Handling “needy” RV campground neighbors


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
We have been full-time RVing for about seven years. We have met many wonderful people. However, occasionally we meet a stalker. It is usually a single person, perhaps lonely. The latest example happened in the Everglades National Park at Flamingo Campground. I called him “Ears.”

My husband could not step foot out of our motorhome before this fellow camper was “Johnny on the spot.” He had to be sitting at his trailer window watching for my husband to exit. It was almost funny, if not so annoying. My husband was very patient and spent time letting this guy shadow him and talk his ear off, but finally we moved to another campground ahead of schedule because it became too annoying.

Should we have stayed and explained to this person that we needed less contact? It was very awkward. We kept looking in the rearview mirror as we headed north to see if we were being tailed. —An Earful in Florida

Dear Earful:
The answer would depend on how flexible you are. I applaud your husband’s patience. Some people are lonely and need a listening post. However, there must be some limitations. If the person is rude, irritating, nosy or inconsiderate in some way, I would have no problem setting them straight. First with some subtle hints, and if that didn’t work, being more direct.

Sometimes you do not have the convenience of moving. Perhaps you have paid in advance for a long-term space. Each instance would be a judgment call on the annoying scale of one to ten. I think you will agree in your seven years of living the RV lifestyle, the majority of the people you connect with are a joy, not a hassle. A huge part of this lifestyle is meeting interesting people from all walks of life. That is not to say that you have to spark with every camping neighbor you meet. This is no different that any other relationship problem you encounter in life. Make good judgments and watch your rearview mirror. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

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11 Thoughts to “Handling “needy” RV campground neighbors”

  1. Mel Goddard

    Before I got into RVing, My activity was hiking and backpacking. (I’m still a member of the ‘Bruce Trail Conservancey’.)
    Occasionally when on a hike with a group, there was always ‘SOMEONE’ would talk, talk, talk, and spoil the peacefullness of the walk.
    Twice now I turned to them and said: “XXXX you have been talking for over an hour and haven’t said anything yet! Give it a rest!!”
    One lady huffed: “Well, I NEVER”!
    So I said: ” Yah, I know, and it’s about time you did!”
    Everyone clapped approval.

  2. Patti Lounsbury

    My husband is also the guy who attracts those who want to gab forever, or tell him their life story with all the gory details. He is quite nice and will let his ear be bent when all he wants to do is sit and relax in quiet mode. Luckily we work well as a team and I will ” need him to come in and help ” with something before it gets to be too much, while smiling apologetically at his company for stealing him away. Sometimes people are just lonely or are in need of a kindred spirit to chat with, so we try to be as gentle as possible in establishing a bit of space.

  3. Susan

    You never know why someone is holed up. We’re full timers traveling around the country for a year now and enjoyed daily outings until a recent cancer diagnosis, pain, narcotics, chemo, etc. keeps us homebound a great deal of the time. We go out in the mornings when pain is less, stay home in afternoons, in an area rife with entertainment opportunities. So don’t judge.

    1. Roger

      I don’t see any judging in this situation. Just a complaint about people who don’t have any concept of what the limits of polite conversation are, or if they do, have no respect for those limits or their neighbor.

  4. squeakytiki

    I”m blunt, although I try not to be rude about it. Some people talk out of nervousness, or it’s possible they’re ‘on the spectrum’ somewhere and have trouble picking up those unspoken social cues. When you come right out and say ‘Boy, you like to talk an awful lot.’ they will usually apologize and then become more pleasant to spend time around. Doesn’t always work though.

  5. Warren

    I have met him (Jeff, Jim, you name him). Always there for hours. Try to clean the outside of your rig and he talks continuously except for when he expects you to stop and answer. Wife has to come to door and save me.

  6. peaches

    I agree with Wolfe, we have been at some camgrounds and have not seen a soul outside. But, we do see their tv on so we know they are there. One couple asked me if there was something wrong with our motorhome because we spent so much rime outside!

    1. Roger

      LoL! I can relate to your last comment. We have a Class B “campervan”. At just 21′ with no slides, it’s nice, but of course we spend most of our time outside. Everybody RV’s for different reasons, but we bought ours primarily as a travelling adventure vehicle with basic conveniences. If I was going to stay inside most of the time, I’d rather be at my stick & bricks. I recognize that full timers don’t have that option though.

  7. Wolfe

    I have the opposite problem… I enjoy “meeting people from all walks of life”, but at most campgrounds folks are overly holed up in their megatrailers watching TV, or cliquish with only the group they brought. Obviously their right, but I think they miss a lot of what *I* enjoy about traveling…

    But then again, maybe I’m the stalker Shrink is talking about…

    1. RV Staff

      There’s not much scarier than a stalking wolf, Wolfe. 😉 —Diane at RVtravel.com

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