By Chuck Woodbury
I’m upset about something I observed at an RV show I attended last weekend.
After walking around, checking out all the RVs, I realized something that horrified the “camper” in me. Half of the motorhomes — and there were a couple of hundred — had outdoor televisions. Half! And most of those also had outdoor stereos with big ol’ speakers where you could blast Conway Twitty to the far ends of the KOA!
I don’t like Conway Twitty and I also don’t like Justin Bieber — and especially when I am camping, when I prefer the sounds of nature, say, a babbling brook. I do not enjoy listening to somebody else’s music!
But it seems RV manufacturers are cranking out RVs equipped with boomboxes and massive outdoor TVs as fast as they can, and they’re apparently selling like hotcakes. The RV makers earn extra money selling these devices. And face it, when Brandon and Jessica are buying their first RV with zero down and easy payments for 12 years, the TV and boombox only adds an extra $3.78 a month. “Sure, toss it in.”
So, okay, the RV makers have every right to sell something that people want and are willing to pay for. I get that. I guess I am upset that camping has come to this.
Now, if an RVer is boondocking ten miles from the nearest other human, then it seems perfectly fine to me that he or she can blast whatever they want. Maybe a coyote will hear. Big deal. But, speaking personally, when I am unfortunate enough to be camped next to an RVer with an outdoor boombox and big screen TV then I just figure there goes my nice peaceful camping experience.
I believe RV manufacturers and dealers don’t care a hoot about people who buy their RVs beyond if they can qualify for a loan. If they want to buy a big ol’ outdoor stereo, no problem! I bet only 10 percent of RV industry big wigs have even spent a night in an RV, much less in a campground. What do they know about camping? What do they know about listening to their neighbor 15 feet away listening to Zombies getting impaled on the Walking Dead?
Few campground owners care how an RV is equipped as long as the camper pays his $40. Now, I know that some RV park owners do care, but, alas, there are bills to pay and the more campers an owner can squeeze in, the better for the bottom line. It’s none of their business if someone has an outdoor TV or stereo until maybe later if someone complains.
When I wrote recently about crowded RV parks, I received several dozen letters from readers. “We don’t go to RV parks anymore,” many of them said, citing cramped conditions, noise and the invading smoke of campfires ten feet away.
I know I’m preaching to the choir here. Most of the readers of this website are older and care about their neighbors and would never crank up the music or TV if it offended others.
I guess I’m just frustrated. Thanks for listening.