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Comments for RV Travel Newsletter Issue 810

  • I kinda got a little wife [Ed. – whiff?] of some of your prejudices Chuck. Tell me I’m wrong. #1. Less than 30 foot units. #2. Older units. #3. People with not a lot of money

    • Buzz: At first blush, your comments are a bit abrasive, but I do have a sense of what you’re talking about. When your job is to show off the “best” in the industry, there’s a tendency to forget that’s irrelevant to those of us who are tax free — because we don’t make enough.

      As far as size-bias, I can’t agree — Chuck/RVT often features smaller rigs (I think Wanderman drives a converted van?). That said, RVT likes to show off the newest and shiniest rigs in the industry, and I expect that to continue at this week’s Hershey show. Maybe Chuck can feature his favorite affordable rigs for us mere mortals as well. 🙂

      As far as age and money biases, I had to admit something to myself: I started a video series about modifying your RV “on the cheap” pretty much because I got tired of RV experts that casually suggest replacing 30 light fixtures with LED equivalents at $20 each, or say you really “need” to buy two Yamaha inverter-gennies (at $1700) to replace your own $250 4KW Champion. That last does smack of “let them eat cake.” It’s useful to say “this is the best we’ve seen,” but I myself would like to see more “…but if that’s an absurd price for your budget, this is pretty good too.” across the industry.

      BTW: My own rig is 11 years old this year, bought used for 10K. It shows its age and mileage I’ve put on it. It’s also featured in the hitching video Chuck requested to repost in this very newsletter, so I can’t see a bias there. He traveled for decades in smaller rigs, and only recently has a nicer, shinier rig — I don’t begrudge his context either way.

  • I like that European RV idea with the solar. People are always interested in how to put a few solar panels on the roof.
    The industry should adopt that idea of solar panels for siding for providing power in the RV.

  • We do not blame each other for any rv mistakes, anymore. Rosie and I made an rv list with duties for each of us when setting up and tearing down. We have had this for over four years now, and although we pretty much know it by heart, still read it aloud to each other, hug, kiss and either pour a cocktail, if we just got in town, or buckle up our seat belts and drive off!!
    Great newsletter

  • Your comments about KOA campgrounds are spot-on Chuck. We’ve stayed at quite a few, and there seems to be no minimum standard. From the beautiful Tuscon/Lazydays KOA to the poorly run dump called Auburn Hills/Holly KOA, they are similar in name only. My advice to anyone considering a visit is to read the reviews!

  • Buzz Electric, No, none of those. I never had an RV longer than 24 feet until a year ago. So that’s about 33 years of my life with a shorter RV and two with a 32-footer, which most full-timers would not call large. Older units: No bias at all, as long as the owners keep them up. People without a lot of money: No bias. I was broke most of my life as I struggled to find my way and understand that struggling to make one’s ends meet is no fun.

  • Chuck, how are you any different then the poor people who have to live full time in a run down RV? By full timing you are taking up valuable RV spaces just like the poor people living in these low end trailer courts discussed as an RV park. Another observation about the huge increase in RV ownership, is that most of them are parked in the back yard 9 Months out of the year. Just like owning a boat.

    • Charles, that’s a tough question to answer: I occupy an RV park site for a week most of the time, not all year. Sometimes I stay a month. You say that most RVs spend nine months a year in a backyard? Maybe. But half our audience spends at least half a year in theirs.

      To answer your question, I am no different from anyone else. I have more money than some, but less money than many, as well. What I have I worked hard for, and I have had some good luck along the way.

      I can’t really answer your question properly. I’d need to spend a lot of time thinking about it, and I’m not sure what your point is anyway.

      • Quote “The problem with the temporary workers is they take up valuable space once available to RVers on vacation or just passing through.”

        It’s too bad that some of us have to live almost full-time in our RVs just so we can pay the bills and support our families. Most of those workers would be more than happy to stay home and let you have your rv space if they could find the work at home. I for one enjoy the RV life and will continue to be a problem for you.
        And to help you answer Charles question – it doesn’t matter if you are taking a space for a night or 6 months – you are still taking up space on this planet. I have always felt that this newsletter leaned a little to the more “snobbish” side of the RV world so maybe you being full-time now will get you a little closer to the real world.

        • The middle class lost 14 trillion in wealth after the 2008 crash. Some recovered more quickly because of stock increases as opposed to the slow comeback of real estate. Also on our travels we found a fair amount of military staying in rvs because of fast mobilityie: tdys.

      • Chuck there is a verse that the poor will always be with us. Maybe what we see in some of these parks are a condition of poverty, and the heart of an owner who is willing to work with them. Clean camps should be a minimum even if poor or older RVs are occupying a spot. The owners need to keep order and neatness in mind when having fulltime residents in their parks.

  • Chuck, you’re spot-on about conditions in many parks (run down, too many permanent and/or seasonal “campers). Likewise your observation of poor conditions on many campgrounds that offer poor sites (unlevel, poor power,etc) including national chains. But it is YOUR DECISION to stay and , therefore, support these places. How many times have you left after seeing your site (even forfeiting your deposit) to protest their lack of respect for treating you fairly? Not enough I’ll bet.

    Our best recourse to these situations is to stop supporting these places, rate them accordingly on sites like, TripAdvisor, and others. And for the national chains send an email to their corporate office. Conducting some due dilligance ahead of time to select parks ahead of time helps set expectations too.

  • Oh my god, working people living in affordable housing. – with children and pets no less… Please screen them from our view but take the fruits of their labor for our enjoyment.

    • An RV is not “affordable housing”. For what the price an RV costs be it TT, 5’er, or MH you can buy a real mobile home that is set up in a park somewhere. The monthly lot fee is equivalent to what most long term rates are at an RV park.
      The living conditions for a family can’t compare to cramming every one into maybe 300-400 sq. ft RV.

  • And remove all funding from Forest Service, Parks Service, Dept. of Interior, etc. and make all public lands private for corporate profits..

  • We consider a trip successful when we didn’t have to stay in a KOA. After paying high overnight site fees, they then love to nickel and dime you to death for all of their “optional features”.

  • Quote: “But when you live in an RV full time, boondocking is a rare diversion. We want to live in our spacious RVs with the same comforts as home — good internet access; power for the AC, fridge and big screen TV and plenty of water for a nice hot shower.”

    Except for the plenty of hot water for a shower, we have everything mentioned for continuous boondocking or dry camping, with 650 watts of solar, 400 amp hours of lithium batteries, Verizon JetPac, Satellite TV, 32″ LED flat screen TV. IF we must have the AC on we run the generator. However on the few occasions we must run the AC we usually retreat to a RV Park or campground with elect.

    You can live very comfortably boondocking/dry camping, you just have to do your research, planning and learn how to do it.

    I probably should not be advocating the boondocking life. There are already getting to be to many folks scrambling for the nice BD spots.

    • Al and Sharon — where do you live, or should I ask where do you boondock? It is a whole lot easier to do it in the Southwest, with all the public land. Most people who talk about boondocking and how it’s crazy to pay and stay in a crowded RV park, boondock in the West. It’s just not so easy in other parts of the country.

  • We’ve been full-time for over three years. Even though we want an electric hookup we rarely stay at private parks. Not all of us full-time Rvers stay in the western states and have absolutely no problems finding COE and State Parks that offer sites with privacy and water and electric hookups from N.Y. to Florida. Camping with the Core of Engineers is a great book to add to your library. You’ll find lots of parks in the middle east, south and east that are wonderful with hookups.
    I feel you are putting out a rather negative view. Yes there is more competition for sites but those of us wishing to stay at these type of sites reserve well in advance. It’s a small price to pay for camping in natural settings.
    I try not to judge a campers RV by the age but by the person that inhabits it.

  • Chuck, your comments in the editor,s corner hit right at home. It could have been written by me, if I was a writer. We have stayed at 20 parks so far this year. A few were great, some passable, but far too many were downright terrible. All were overpriced. I am considering the purchase of a generator and staying in dry camps. RV parks are like a box of chocolates, you can’t go by the photo on the website.

  • Have a 2015 Winnebago ERA, 24-foot B-class motorhome. Best advice I ever received: you can never have too much electricity. Installed 260 watts of solar and 4 AGM batteries. Expensive, but worth it.
    Last legal form of discrimination: wealth. For people spending over $100K on RV and making over $100K income, state and private RV parks are dismal. Normally stay at Hampton Inn. For RV park’s $65.00 a night, you can stay at Motel 6. Only remedy is to buy a new A-class motorhome and stay in A-class RV parks to camp with high socio-economic people. CA is overrun with “Breakin’ Bad” RVs!

  • Stayed at Caballo state park in NM last Feb. Great view of the mountains on the Rio Grand. $22.00 for elec. water, sewer. Rangers very friendly and knowledgeable. Close to Truth or Consequences.

  • I am thinking of trading down to a Truck Camper. I have been a long weekend camper for 50 years since I returned from Vietnam. I have owned every different kind of Camper in that 50 years. When I had a Diesel Pusher I had to decide when I left home do I want to take my Boat or my Car I could not hitch up both. With the many 5th wheels I owned I had to decided if I wanted to tow the 5th wheel or my boat; I could not take both. With a truck camper I COULD TAKE BOTH!!
    but I am afraid that some RV Parks might look down on me and tell me they don’t take truck Campers? I now own a toy Hauler
    I will want to trade in on a Truck Camper and my 2012 Ford F250 Diesel 4×4 will be traded in on a new F450. Can anyone recommend a good Truck Camper?

    • We bought a truck camper in 05 and tow a boat. The camper has electric jacks so it is easy to drop the camper on the ground at our destination and do what-ever with or without the boat. Only one campground near Lake of the Ozarks complained when we dropped the camper to get a replacement wheel rim that was leaking. The campground was quite rude about it but we had no choice, had to get the weight off the truck.

    • Hi Mark! My husband and I just returned from camping in Alaska (from Ohio) in our Cirrus Truck Camper. We absolutely love the truck camper. This was our first long camping trip in it, after selling our 1976 FMC Motorcoach. We couldn’t be happier with our decision! We do more boondocking and city or municipal park camping over commercial RV parks. The shorter weekend trips we have taken with the truck camper have been going to race tracks for kart racing, towing a small trailer.
      I hope that helps! Good luck making your decision!

  • Other than voiding the warranty can any propane tankless water heater rated for inside be installed in an RV? I ask about the warranty because there are only a few that are rated for an RV.
    Thank you for your thoughts on this issue.

    • Marilyn, it’s not so much about the warranty, but about code compliancy. For safety reasons, only “listed” appliances should be installed in any RV. There are a few instantaneous water heaters available for use in an RV, none of which will void the warranty or violate the code if installed properly. Best to stick with an RV-rated and listed water heater to avoid issues.

  • Chuck

    Did your newsletter discontinue the interesting internet sites, usually three of them, that were in each issue. I really liked those interesting links.

  • re: Random RV Thought
    ” it is very comforting to know you are camped in an RV and not a tent.”

    Does your staff read your newsletter? “Somewhat comforting” would be much more realistic. I guess RV safety depends on how close you are to the nearest tent (an easier target).

    Bears can tear the door off a car.

      • Yeah, yeah, Irv. But still, we’d rather be surrounded by the somewhat solid sides of an RV than a piece of cloth. It would give you a little more time to grab your bear spray, anyway. —Diane at aka Mountain Mama

  • For starters, I am a full time RVer with a Class C Sunseeker in a private park.I decided back in 2010 after selling my big home with all its responsibilities to go full time and never looked back. AT the ripe old age of 80 and going on 60, I discovered RVing is the only way to go. The park I am currently residing is somewhat run down, but home to me. After almost eight years on the road, going back to a house . is out of the question. Life is not perfect as a full time RVer but it is manageable. Eight years going on 15. Way to go. 80% of the campers are full time with the rest overnighters, one night or two. Space is always available for other campers. See you at the show on Wednesday.

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