

  37. “Big Roads” is a great book. The US chose a motor vehicle model for everything, including cities. What you have now, as available space, is parking. So you build some kind of Dwelling Vehicle, a DV, not an RV. With electric drive you can build from scratch. Make something like a Promaster, but more square, with good insulation, serious heating and cooling. Lighten up on the parking regs. The Fed says half this country is under water, just not enough money. Housing costs make people poor. You are going to have to make serious compromises. RV’s just don’t stretch far enough to be decent housing. Cities are interesting places but people need to be engaged, not hanging off the edges.

  38. The sanctuary city phenomenon is a major reason for this blight. No enforcement and political correctness by liberal city governments and you end up with these enclaves of crime, drugs, and fear.

    • I’m from a sanctuary city. We are proud that we live out our Judeo-Christian principles. As they say, “What would Jesus do?” You honestly think “political correctness” drives up prices of housing? Try tariffs on building materials, land scarcity (because so many people want to move there), rising costs of labor (because the labor force is shrinking due to strict immigration policies) AND–the idea of they’ll raise prices if they know they can get the higher prices. It’s capitalism, bud. Surely you like capitalism.

    • So all of these people are Hispanics coming to steal our jobs, right?

      How many of them are the same people who went off to war to protect us from evil in Iraq? How many of them are our very own children?

      And what does politically correct mean to you? To me it means you should not call women bitch because she speaks out for herself and you do not agree with her. What does it mean to you?

  39. Then there are those of us, who choose to own 30 year old RV’s, restore them to their former glory. Because let’s face it, just because an RV is ‘brand-new’ doesn’t mean it’s not complete junk. Look at what one of today’s headlines reads “RV Industry celebrates eliminating RV Lemon Laws” What do you think that means for the Average RV Buyer?

    • I am doing the same, restoring a 1991 40ft SuperChief to it’s former glory. They just don’t build motorhomes to the quality that this one was.

    • This entire thread has become an amazing discussion. Here’s our slant on it. Two years ago, the spouse & I decided to buy a used camper to fit our old pickup. We live in a fantastic region for ‘getting out ‘n’ about.” We made a conscious decision to keep our 1982 C-20 diesel pickup. It quite nicely carries a 1991 S&S 9.5-ft camper in excellent used condition. One day my (great!) diesel mechanic commented, “That’s a pretty old truck.” I asked him, “Is there any part on it that can’t be replaced?” He had to admit, “No… there isn’t.” New trucks won’t carry that S&S camper, and they cost $70K to $90K. Insane!

  40. A very important discussion. Traveling and living by choice, not necessity, in an RV exposes us to the extent of the problem in a way you just don’t see living in a sticks and bricks.

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