Saturday, December 3, 2022


The readers write: Trouble, trouble, everywhere



Edited by Russ and Tiña De Maris

Flip on the 6:00 news every evening and watch it for a half hour. Sad to say, “polarity” is the word of the day. It’s ‘left or right,’ ‘black or white,’ ‘up or down,’ – not much in the way of agreement. Unfortunately, that same situation is worming its way into the RV world. The last couple of weeks have seen plenty of controversy about things that are affecting all of us – and it’s reflected in many of the missives that have been landing in the old ‘electronic mailbox.’ Still, we’re keeping a hopeful attitude. Here’s a sample of your views.

Campground neighbors losing their “neighborliness”

Editor Chuck Woodbury opined on “The rude couple in the campsite next door,” and struck a nerve for plenty.

RJ shares an experience: “We have been to a state park where my neighbor had a 24-hour 7-day-a-week campfire burning–or rather smoldering–the whole time. I have trouble breathing. After the first night which I didn’t sleep very much, I asked him if he wouldn’t burn it when it got real late. It smoldered all night, the trees made the air still and we were packed in like fish in a can. The next day I mentioned it to the park ranger, he said ‘Go talk to the camp host. I’m sure he can help.’ Guess who was the CAMP HOST!”

Not everyone looks at ‘campground smokers’ in the same light. J French writes: “Campfires are normal, often someone has a TV playing and others listen to music. We are all not easily annoyed unless it is a car horn blaring at two a.m. We also do not make a big thing out of secondhand smoke, and no one I have been around acts like a smoke Nazi. If they have a problem they can move 10 feet away. BTW – I am not a smoker.”

EgWilly figures these campground issues are a reflection of life in the world today. “This type of behavior, of not giving a hoot about your neighbors, closely follows the general pattern of society behavior today. Nothing new on this earth. We try and set a good example for others, but some folks don’t see it or care.”

Diane Martin has her own way of dealing with troublesome neighbors. Not that we’re suggesting you try this, but here’s her take: “When I am annoyed by a neighboring camper’s loud TV, radio, etc.–which seems to happen with more frequency lately–I leave a note under their windshield after they have gone to bed at night, saying that I will start allowing my teenagers to play their rap and hip-hop music loudly the next day if the noise isn’t stopped. Actually, I don’t have teenagers, but since they don’t know who left the note, they think it could be anybody nearby. I have done this three times so far, and it has worked perfectly each time.”

Federal budget: A burr under plenty of saddles

We noted in our story, “RV industry cautions against undue budget cuts,” concerns about potential cuts in the federal budget that could affect public land recreation. Plenty of responses here – and plenty of heat.

Rusty Austin fired off, “This is no surprise. Republicans have never hid their desire to eliminate the NPS and the EPA, and sell off all public lands to the highest bidder. If you voted for them, you voted for that. Own it and be proud of your vote. After all the free market will provide RV parks right? As long as you can afford say $100 a night or so.”

We know there’s two sides to the story. Roy Ellithorpe has his own ‘two-bits’ to share: “The only instance where a government run ‘business’ will be cheaper than a private enterprise is if it is subsidized by taxes.”

Others took a more reflective look at the matter. Paul Terry recalled his experiences. “My wife and [I] worked many years as campground hosts/managers. Most Forest Service campgrounds are now operated by private companies. Beyond day-to-day maintenance much needs to be done to protect the capital assets. With budget cuts I fear this will not happen. With more RVs on the road we may find fewer campgrounds to use.”

Pete D also had experience in the field. “I worked for the government all my life. We had a saying, ‘Use it or lose it.’ It was heard as the fiscal year was coming to a close. In other words, if there is money left in the budget you had better spend it or your budget could be cut next year. That brought about much unnecessary spending. A bureaucracy is a living organism whose objective is to live and grow on taxpayer money.”

As to why, Jim had this potent observation: “I worked for a decade for a government agency, and three decades for two of the largest corporations in the U.S. Waste, inefficiency, and corruption existed in all of them. There is a simple reason for this and that is, they all employ humans who are flawed. In my experience, I didn’t see all that much difference.”

Finally, Lee Wenk, brings it back around. “The RVIA rails against budget cuts but still cuts their own quality assurance budgets. Granted, we (RVers) need more campgrounds and these cuts may impact that, but we would need even more campgrounds if our rigs spent less time in the repair shop.”

Are our readers “Cheap”?

In RV Travel Newsletter Issue 786, we discussed how continuing to publish the newsletter was taking some rather creative thinking, and the need for reader support.  David McIntyre took issue with the approach: “As I read v-logs and viewed RV videos, I started seeing writers/cameramen asking for donations, or for me to make my Amazon purchases through their link. At first it didn’t bother me much, but now it’s getting more and more prevalent. Online publications, including this one, continue to ask for donations and it’s getting downright annoying. Judging by the comments I’ve read, I’m not the only one put off by these intrusive posts. You make those of us who choose not to send support feel ‘cheap,’ like we’re freeloading. I would much rather see these publications require a subscription. That way, everybody who wants to view the posts will pay a fee for the privilege and the writers will enjoy a steady, reliable income.”

Stepping up to the defense comes Kerry Myers. Responding to David, she wrote: “That approach sounds great in theory, but just doesn’t work. Those subscription-based blogs lose readers because there is so much free information out there. May I suggest just sending in what you think a subscription is worth, then you won’t feel cheap and you have your own subscription.”

The RV road trip is near death

In an editorial by the same name, Chuck wrote about the difficulties he and Gail are facing as they travel down their new road. Crowded campgrounds are making spontaneous RVing more and more difficult. Plenty of suggestions came in.

Gypsy shares her view: “I have RVd for 27 years, full-timing for the last 14 of them. I have not averaged even one night per year at a pay campground, but I have camped in beautiful places. Most of the time I’ve had access to cell phone and Internet services. It CAN be done! Be adventurous! Get solar panels and hit the road. Look for dirt roads on public land. BTW, I’m a 75-year-old woman, traveling alone.”

If boondocking isn’t your cup of tea, Tom has another suggestion. “My wife and I have a different way at looking at these things. We pick where we want to go and the go to [website] and find a place near where we want to go, and then volunteer to help them with their needs. We always negotiate the requirements as to not be doing things we don’t like, and usually find the places to be very satisfactory. I realize that some would object to doing this, but I’m to be 74 this month and there’s a lot of places that we want to see. By putting a ‘little’ into it we get to go where we want, and see what we want, and have fun.”

Where others see a problem, Charles Davis sees opportunity. “Camping spaces are at a premium, time premium for sure, long [lead times] for reservations. I see opportunity where others are touting doom and gloom. Anyone interested in building/buying a campground, big market there for sure. With our population going up and the demand going up for spaces, someone will form another KOA or similar and fill the need. Also independent folks can build and finance campgrounds. Were I a few decades younger I would have an interest in same. We could also push the current administration to expand the National Park Campgrounds since we have more taxpayers now than 100 years ago. Just thinking!”

Thanks to you all for your views.


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Curtis McRee
5 years ago

You can please some of the people some of the time. But, you can’t please all the people all of the time.
Everyone has an opinion, right or wrong. Government, campground owners and business people will charge what they feel they can get away with. The more they make the better they live. If you can’t fix it leave it alone. If you don’t like the way things are going, sell your rig and sit at home. I started RVing in 1974. I have been there, done that. And never complained about anything. I have enjoyed RVing all of this time. I learned a lot about people. Doers and naysayers. Life is a great adventure. Learn to enjoy life without worry.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
5 years ago
Reply to  Curtis McRee

Curtis, and others …
Please note that if you type your comments in all caps, it automatically goes into the Spam folder. (I retyped this comment so it could be published.) Thanks. 😀 —Diane at

No Politics!
5 years ago

“Rusty Austin fired off, “This is no surprise. Republicans have never hid their desire to eliminate the NPS and the EPA, and sell off all public lands to the highest bidder”

WHY do you allow nasty divisive political commentary to remain on thisRV site? No respite ANYWHERE any more? Tell them to take it to a political forum!

5 years ago
Reply to  No Politics!

@ No Politics! … thank you 😉

5 years ago

First time reader residing in Manitoba. Very informative blog. I will try a couple of more times and if I find value, I will donate my fair share

5 years ago

Wow …chastised and sworn at by a blogger who thinks she has the right to to us to put up or shut up… quality there.

5 years ago
Reply to  Sis

Wa Wa Wa

Patricia B
5 years ago

As a single woman (nearing retirement), I am exploring the possibility of RVing. I thoroughly enjoy the articles and information … especially because it offers current and relevant information that is hard to find in one place. There is so much to take in! As I vacillate between a Class C and a Class A, and what each one offers in regards to space and conveniences, I find RV Travel a great source of information of all forms of RVing.
Keep up the great articles and information!

5 years ago
Reply to  Patricia B

I’ll second what Patricia B said 🙂

5 years ago

Yes, there is a lot of free information on the Internet, but just because of that abundance, people should not devalue all of it. Let’s get this straight: Much of what’s on the ‘net is chaff. To write a worthwhile newsletter takes time, energy, research and dogged dedication. Bloggers work harder than the average 40 hour office employee like me who gets paid, so why should bloggers not ask for donations? If someone feels “annoyed” about being solicited, they are free to either not feel annoyed, make a donation, or unsubscribe. What is money for? To buy something of value to you. I pay Netfix and Acorn to stream entertainment. I work so I can pay for camping and groceries. I make a donation at museums because they provide a service, which RV Travel certainly does. It’s an exceptional mix of entertaining and informational articles and videos… With courageous editorials by Chuck Woodbury. With so much redundant and plagiarized crap on the Internet, the really original, quality stuff stands out. Just as you would reward your honor roll student or your outstanding employees, please at least recognize that RV Travel adds value to your life.

Nancy Lassig
5 years ago

I really appreciate and enjoy this newsletter. Just about any one can afford to give something for the privilege of receiving it and the knowledge they gain from it. It’s worth a lot more to me so I have gladly donated when I’m able. Thank you for publishing a great resource.

5 years ago

Thanks for all the intel. RV life sounds awful and it’s apparently only going to get worse. Guess we’ll take our recreation money elsewhere.

5 years ago
Reply to  Don

Oh no, Don! RV life, like most things, is what you make it. We started RVing in the early 90’s. Due to financial reasons, we had to give up our coach. We sat on the sidelines for almost 8 years during which we longed everyday to be on the road with our many friends. Fast forward to last year. With a clean financial bill of health, we are “on the road again”. Yes, things have changed out here, but it is still so worth it to be in this life. I urge you to explore for yourself. Rent a rig and go out a few times. I assure you that you’ll think twice. There are still a lot of wonderful folks out there on the road. We’re truly blessed and grateful to be back.

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