Reader letter: Trouble finding RV parks

9

From reader Terry Little

Chuck, you are so correct regarding the current state about RV parks and the questionable quality of the units produced. Last year, I sold our 43-foot 5th wheel and the dually diesel truck we used to tow it.

In 1971 we started with a pop-up Apache Eagle when our son was 3 years old. At one point when our son was a teenager, we quit RVing since we had little time. We would fly to where we wanted to visit and then rent vehicles to visit the selected area and then fly back home.

Before retiring 8 years ago we got back into RVing. This was the sweet spot. The campgrounds were not crowded and the RVs worked. Your description of RVs and campgrounds today is totally correct. I was forced to book an ocean front site at Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, SC, 18 months in advance to get the site I wanted. I had to book 12 months in advance to get a site at Sun N Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, FL.


On a trip across country 5 years ago I quickly learned I had to book campsites in advance just as you would book motels on such a trip. I was using a Forest River 35-foot travel trailer at the time. Many campgrounds today are filled with temporary workers who live full time and also by others who use their RVs as permanent vacation destinations.

Now we travel in our Toyota Highlander SUV and stay in motels. This works best for us now. Besides, we also now have a park model trailer at Sun N Fun, Sarasota, FL, and live in our regular house on beautiful Smith Mountain Lake in central VA.

Your comments are invited.


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Gene Cheatham
Gene Cheatham

I’ve been reading RVTravel for well over a year and this subject keeps coming up and concerns us. We won’t be ready to full time for several more years and have been planning for it many years. Wonder how bad it will be then, or if our full timing will fall like a tent in a storm.

Vanessa Simmons
Vanessa Simmons

Sounds like they only wanted to go to the fancy resorts with lots of features. I book my site the day I am traveling. I want a place to sleep near places I want to visit. Drop the TT and drive a few miles to the “attractions” which aren’t very attractive usually so I avoid them. I look for off beat locations. The WASP museum in Sweetwater TX. Alien museum in Roswell NM (although lots of people go there). National parks, sites, monuments not only in off season but ones that aren’t tourist hot spots. I set my driving distance… Read more »

JMCherry
JMCherry

Yep, we just sold our brick and mortar home. I’ll admit we aren’t camping. We are in a 43’ motorhome. My husband has been trying to find places to stay this summer in the north where it is cooler than Texas. Unfortunately, there isn’t any place. No surprise to us. So we are going to leave the RV in covered storage and take the truck and bikes and ruff it! Eventually settling in Arizona in the fall. Looking for a smaller brick and mortar home in a 55+ community. Anyone have a home for sale in Sun City?

Jeanne
Jeanne

I understand the frustration of people who prefer staying in RV parks, but we have been RVing for a number of years and have always found a place to stay “on the fly.” I realize that not everyone can be flexible with their plans, but that has been the key for us. We are willing to park overnight at a Walmart or rest stop; we use city, county, state and national parks, BLM campgrounds, etc. and even stay in RV parks when absolutely necessary. Of course we carry a generator and solar panels and have learned to be very conservative… Read more »

Linda
Linda

Hmmm…it could be that the next recession makes thing worse bc more people will be priced out of traditional housing and will become permanent residents in RV parks. I hope not.

Thomas Becher
Thomas Becher

I’ve never cared to make reservations after a few times we were delayed for one reason or another and had to travel long and hard to get there because the campsite was paid for. I’ve sold our fifth wheel and replaced it with a truck camper. What a joy to drive. Park it anywhere, go shopping with ease. Take a campsite in a state park. (It’ll fit.) Paid campground? They can usually get you in. Sure, not so much room but comfortable, all you really NEED.

Bonnie
Bonnie

I grew up camping and loved it. For over 30 years my husband and I have wonderful memories of camping with the kids. Many of these weekend were spur of the moment trips. Now we plan our trips and schedule our camping trips with kids and grandkids a year in advance to get the spots we want. No more spur of the moment weekends, which is rather sad. I understand comments about no longer rving. We recently purchased an park model RV in AZ, so our full-timing for 4 months out of the year has ended. This may be the… Read more »

Sue
Sue

After 15 years of extended and full-time RV travel we recently sold our comfortable 36-foot 5th-wheel coach (still have our 2008 truck) because so much of the fun was gone — too many problems with reservations where we wanted to go and minimal spontaneity any more. I don’t know if we’ll ever get another RV. Maybe during the next recession when a lot of people will be forced to sell their RVs and stay home . . . (Yes, I know. We were part of the over-crowding problem ourselves!)

rich
rich

we’ve encountered much the same these days. been RVing since 1986 and we used to be able to pull into a park or CG at anytime and be assured of a spot. not anymore. we’ll make hard reservations 6-mos to a year ahead for places we 100% need to be. for day-to-day traveling we’ll call ahead anywhere from a few hours to a day or two to reserve a spot.