Am I too negative about RVing?

Am I too negative about RVing?

 

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR

I’ve received quite a few letters recently about how negative I have become. At the same time, the RV industry news media has been reporting what I have been writing, I presume because there is some merit to what I’m saying. And those articles have generated a lot of comments on their websites, some accusing me of being on some sort of witch hunt at RV industry and government targets.

Here is one comment that was left on an article about me on RV Daily Report, along with my answer.

The person who commented did not leave his or her name.

Woodbury,
You’ve gone negative about everything RV since going full-time. RV parks, manufacturers, suppliers, governmental groups, etc., are your targets. I’ve subscribed to and actually taken the time to read your newsletter for sometime now and am beginning to wonder if your negative slant is to discourage new RV’ers from buying RV’s, thus making campsites more readily available. You’ve gone from objective reporting to a self-appointed watchdog. Study the reporting style of the editor of this weekly newsletter, Greg Gerber and truly be objective and less negative. You’re starting to read like CNN or Fox News reports the news: less reporting of the actual news with more giving of your opinion! Why? You are of course entitled to report whatever you wish, with whatever slant you choose, just as I am entitled to choose what I read (FYI: I will continue subscribing to and reading your newsletter). I just do not understand why you’d want to be less of a source of credible information and more of a negative opinioned scribe.

My response:

Dngreen51,

Since I have gone full-time I have seen so much that I didn’t see when I mostly just sat at home the last few years, with a two or three week trip here and there. But mostly just talked about RVing. Hence the change in tone. And, since I became “negative” as you say, new signups to the RVtravel.com newsletter have doubled. I am not the only one who is experiencing what I have been writing about.

I am not a cheerleader for the industry other than to say over and over I am hopelessly in love with RVing, and I still write that often. But there are problems in RV-land that I see now that I did not see before, and I will not sit around and go “how wonderful everything is” like 98% of all the other websites and magazines that are advertiser supported and thus need to keep their mouths shut or lose their support. If I am a “self-appointed watchdog,” so be it. I’ve been RVing for 35 years, for much of that time a third of each year. Just maybe I have an insight or two that newbies do not.

And on the topic of new RVers, I am constantly preaching to would-be buyers to do their homework before buying an RV. Don’t buy the “bling:” check a potential RV out top to bottom. Don’t finance it for 20 years with no money down or little down, and then be forced to sell it a year later because of health reasons and then find out you’re $50,000 upside down on your loan. “Where will I get that money?” people write me in desperation. You don’t think that happens? It does.

QUITE A FEW YEARS AGO I helped write and I hosted a Better Business Bureau DVD titled “Buying a Recreational Vehicle.” The video is still available in most major libraries. In the DVD we said many of the things I am still saying today.

I don’t think RVing is awful, quite the opposite. I enjoy every day in my RV now while traveling full-time. I do think there are too many RVers for the available campsites (and there are many reasons, of which I am exploring) and RV makers are cranking out new rigs faster than ever, and too much of it suffers from quality issues.

There is a lot to be talked about, and I enjoy talking about it because I think I can help improve things. I know our series on RV electricity, where we discussed “hot skin conditions,” has saved at least two lives. The RV industry won’t talk about that. I feel really great that a couple of people (one a child) are still out there enjoying their lives based on what they learned from us.

##RVT789

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7 thoughts on “Am I too negative about RVing?

  1. Mike Sherman

    You are doing just fine Chuck. An honest, experienced voice on the subject is important to us.

  2. Theresa

    Well, yes, negative. It is ok to point out the negative, but more productive to expound in how to circumvent or fix the issues. I love the state and national parks, FYI, we started tent camping when I was 3 (many decades ago). Yes, camping has changed significantly due to RV size and entitlement, but there us usually a “nice” RV /trailer crowd in public parks much more so than private crowded ones. Full time right now in a camper.

  3. Tom T

    Hey Chuck,
    Keep telling it like it is. Its refreshing!!

  4. Lori Singels

    Chuck:
    Be not discouraged by any criticism directed at your discourse on the nasty KOA campsite. We’ve all encountered them and, at $40-plus, it is a ripoff. We all usually drive off in the morning vowing never to return to that or any other club-based park.. You’re doing all RVers a service by writing about these conditions.
    Your input both over the years and after entering the “full-time lifestyle” is one of the few honest reviews of both the RV industry and its support faction, RV parks/resorts/clubs, etc. That input has been invaluable to me over the years.
    Those who criticize usually are the “RVers” who pass you going 65 or 70 mph, darting and weaving in and out of traffic, loudly partying at RV parks, and generally being courtesy-challenged. . There are other descriptors but that would get me into trouble. These folks are weekend-warriors that don’t follow any of the courtesy guidelines that make close-quarters’ living possible. Thank goodness they’re a minority, for now.
    P/S – One of the reasons for overcrowding at RV parks in general, I believe, is because more people are living permanently in their RVs since they can’t afford anything else. A sign of the times.

  5. Rovinaspect

    Not negative at all!! It’s refreshing to hear and read that someone is taking notice and making RV parks aware of these issues. we do not ever wear shoes into our rig that are used for walking around the water/sewer hookups for all the reasons you have noted. It is disgusting t see what some people do at the water spigots along with the location of the spigot and sewer being colocated. We had a friend that ingested parasites from contamination at a water spigot and after several months of suffering he died! We have checked into some RV parks and turned around and left due to filthy water spigot and sewer area. Thank you for all that you do , all that you write, and keep on RVing!

  6. Cliff Morgan

    As I posted elsewhere on here about most RV purchasers buying an RV:
    The salesman sells DREAMS….
    The customer is buying nightmares….

  7. PeterW

    Our “home” is a STATIONARY 5th wheel on an RV lot in the beautiful Burro Mountains near Silver City, New Mexico, where we pay a reasonable annual rate. It has a historic 100+ year-old lodge on site, with a large common area where we have community events. We reside there 7-8 months of the year, and we travel to warmer locales in the winter months. This past winter was our first excursion without an RV. We stayed at a beautiful one-bedroom condo on the beach at Port Aransas, TX for three months, at an average rate of $41 per night…and that included everything: electric, FAST wifi, cable, even netflix and amazon prime TV. Fully furnished with every amenity, and a well-kept pool. And we drove there in my Honda CRV, averaging 30+ mpg on the way.

    We have owned 5 RVs over the years, we fulltimed for three years, and this winter was our “maiden voyage” to try out living in a condo/house/apartment rental. We will NOT be purchasing a 6th RV for traveling. This video is part of the reason why. Simple Supply and Demand Economics: The graying of the Baby Boomers, with more retirees than ever before, coupled with an increasingly larger number of middle-aged families who are discovering RVing, combines with a limited supply of campgrounds, and the Demand far outweighs Supply, especially in snowbird states in the winter, and scenic Parks that are popular with families during summer break.

    Yes, there are some things I miss about the RV experience. There were times as I walked the beach that I looked over at the boondocking RVs who were parked on the beach just beyond the high tide line and thought, “THAT’S a nice spot to enjoy a cuppa coffee in the morning!” But situations like Chuck mentions, as well as ever increasing nightly rates and the arrogance of an almost “Take it or leave it” mindset on the part of CG owners, convinced us otherwise.

    And don’t even get me started on the attitude of RV manufacturers when it comes to standing behind their products…whether a popup, a teardrop camper, or a $100,000+++++ motorhome (however, from my experience a decade ago, I exempt Tiffin Motorhomes from that comment….they offered EXCELLENT customer service after the sale).

    Part of me feels, “It’s a shame it has come to this”. Part of me figures that it is simply time to move on from RVing.

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