By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
First published on AmeriGO.com website
As RV travelers, you and I are often put into the group known as the “RV Community.” It’s a marketing and journalistic term that rounds all of us up into a herd to which one title is applied. I want to dispel for you, as a novice RVer, the myth of a homogeneous RV community.
More important, I want to point out why we’re better off not being part of a single community. As you travel, you’ll come across dozens, if not hundreds of different reasons people own or rent RVs and just as many ways they use their “recreational vehicles.” I put that term in quotes, because both can be inappropriate. Not everyone actually uses an RV for recreation. “Vehicle” often implies a motorized conveyance, but it also covers non-motorized contraptions like 5th wheels, trailers and bicycles.
Depending on how you use your RV, you will probably encounter all sorts of RV owners/travelers/renters (and for the rest of this article, let’s just lump us all under the term “owners”). I would say the predominance of folks we’ve met in campgrounds are either weekend users or full-time travelers, some of them working from their rigs (as I did for five years). But, every now and then we talk with someone who travels the countryside going from job to job, parking in one place for a week, a month or more.
Then there are “snowbirds,” who live double lives. Usually they are at home in the northern tier of states or in Canadian provinces for about six months until they head south to the Sunbelt states and Mexico, where they can enjoy the winter in shorts and t-shirts. In the north, they are part of a neighborhood with people they’ve known for years; in the south, they meet the same people year-after-year — Part 2 of their double life.
Out in the wilds, RVs are owned by different types of creatures – either the toy-hauler sports enthusiasts (also found at racecar tracks); boondockers who want to get off the grid, save bucks and experience life almost in the raw; and nature-lovers, including photojournalists.
Grandma and Grandpa love to host their children and especially their grandchildren, who are gaining an appreciation for the richness that this country has to offer. When we toured full-time, we were always hoping to encounter a nearby music event or local festival. It wasn’t our purpose for traveling, but it gave us a direction. Lots of “our kind of people” travel from place to place checking off attractions as they go, like ballparks, national parks, state capitals, presidential museums, etc.
In private RV parks, side-by-side sites are mostly filled with motorhomes and 5th wheels. These are primarily RVs built for comfort, more of a home-on-wheels than smaller rigs, like truck-campers and travel trailers. With prices that range from under 100 grand to over a million, owners buy the luxury that is within their pocketbooks. The size of the rig limits the places they can go, but we’ve known one Prevost couple willing to take their 7-figure fancy bright-red-and-stainless-steel bus off-road.
Truck-camper RVers are often fishermen. Not only can they drive up next to just about any remote stream, they have the advantage of being able to pull their boat or put it on the roof. We can’t do that in a travel trailer, and motorhomes usually tow a run-about car behind.
You’ll probably come across single men and women, widows, 21st Century beatniks and gay couples in your days on the road. There are a few full-time families home-schooling their youngsters (like AmeriGO bloggers Susie & Dan Kellogg). We meet many foreigners taking advantage of extended vacations, soaking up the many wonders of North America. Then there was Dermott, an Englishman, a physician, college professor, a Shakespeare enthusiast, with whom we struck up a conversation that we didn’t want to end.
Not every RV houses an interesting story or a memorable character. Yet, if you’ve gotten the gist of this blog, you are realizing that to lump all of us into one community is folly. A strong reason to get on the road in your RV is the people you meet. Unlike the manicured neighborhood where most of us live, when we’re dispersed along the highways and byways of America, we’re not all members of the same types of organizations. We don’t all have children the same ages. While the predominance of RVers is definitely Caucasian American, our backgrounds and reasons for loading up and taking off are diverse.
We are wonderfully not a single community. If you extend your reach to neighbors in your RV environment, you’re bound to enhance your life. Every time we get on the road, we know we’ll run into some interesting people, and that’s a big reason we can call ourselves “The Never-Bored RVers.” We look forward to crossing paths and talking with you on down the road.
© Photo by Barry Zander. All rights reserved.