By Mike Wendland
Mike and Jennifer Wendland publish the excellent website/blog Roadtreking, “Celebrating the RV Lifestyle.” Although the Wendlands are enthusiastic about their RV lifestyle, Mike takes an opportunity here to describe the couple’s top five RV frustrations.
Deplorable campground conditions
This, we believe, is one of the biggest scandals of the RV world. There are many campgrounds that could more accurately be described as overcrowded slums. What amazes me is that they have good reviews in the big publications, which tells me that either the reviews are phony, the publication doesn’t physically inspect the campgrounds or they are so out of date they are worthless.
Just this year we’ve stayed in campgrounds where the sewers are clogged, the bathroom toilets are clogged, the sites are dirty, the restrooms have bugs and broken windows, the water hookups leak, electric pedestals are dangerously loose and shorting out and the help is surly and indifferent.
We need to put pressure on campground associations, reviewing sources and sometimes local health departments. Filthy, ill kept campgrounds really do damage to the entire RV industry and need to be exposed, run out of business or forced to clean up.
Unscrupulous RV dealers
Yes, there are some of them, too. I hear a lot from readers about RV dealers who do shoddy service, bill for work or parts they didn’t install, price gouge and promise a certain delivery to get a sale but then keep backing off the date after purchase. Another complaint I’ve heard more than once is about salesmen who badmouth certain models (which are good sellers) so they can move out inventory on models they haven’t been able to sell. I recommend that new buyers get at least two quotes from competing dealers and get everything in very detailed writing before buying.
RV Class Discrimination
There are too many RV parks and resorts that refuse to allow Class B or C motorhomes to stay there. This often comes from communities that want upscale RVers but don’t want pop ups and tents and so they make zoning laws or regulations prohibiting overnight camping by units under a certain length. So even though a Class B or Class C motorhome may have cost as much as the Class A behemoths, they are not allowed entry. Personally, these resorts are not where I want to stay. If we wanted a subdivision, we’d have bought a vacation home instead of an RV. But a lot of folks have written me over the past two years who resent being excluded from RV resorts and I see their point: Such RV class discrimination is just wrong.
People who burn trash in their campfire rings
Burning your RV garbage in the campsite firepit is hazardous to your health and the health of those who are nearby and have to breath it. The typical household trash generated by RVers contains a lot of plastics and paper treated with chemicals, coatings, and inks. Besides the smoke, the ashes that remain contain concentrated amounts of these toxic materials that can blow away or seep into the soil and groundwater. Please, stop burning garbage!
This a broad class and includes people who don’t pick up after their pets, cigar smokers who stink up entire campgrounds, campers who insist on watching TV outside with the volume turned loud, those who arrive late at night after most people are asleep and proceed to shout directions and back up instructions as they set up camp, dogs left alone to bark and bark and bark, neighboring campers who use profanity in every other sentence and people who leave campground restrooms and showers filthy.
* * *
The simple way for us to avoid most of these frustrations has been to spend more and more time boondocking or alone by ourselves or with a few friends in state and national forests. That has been when we’ve most enjoyed RVing.
The more we RV, the more we are finding that big campgrounds are just not our thing.
How about you? What are your biggest RV frustrations and how do you get around them? Please leave a comment.
You can reach Mike at mike (at) roadtreking (dot) com