Tuesday, December 6, 2022


New RVers disillusioned with New Orleans


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
We recently spent a week in a park near New Orleans. It was mismanaged and a mosquito-infested swamp. It was our first experience with our new RV. My wife always wanted to explore New Orleans and I thought this would be a great way to do it. As it turns out I was wrong.

My wife is now turned off with RVing and New Orleans. I probably should have stayed in a commercial park with easier access to the city, but there were state parks that looked close so I just picked one, figuring it would be close to things and a short hop into the city. I am now thinking I should have left the RV home and found a hotel. Any suggestions on how to convince my wife that this is not the norm when RVing? —Camping Voodoo in Vicksburg

Dear Vic:
Sometimes you do need the right combination of charms, herbs and poisons to have a good experience in New Orleans. Bugs can be a problem anywhere, depending on the time of year and location. Poor management is a bit harder to predict.

When traveling you have to take the good with the bad. Not every experience is going to be a positive one. You need to roll with the punches. Overall you will find this is a great way to travel. Unfortunately, you struck out your first time at bat. Tell your wife you have to keep swinging and things will improve.

Big cities can be challenging. Next time you should use the Internet to explore and review the experiences of others before you shove off. There are so many online sites that offer info. You can cull reviews of parks, public transportation, restaurants, attractions, locations and even bugs. You have to take all this information with a grain of salt. Some people will complain if hung with a new rope; but throwing all the opinions into the mix you will see some trends and glean good and bad vibes from others who have ventured out before you.

If you search for “New Orleans RV trip” you can read all day how others have attacked the city, discovered the best camping, found parking or public transportation, found great eateries, tours, entertainment, history and good juju.

I bet if you read the comments from this post in a few days you will hear some expert advice from Shrink readers on what to do next time. But for now, take your wife somewhere else you have always wanted to visit and do some research before you sail. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-book: 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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4 years ago

Everyone wants to go to the French Quarter, and it’s OK one time in my opinion. But there is so much else to New Orleans than just the French Quarter. There are the many Restaurants, where you can eat your way into a new wardrobe, there are museums, historic monuments, the North Shore, and so many other attractions. The French Quarter is now and always has been a tourist trap, yes, there is history there, but most go there to witness the seedier side of life, and many tourists use it as an excuse to “let their hair down. It also attracts a criminal element just like in other cities that have a district that attracts unsuspecting tourists. Do your research online and look for other attractions and you’ll have a great time……

4 years ago

For any large city, we camp near and in a campground that has a reasonable reputation. Since we have a 5th wheel and a large truck, we rent a small car for a few days to go in and out of the city. easier to park, easier on the fuel, and we figure that we come out about even, without having the parking issues of a big Pick up in a city. Or we camp near the end of the line of public transit, if it’s a good system, such as Boston, drive to the transit station, and have a car free day in downtown. Honestly, would not like to go to NOLA after a friend’s husband was mugged and murdered there.

Captn John
4 years ago

Pre-Katrina NOLA was a fun and safe city. It is neither now. The removal of Civil War memorials in the dead of night recently shows just how racist the city leaders are now.

4 years ago
Reply to  Captn John

Au contraire Capt – it anything the confederate flag and memorials are about as racists as one can get. Time to read up on your history and face reality.

4 years ago
Reply to  Pgr

Time to grow up and get a pair. IT IS ALL HISTORY, and you want to change history? Stop your doggone crying.

4 years ago
Reply to  Pgr

Yeah Right. The civil war was not at all about Slavery, Lincoln close to the end of the war made it about it. The North owned Slaves just as the south.Suggest you read up

Jerry X Shea
4 years ago

Someone miss represented what RVing is all about. If you bought a motorhome to travel to “big cities” it will never happen. First, if any big city even has an RV park in it (N.O. has one for $185 a night) it is not going to be next to a Hilton Hotel so you can go 5 star dining. 2nd, your sole purpose in RVing is to “get away from big cities” and enjoy the county side of life. Rd, timing is everything. Places that have bug problems at one time are beautiful and bug free at other times. You need to research the “other times.” We are 12 year fulltimers and on a scale of 1-10 on bug problems we would give it a 2 for being a problem.

4 years ago

It wasn’t the RV ‘s fault – the bugs fault and bad timing. We spent the summer working in NH after a 100 flood. Now we use to live there, but that summer the green flies and mosquitoes were horrible due to the ground still being wet all summer long. Went to work in Florida that fall – hot, muggy and buggy! In fact, we had the ‘joy’ of hitting swarms of ‘love bugs’ near Jacksonville. My husband’s uncle said the safest months are December, January and February but we left after a month. Those ‘no see ums’ were driving us crazy – they went right through the screens.

It is all about timing your visits when the weather and bugs are nicest!

Terrin Joe
4 years ago

I empathize with your wife completely on one aspect that almost made me return the TT after our first outing ….BUGS!
We happened to be camping during the 2 week time for yellow flies….those {bleeped} things hunt by sight & kill you dead! Picture this: DH trying to maneuver our TT in between a bunch of trees, he refused to practice ahead of time (& he had it backwards in his head), I’m worried he will hit something when he is still 10 feet away (I’ve gotten over that) and I am having to wave my arms to move him on to the site…making me fair game for yellow fly death. So now I am waving my arms even more as they are chewing on me, DH is losing it because he has no idea I am getting killed and I am ready to take the TT straight back to the dealer.
In summary he got TT parked, we took our first pic together outside of it (& he had one of those flies on his chin), we learned we could stay inside our little camper all day if we had to and we have continued to camp monthly for the past 5 years with that TT. Love a couple thermacells, the occasional live citronella plant, Bug soother & repel 100 combined with a portable screen room and bugs be gone (nothing works on those flies so we will NEVER go back there in May or June although we are heading back to our original campsite this July for the first time).
Add those anti bug items to your travel list & you might get DW out again 🙂

4 years ago

Sorry to hear ur wife’s expectations were not met. We stayed in the French Quarter RV Resort not far from the FQ and enjoyed it very much. One can literally walk to the FQ. It’s not cheap, but such is life in the big city. They have a nice pool and hot tub where one can relax after a day of playing tourist.
Tell ur wife there is a “learning curve“ and ask her to be open minded while u become more seasoned in finding sites u can enjoy. Pay the $9.95 and get the Allstays app so u can get more info to make good decisions on where to stay. And remember we’ve all had less than good experiences, in time something u may laugh about.

Ed Killgore
4 years ago

Nobody, I mean nobody, goes to NOLA unless they have to. Letting your wife pick that destination was an uninformed decision. NOLA since Katrina is a third world country, or in the words of former Mayor, Ray Nagin, a “chocolate city”. I was there during Katrina attempting to enforce the law. It will always smell like death to me.

Ron Twellman
4 years ago

I know KOA often takes its lumps here, but I’m with Astrid. We had a similar great experience with the New Orleans KOA. With their shuttle and the tour along the way our grandkids got two days of seeing a very different part of the country.

4 years ago

Living in a RV, there are good days, there are bad days, and there are ugly days….When the good days are outnumbered, we’ll something else.

We prefer to park our RV nowhere near big cities. We’ve found that parking further away and doing day trips in our toad is beneficial…..worked for us in New Orleans.

Alaska Traveler
4 years ago

We have no desire to visit any large city. Our life always involves a lake with peace and quiet. We stay in RV parks near relatives and on the road to relatives. One place I always wanted to see was Key West. We traveled there with a truck camper. What a mistake. You need a small car…. and pray for a parking space, or a scooter and park on the sidewalk.

4 years ago

Make your second experience a slam dunk. Go to a can’t miss campground. Maybe two. Give her a wonderful few days.

4 years ago

Louisiana State Parks are in really, really, really bad shape. Heavens forbid if something is broken. It will not be fixed. Currently camping at Chicot with 16 other campers for the Grand Moorsh Festival. Electric at the sites is coming through at 132 and varies up which causes the Progressive EMS to shut off. Have changed the fridge to gas and unplugged most other elec devices because of cycling power every 15-20 minutes. When many campers got here the norm dropped to 129. There are several water spigots that have broken knobs – no water for that camper. Garbage left behind by previous campers got in the way of the mowers so the picnic table has grass growing about a foot high growing around it for about two feet out. Two bathrooms at the North Landing but one was in such bad shape and they had no money to repair so they tore it down. Now so many campers not able to handle with one bathroom. This fix was to remove a bunch of the campsites from being used. When you check in they don’t give you a map to the campgrounds and the check in girl says go left at first road and it’s 5 miles and the sites are numbered. Looks like politics and don’t bother me is doing its best to ruin a one time nice campground. I expect to leave earlier rather than stay my 11 days.

4 years ago

Stayed at a state park in St. Bernard Parrish, last year. Park was very beautiful, and welcoming. New Orleans…not so much. We rode in on a motorcycle, only to find that they are all but forbidden in this city. Would not let you park in any of the garages, on streets, etc. Finally parked at a church, & walked a mile or so back to the Historical District, only to be extremely disappointed with the city. We were so glad to get back to our campsite that evening. After discussing our day with other campers, we found that we were not alone in our opinions of NO. Don’t have to make that trip ever again !

Jay French
4 years ago
Reply to  Rich

Agree completely.
New Orleans has completely changed into being a vastly overpriced unwelcoming dangerous city living off their past reputation which is rapidly changing.
Worse is I live in Louisiana & we plus all of our friends have gradually written off New Orleans now ranking it in the top 5 of places to avoid completely.
It has become so bad that we will no longer attend a Saints games with free tickets.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jay French

Yes, since Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, the city has really fallen apart. Allot of people moved out and went north to Baton Rouge and all the RIFF RAFF moved into NOLA!

It’s not a city I have any desire to visit and I live in Northern Louisiana.

Astrid Bierworth
4 years ago

We stayed at a KOA near New Orleans a few years ago and they had a free shuttle to the French Quarter, with commentary along the way.

Susan F
4 years ago

I agree wholeheartedly with your advice to do some research about an area to find RV parks, activities, etc that will hopefully add to a pleasant experience. One thing we’ve found in the RV world is that it is so much nicer to come back to our “home” rather than an unfamiliar/uncomfortable motel room after a day of adventuring. Sometimes it may not be your ideal RV park, but we wouldn’t trade the temporary adjustments we’ve made for the experiences we’ve had.

Don & Nancy Schneider
4 years ago

New Orleans is a great city with plenty of commercial campgrounds that are much cheaper than a hotel room. So, consider one of the private campgrounds that “typically” have better management BUT any campground can be mismanaged.
We have been RV ing since 2012 and had few bad experiences…knock on wood….but planning ahead makes it a better experience.
Dont give up yet……

4 years ago

https://www.rvparkreviews.com/ before you ever book a site.

And cities are very very rarely a good place to RV to. Try natural settings.

4 years ago
Reply to  Darrel

It’s all in how you do it. Natural settings can be beautiful and they can also have “problems” that you have to overcome or put up with too. I do both and I have had more good experiences than bad…

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