Note: This post is not meant to disparage anyone on how or where they camp, but to inspire everyone not to accept mediocre and make each and every RV outing the best it can be.
What’s the view out your window?
Is it a reflection of your lifestyle and where you truly want to be in your RV – or is it a compromise made out of convenience and lack of perceived options?
Yes, 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, including RVers. There’s the ongoing pandemic, civil unrest, unprecedented wildfires raging in the West and hordes of people discovering RVing competing for already scarce places to camp. It seems like everyone has either experienced or read stories of rude behavior, overbooked RV parks, bad etiquette from newbie RVers that don’t know any better, staying in a rundown campground full of “seasonal sites,” those not following the rules, RVs sandwiched together, or ending up camped in an undesirable spot (next to the dumpster or restrooms), etc.
Unfortunately, many RVers have become worn down and accept any available campsite. Yes, it is discouraging as I, like others reading this, fondly remember the days of freely roaming the country with no worries on where to camp for the night as campgrounds were rarely full and, if so, there was always another one nearby with space available.
However, there is no reason to despair as there are options you may not be considering!
Here are some strategies to improve the view out your window:
- Add an extra house battery and travel with a couple days’ worth of water in your potable water tank. By prepping your RV to spend a night or two dry camping you have options on where to camp when all the hookup sites are booked. As editor Chuck Woodbury pointed out in his editorial last week, rustic (no utilities) public campgrounds like those from the U.S. Forest Service offer a “healthy dose of scenic beauty” not typically found in a full-hookup RV park. Yes, you can still enjoy a front row seat with a view of the mountains, lakes, or the proverbial babbling brook out your window when camped at such locations – as thousands of dry camping spaces remain vacant each night. Need internet when dry camping? Check out available options here.
- Enjoy the views from the day-use area before heading to your viewless campsite for the night. My wife and I once booked an overnight spot in a state park in Huntington Beach, California. The campsite was back from the beach, sandwiched between other RVs and only offered a view of the highway. We decided to park parallel along the beach board walk in the day-use area, put our lounge chairs in the sand and enjoyed the views until the sun set and then retreated to our campsite. We have employed this strategy many times since.
- Similar to the above, if there is a popular recreation area and all the campsites are booked, we park for the day with our RV in the day-use area and then head up the road to a less desirable area that has open spaces for the night. Some might ask why we don’t leave our RV in the undesirable campsite and visit the day-use area with our tow vehicle. We prefer to have our own bathroom, kitchen, camp chairs, etc., with us for convenience – and have found this method especially comforting during the pandemic.
- Join Harvest Hosts, Boondockers Welcome, or one of several other groups that allow their members to camp overnight on the host’s private property. Often these sites include a scenic view for you to enjoy out your RV’s window.
- If your route takes you across public land on the way to your destination and you are just looking for a spot to spend the night before moving on, consider dispersed camping in the wild where the view out your window is always better than Walmart, Cabela’s or Cracker Barrel. Here are two quick tutorials to help you find a spot: Knowing where public lands are located and How to find a campsite. Note: As of this writing Publicland.org mentioned in the first video is no longer offering the public lands overlay. Here is a good alternative.
- Take the time and effort to reserve the best campsite with the stunning view. Yes, it takes advance planning, but as the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm!” Many campgrounds now offer photo(s) of each campsite on their website, allowing you to determine the view out your window before you reserve the space.
So what is the view out your window? Is it where you want to be or a compromise?
Don’t settle for so-so. Put in the extra effort to make RVing what it was meant to be.
Need more inspiration than the photos included with this post? Then check out fellow blogger Becky Schade’s collection of stunning views taken out her RV’s window.