News, Information & Advice for RVers
The people making these negative comments are the exact reason I quit the work camping biz.
Spot on Chuck ! I thought the same on the responses you received. I am 65 and disabled, camping in a tent is no longer an option for me.
Unfortunately, some folks have nothing better to do than complain. On your site or the 100’s of facebook groups catering to RVer’s, you will find this kind of talk. Someone will say I need advice on which truck to buy to tow my 5er and the conversations get really nasty, we all want social media right?
Mind you most of the questions are needless if people would just use say Google to get a wealth of information. Instead of going outside and enjoying the landscape to many people sit on their butts and tell everyone else how to live, now I say this as I am sitting at my computer typing this. Now I do this every day for an hour and your weekly email is part of this time.
Enjoy your viewpoints as you write like I do, now I am not a writer by any means but I have a blog which I have let my opinion flow many times.
Check it out http://www.brainrattle.info
Great job with the essay and nicely done with your rebuttal. I do believe the majority of us understood your point (s) in you essay. As for the thoughtless responders, well when you use a public forum you do have to put up with the less enlightened I guess.
I’m brand new to the rv world. I have noticed that there is quite a bit of judgement in rv groups. I will be living in my motorhome full time soon and I’m starting to wonder if I will get along with other RVers and will I be able to live my life without someone else’s two cents?
Being new to RVing, you will receive a lot of ‘camp fire’ solutions to problems/issues relating to how to do things and how to make the repairs and/or systems operations. listen/evaluate/verify with a reliable sources if you are not comfortabe with the information.
I hope you don’t get discouraged by a few bad apples, Carolyn. I think negative people are more likely to complain than those of us who are busy out enjoying the wonderful outdoors. You’ll meet a few people you don’t like, but that’s the beauty of RVing. Either they or you will move on soon!
Carolyn, suggest you join Escapees and Family Motor Coach Association. We have found great people in both of these groups. They each have their own annual get togethers where a lot can be learned about the RV lifestyle.
The great big plus about both groups is that they are first and foremost… FUN
I really look forward to reading your honest opinion on the RV industry and lifestyle. I am 72 and am reminded of the Ricky Nelson song Garden Party. “You can’t please everyone so you got to please yourself.” Keep up the good work Chuck! Jeff
Had it happened to them at that KOA – the complainers would turn into whiners – run to Facebook and trash everything and everyone! Thanks for taking the time to publish informative and relative RV matters.
Live and let live, that is my motto. I live as I please and never question why someone else doe it different. Life is a Blessing, one of our freedoms.
I am 82 years old, and with Gods Blessing I will park my R.V. where I feel like it. My mother always said if you can’t say something good about someone. keep quiet.
You were spot on in your rebuttal. I am so tired of these self appointed judges in the RV hobby, that I have completely given up on the forums for information.
Keep on doing what you have done so well for so long. You will always have one faithful reader.
Exactly. This is one of the few RV internet things that is consistent, well written, and enjoyable. I haven’t participated in any forums for over a year. We live in the age of the Kardashians I guess.
Chuck, we live in an rv park in Killeen TX because our son in overseas and we are here to help his wife and kids. The campground is about $350 per month plus electric, has concrete pads, and the owner operators are extremely friendly. Our 5th wheel cost about $30,000 used and we plan to travel some as well as boondock when we can. Sorry for the unpleasant comments as we enjoy your newsletter. BTW the campground we are in is Casita CG in Killeen,TX and has a mix of military, travel workers etc. some who have been there 3years because of work. Keep up the good work.
I enjoy your articles, including last week. Keep on keeping on….
It’s sad, but certain professional media types and politicians are teaching our youth the way to disagree with a view point is to completely destroy and defame the opposition in social media. It happens every day. Chuck, consider the source when reading replays from them. They are truly sad individuals. I enjoy my first cup of coffee every Saturday morning with RVTravel. After 10 years of total RV enjoyment, You tell/teach me something I didn’t know.
Very well put.
I am also a believer that KOA campgrounds were supposed to be the cream of the crop of campgrounds. But I have come to find that they are just a franchisor. They sell their name for advertising only. When you have a complaint, their corporate office will likely tell you that each individual campground is independently owned and operated. They must not have many requirements to become a KOA. They have no power over the cream of the campgrounds. Sour cream.
We too have found similar issues with older KOA parks. Tightly spaced, noisey and children not respecting your space. We avoid them at all cost. In order to check the rates you have to complete your registration. Never again.
I knew what you were trying to say, Chuck. Some people see what they wish to see and never really learn anything. For us, we use the motorhome to see the country and do many, many other things. How one uses theirs is their business, as it is my business how I use it. Good work, keep it up!
No Chuck, don’t feel rejected. You were right on, last week and this. A MESSAGE TO KOA, with respect, perhaps their program of periodic vetting needs further attention.
Anymore, it seems the comment section of a video or article becomes a cesspool of negativity; many are attacks by keyboard warriors that never learned how to disagree without being disagreeable. These types of negative commenters are met with my indifference.
I learn a lot here. I say carry on, Chuck. You are appreciated.
I agree with your comments about the different ways people use RV ‘s and motorbikes. All are legitimate and nobody should disparage one over the other. I have backpacked and slept on the ground, tent-camped with the family, and now have a “luxury” motor home. At our age and health, the luxuries are becoming necessities!
Chuck…I have never seen an article from you that was not, in one way or another, focused upon improving everyone’s RV experience. Keep doing exactly what you have been doing…the vast majority of us, your readers, are behind you 100%!
Keep on writing, we have stayed at some nasty pkaces not by choice at times due to emergencies, and there are always those RVers that look down their noses at others. so many opininated, nasty, narrow minded busy bodies. Many people stay in RV parks close to medical facilities for medical treatments, cancer, life support or a dying family member and have no choices. So to all those judgmental people , karma. .
As with most others, I did understand what you were getting at in your article. I have been a fan since the paper newsletter days. I am 76 and still enjoy traveling with friends in my Class C . Keep up the good work.
It is amazing the liberty that people take with insulting or downright offensive comments-hiding behind the anonymity of the internet. Thank you for your article-I found it informative and well written. We have a 43′ diesel pusher, and I can think of half a dozen reasons why staying at a KOA (or other similar accommodation) makes sense when on the road.
I fully agree with you that since KOA is the first name in chain campgrounds, their customers should be able to count on a basic set of standards. We’ve stayed at wonderful KOAs, and a couple down right scary ones. Keep on writing!
I was lucky enough to discover your newsletter soon after I decided to become a full-time RVer. In my younger days, I tent camped from my car, backpacked to spectacular places like the Napali Coast in Hawaii, and canoed to peaceful spots on scenic rivers to sleep under the stars. I’m 70 now and need more comfortable accommodations! Plus I want to travel North America to see all the places I missed while employed. You have provided a “university” education in RVing for me! I eagerly look forward to sitting down every Saturday morning and reading your informative pages. You not only provide timely and helpful information in the weekly offer, but the links and ideas in them lead me off on a day-long quest to learn more and more. I read and absorb it all, discover new destinations or campsites to add to my itinerary, and copy tips and advice into my “Full-Time RVing” spreadsheet. This Saturday ritual energizes me to keep working toward my goal of selling my house and taking to the road soon! So just remember that there are thousands of people reading and learning from your articles, but we are so busy using what you share with us that we forget to take time to say thank you. Negative people are always looking for somewhere to spew. I’m sorry some of it landed on you. Thank you for helping so many of us enjoy the RVing lifestyle.
Chuck I hope you continue with your writing and personal views on parks and other things. It is refreshing to read something that is not written to be politically correct. I’m retired military and have been camping since the late 60’s. We camped around Europe in a tent, and have had some type of RV since early 70’s. We’ve camped next to the same type of people that complain on your newsletters. And I’ll tell you , they are a lot more distressing than a damn sewer pipe near your front door. So continue with your good work, plus I enjoy seeing those idiots pissed off.
…..Keep up the good work Chuck….I do enjoy all of you comments about rv parks, the recalls on new rigs and follow your travels across the good ol USA…..We have traveled the states for 11 years now and can surely concur with your viewpoints….Look forward to your newsletter each week and is very informative for us retired folk.
The articles of yours that I have read have all seemed to have one purpose, to improve the world of RVing. Thanks for being a vocal advocate for a poorly represented constituency.
Amazing that a KOA corporate repreresentative considers a
sewer pipe and drain at your door step in keeping with KOA facility and service standards. I am a KOA member and have camped at several KOA campgrounds which were well maintained. Thanks for the Intel on this particular unit and your entertaining & informative newsletter.
We just returned from a KOA park that we found to be very good. We were there with a group of Travelling Elks and were concerned as our last experience with KOA parks was much like the one you described, Chuck. I wish that KOA management would realize that they have a problem with some of their parks and get them to either come up to the a better standard or else drop them from their organization.
Don, some of the KOAs are really nice. But some are dreadful even dumpy. The dreadful ones really need a major makeover. If not, I agree with you that they should be dumped from the system.
Chuck, as always, your damned if you do and damned if you don’t. My wife and I full timed for 6 years and just recently came back from our buck list trip to Alaska. Believe me when I say, we have seen the good and the bad when it comes to RV parks, no matter if it is a KOA, a GOOD SAM or Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s park.
I was one who commented on your video and can wholly agree with what you showed and stated. A sewer hose in front of my door would be unacceptable as well.
Heck, I even goes so far as to carry a spray bottle with Clorox in it to spray the water faucet before and after I install my fresh water hose. I have seen the dirty hands with the sewer hose and then hooking up the water with no regards to the lack of sanitary commitment from fellow RVer’s. Yuck!
Keep up the great articles and camp on!
Keep up the great work Chuck! Tell it like it is and for those who can’t handle it….so be it.
Fortunately, most RVers are great people enjoying their dream, and we certainly are. After retiring in ’02, I worked as a RV Service Tech seasonally for 10 years at eight different shops around the country. It was a great experience getting to meet people from all over the country and hear about their travels and backgrounds. I would say that 99% of RVers great people enjoying a great lifestyle. Then there were the ‘few’ that I was glad I wouldn’t be seeing again and happy that I wasn’t their spouse!
Acknowledging your comments in the article about campgrounds, KOA is at the bottom of my list as a last resort for a place to stay, but I don’t question why those who like to stay there. For all of us, we have occasionally experienced campgrounds like you wrote about. As in RV manufacturing quality which you have alluded to in several articles in the past, you wonder where the designers came from and if they are even RVers or have a RV background, especially when it comes making repairs and what they were thinking (or not). The same holds true for campground architects…if one is even involved in the design. I think we all have seen campgrounds where the layout, like you were correctly referred to in your article, were not designed by someone with a RV background. With this said, we will not change our full-time RV lifestyle….health will be the determining factor after 15+ years on the road.
Keep the wheels turning Chuck, so the tires don’t get square!
Bee, most of the RV industry leaders are not RVers. I bet only a small percentage of those who build RVs have ever spent a night in one in a campground.
It would be interesting to know the statistics detailing the knowledge/experience/background of the people involved in the RV & campground design/repair/functionality…..then again, maybe not!
I’m currently in a very large KOA in Okeechobee, FL. Nice park. However the water, sewer and electric are all grouped together, and many, like my site have an elevated sewer pipe that makes it very difficult to disconnect without spilling some. Fortunately they run at the back property line.
Keep up the good work on reporting problems in the RV industry.
I agree with all the others who have commended you for your valuable service to RVers. I always enjoy your newsletters. As to the article about no longer needing public campgrounds, I don’t see how anyone could interpret your comments as suggesting that the campgrounds be done away with. They obviously weren’t paying attention to your actual words. Keep up the good work.
I couldn’t agree more with you. I try to avoid the “my way or the highway” people as much as possible…I just wish it more possible!
Thank you for all the good writing and info you pass on to us. We look forward to your articles every saturday 🙂
Ditto, brother. Chuck’s got my sincere admiration & a donation or three.
We do too! People just like to bitch these day and I agree, rudeness is the thing these days! Keep writing and putting out the info! No matter where you stay I still read! Lol
Let the boondockers flourish, that opens up much-needed RV campsites in parks!
I don’t stay at campsites but I’m lucky to be mobile enough with a reliable rig. I can think of many circumstances when I might prefer a campsite–arriving very late in the night, as the author noted because the site is near, say, the VA, or some other city errand, waiting on my tow vehicle to get repaired, or maybe after a month of January propane bills I want to get some cheap juice, or maybe you just like campsites, I wouldn’t criticize anyone going there.
But regardless of site preference, no campsite, boondocking or paved site, should have unsanitary conditions as the septic/sewer that your video showed. Most of us would mutter quietly but never take action. I commend your efforts to make a cleaner campsite. Never know when I might need it.
It isn’t you Chuck. We seem to live in a day & time when civility has “gone out the window,.” From road rage to bad behavior in large retail chain stores, courtesy and being polite are not practiced.. It is the same -minded folks that are rude in all venues.
Stick to your game plan of improving the RV industry. Sewer problems don’t apply to just campsites….sometimes they apply to the humans in them. (their mouths especially). Hopefully the rest of us can set an example that will have a good impact.
I look forward to your essays every week and appreciate your efforts in trying to make the RV life better for everyone. Keep up the great work and keep the narrative going.
My wife and I are preparing now for our first cross-country adventure and will be staying in all types of parks: state, national, and private including KOA and Good Sam. I’ll be writing a blog as we go (elandemsadventure.blogspot.com) if you are interested in following our experiences.
Chuck, I’m a parrot to all those, listed above, who applaud your writing, and deeply appreciate your efforts to improve RV’ing for everybody. And as you know our World of camping and Rv leisure time has changed, tremendously!
So keep on clucking, and crowing, about the principles that most of us live by; one of which is “The Golden Rule”, in its positive form!
And keep up your writing…for the sake of us all!
Hey Chuck,stop the presses!! I just googled cranky fat cat rv owner,and geuss what? your picture appeared! Just joking pal,hope I made you smile,John’Duke”Wayne would be proud of a straight shooter,happy camping pilgrim.
Been camping since I was a youngster and Rv’ing since 1975, so have seen it all and have used every type of camping apparatus….your commentary is spot on and the main reason I read, and financially support, your writings. Keep fighting the good fight so my grandchildren can enjoy this pastime and truly see America!
If anyone is looking for a spot for your RV during the total solar eclipse this August, check this place out in Oregon! http://www.totaleclipsecamping.com
The world will go dark for over 2 minutes, where will you be?
Keep up the good work Chuck. I agree with you and support you. That’s why I have sent in contributions these last two years.
Chuck, I wanted to Thank you, but the 52 others before me have said it all. Everything you said in your article was thought provoking and true. I’m not anti-KOA but until corporate does something to clean up the dumps, I will not stay at any KOA. Keep up the good work and ignore the rude haters. Anonymity has given them a voice, although a very rude one. Upon meeting some of these rude idiots, they would not be able to look you in the eyes. Once again thank you and keep that keyboard hot!!!
Too bad the KOA rep. was as tone deaf as the United Airlines CEO. Amazing the larger these groups or corporations get the quicker they seem to forget who they serve and who created their success (their customers)….
Too bad. Chuck keep up the good fight and shine a light on these issues. It is appreciated. We RVers need a voice.
Chuck, I agree with your article and your follow-up. I have stayed at KOA’s and Yogi Bear Parks with the same problem with the sewer hookup. Maybe, the parks have not caught up to the growing number of campers and I suspect they made more sites to attract more campers. Thereby, making the sites smaller and less attractive. If you stay one or two nights that might not be a problem for some, but I do not return to those campgrounds. Camping is a lifetime experience and great memories are always a good thing. Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your articles. I am planning our next “great get away”.
“KOA is the largest chain of commercial campgrounds in the world and should be setting the bar high for other RV park operators.”
It is too bad that KOA has become slave to the almighty dollar and now taking anyone that wants to fly KOA banner in as a park.
Chuck, I have been reading your newsletter for a long time. And in the past I ordered quite a few things from your bookstore. I wish you still had it.
Your writing is first rate and thought provoking. I totally agree with your assessment of RV parks and the poor quality of the RV’s made today. Keep up the good fight.
Chuck, you do a fine job. Please don’t let the negatives get to you. There are far more friendliest out here. Your article had something to say, which I agree with, and you said it well. I’m sorry for those who misunderstood you — seems there are always people who are determined to misunderstand. Keep up the good work. I like to read your opinions whether I agree with them or not. So keep ’em coming. Thanks. (I’ll send a check when I can. )
America continues to become homogenized. Go to an IHOP anywhere in the country and you get the same experience. Go to a Kohl’s department store (you pick the place). It’s the same as any other Kohl’s. The list goes on (Office Depot, Home Depot, Best Buy). National chains bring consistency (and tedium). They also tend to drive smaller stores out of business.
KOA attempts to do the same thing, with much looser standards than any other franchisers. As a full-time RVer who has been doing this for many years, my opinion of KOA is also one of consistency. While KOA parks vary from good to bad, just like other, non-franchised parks, there is always one-thing that sets them apart. Experience has taught me that they are almost always more expensive than others. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Other times you don’t. YMMV.
I just started reading the newsletter, last month, and I think you are great! I understood what you were saying (don’t understand why others didn’t) and I agree with you, but even if I didn’t, I still respect your right to write!
Chuck – you are one of the very few writers that I can honestly say that I respect! I’ve got to give you HUGE kudos for your patience toward the idiotic, stupid, and uninformed comments made by people who are clearly unable to tell which end of the toilet paper to use first! I’ve been an avid reader of RV Travel for two plus years, and I still completely enjoy it! I’m an avid boondocker, but I try to follow your example of giving each person their space to do what their heart desires with their RV. Thanks, and keep up the good work!
Precisely. You’ve hit the nail on the head for so many faithful readers. While I don’t and haven’t agreed with everything you’ve written, RV parks used to be something to be proud of and stay in. Sadly, that single KOA is not “unique.” And I’m learning from you what I want to see in a park before I go there. You never advocated getting rid of dispersed or free campgrounds. I wish people would treat those campgrounds with respect; there are pigs who are endangering it for others. So you paid $85k for your rig- you earned the money, you can spend it any way you want. I paid $203 for mine- I have to do a lot of work on it. It’s a vintage orphan- I can’t wait to show off my work. For all your naysayers (and mine), a big, sloppy, wet, booger-filled raspberry. Most of them probably don’t own an RV anyhow.
I agree! Chuck tells it like it is. He doesn’t live in a dream world. And for those who said he should have boon docked instead of staying at a KOA, do they really feel he was unjustified in expecting a decent, safe place to park his rig? That is absurd. He paid for his space in good faith and should be able to expect something decent for his hard earned cash outlay. Society is lowering its standards too often. People are getting away with too much. I have been burned by two contractors in the past two years and they both told me no one else has ever complained about their work. Really? Perhaps it is because most people are too ignorant to recognize there is a problem or they are like those lazy, complacent people who find it offensive that Chuck is complaining. Wake up people. The only way things are going to change is for people to step up and demand what they paid for. YES, Kudos to Chuck for always trying to do the right thing. Thank you Chuck.
Ditto! You took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you for expressing so well what many supporters are probably feeling. What really got me were the folks who thought Chuck was advocating getting rid of campgrounds. I guess “read AND comprehend” isn’t exactly common practice nowadays with some folks.
I’m probably jumping the gun, by a week. But Re: your article on small vs large, there are some things I agree with and others I disagree with. To be honest, it was your decision to start “squatting” for a month at a time. I know FT RV’ers, who travel in 42′ and 45′ rigs and very seldom stay in a RV park or resort more then a week before moving on to new adventures, sights, and a new area to explore. I myself have done some wild boondocking, but after a couple of days, I’m ready to move on. My human batteries are recharged and I’m ready for new challenges. Lastly, Walmart and other stores who allow overnight parking, usually have well lit, security patrolled parking lots, and although I know there may be some areas that evoke concerns, most don’t. I never did understand being concerned about overnighting in a parking lot vs being out in the wild with no cell signal and no secondary means of transportation. Maybe you can do an article and be more detailed about those concerns, I could be missing something…
Hi Chuck, liked the article, I wouldn’t loose much sleep over the “my way or the highway comments”, as I see it it’s jus a sign of the times, and this bad behavior emulates more of the big problem, no respect for other peoples opinion, entitlement issues abound in this country, and us old geezers are not done yet, and we control more wealth and power in this country than many other generations, “we earned it!”, as for big corporations, our age group calls them out when we feel the need to let them know about our dissatisfaction, we are a driving force for big change in this country, always have been always will be, so instead of whining and complaining, maybe the people doing the majority of it should look in the mirror, quit acting like the big corporations and start acting like a responsible , non-entitled, caring human being, “put yourself in someone else’s shoes , before you open your pie hole.”
I stay at KOAs more often than I thought I would. As a female solo RVer traveling between jobs, they are usually predictable in quality – and as you mentioned, mom and pop operations.
Some keep the resident trailers in the back and overnighters up front.
I had an issue in West TX where my a/c went out, the local RV tech coukdnt fix it and the owners let me stay overnight in an air conditioned basic camping cabin (no bath/kitchen).
I have a small RV and usually request a corner site to avoid problems with neighboring RVs.
Everything has a trade off as you found out when you acquirred a bigger RV
I have only worked at one campground in my 6 years full-timing. South Padre Island KOA, they had some really long pull thrus, close together, with the sewer/picnic table issue. I suggested to the campers to stagger the RV with the neighbor to avoid this and because the sites were long, it worked for many of them.
I enjoy reading your newsletter and blog and am glad you are exposing these issues, but I must say that you are putting too much of your personal feelings into some articles and they almost sound like whining or regret for getting a bigger RV.
Happy Travels and keep reporting, hopefully you can find the good in this RV life.
Teri, I do have some regrets about getting a bigger RV. But I chose a full-time life and I like a certain degree of comfort, so it’s necessary. As far as my own personality in this newsletter, well, that’s the way I have operated for the last 15 years. It’s why I continue to do what I do and why I love doing it so much. I do whine sometimes. I have found that when I whine, a lot of people agree with me. Those that do not leave their comments, so everybody gets their say. I understand what you are saying and appreciate you weighing in.
Hi Chuck: Just thought I’d Chime in too. Really enjoy all your comments, keep on writing your articles. The people before me have said it all. I just wanted you to know I’m one more. Thanks.