Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I think I created a monster. My wife has become obsessive with finding natural, remote camping sites that are between cheap and free. When we first bought our Class C motorhome I said we needed a small rig. I wanted to get away from the maddening crowds. Our previous rig was a 38 ft. Class A, and we discovered quickly that this big, comfortable motorhome would not allow us to squeeze into many camping areas we cherish.
Now that we have the smaller rig, my wife spends hours on the computer scouring websites and forums looking for clues to off the beaten path campsites. We do end up in some really nice sites, but I don’t think it is healthy for her to spend so much time searching for them. She says it is a very enjoyable hobby, no different than metal detecting, photography, or geocaching. I don’t want to deny her whatever enjoyment she gets from this excess, but it just doesn’t seem natural. Should I just shut up and drive, or do you agree that this is an odd pastime? —Daniel in the Boondocks
It all seems perfectly normal to me. There is a mutual aid service for people like your wife called BA (Boondockers Anonymous). It does not try to discourage members from spending time looking for remote camping, but it does encourage the sharing of information they find. This way other members will spend less time looking and more time finding.
Seriously, I have to question your hang-up with this “hobby” your wife seems to enjoy. I met a campground host that spent all her free time playing the computer game Farmville. Although I find that odd, she found it very enjoyable. There are different strokes for different folks. I actually spend a fair amount of time surfing the web for unique camping areas, and I often find some real gems that I have driven right by for years.
There are some great ebooks available online today with all kinds of good info on this very subject. I just read “RV Boondocking in Arizona,” published by the Frugal Shunpikers.
I thought I knew every nook and cranny in Arizona, but after reading this well written guide I was enlightened about many places I plan to explore over the next couple months. Also, there are many websites that can steer you in the right direction. Just search Google for “Free RV Campgrounds.” I also use RV forums for all kinds of great information including camping alternatives. Yes, I am a proud, longstanding member of BA. There is no twelve step program, but we have a great Texas Two Step that everyone seems to enjoy.
I am a great believer that the most important element of a successful relationship is communications. That is doubly important if you live in the close quarters of an RV. So don’t shut up, just drive. —Keep Smilin’, RV Shrink
The RV Shrink is not really a psychologist. But he does knows a lot.