Saturday, December 3, 2022


Reader frustrated by crowded campgrounds, inexperienced RVers


Morning Chuck,

letters to the editorI always enjoy reading your articles and it appears at times you are pleased with traveling and other times you are not so pleased. I live in southern Missouri, and my wife and I recently returned from a trip to Wyoming to see the sights and it was not an enjoyable trip. By far the biggest problem was the crowds and lack of camping space. We usually do not go anywhere until after Labor Day, which is the case this year but most of the campgrounds were still packed.

We stayed in the KOA campground at Cody and it is a total disaster. It’s run down and worn out but the worst issue as you have mentioned before is my neighbor’s sewer connection was nearly at my front door. In the past when we travel this time of year we have not been concerned about a site, which is not the case these days. All of us are fighting for an inch of space and I only envision it getting much worse.

What I see is a handful of old folks who are full timers but the vast majority are people pulling the new cheap travel trailers. Another huge problem is the folks buying these trailers have zero experience pulling anything. Their tow vehicles are often a small SUV which in my opinion is not safe to use for this purpose.

We have a HitchHiker we bought new in 2011 and a new Ford F350 and I never pull much over 60 but the people in the small rigs frequently pass me and must be going at least 75. The other day while crossing Nebraska on I-80 one of these nuts passed me and the trailer was all over the road. We had a strong cross wind so it was not a good day for anything but slow speeds. He also had two bicycles strapped to the back and they were bouncing all around. About a mile down the road he had lost the bikes and they were in my lane just over the crest of a bridge so I had no warning. Luckily I was able to move over.

My wife and I are fed up with the situation and plan to sell our HitchHiker and maybe replace it with a small travel trailer that will fit in smaller spaces. We may also give up RV travel because it is fast becoming not worth the effort. I dread buying another new camper because I know I will have to rebuild it because they are all basically junk. In my opinion, the people who are in big trouble are those who have motorhomes and especially the Class A version. Crowded campgrounds with small spaces are a total mismatch for them.

I just wanted to blow off a little steam about a terrible situation that will only become much worse. Our travels may soon revert back to motels which I don’t like but it may be the path of least resistance for the old folks like us who still have a few things we want to see.

Happy and safe trails to you and Gail and hope you are able to continue enjoying the often not so pleasant RV experience. One thing for sure is my wife and I will never be full time. — Ken C.


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Sharon Baron
5 years ago

This camping rage seems to have started about 4 years ago. Have not been able to get a camp spot like I used to and it’s frustrating. A friend of mine recommends that due to the high Florida living expenses it would be a courtesy for the state parks to leave 10% of those camping spaces for Florida residents and then release those spots a week prior to the public. At least we who live here can get a chance to enjoy our own state.
It may be a pipe dream, but it would be nice for the full time residents, but not to include the people who come down for 6 months and go back to their other home.

5 years ago

Lots of problems with the RV park scene. We avoid RV parks…they support the plague of inexperience, rudeness, noise, city lights and high prices.

We paid extra money to setup our rig for boondocking, and we can be very comfortable in no time.

Jim Bennett
5 years ago

I agree with the author of this letter…too many people in too many RV’s are ruining the experience for all of us…this after many years of owning,and full timing. What many do not understand is there are many places around the country where affordable housing has become a big issue and a lot of folks have resorted to full timing to get away from the incessant greed the landlords of these apartments and houses have displayed.It is too bad that America has turned into what it is,just a sign of the times. FYI,I used to live in the Cody,Wyoming area and know full well the problems that tourist trap has evolved into.

5 years ago

Reading Ken C’s letter made me so sad. What I read (between the lines) is someone who has lost the joy of RV camping. I am seeing this so much in all life issues today. I hope that he can find some way to “reframe’ and go with a glass half full viewpoint. We have run into much of the same situations as Ken but I decided to adjust and learn new ways to deal. I read reviews on all the RV parks I plan to use. I try to get aerial views to look at site size and RV positioning. I also make it a point to meet and talk with all the new RVers and suggest things that look amiss. I have never had anyone take offense AND I am always on the watch for new ideas for us. I don’t see the RV park issue getting any better in the near future, but I refuse to lose my joy for an activity I worked so hard to acquire in my ‘older’ years.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
5 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl

Excellent points, Cheryl. Thanks! 😀 —Diane at

Eric Eltinge
5 years ago

Have driven 32,000 miles in last 2 years in 2015 Winnebago ERA motorhome. Will upgrade to all new Airstream Atlas or Winnebago Horizon. Am transitioning to NASCAR tailgating from public and private campgrounds. Too many in CA are stereotypical trailer park trash or “Breakin’ Bad” episodes. Have forfeited first night campground deposits in stay in a motel. CA now has 50,000 marijuana farms. Northern CA becoming an environmental Superfund. The Lost Coast is a meth lab. I do Coast Guard safety inspections throughout CA. National parks and state beach parks are overrun. Book the most expensive you can. Otherwise, you will be vacationing with people you would never want to be around.

5 years ago

Please be kind to new RVers! We’ve been fulltiming 4 years now, but we still remember a steep learning curve. When people make mistakes, it’s a learning experience. And now we enjoy sharing our experiences with those newer than we are. Life is too short to stay angry!
As for campgrounds, we stay in state or county parks for the hook ups whenever possible, and boondock when we can find a good spot.

5 years ago

We bought a Class B truck camper in May and have found the veteran RVers to be consistently kind and happy to share advice. Most were driving big rigs but we fit right into our small spaces just fine. We’ve only seen a handful of other Roadtreks at the campgrounds but it’s fun to trade ideas about accessories my wife won’t let me buy 🙂 Thanks to this site and all of you for your consideration.

5 years ago

We drove through Cody about 6:00 pm July 24th without reservations anywhere and saw line with their 4 way flashers waiting to get into the KOA.. Stayed a Buffalo Bill State Park 12 miles down the road. Water front pull through site, $17. Moved ttheir river front campground 5 miles down the road for 2 more nights @ $22 with power. We were out west 23 nights, yes busy but found good camping spots every night without reservations. Pleased to see so many young families getting their kids out. That’s how we learned, by doing. Before you know it, they’ll be old camping pros.

Michael Allen
5 years ago

All RV’ers are inexperienced in the beginning. After months of research and lots of questions of the experts, we just bought a fifth wheel and an F350 dually to pull it. I’ll put in lots of practice pulling it before we go full time next year, including several stays at local parks to work out any bugs. As for campgrounds, I plan to do the same kind of extensive research there as I did for the RV. I’m sure T.V. drivers are just like car drivers – most are pretty good, some are idiots.

5 years ago

Sorry your past stays at rv parks have been more of a disappointment than fun. We are owners of a large class A. We are still newbies. Last week we spent a long weekend in Maine. Ive learned to do research before booking because of the size of our rig. I found Wild Duck RV Park in the Scarborough Maine area. I checked their site, checked rv Park review, read comments re: MH. When I called I asked specifically if they had a spot and could handle our size and amp requirements, I was assured all was ok. Surprise! When we got there, it was tight but not unreasonable. Deal breaker was when his 50 amp was really only 30. We handled it well. Owner was able to relocate us 2 miles down the road. I don’t really know what owner was thinking. What I did was make sure I put my comments in on rv Park review so that anyone looking would know maybe this is not the park for them.
I think it is the owner as well as rv owners responsibility to make good choices.

5 years ago

I find that most RV’rs – new and old, love to talk and learn. I do because even though I think I know a lot, I usually find out I don’t. The blogs are great, but they can be miss leading and many opinions are voiced. I like the Owners site like the Montana Owner Forum. Always great info, but I still get lots of enjoyment out of talking to other campers and I always learn stuff.

My opinion is this learning is part of the fun!

Retired firefighter Tom
5 years ago

We like to travel with plans to go to specific areas but without reservations, staying longer at a place that has more to see than we thought, while leaving sooner than we thought [rarely happens] if what we came to see is no longer there. The past year has shown no reduction in how busy campgrounds are. Very frustrating trying to locate a campsite.

5 years ago

Dear Ken C I suggest you pack and sell , you are no longer happy with the changing world . Stay home and be happy!

Always learning
5 years ago

We are all “new” to RV’ing at this sometime, so be kind to us newbies. Yes we have a lot to learn and all the reading and watching U-tube can’t be a substitute for actually doing it. Our experience is the kindness of veteran RV’ers. Our maiden voyage last week was a great success and we will have another go at it next month. We made sure our new truck was big enough to pull our travel trailer, learned so much about sway bars, trailer brakes, setting the gain, etc. Sure there are exceptions but don’t give up something you love because of us new to this type of vacationing. More of us boomers are coming to see this as the way to go! As far as campground problems, maybe that requires more investigation about the site etc.

Jim P
5 years ago

Switch to a fiberglass rv & repair broblems will be lessened.

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