Friday, September 22, 2023


Do you agree with this statement: “With an RV you can go where you want when you want”?

By Chuck Woodbury
Years ago, I would have strongly agreed with this statement. Twenty years ago, an RV was, indeed, the best way to travel where you wanted, at your own pace. But today, I personally don’t believe it.

The fact is, and we’ve discussed this often at, spontaneous travel with an RV, with the lifestyle’s rapid increase in popularity, is a struggle. Yes, it’s possible in some cases to go at your own pace, but that usually involves spending nights at big box stores like Walmart, or at truck stops or in rest areas, or traveling in unpopular tourist areas or in the shoulder season. In peak travel season parks are full, at least in popular tourist areas.

But some people still swear by an RV as the best way to travel at one’s own pace, and will likely agree here that you truly can “go where you want, when you want.”

How do you feel about this? Do you agree? After voting, please leave a comment with your thoughts.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


  1. The saddest consideration about this issue remains the cost of fuel exacerbated by the increased demands for landing space. The distribution of opportunity is increasingly limited as the middle-class and lower participants are further diminished.

  2. Voted No. Why? I remember RVing in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Compared to today, you must plan and make reservations to travel, unlike the care free days years ago. In 1997, we were able to get an overflow camping site in Grand Canyon on a lark. Good luck trying to attempt that trick today.

  3. I said yes but it’s not a yes or no question. It depends on where you want to go. If you want to go to Florida in the wintertime, you can go. If you want to stay in a particular resort on particular dates, probably not. We go where we want when we want. But we also plan and book well in advance. But an overnight along the way may get added as the mood strikes or circumstances dictate.

  4. No, nothing is absolute except death. Can’t take my RV across a creek or through a forest that isn’t a road. Can’t camp in a park that has no vacancies. ETC.

  5. I answered “Yes” but, as a blanket statement, it’s somewhat optimistic. Most motorhomes (and MANY trailers) are NOT suited for “off road” driving and, CAREFUL planning must be done BEFORE you head off road to the “great boondocking” site you heard about. There are other restrictions and “gotchas” waiting to zap the RVer who’s unprepared / under prepared or just plain clueless.

  6. I said yes, but there are limitations – I can go where I want when I want, subject to physics, geography, and availability of resources.

  7. With our Rv we do go where we WANT to go when we WANT to go – – CAN we do and WANT to do are two different things. However, our WANTS are few. We are usually just fine where ever we are.

  8. I said “yes” but if the question had including staying the night, then I would have said “no”.

  9. Not impossible, perhaps, but more difficult than it once was…or at least more boondocking. Varies by what you are camping in too.

    A friend of mine and his wife recently went to the Grand Canyon North Rim. They had booked accomodations for there, but then just wandered their way back home over several weeks across multiple western and midwestern states tent camping in various public campgrounds near many major National Parks/Monuments. NO reservations…no problems. I would assume those with small rigs who didn’t use hookups would find similar success. No wonder class B’s are gaining in popularity!

    Another interesting point of their journey was they didn’t get “tickets” in advance for numerous National Park trails, etc. that now require such things. Just got them, no problem, when they showed up.

    Maybe some things are getting better!

  10. The critical words are where and when we want to go. We don’t care for the most popular parks. We are retired so WHEN is our choice as well. Long term stays are not our preference and Florida is never an option for us. Therefore our ability to travel when and where WE choose is as open as ever.

  11. I voted “no.” The “when” is the key part of this, I think. You can go where you want, but if you want to stay longer than a few days you’ll likely need a reservation or you’ll have to leave for the weekend or any holidays. Over the years I’ve seen spots where people boondock get more crowded as well, even in places I wouldn’t have expected it. We used to park alongside a particular state highway in the Pacific Northwest for an overnight but after getting woken up in the wee hours by someone “looking for my mother” we haven’t stayed there any longer.

    Those of us who’ve been spoiled by having more choices are having a harder time adapting to this new world of crowded camping!

  12. Yes, but as with any ‘blanket statement’ there are caveats. When we head east from our home near Seattle, we stay in a mix of State, Military FamCamps, private parks and Big Box stores on nights in between these stays. In the future, who knows how things will shake out, but as long as there are six wheel (on my Class A) and an open road, you’ll eventually find me there.

  13. I say yes, I do believe I can go where I want when I want. I tend to be the camper on the roads less traveled. Tourist-y crowded places have never really appealed to me, so I have been able to visit amazing little towns, beautiful natural areas, and friendly locals by being flexible about when and where I choose to go. Sometimes I have our small trailer, other times I am happy with car/tent camping, as there are places I can go you would never, ever get near with any kind of RV. Everything I truly need fits in my car. Be nice, have fun, explore.

  14. I answered no, when I started camping in 1978 we could hookup and start driving in a direction and late afternoon pull into a campground to get a nights rest. Today you can’t even pull into a Walmart parking lot without permission to stay overnight. The biggest part of that is a result of the “cousin eddy’s “ that have ruined our welcome, they don’t have the personnel to clean up after cousin eddy, or call out Hazmat Teams after cousin eddy dumps his holding tanks down the storm sewer. It costs about $25,000 just to have them come out not counting what they have to do to clean up your mess. Think about it!

    • I have to agree about “cousin Eddie!”

      My wife got groceries yesterday at the local Wal-Mart and said there were two TT campers sitting in the lot set up facing each other, slides, awnings, camp chairs, coolers, etc. out! People sitting under the awnings like it was a campground. That’s the fastest way to be sure RVers aren’t welcome anymore.

      • The trouble is people who do that never read publications like this, cousin eddy can’t read, he just makes his X and drives off. Lol

    • That’s the problem camping in big cities is not what camping is about, camping is about getting out away from the big cities.

  15. I voted yes because I have learned to travel with no expectations. I don’t reserve campsites and I don’t worry about finding one. When I need to roam I roam.

  16. I do agree for the larger part. We are also on the left end of the RV curve for most of what we plan and do. This is our second life of “camping”. The first was a mix of tent and Vega hatchback time, then children shut that down for a few years. The sailboat travel was much the same, but that has very restricted destinations. Now we travel in a smaller vintage motorhome. Sometimes to type specific rallies where we are at FHU sites, but most often we are just as happy with any place that is sort of level and reasonably quiet. That last requirement is pretty easy to fill. That means that we get to go where we want when we want and often have to be a little creative as far as a place for the night. So far, we have never been unable to locate that flat spot. This variety of living does require that you use a lot of the modern capabilities to locate both dumps and potable water. We very much enjoy the travel life. I can finally go places I can’t sail to.

  17. In the past this statement was true except for the most popular holidays, today you will have problems even in off season. In Florida if you don’t get a reservation within weeks of them opening for the time you want, one year in advance for state parks, you will likely miss out. We have pulled our trailer over 50,000 miles from 2014 to 2019 without reservations never knowing where we would spend the night. Getting up in the morning and deciding which direction or destination for that day. In 2019 while visiting family in Texas with a California destination we decided to head north and added 2,000 + miles exploring the northwest. You just can’t travel like that now.

  18. I answered “no” based on the current climate if RVing but I believe that for the most part you can go where you want when you want. As RVers we set our own limits to a great extent. If you buy a big RV then you Block yourself out of the smaller parks and a lot of State and National Parks. If your taste is RV Resorts then you’re competing with a lot of the RV newbies who want those same amenities. On the flip side if you are willing to give and take, change your plans, you can go where and when you want.

  19. Use to be true, you could hook-up the RV and take off on a whim and meander as your heart directed. Now days, you have to plan everything six months to a year in advance so going anywhere you want, when you want no longer is true. I have been in the camping scene since 1955 when my parents took me and my siblings out, I was five years old at the time and the sibs were even younger.

  20. This is a broad, unqualified statement, so it does not mean the same to every reader. I answered yes, because I do go where I want, when I want because I plan ahead. It’s not easy, but the old adage “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” works for us more often than not.

    • Agreed. I answered no because we never travel without planning in advance…but using your logic, you’re right Bob. I do go where I want when I want, I just plan for it (and always have in the 15 years we’ve been RVing).

  21. For the most part, yes I agree. However, if you want to go to all the “must see, must visit” National Parks, uh, not so much.


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