There’s no denying it… the roads and campgrounds are packed with newbie RVers. We discuss this each week in our Campground Crowding column, where many of you express frustrations over just how many people are taking up RVing.
Do you find yourself frustrated or annoyed with the influx of new RVers? Do you think they are to blame for the campground reservation shortages, long lines at National Parks, etc.? Or, on the flip side, are you happy to see more and more people enjoying the RV lifestyle?
Please tell us in the poll below. And if you will, please leave a comment, too, explaining your answer. We may use these for a later story. Thanks!
We have camped for at least 40 years and gone through multiple camping venues from tents to a 36 foot rented motorhome. That was certainly an interesting trip! Right now we are camping in a tiny popup that we towed behind our car. The price of gasoline is soaring and that is a game changer. Towing long distances is quite pricey. The campgrounds are certainly more crowded than they used to be, even on weekdays. The Covid scare seems to have made people less friendly but, on the brighter side, the campground restrooms are usually immaculate and seldom used. We are biding our time and waiting for some of these new campers to find out how much work camping can be and how difficult it is to get that “perfect campsite” unless you plan well in advance. Then we hope to swoop in and buy someone’s seldom used hybrid! Welcome to new campers! Please teach your children to be considerate, don’t share your music with fellow campers and don’t let your dog bark incessantly.
I think it’s great because more RVers –
As with any “fad” (e.g., hula hoops, pet rocks), the thrill wears off and the general population’s attraction wanes. Once many of the new owners get a taste of the lifestyle (and work involved) they will drop out. Others will be bitten by the bug and be hooked for a lifetime.
I don’t think a lot of them will be around in 2 or 3 years. I mean look at all the RVs already parked and never moving.
Similar to pleasure boats. Most marinas and boat storage facilities remain nearly full most of the year. Buyers will soon discover that their cheaply-built travel trailer is falling apart and they’re stuck with a 20-year loan.
I’m not happy about it but not because it makes it harder to book sites – we haven’t had that issue. I’m not happy about it because of the lack of basic campground etiquette shown by many of those newcomers. I don’t know how that basic education should occur but it should be mandatory for new campers.
The education should’ve been with their parents.
Since that didn’t happen, it should come from rangers who actually patrol and enforce campground rules.
I am happy with many new RVers joining the lifestyle. As in the past many will find it is not for them and those that remain will be the next crop of “old timers”. we have crossed the country west to East and back since last May. We were not interested in “destination” campgrounds and had no trouble finding places to stay for a night or two with a phone call at 2PM while on the road. Several places asked us to stay longer, clearly they were not near 100% occupancy. We were closed out of one campground we like in Marfa TX, but there were several good alternates.
I am worried about the safety of other more experienced RV-er’s
As long as they respect their neighbors, and don’t trash the campgrounds I say welcome. We were all new to this once.
I’ve noticed obscene amounts of trash and human excrement left on remote, back country trails when out riding horses in Texas State Parks.
No, it’s not fun to pick up your own toilet paper and poo and pack it back out. But it’s the law and there are good reasons for it. Newbie hikers and RVers this past year seem to think it’s like a cruise ship. Invisible armies swooping behind them to clean everything up.
Even on equestrian designated trails, we scatter our horse poo far away from the trail and carry a special bag for our own.
I did not know that.
We are gaining experience about RVing each time we travel. We will continue to refine our way of traveling, including finding places to stay in the RV. One near-term refinement is downsizing our MH from 43 feet to 37 or 36 feet. Our need for interior room is less now and the shorter length will expand the number of sites we fit. Further, I expect that quite a few of the new, virus-motivated RVers ultinately will decide that RVing isn’t for them. I guess we’ll see how things go, but we have no plans to stop traveling.
With what is going on right now with the Covid-19 what choice do some of these folks have? It’s the best way to travel I feel. You won’t see me sitting on a plane any time soon! And I see it as a time for families to spend more real time together, as long as they stop staring at their tablets and phones. It’s a good time to teach kids more about this country and to see it. And Hey, just remember we were all Newbies ourselves at one time, and we probably had people watching and complaining about us too! And besides sometimes they’re fun to watch!
My “vote” would rather have been that the recent influx of newbies was an inevitable result of the current plague and industry promotion driven by the apparent need for a lot of people to leave their home base. A boon for the RV manufactures in the short run, but with the likely glut of used units soon to be on the market, those employed in said industry and better be figuring out employment plan B.
For the diehard RVing folks, the temporary (I hope) pain of overcrowding and market pricing of accommodations. Personally, I’d like to have a really small trailer for local and backwoods use to supplement our 32′ 5er which is was to large to go a lot of places I’d like to camp. Should be many to choose from soon ;’ >
Besides crowding in campgrounds, even more bothersome I am finding that there is a lack of etiquette and respect for the land, campground and other campers that just seemed to be automatically there in the past. Never did I worry about my things being stolen, and kindness and friendliness were the norm. For the most part folks didn’t trash their space. It feels completely different now; a different type of camper seems to be prevalent. It’s sad to me; something has been lost which I really miss.
i agree with you completely! RV’s with tv and stereos outside while parked so close you can hardly put out your slides or awnings. Finding more inconsiderate campers lately and if we speak up, we’re the bad guy.
We are one (or two) of them. Started full time last April and love it.
Most all has been said by the others. New campgrounds are being constructed, a good thing. An example is in Sevierville/Pigeon Forge Tennessee. The problem is, they build every possible thing into the campground that most of us never use. Now the cost per night seems to be $80 to $100 per night. This is way overpriced and many can’t afford the cost, especially us that fulltime. Our monthly budget since 2016 has been about $900 but it will soon be $1800. Those prices may be ok for a few days on vacation but not for fulltime. We have to be somewhere so we will pay the price for now.
There is always Corps of Engineers parks and with a senior pass fees are 1/2 off, the only drawback is you have to move every two weeks, most of the time that entails moving from one site to another. Since most only have a dump station and not sewers if is a good time to dump holding tanks. The same for state parks. If you don’t need all the bells, buttons, and whistles it can be very affordable.
One of the things learned by many full timers is that staying in RV parks is not necessarily a good way to travel, as there are so many other options out there. Not only is your RV built to provide you with independent camping for days & weeks, but there are so many places where you can stay for free or very little cost, particularly if you learn to use your tanks, your various electrical systems, and propane. There are many clubs such as Harvest Hosts, Boondockers Welcome, Escapees and Passport America to use. There are so many other places to stay, such as city/town parks with RV sites, and BLM lands, National Forest lands, State & County Parks, Fairgrounds, etc, etc, etc. Not only are most of these very low cost but they get you out and about to see this great country, something hard to do crammed in an RV park.
Newbies need to learn what oldies have been practicing for a long time….manners.
Due to the influx of so many newbies, it would seem that our social history is changing somewhat. Last summer, for example, we met an outside around the campfire bass player and he could be heard everywhere around the camping area.
He had a simple set up….bass and small amp (150 watts) hooked up to the side of his camper, a popup. using a long wire. I’d offer up he was probably 30 yrs old and with his girlfriend, no apparent kids. Fortunately, he did observe the 10pm quiet time. And, he did that until noon the next day when he started up once again. The campground host at about 4 pm spoke with him. Disgruntled, he up and pulled out around 6pm. That night, as we once again sat around the campfire talking, we notice that lack of musical equipment. Not even a ukulele to be seen. IF someone had took out a acoustic instrument, such as a guitar, banjo or accordion, we’d certainly have been ok with
I have loved RV camping, but the shortage of camp spots creates a problem. Even new campgrounds or expansions are building more cabins than RV camp spots. And because spots are in demand, campgrounds are changing rules. I tried to get in one campground, and they will only allow dogs if you do not leave the dog in the unit while you tour or shop. And because of the high demand, pricing of spots have increased So our only choice is to sell the RV and go back to motels or timeshares.
Here’s why that dog rule was implemented, and why it should be the rule in every RV park:
Your dog is unhappy about being left behind. He also hears strange noises he can’t identify. So he expresses his unhappiness by barking. ALL. DAY. LONG! I’ve been placed next to people that do what you’re describing too many times. Listening to your dog yapping all day is not the way I want to spend my time. I wish more parks had this policy.
I’m a Newbie RVer! I read and read and read some more before we purchased our Class C Coachmen Leprechaun from RV Country. It was a former rental (so they said), was a year old, had 19k on it and was immaculate. Despite all my research, we knew NOTHING. But the rig has turned out to be an excellent motorhome, only minor issues. Just dumb luck. We are polite people by nature but it was very good to read websites like this one for the proper etiquette rules of rv parks and campgrounds. We always make reservations, just like we did when we travelled pre-motorhome. Campgrounds have been crowded for sure! It’s January and literally ALL the state parks are completely booked every single weekend until October. So we’re adjusting and going mid-week which we are lucky to be able to do. People are not always polite, for sure. Generally speaking, we have experienced private RV “resorts” to be more quiet and people following “the rules.”
Hi, I am one of the “Newbies”. Retired and bought a 35’ 5th wheel. Just to let you know I AM NOT one of the disrespectful campers you encounter. I have met great people willing to assist me with any and everything. A big thanks to them all! I have already started “Paying it forward” as well.
I did not learn to respect my neighbours, campgrounds, staff or anything else from a manual or RV dealer. I learned it over a lifetime.
Yes, I wish there were more campground options for us all, but please don’t blame the Newbies for this.
At some point in time you were all new to RV’ing as well.
Thanks, and stay safe everyone!
Even before the latest influx of RVers this past year, I saw a trend happening in private campgrounds, the shrinking of distance between sites. Many of the smaller parks don’t have the property to expand so they redesign the space they have by eliminating the space between sites. The results is that campsites are becoming camp parking lots.