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Breese
3 years ago

Mr. Woodbury you answered my question. My husband grew up camping with his family from a tent to a 25 foot RV in the 60’s. I did not. I started in 2010 with a 30 now a 38 footer. My husband and I visited some of the State/Federal parks of his childhood memories. He was shocked on how the conditions were at his beloved State/Federal parks. Some were deteriorated so bad that we couldn’t level our RV, unmaintained grounds (to my standards), disrespectful neighbors, unsupervised children and dogs, and the list goes on. There were a few nice ones, nice people, and good experiences. My point is that experiencing the outdoors is priceless as your readers agreed. Nature doesn’t change, people (campers) changed nature by destroying their fellow man/woman/child experience. In some cases they’ve destroyed nature too. I know your article was a hard topic for some people to swallow because you wrote about a change that things are not the same, specifically RVs. Can you investigate why camping styles have made us more divided. Ex: rv park vs rv resort, camping vs glamping, small vs big. Do you see where I’m coming from? At the end of the day we all see the same moon.

Bill Semion
3 years ago

Nope, I’m not. Now you’re missing my point, as you mentioned to someone above. 😉
I’m simply stating that there is more to RVing or “camping,” as people today experience it, than watching the TV outside in your entertainment hub, and hibernating inside your trailer all day! Get out and enjoy it again, or if you’ve never done so, get out and enjoy it for the first time! Leave that TV behind! There’s a whole world out there to enjoy! Without the effluent! 😉

Bill Semion
3 years ago

Ha! And I’ve also been at a state park in Michigan to witness one poor slob who, perhaps unknowingly, or more likely, knowingly because of the smell, trundled his plastic portable holding tank to the dump station while dumping perfumed water THROUGHOUT the campground along the access roads, including past my rig. Come’on. Their bathroom was about 60 feet from their trailer’s front door!! Yes, some folks can’t do it. But really?? You roll by in your RAM diesel pickup hauling wretched refuse and dumping it all over the park, when you can easily walk 60 feet?? What a waste! So to speak! 😉

Chuck Woodbury
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Semion

I agree. Terrible behavior. But that that was one case, Bill, and any responsible RVer would never be so careless. Are you citing this one example as representative of other RVers? You might get an argument from all the decent, caring, respectful RVers out there.

Bill Semion
3 years ago

Hmmm…..not needing public campgrounds anymore because you don’t need a bathroom….welll. I respectfully disagree. I agree that you need a topic to stir comments online, but saying we don’t need public campgrounds?? I’d much rather stay in a state or national forest campground, or at least a well-spaced state campground site, and use their equipment to shower, etc., than mine. We use our bathroom sparingly, simply because of what’s pointed out elsewhere in your newsletter about “crud” in the holding tanks, and how to blast it out, fer instance. Why would i want a buncha waste sloshing around in my RV when I can walk 50 feet and use the campground’s facilities? I’ve been at many national forest and COE sites that have very acceptable facilities. And, why would I want to stay at a subdivision on wheels facility when I can see trout rise in a stream from my door, enjoy a site that isn’t 20 feet from my neighbor, and actually listen to nature instead of someone’s TV? There’s another editorial subject for you: What’s the point of camping if you’re bringing your house with you and ignoring the very point that is/was staying in natural surroundings? Staying in a fine hotel is probably cheaper than staying in an RV sub, when all costs, including that RV, are considered. Bravo for state and national parks and forest campgrounds. And, If you don’t use’em, you will indeed, lose’em.

Chuck Woodbury
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Semion

You missed my point, Bill. What I should have said is that most RVs today come with built in toilets, so the need to camp where there is a toilet is not necessary like it was before RVs had toilets. Geez. . . the more public campgrounds the better, I say. The only problem is that I haven’t noticed any new ones being opened these days (maybe a few state parks). I will write more about this later. And, about camping by a trout stream — that’s wonderful, and it works for you, but it does not work for everybody. I wish people who comment would understand that not everyone who buys an RV buys it for the same reason — some boondock, some stay at Walmart, some stay at out of the way Forest Service campgrounds, some live in it full-time, a month in one place, a month in another, others plop the RV down on a piece of land and never move it. How you camp and what works for you is simply not the same as everybody. You should be appreciative of that so you can still find a place by a trout stream without competing with the 450,000 people who buy RVs this year, and next year and . . .

Bill Semion
3 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Absolutely true! But, what is camping? Or, is camping in your marble-floored pusher really what most consider what it’s all about? You raise a good point, however. To each his/her own! To me, it’s that trout rising over there, or that bald eagle patrolling its stretch of river, or launching a boat after walleye. It will ever be thus, for me. I wish all you fellow RVers well, AND just think of what you’re missing by missing what you’re missing! 😉
I always enjoy and appreciate the work you put into your newsletter, being in the same profession. No longer an ink-stained, or glue-pot fumed wretch, now just adding to my finger arthritis/eyestrain at the keyboard! 😉

Bill Semion
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Semion

And the campgrounds I find in Michigan are often totally empty…or, I reserve them. The only sites I’ve ever had recent difficulty in finding are atop the Big Horn Mountains in mid-Wyoming at my favorite spot there, mainly because there are only 8 sites. If it’s full, I just move down the road to the camp-for-free land that’s not on a stream and wait. Last time I was fortunate to find one site open, and reserved it. For the most part, even along Highway 1 in CA, we’ve not had an issue because we plan out far enough to make things easy! Hopefully in the future things will not get to a point described in a “science fiction” short story I recall that you must enter a lottery to get a spot.

Dave Piposzar
3 years ago

Chuck,
Been camping for 60 years and still enjoy my 13 foot 1965 Scotty trailer and refuse to camp in private campgrounds when county, state, and federal agencies depend on us to sustain their parks. The bathhouses still provide a welcome relief for us few remaining tenters, backpackers, and “real campers”. Ever ask how many of those fancy RVers use the park showerhouses because they dont want to get their expensive motorhome all wet! You might be surprised. I’m glad you ended with the phase , “I hope the public campgrounds never go away, but I fear modern RVs, which are designed more for “living” than camping, will be better suited for commercial RV parks than more remote, scenic campgrounds that offer a more meaningful experience with nature. Don’t hope, make it happen by supporting the parks!

Jerry X Shea
3 years ago

Hi Chuck, your current RV experience can be very enjoyable if you will just take the philosophy of Bob Dylan – “The times they are a changing” As I see it, and as you have written/posted, everything as you knew it, in RVing/camping, is GONE. And I will agree. As an 11 year fulltimer, in a motorhome, we never stay in a park that says “CAMPGROUND.” That is modern day code for tents, pop-ups, family’s and kids. All of which we left years ago. KOA is for “Kids” – why would a retired couple, driving a motorhome want to go to a park FOR KIDS? Stop looking for “Campgrounds” and start looking for RV Resorts, RV Parks. We did a 2 year East Coast trip and our average cost to park our Motorhome = $18.35 a night. How did we do that? We joined Coast To Coast, RPI and ROD. Yes, we front loaded ($$$) our travel stays and the rewards over the years have been great.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
3 years ago
Reply to  Jerry X Shea

Jerry, staying in resorts is not what I want to do as an RVer. It’s great for a lot of folks but not for me. I really do belong in a smaller motorhome, NOT pulling a car, where I can try (with difficulty these days) to stay in more out of the way places without a reservation, but only for a day or two, then move on. When I sold my condo and went full time, Gail and I knew, after spending four months the summer before traveling the USA in my 24-foot View, that we needed something bigger for full-timing, and we needed to tow a car. We are comfortable in our more spacious RV, but I have been exposed to another side of RVing — crowded RV parks and huge numbers of permanent and seasonal RVers who jam up these places, often filling them, making it hard for road-tripping RVers like I was, to stay a night or two when they need to hook up or maybe avoid staying at a Walmart, which not EVERYBODY likes to do.

You ask why anyone would stay at a KOA? Just drive through a few on your travels — no need to stay there, just drive thorough — you will see they are jammed with RVers of all kinds including full-timers, seasonal RVers, and others in Big Rigs who stay a night or a week. KOA is having no trouble filling its parks. You may not like KOA and I may not be a big fan anymore, but the fact is, a lot of people stay at KOAs, enough for the company to attract record crowds year after year.

I love to just explore, and sitting in an RV resort and socializing is just not my thing. I am an introvert who can fake it as an extrovert, and I tend to keep to myself. I am fully aware that the times are a changing, but the fact is, the RV Industry Association is still showing wonderful, scenic, camping scenes and preaching the message “go where you want when you want.” What is true, more often than not these days, is “go where you want, when you want — as long as you have a reservation.” Now this works for a lot of folks. But not for many others. I have so much more to stay about this, and I will so in an upcoming essay.

RVanator
3 years ago

Hey Chuck,without getting to personal,could you give a cost in your rv compared to your condo budget,just interested if costs were similar,thanks for Chuck’tell it like it is’Woodbury’

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
3 years ago
Reply to  RVanator

Without going into any detail, it’s probably half the cost if I don’t consider the cost of the RV. If you figure payments on an RV it would depend on what they were, but I’d still say it would be less expensive in most cases. But there are too many variables to say it’s more or less expensive in any particular person’s case.

Ed Killgore
3 years ago

Excellent article, Chuck. Some have read, but unfortunately failed to comprehend the point you are making. You are too subtle. And yes, many of us have progressed from tents and keeping company with the bears to living the ‘good life’ with A/C, TV and warm showers. Each stage has been fun with it’s own rewards. Unfortunately, as more learn of this exciting recreational opportunity, and later the economical alternative lifestyle it affords, it will continue to become more challenging to find the accommodations we seek. The more enterprising remember their motto when they first started – “Be Prepared”, make your plans accordingly.

Lois
3 years ago

i was wondering if the hotels are having the same problem of being booked up?
When I retire I thought we could do casual traveling thru the country without a year in advance planning.
Now I am thinking of scratching the RV plans and use hotels.
Thank you Chuck, we do enjoy your writing.

Chris Potter
3 years ago
Reply to  Lois

As I posted a couple of weeks ago here:
We also stay at motels sometimes depending on where we are traveling to and other circumstances.
Yes, the motels and hotels are getting crowded too. Motels that used to be possible to just walk into, now need reservations several weeks in advance.
The better known National Parks are becoming really hectic with both campers and people staying at Motels/hotels..
Even some of the boondocking sites, that we used to be able to stay alone at for several days, now have several other campers staying there. The Forest Service/BLM has been closing down boondocking sites in some areas.
Fall, which used to be a generally uncrowded time of year, now sees hoards of people out for the “Color Season”, (Leaf Season) Some areas of Utah and the Colorado mountains gets very crowded now during the fall.
The surge is being blamed on the Booomers, who are retiring and want to enjoy life before they get too old. I’m one, so I can’t complain too much. Supposedly the surge is supposed to last for 10 or 15 years, and then there will be at least some cutback in the crowds. But I’ll probably be too old to travel by then.

Mike Ward
3 years ago

Being a tent, trailer camper and now a “Class A Glamper” I don’t find crowded campgrounds in and of themselves awful. For me, the disappointment comes from noise coming from generators. Several times I have walked over and turned off generators at sites where people left for the day. Yeah, I’m a jerk, but then was leaving a noisy generator running all day any less considerate?

At the Grand Canyon, they limit generators to an hour a day between 6/7pm. That to me is a sensible idea I would like see instituted elsewhere.

Mike
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Ward

I don’t know where you got that information…. but it’s not correct. We stay in the Mather campground several times a year. There are specific time periods to run your generator each day, but not for just 1 hour a day!

Mike Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike

I got my information first hand. That was the case in 2012 when I was there last and it really was just one hour a day back then. Sad to see they have relaxed their policy.

Mike
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Ward

Re. Turning off a neighbors’ generator: That generator may be running for air con for a pet. Turning it off may be the death of the pet.

Pet Killer
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Ward

Nice way to kill pets on board. Call a Ranger!

Mike Ward
3 years ago

Chuck is a reporter. Reporters report how things are, not as we want them to be (well, maybe not Fox News). Am I disappointed that RV sites are the way the are? Of course, but I certainly don’t want someone to tell me a lie. It hurts to hear these things but really, would you want it any other way?

Tumbleweed
3 years ago

It blows my mind that people complain about crowded campgrounds and then keep going to them or quit RVing altogether. There IS a solution, and it will lead to better camping experiences than you’ve ever had. Get solar panels and start boondocking! You’ll never need a reservation again and you’ll have the beautiful, quiet campsites that RV parks advertise but don’t provide, sometimes even on a lake.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
3 years ago
Reply to  Tumbleweed

That is a great option for many people. I’d do it if my lifestyle were different. Studies of our readers show that only about 10-15 percent consider themselves boon dockers. It just is not possible for many people, especially those in the East where public lands are not as easily available.

John Hiler
3 years ago

Your letter on Public Campgrounds may be the silliest thing I’ve read this week. The Idaho Mountains are packed with folks in Public Campgrounds. We don’t have to knuckle under to Corporate America (Actually World) for everything. Maybe you do for your advertising but I certainly don’t and won’t…

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
3 years ago
Reply to  John Hiler

John, you totally missed my point. And, I know your Idaho mountain campgrounds (which I love) are “packed” with “folks in public campgrounds,” which is a whole other problem as in the increasing difficulty in reserving a space at all but the way-out-of-the-way campgrounds.

In my essay, I was just saying we don’t need public campgrounds because all RVs, even little 12-foot RVs have toilets, which was the reason we went to them in years past, when RVs did NOT have toilets. I wish there were more public campgrounds, but, alas, I don’t think the federal government, in particular, will be creating any new ones, just closing or shortening the season on current ones. The only new parks these days are luxury resorts. Personally, I chose the smallest “big rig” I could for full-timing, 32 feet. I would much rather be in a Forest Service Campground, but I find that as a full-timer I prefer to stay in one place for a month or more to explore an area with my car. I’ll write more later. I think I just got everybody confused about what I was saying with a headline that was misleading. My mistake.

Bonnie Pascucci
3 years ago

Your editorial on not needing public campgrounds/outhouses is as selfish as I can imagine. It is the same attitude as we need only wilderness experience or there is no need for wilderness because I can’t drive my machines in it.

PLEASE be open minded for the tenters, backpackers and fisherman who use the campground as access to a river. RVers are the center of only your universe.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
3 years ago

Again, my stock reply:

In my essay, I was just saying we don’t need public campgrounds because all RVs, even little 12-foot RVs have toilets, which was the reason we went to them in years past, when RVs did NOT have toilets. I wish there were more public campgrounds, but, alas, I don’t think the federal government, in particular, will be creating any new ones, just closing or shortening the season on current ones. The only new parks these days are luxury resorts. Personally, I chose the smallest “big rig” I could for full-timing, 32 feet. I would much rather be in a Forest Service Campground, but I find that as a full-timer I prefer to stay in one place for a month or more to explore an area with my car. I’ll write more later. I think I just got everybody confused about what I was saying with a headline that was misleading. My mistake.

Bart Cronin
3 years ago

Don’t forget the trend of private parks now calling themselves “Resorts”. I’ve seen a number of them I wouldn’t dream of staying in, and not certainly “Resorts” that I would expect. There should be some criteria/ Don’t be fooled.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
3 years ago
Reply to  Bart Cronin

Most that call themselves resorts are not. Period. Some are even dumpy.

Mike and Linda
3 years ago

We agree with your last two essays on the direction private campgrounds are heading. They are becoming more and more expensive, crowded, filled with people living there permanently, etc.. We have been full-timing for many years and have had to learn to make our reservations 6 months to a year in advance at our nation’s beautiful Federal public campgrounds. It was a pain at first, but now we actually prefer it as we can choose the exact campsite we want (and usually view a photo of it). We avoid private campgrounds like the plague. You need to make a decision as to what direction you want your “full-time” RV life to take… either be committed to adapting to the public campground reservation system and plan your calender at least 6 months ahead, or accept the direction private campgrounds/RV parks are going and be willing to put up with the conditions. We are in our 70’s now and have decided that for the remaining years we can enjoy this marvelous adventure, we will plan our schedule, make our reservations and continue to enjoy the great beauty our National Forests and Parks offer. Life is too short to be be miserable and crowded into some private campground.

Tom & Josie
3 years ago

Dear Chuck, Thanks for all the info on the state of the RVing industry. Both positive and negative. Any owner of a RV that we have met in recent years have tales of things that should have been addressed and fixed before delivery of their unit. Your weekly list of recalls by the RV manufactures is proof! We would recommend the “RV DOCTORS” Mr. Gary Bunzer’s RV book to all. It has saved us many trips to the dealer.

Chuck Woodbury
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom & Josie

Tom and Josie, Gary’s book, Woodall’s RV Owners Handbook, is out of print, and hard to find. There are a few copies at Amazon but they’re at ripoff prices.

Patricia Purtell
3 years ago

In response to your editorial regarding the redundancy of public parks, I applaud your suggestion to fellow ‘big riggers’. Please encourage all ‘luxury 35+ vehicles’ to stay where they belong…in expensive resorts. Then those of us traveling in smaller, less luxurious vehicles can enjoy our natural space and not feel like we are parked in a Greyhound Terminal and all the aesthetic wonder that includes. I have been traveling in my 18 ft Fiberglas trailer across the USA since October 1 and I am now heading home from the pacific coast. I understand the human need for our creature comforts, especially those of us who are in the ‘boomer’ bracket. Dish washer , 3 TVs. 2 baths. Pulling a car behind the BUS. Once again our generation has exceeded itself. Leave the state and national parks to the little guys, big rigs are just blocking our view.

Chuck Woodbury
3 years ago

Patricia, I was just saying we don’t need them because all RVs, even little 12-foot RVs have toilets, which was the reason we went to public parks in years past, when RVs did NOT have toilets. I wish there were more public parks, but, alas, I don’t think the federal government, at least, will be creating any new ones, just closing or shortening the season on current ones. The only new parks these days are luxury resorts. Personally, I chose the smallest “big rig” I could for full-timing, 32 feet. I would much rather be in a Forest Service Campground, but I find that as a full-timer I prefer to stay in one place for a month or more to explore an area with my car. I’ll write more later. I think I just got everybody confused about what I was saying with a headline that was misleading. My mistake.

Dave Graham
3 years ago

I was contemplating unsubscribing to RV Travel.com because of so much negativity of the website the last 2 or 3 weeks. I subscribe to this website to get RV information, find interesting places to visit, and listen to other RVers experiences around the country. I have enjoyed this website for a long time and contribute periodically. Everyone has their own definition of RV camping. We used to tent camp a lot here in Arizona when we were younger. Now we still camp in the forest but in a 35′ 5th Wheel. We also use our RV to visit historic locations we were not able to see when we were younger. We also stay in RV parks when we to see a DooWop show or visit family because ii is cheaper than staying in a hotel or motel. Some people just boondock. Others are Full Time Rvers. And some use RVs for multiple reasons. If we all liked the same thing there would only be 1 car, 1 truck, 1 RV available for all to purchase, But having personal wants and needs, there are many options and choices for all. Please start reporting about positive RVing because we all seem to have more than enough negativity in our lives every day and don’t need to add to it on Saturday morning.

Chuck Woodbury
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Graham

Dave, I have been RVing for 35 years and have preached the wonderful RV lifestyle for most all that time. But I have seen a big changes in recent times, since I went full-time. If you want fluffy “Gee this is wonderful” stories about RVing there are 5,000 websites and blogs that will serve you well. I don’t aim to be negative, but I have seen a lot in the last year and will report what I think about all of it. Nobody else is. And, frankly, if my editorials don’t please you, just unsubscribe, or skip them and read below. Heavens! There is always plenty to read that celebrates the RV lifestyle, which is still in my opinion, mostly wonderful. I love RVing, but am pretty conflicted these days about the lifestyle and what it means now.

Dave
3 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

You know, I had changed my mind about unsubscribing and not being a reactionary, but to insult me about wanting “fluffy” and that there is 5,000 other websites that would serve me well seems to indicate to me that you are ready to dump subscribers for giving their opinions as well. That might change my mind again. If everything is now negative about RVing, why bother buying or using an RV. Mixing in positive with negative gives a more rounded insight to RVing instead of just negative thoughts. Sadly, but not missed obviously, I will now have to unsubscribe. Thank you for all you have done in the past.

Chuck Woodbury
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Dave, sorry to see you go. Did not intend to offend you. Just trying my best to write honestly as I see things. It’s hit and miss.

Best of luck down the road.

Chuck

Don G
3 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Thank-you Chuck. I appreciate hearing the negative things about RV’s, campgrounds, etc. How else would we here about some of these places? The other publications will only talk positive things so as not to offend their advertisers. As a 35 year RVer, I am seeing a lot of the same things that you do, and it bothers me too. Besides, you have many positive things to add to the mix also.

Frank D Akridge
3 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

It appears to me that this website is trying to favor 1 type of camping over another. I choose a class A 40′. I have had every type of RV including motorcycle and tent, pickup with cabover, class c, 5th wheel and trailer. I have enjoyed each with their unique benefits. I would never look down on a person for their choice. I am now in the gray hair time of life and enjoy my mobile condo / camper. Who has the right to say I should limit my activity in any way? I do not expect to see these types of comments on a RV website that should be endorsing harmony.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
3 years ago

This site does not favor one type of camping/RV over another, although I personally am no longer a fan of tenting. But that’s just me. It’s great for others. This site likes small RVs and big RVs, but we all need to keep in mind that people use RVs for far different purposes — for a weekend camping trip with the kids, a one month road trip, and increasingly for full-timing.

Dawn
3 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

I really like the RV Travel Newsletter. My husband and I started “camping” over 40 years ago, first with a pup tent, then a little bigger tent, then a pop up camper and then finally with a fifth wheel camper. We enjoyed them all at the time. (We just can’t handle sleeping on the ground anymore) We have only been on a few trips with our 5th wheel, but we plan on many more when my husband retires! I like to hear the good and the bad about camping. We can use all the advise we can get about RV camping! I always say “To each his own!” Please, keep on with your RV Newsletter!

Calvin Rittenhouse
3 years ago

Plenty of tent campers would rather the RVers abandon the State and Federal campgrounds, and more people camp in tents than by any other means.

Chuck Woodbury
3 years ago

Yeah, I can understand that. Tenters, I would say, are probably really “camping” where more and more RVers these days are “living” in their RVs rather than camping in a “roughing it” sort of way. Interesting, however, that many if not most RVers were once tent campers, then moved on to something more substantial.

Mel Goddard
3 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

TRUE!