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3 years ago

A recent post refers to giving up their rv and going the hotel/motel route. I don’t blame them. That’s why we boondock.

That said, why don’t we see ads on the internet like those for hotels offering discounts and off-season pricing? You would think that if I do a search for Scooby Doo Campground and check their website that afterwards, their ads along with competitor ads would start appearing on my screen?

It would take a lot for me to go back to being a regular rv park user.

3 years ago

I think most of the issues with fulltime and weekend RVing is the size of rigs available today verses the age and size of a lot of the parks. Most mom and pop parks were built in the 70s and 80s when slides were a luxury. We sell our 3 bdrm homes and purchase a rig to try to compensate for the loss of space. Now we have rigs with 5 slides and 3 a/c units. If you try to camp (opps) I mean glamp at one of these campgrounds even if it has been upgraded it can put a real strain on their infrastructure. No wonder the sites seem to get smaller and the sewer outlets are getting closer to our neighbors.

Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike, good points!


Ed Baldwin
3 years ago

I don’t see Chuck’s comments as negative, rather as an observation to be taken into consideration when choosing an RV park. I have experienced the exact same thing as Chuck in many private parks. i understand that the owners want to have a steady income, and I understand that some people buy the RV as a cheaper means to have a weekend place to go to. BUt I also think that the parks should be maintained to some level of decourm. Some of the parks we have stayed at with the “homesteaders” look like tin pan alley places. Quite frankly, when we travel I do my best to stay at RV resorts (much pricier), Federal Parks, State Parks, or Private Parks that we have stayed at and were well maintained, and upgraded.

James F
3 years ago

Keep the faith. I look forward to you news letter each week. I have been camping and RVing all my life. I retired in 2012 and for several years was full time. I now have a home base and only go several times a year. Today, to avoid those RV parks you are finding I do a lot of on line research. I start making reservations four to five months in advance. The days of finding the perfect spot by just driving in are long gone.

3 years ago

Chuck and the RV Travel staff–keep up the great work! I like reading about positive experiences as
much as anyone, but I would also be interested in reading about not-so-great camping experiences. Not because I’m “negative” or get off on schadenfreude, but because–like in life–it’s the challenges that strengthen our resilience and grow our character. Some of our less than stellar experiences: lovebugs splattered all over our windshield; mosquitoes attacking us; being shoehorned into a site at a sad mobile home park with a website that had deceptive photos taken OUTSIDE of the campground. But the positives have outweighed the negatives, which is why we still enjoy it. Shows like “Buying RV” are fun, mindless entertainment that sell a fantasy lifestyle, and it could well be misleading and enticing people to impulsively buy something that will give them buyers remorse. It really shocked me to learn many owners of beautiful Class A’s have a monthly payment. We will happily keep our paid off 28 ft travel trailer, which Poli Glo is keeping shiny after 5 years.. I would also enjoy reading about amazing wildlife encounters, like seeing both manatees (a salt water mammal) and alligators (a fresh water reptile) swimming in the same body of water, or the time a mullet jumped in our boat! Or how about an article on how some campgrounds will only allow motorhomes and fifth wheels… or only RVs longer than 25 feet long… or only RVs 10 years old or less? I would be interested to hear their rationale for those rules.

3 years ago


Really appreciate all you do and write about for all of our RVing benefit. Much of the negative, nasty worded emails to you are from little boys, regardless of their age, whose Mamas are gone from home so just ignore them as they only project their own anger on to you and don’t know anything about RVing. Keep up the good, good work we can trust!

Pete Almasi
3 years ago

Sad to say we are giving up on RVing after this season.
We purchased an old RV put some money and sweat into it to be road worthy only to find out that.
To be able to book a site that you would enjoy requires one to take a day off work on the day the bookings open.
And then be ready all the way up to your last computer stroke at the booking site,and hope and pray that you can perform all your key strokes within sixty seconds or all the sites at your pick will be booked for the season and perhaps beyond.
Thanks ,but no thanks.
We have decided to donate our rig to a young couple who have the time and patience to do so.
Not to mention all the regulations coming out against RVers in general every year (ie. no filling L.P. tanks over ten years old).
It was great the first year when we didn’t know better.
Hotels,motels and resorts in one place and just go to as many of them as you can that time allows you to.

Richard Hubert
3 years ago

Love this newsletter!

Greatly appreciate all the tips & advice provided as we prepare to go full time in our RV.

Ignore the trolls – they seem to be infecting all sites, no matter the topic. I know they have almost killed off some great RV & Travel bloggers (like Technomadia) but it is obvious they are simply ignorant, loner losers with nothing better to do.

Love this newsletter – keep it up!

Gregory Illes
3 years ago

Hi Chuck (and Gail),

I am simply LOVING your editorials. Please don’t let the naysayers influence you. There’s an old reference (don’t know where it came from):

“Illegitimati non carborundum”

— which is Latin for “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”.

I hope you are getting some positive responses too, and I think it’s telling that KOA replied in a positive way.

With all this surge in demand, it would seem that an upsurge in RV parks would be forthcoming. Problem is of course that the growth is unlikely to keep pace with the burgeoning RV population.

As always, I find myself grateful to be living in the West, where (at least for now) there is still some wide open space to be found.

Kudos and encouragement,


3 years ago

If you are looking for the BEST security company…call SECURIGUARD…KELOWNA

Leonard Szymkowiak
3 years ago

How dare your people compare Saint Christopher with our Lady of the Dashboard, do you people condone that c**p? Religious beliefs with sick humor.

Ed Fogle
3 years ago

I’m staying at an RV park in similar conditions for two weeks. Each neighbor’s sewer drop is right where the next site’s sitting area is. At least you have grass. We are basically in an asphalt parking lot on a gravel site. One problem is most RV parks websites have few or no pictures of the sites. This makes it a gamble when choosing your next park in an area you’ve never been to.

3 years ago

If you enjoy showering each day, starting off clean and reborn, boondocking doesn’t do it. And if you do not want the worry of finding sewer dump facilities, and locating fresh water, an RV park beats all the BLMs, LTVAs and Walmart lots. Boondocking is oversold and fine if you’re desperate for minimal cost and prefer avoiding others. But there is safety in numbers, another factor in favor of nice parks. Last, the call for smaller rigs is great while traveling or looking for national or state park sites, but staying in tiny rigs for six months or more is akin to living in a small, stuffy closet. When a small rig owner makes reservations at campgrounds, they all ask for length of your RV. Small RVs get the smallest, least desirable spot despite paying the same rate as the 45-ft Prevost across the way which is enjoying 2 to 3 times as much space and 50-amp service. The trade-offs are hard ones. Small RVs are sold as weekend-only units, or short trip vehicles. FTing in one loses its novelty and owners long for 5ers, 36+ ft MHs, park units, or sticks-n-bricks housing. All come — if in nice campgrounds — with more space, privacy, and few worries about dumping and finding fresh water.

Arthur Jacobson
3 years ago

We were RVers from 2009 to November, 2016. In our seven years owning two different RVs we volunteered or workcamped six of those years. Our experience taught us that many, many full timer RVers are older folks without either the desire or means to own a stick and brick home. In our travels we did find a few true nomads, RVers traveling from place to place for sheer enjoyment. Most of those we encountered were searching for a cheap place to stay. Volunteering gave them such places. For a certain amount of hours these folks, many of whom lived in “jalopy” RVs, stayed for many months or even years if permitted, in state or federal parks. My wife and I now know that there is no such thing as being a volunteer at one of such places. You are WORKING almost full time for no pay other than your spot. It was our experience that in every park where we volunteered the full time paid employees seem to become very scare while we were on duty. In our last national park the employees seem to be on break during our entire shift and several times even forgot we were to be relieved for lunch. We decided after our last “adventure” that at ages 70 and 68 we not longer had the desire to be indentured servants. We sold the RV and its tremendous upkeep along with the toad, We are very happy to be back in our spacious (for us) stick and brick where we can spread out and not be on top of each other. We also feel that many of these parks permit homesteading by their volunteers, something that denies other RVers of the opportunity to have that kind of experience.
To me volunteering in a hospital, dog shelter, etc, is “true” volunteering and not an unpaid position. I now equate RV volunteering the same as those standing on corners holding signs “will work for food”.

3 years ago

I have [seen] some of this in different parks too. There are old motorhomes that people live in full time that have not and will not move unless a tow truck comes and drags them away.
What I don’t get is these people could rent an apartment for the same or even less than what they are paying for long term site rent and 5 times the space to live in.

Pete Almasi Jr.
3 years ago

In the words of my God son ,(WORD !).

Calvin Rittenhouse
3 years ago

I second what Jeannie said. I never saw any part of a mobile home site that close to the next person’s site. I don’t have any better answers for those who do not boondock.

3 years ago

Don’t loose faith. There are still many good, honest, thoughtful RVers out there. TouTube is what it is. I persoanaly stay away from it as much as possible..

3 years ago

We’ve been to several RV parks in our travels that have the conditions that you encountered. It’s seems to be a result of greater income generation rather than updating the facilities on a regular basis. With RVing becoming more popular and nice well planned parks / campsites becoming a scarce, it prods our desire to possibly open our own campground after retirement rather than work camping.

Jerry Collis
3 years ago

RV Fire Safety: RV manufactures provide yo with a 2 1/2 lb BC extinguisher which is so inadequate as to be almost useless. Not to mention that the chemical in the extinguisher is extremely corrosive. The provided extinguisher might (and I repeat the “MIGHT”) put out a pan fire if you can get to the extinguisher quick enough. Mac suggests a “non-corrosive foam extinguisher” as the best. However, he fails to mention that these are extremely expensive and can only be purchased from a company that services commercial businesses. You will not find this extinguisher in the local Walmart.
I would like to see the manufactures place a 5 lb extinguisher at both ends of the RV or even a 10 lb centered. These could be inset so as not to take up too much walking space. Knowing that the manufactures are all about the money, a good ABC extinguisher would suffice and they cost much less that the foam. I would also suggest that if you tow, place a 5 lb ABC in your vehicle.

Terry Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Jerry Collis

I have the small extinguisher as mounted by the door in my F/W. (Little piece of junk). But I have 1 large extinguisher in the bedroom, 1 neat the kitchen, 2 medium in the storage compartment and 1 in my truck. That’s 5 potentially lifesaving extinguishers. I don’t care about the unit or the corrosive nature of the chemicals as long as we all get out safely. (I hope I never had to use the emergency exit windows!) also all are ABC extinguishers except the junky aerosol can extinguisher. Let’s just be safe.

3 years ago

I have been reading your newsletter for years as my wife and I get ready to retire, sell off the house and go rving full time. First off, thanks for all the good info. Lately tho, I’m lncreasingly worried if we are making the right choice to go full time in an rv. For years we’ve been waiting for the time to come and now that it’s here we are having doubts. Damm !

Sue and Jim
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert

Robert, my husband and I have been RVing extensively for the last 13+ years and would have sold our house sooner than 2014 if the housing market had been more conducive to doing so. As Chuck has written in recent articles, it’s getting harder and harder to find suitable sites at parks and public RV parks and campgrounds (even our beloved military RV parks), particularly if you have a large rig. It’s one of several reasons we’ve decided to put our 5th-wheel in storage for a while and buy another house. We encourage you to at least try extended RV traveling now while you are healthy enough to do so. There is so much to see and do in N. America, much of it free. If you love it, then perhaps sell your house If you don’t think your current house will suit your needs as you age, then sell it now — it’s a strong seller’s market in much of the country. If you have an adventurous spirit you can still boondock in many places out West without reservations. If you plan to stay in developed campgrounds, just be aware that you need to make reservations well in advance at many of them. One more piece of advice — the smaller the rig, the more places you can park it. You can check out our website (not real updated) for lots of ideas: Good luck! Sue and Jim

3 years ago
Reply to  Robert

Chuck is bringing up a lot of the negative side of some of the parks. I wouldn’t let some of the negative stuff on this sight influence your decision.
Full timing is a great life, it all come down to the individual.
Remember your house will be were you park it. Don’t like were you are, move on, I sure have a number of times..
There is always another adventure and sight just around the corner..
Enjoy life, it doesn’t last long enough!

3 years ago

I have lived in several Mobile Home parks and they are not as crowded as many, if not most, RV parks, definitely not as bad as the KOA you showed in your article and video, despite Mobile Homes being much longer and wider than the largest RVs. In most areas, Mobile Home parks are heavily regulated and conditions like many RV parks have would never be allowed!