Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

50 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Larry
1 year ago

Chuck,
I wish you would add this to the list of beefs you write about rv’ing these days.

Some people are acting like their poop don’t stink! Nor is it dirty, nor potentially infectious. I am finding incredible messes at dump stations more and more frequently. During a 5 night stay last week at NY’s Cayuga Lake State Park, twice I found the dump station covered with bits of dried toilet paper. You and I both know what it was mixed with before drying out. Over the past two weeks I found similar, but not as bad, messes at NY’s Wellesley Island SP and Robert Moses – Thousand Island SP. A couple of years ago I found mounds of hardened, dried poop on the ground near the drain. That was at Starved Rock SP in Illinois during the week of the July 4 holiday.

Then there are the folks who do not bother about gloves or even soap and water when handling the sewage hoses and implements: Wiping their faces, smoking , even eating and drinking while dumping. Ugh! That is scary and disgusting.

Maybe some instructional publicity from your columns and/or from the industry would help. Maybe some shaming of the slobs would make a difference. After all, those rinse hoses at the dump stations are there for a reason!

Eric Meslin
1 year ago

Chuck,

Just completed one month of travel that was completely planned and reserved. We did this because we were coordinating with family and were on a set schedule. But I have to say, it wasn’t as much fun as drifting along without firm plans. Instead, there was a lot of pressure to stick to the schedule. Hopefully, an experience not to be repeated.

Cheryl Carr
1 year ago

I agree with what Chuck is saying. After staying at the same campground in the Seattle area for the last 2 years we were told when we went to check in we were number 12 on the waiting list. This was in spite of the fact we had put our names on the waiting list in August of last year. When we checked on our status in April we were told we were at the top of the list. Since we are planning on returning to the Seattle area every year we bought into a Camping Club in Lake Stevens. We can stay here for up to 6 months a year.

J.O.
1 year ago

I bought my older travel trailer for camping in BC, where I live. Because I tow with an SUV, I camp in the Interior to avoid driving over major hills.

I have to say that now that there is a reservation system in place, it is incredibly hard to grab a Provincial Camp site in our own back yard. at one of the lakes. The bloody commercial RV rentals, often rent the RVs with sites booked for their guests – they have staff and BOTs and can get on the phone and computers and book the sites up right away, as soon as the reservation times open. And this happens even with the new rules the BC Provincial gov’t put in place last year.

It’s a royal pain in the butt. Many of the popular sites are only reservable and to reserve, you have to pay the reservation fee on top of the campsite fee. There are a few non-reservable spots in some camp sites, but you take your chance on getting to the camp site and having one of the handful of non-reservable sites still available. So, you can be packed and then have to turn around and leave.

For our forestry sites, you pretty much have go up a few days mid-week, in advance, and plant a tent or leave your RV on the site, to get a weekend site.

As for the private RV sites, if you don’t book well in advance, it’s pretty tough.

I love camping, but it is getting frustrating trying to find a spot.

Terry Novotney
1 year ago

I agree with others. too much negative and repitition. How do I disenroll? Not looking for an argument or discussion. I just want to stop getting the newsletter.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry Novotney

Terry, I’ve removed you from the list to receive our newsletters. We’re sorry to see you go. —Diane at RVtravel.com

rlag
1 year ago

What ever happened to “This date in history”?

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 year ago
Reply to  rlag

It’s “history,” rlag. At least for now. The newsletter was getting too long so we discontinued it. Sorry. (I learned a lot when I was sorting through historical events to add to the list.) —Diane at RVtravel.com

Jillie
1 year ago

I managed to secure camp sites before leaving for Montana and Yellowstone. The best one in Yellowstone is the KOA west. I don’t do bears and from what we heard about Yellowstone camp sites we decided KOA was our best options. Especially the one at Glacier in Montana. So if you need a spot in Yellowstone? KOA. They also have tour groups come out to you and we had a great time. Learned more about Yellowstone than doing it ourselves. Also Glacier KOA is terrific too.

Jerry J
1 year ago

Chuck,
On your article about Insufficient Site Capacity a Myth you used “Fishing Bridge RV Park” as an example. Couldn’t you use a better example. When researching this campground I find it is open from May 11 to Sept 5, less than 5 months at less than $45 a night and on top of a 8,000ft mountain. Add to that it’s a national park where you would expect limited facilities or intrusions of a natural wonder. Being such a popular area to visit, sure it’s going to fill up quick. Sure they have 346 with full hookups, but it’s a poor example to use to prove your point. It’s gonna take you an hour to drive out of the mountain to get anywhere else.

Just an example of another popular area, I looked at Las Vegas and found at least a dozen campgrounds on Good Sam site and several from Google Earth. All within 20-30 minute drive.

Charles Yaker
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerry J

How can you compare Vegas to Yellowstone. Apples and oranges Vegas thrives onbodies to eat and gamble. Even then we found a crowded weeken when we had to go to North Vegas no problem but it isn’t a fair comparison.

Darrel
1 year ago

“Members of Thousand Trails can now stay all year if they pay the price.”

Sort of. With MOST Thousand Trails that offer annual sites, the rig itself can stay every night of the year. However, occupants are limited to the number of days/nights in the park.

Apparently in some (most?) states this is necessary to keep the designation of “campground” with a different taxation rate. The number of nights I see quoted most often is 210 night per year.

I’m a long time Thousand trails members on multiple member driven discussion sites. (no we are not annuals ourselves).

Check it out directly with Encore corporate if you want to verify.

Kathy Mazzuchelli
1 year ago

Maybe there is a shortage of campgrounds according to some….but to those entreprenaurs that want to make a buck…..what a great opportunity….do the research, buy the land and set up the RV park…..it’s a no brainer…..the people that look at the thorns all the time…..miss the beauty of the rose !!!!

Patrecia Shaw
1 year ago

I shared the info about the new RV horror stories FB group on many of my FB RV groups. I sent the info to admins or moderators. Also shared rvtravel.com info. One can get booted out of groups for sharing links. So I let them make the choice. A few have replied so far , so expect a few new members

Sue
1 year ago

My husband and I were “vacation” RVers (one to two weeks at a time) before we retired in 2004 at age 55. The next ten years we had a house but traveled in our RV for 8-9 months of the year. Then we sold our house and full-time RV’d from 2014-2017. It got so frustrating to find decent campsites that we came off the road and bought another house. It’s been over a year since we’ve taken our 5th-wheel out.

What happened? The explosion of RVing — just too much hassle making and modifying reservations, inability to stay where we want when we want, too crowded campgrounds, from boondocking sites on BLM land and national forests out West to military campgrounds, state and national parks, and the few private RV parks we chose. Didn’t matter if we were seeking nice places for a few days or a season, it was generally just too much hassle by 2017. It was a struggle to make four different reservations when/where we wanted for two months this coming winter but we finally managed.

We got spoiled before and during the recession by being able to be much more spontaneous about where we stayed than we could after about 2012, when more and more folks could afford RVing again and more people began full-timing (yes, us included!) for whatever reason. I don’t wish poor economic times on anyone. The more recent booming economy is a factor in many ways, including enabling more people to afford the lifestyle, as well as making housing prices unaffordable in some areas. I hope everyone who wants to see N. America in an RV can do it like we have. I’m just glad we started 14 years ago and not today.

We still enjoy your newsletters very much, Chuck, and applaud your efforts to improve the industry for us consumers. Keep up the good work re: inexpensive overnight options besides Walmart, increasing RV lemon laws, improving the quality of new RVs, finding unsafe electrical boxes, and everything else you and your staff are doing. We’re happy to be “members.”

rvgrandman
1 year ago

The park we are in is probably 75% full-timers. There are the retirees, those working and those here for either the summer then go south for the winter or here for a month or two to visit family or see the area. The retirees keep their sites looking nice, the workers can look trashy. What irritates me most in this park are those who have more than one car. They use up the visitor/overflow parking sites for their second one (even though their site is big enough for two, even some won’t park any vehicles in their site which means using two visitor/overflow spots which also includes the spots in front of the laundry building. There are even couples here who have three vehicles. The fault for this is the management who allows this to go on for the money. The park also pushes people to ‘skirt’ their RV if they are going to be here for the winter. This adds to the ‘trashy’ look.

As for visitors, there is a section left open. But if someone wants or needs to stay for a couple months there is a wait list even though there are empty sites. I have friends who needed a spot for two months for medical treatment. They were told there were no spots available even though there is. It is a game the management plays. I have worked in RV parks and campgrounds as a Workamper but never seen it done like it is here.

Bill Myers
1 year ago

We just completed a 4,000 mile trip in our RV crossing nine
states. Even though we didn’t have campground reservations, we had no problem finding campsites. Most of the parks we stayed at were half full.

We stayed at commercial RV parks as well as state parks and one Casino RV park. The state parks were nicer, had more room between sites, and cost less, except the Casino RV park which was free and had hookups.

Most state parks are ten or more miles off the main roads and since many RV’ers prefer not to travel the backroads, sites at these parks are readily available.

Sure, the most visited campgrounds like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon will be booked up. But there are so many other great places that won’t be. These other places won’t be full of tourists or traffic jams. We prefer those.

Dennis Adams
1 year ago

One more comment.
If you think RVing is going to provide a private outdoor wilderness experience you better get in shape and be able to get 5 miles into the trails on foot. The norm is more being on top of the rig next to you, smoldering fires, outdoor 46 inch TVs and lights on all night killing the night sky.

Kevin
1 year ago

I’ve been to some of those parks that have “space”. Often those sites are vacant because they are to short, to narrow or impossible to maneuver a trailer into. So they stay vacant. While I fulltime, I stay 14 days or so in each park and move on. I want to see the country not the same view day after day. Parks that don’t keep making improvements (adding more 50 amp and sewer sites) even if it means decreasing the inventory of sites are doomed to failure .

G VanKoughnett Canada
1 year ago

Still look forward to reading this each week. As you point out there is a lot of negative things in the RV world but someone has to identify them. Keep up the good work.

RetiredChip
1 year ago

Unfortunately, I suspect full-timers are the future for parks. They are guaranteed money for the park and cheap rent for the tenants. I believe the increase has more to do with the unaffordable prices for housing rent and ownership. Look for this trend to continue.
I found that full-time spaces are often less than clean, jam packed with junk and relegates RV travelers to substandard lots.

Bob Casteel
1 year ago
Reply to  RetiredChip

Why don’t major companies like Winnebago invest in building additional RV parks. Us baby boomers are growing at an alarming rate and want to see our country! Stop long term parking at RV sites and go to trailer parks built especially for long term parking.

John T
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Casteel

Because they are a vehicle manufacturer, not a real estate developer.

Paul
1 year ago
Reply to  RetiredChip

I checked out the campground views web site. Basically it is useless. I looked up a campground we frequent and the info on the “views” site was not even close to being correct. A lot of “may or may not have cable, wifi, electrical connections, etc. I definitely would never use that web site if I were looking for a place to stay. Not sure where they get there information from, but not from visiting the campgrounds. They would be better of just providing links to the campground’s web sites instead of the useless information they post.

Booneyrat
1 year ago
Reply to  RetiredChip

You don’t know how right you are.Rent is high all over anymore with no end in sight.

nancy
1 year ago
Reply to  Booneyrat

We decided to go FT in 2012. We could see the Rent crisis on the Horizon, we had a 7Yo and our future disposable income to consider long term.

OUr Landlord got forclosed on by state leased land of MT.after they raised his lease taxes to 1000$ mo from 12$ a month. IN 3 months it was over. Prior to that we had a place on Flathead lake, which looked great but was a renters nightmare property, so we were released from our lease due to the landlord being unable to resolve basic things like water, heat, water heater, ect…

prior to that we had another landlord get forclosed on by his bank, prior to that it was a place that sometimes had heat sometimes not, sometimes had a working stove sometimes not, in fact in every rental we had had all the way back to 2006 there had been some issue that was very basic.

For all the money we paid to rentals, and we didnt rent bargain basement, we never at one time got all the basic essentials.
One of our draws for moving to FT was total control of our rig.

We bought a Truck Camper first, in 2009. Then our FT 5vr.

We have not been to an Rv park since Feb 2013. We camp in outlying areas and Mostly on Family land with dedicated FullHookups and a dedicated pad.

Sounds like If we were traveling now FT it would be a nightmare.

We are still most of the time, which serves as time to do upgrades. Our coach is 14YO now, we carry Agreed value on it, Paid cash 16K and bought it outright. It is incredibly well built, and since it is it has been a dream to maintain.

I know several people who have bought derlict rvs to live in on a desperation move, rather than a choice they made, and it didnt work out at all. Both of them ended up actually homeless afterward because the rv for them was a band aid, not a lifestyle choice.

1 of them got a “free” rv and lived in it on some land for a while until she got served by the county,

the other bought in on a derilict rv on some payment plan in an rv park somewhere for 50$ mo for 6000$ rv, and then left it because she could not maintain it on her own.

Oh and then there was another girl i knew who inherited some trailer and also moved into it in desperation and could not maintain it and her water heater caught fire and she freaked and moved out of it.

None of them qualify as FTr Rvrs by the defintion most commonly used. At least not in my book, yet there is nothing to seperate us from them . When society sees us they see them. Its too bad.

Rents are such a huge issue these days. I have a friend right now who spends her whole paycheck for the whole month on her rent. Just a few years ago it wasnt like that for her. I am just glad we veered off the renter course years ago and were proactive in our own choices, if we had been reactive, chances are our choices would have been much more limited in the long run.

Just be glad most of the people who read this, are part of the group who chose to be Rvrs, because the other half are on absolute edge of society and they have no choices left.

Vincent Salmela
1 year ago

I Agree with you on needing more RV parks and space. However as a business owner isn’t it your job to keep the park full so you remain in business? If that means having people long term at the expense of short term stays that’s what I would do too! Your not getting paid when no one is there. As a business owner, I would take the long term people all day long . So we can’t blame the park owners. Must find another solution and I don’t know what that is.

Monty Arch
1 year ago

The solution is the free market. Entrepreneurs will see the need for accommodate travelling RV’ers and build them. “Build it and they will come”.

F. Gisler
1 year ago

I’m with Kris who wrote in this morning around 8:00. The negative vibe from rvtravel.com has gotten to be too much.
Also, a lot of repetitive news & information.
Honestly, the lack of locations to camp is due to more and more full-timers (isn’t that you, Chuck?!) It’s a trend that doesn’t seem like it will be going away anytime soon. Along with full-timing come the complaints about components of RVs not working perfectly. People don’t seem to realize that RVs are NOT MEANT TO BE LIVED IN FULL TIME!! There are condos and stationary mobile homes for that purpose!
My hubby and I will continue to camp in the locations we love here in CA where a site can be reserved in advance and there is a 14-day limit to how long you can stay. Then you move on and someone else can enjoy the same spot! We never have a problem finding a site because we plan ahead knowing that a spot is waiting for us when we arrive.
I’m unsubscribing from this newsletter this morning. Thanks for all you do but it’s time to move on.

Admin
Chuck Woodbury (@chuck)
1 year ago
Reply to  F. Gisler

F Gisler, yes, the tone has definitely become more negative, but there is good reason. And you state the obvious when you say RVs are not meant to be lived in full time. But, look around, that is what people are doing. You write: “There are condos and stationary mobile homes for that purpose,” as if that is not obvious. You and your husband have worked out an RV lifestyle that suits you well, and my very wild guess is that 70 percent of all RVers have done the same. Their RVs have practically no problems, and they stay at the same campgrounds over and over with reservations well ahead of time with no problems. And when due to crowding a campground is where they want to stay, then just stop at a Walmart, as if that is what the industry pounds into new buyers by describing the incredible places they can stay with their RV. I have not seen a single ad or commercial from the industry where an RVer couple, for example, is sitting in lawn chairs by their RV in a Walmart lot, sipping wine, basically saying to each other “Wow! Isn’t this swell?”

But what about the other 30% of RVers who do have problems and are frustrated they can’t go “where they want, when they want?” You bet we have taken on a more negative tone, but we do it for one reason: to effect positive change. You can find 500 websites that will tell you nice places to camp and places to visit and how to hook up your RV. We do our share of that, but we see a picture that is far bigger and more important. And to date, approximately 3,000 of our readers have voluntarily voiced their support by pitching in with voluntary subscriptions to help us undertake more good, like our new Stray Voltage Patrol, where our goal is to identify at least 1,000 dangerous electrical pedestals in RV parks around the country so that people don’t get shocked by them, or even worse, killed, which does happen. Is that negative?

You write: “Honestly, the lack of locations to camp is due to more and more full-timers (isn’t that you, Chuck?!).” Yes, absolutely, and that’s what we are trying to understand and maybe effect some change to accommodate these RVers and part-timers. Show me another website that even acknowledges this problem, which you, yourself, have identified here. Since we parted with the RV cheerleader crowd, our circulation has grown twice as fast and we are making a difference. Is our tone more negative? Yes, and I do not apologize for that.

I could go on and on here, but I’ll save that for the months and years to come.

Dennis Adams
1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

To those that full time. Enjoy while you can.
Do you all realize that we are in the midst of the Baby Boomer retirement years. 72 million give or take born between 1945-65 approx.
Over 10K persons per day reach SS age.
500K RV, TT units per year have been sold for at least the previous three years. In addition to those already “out there”.
I sure wish it was the late 70s again. Fishing Bridge was wide open in July. Unfortunately it is not going to happen.
It’s only going to get “worse”.
I participate in a few popular Brand Name Unit Forums. Class B stealth “camping” and boondocking is exploding. Sportsmobile has a two year backlog pumping out 2 new units per day. The View Navion 25 foot Sprinter Class C group Forum is growing by leaps and bounds.
Fortunately we have “been there done that” numerous times in most all the NPs so they are all yours you new to RVing folks.
Like many, we do 3-4, 4-6 week trips per year and avoid the summer peaks and seek out the more obscure places, which are few and far between.
They are out there.
Just my random ramblings.
2015 Navion. 45K miles in 3 years.

Jim Anderson
1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Chuck, your comments about Mark Koep’s response and perspective are Exactly Right!
And yes some of what your saying is on the negative side, But it reflects the facts that you and many more RV’ers are seeing as we RV across America.
Were doing a six to eight week trip next month and there is NO possible way that I can even think of making reservations way ahead…I want the freedom and flexibility and spontaneity to move and travel at my will, and not be limited by a schedule that I guessed at months ago.. Traveling on a fixed schedule fine if you are OK with it. But it’s not for us.
Now with all that said there are times when we enjoy being in one spot for a month or so, and I can plan that ahead, but thinking about this January, the only Parks in the Tucson area that were appealing to us are already reserved.. So, like you said, who want to be 50 miles out of town..
So we will likely just spend 4 extra weeks boondocking in Quartzsite…

Badwolfe
1 year ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Great reply Chuck. We are with you on this.

rick
1 year ago
Reply to  Badwolfe

I want Chuck to speak the truth about campgrounds or what ever. Do not sugar coat for me, I want the straight scoop.

Booneyrat
1 year ago
Reply to  F. Gisler

I disagree that there are no RV’s built for full time use.Why do you think the manufacturers are building them with household appliances in them? Today’s RV experience is NOT your fathers 16 foot Shasta with wings RV camping experience.The times dictate what folks can afford,and with today’s sorry political state in Washington…don’t expect things to get better anytime soon. This from someone who has years of full timing under his belt.Happy trails.

livingboondockingmexico
1 year ago
Reply to  Booneyrat

Agreed. The first thing that came to my mind when I read your post was John Crean who had the futuristic idea to build a motorhome with all residential appliances: range/oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, trash compactor, stacking washer/dryer and more. It was affordable, gas powered, and had the look and feel of home. But like all visionaries, they are usually way ahead of their time. The Flounder was renamed Siena. CT Coachworks is still in business but they no longer produce the motorhome.

Darrel
1 year ago
Reply to  F. Gisler

“People don’t seem to realize that RVs are NOT MEANT TO BE LIVED IN FULL TIME!! ”

When you don’t do extensive research and you buy cheap RVs they cant stand up to full time use. If you do extensive research and pick the correct rig they WILL and DO stand up to full time use.