Thursday, November 25, 2010

Campground Segregation

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I am seeking help with a problem I have had ever since I started full-time RVing. I am single and I have a wonderful little rig. I pull a 17 foot Casita with an older model Jeep Wrangler Laredo. I have developed a complex over the past several years about my size. Everyone seems to believe that size matters. I don’t feel bigger is better, but in many situations I am treated as small and insignificant. I love to Kayak and carry an inflatable 12’ Sea Eagle kayak. I prefer to camp near the water and I am finding that many parks reserve their water sites strictly for larger and newer rigs than mine. It seems discriminatory. I am willing to pay the value added price for the water sites, but the big dogs do not seem to want me hanging out with them.

I was recently in Florida on the Ocklawaha River at a wonderful campground. The river sites were 25 percent more money. I was willing to pay but was informed that I was “too small.” There were sites available but the neighborhood was occupied only by monster motorhomes in the several hundred thousand dollar range. I can afford to buy a comparable rig with pocket change, like those taking up the primo spaces, but I prefer my small, unique, reliable, uncomplicated Casita. Do you suggest I get professional help or buy Psychology for Dummies on Amazon? I feel I need to deal with this malady soon. If I don’t nip it in the bud it could end up taking over my life as increasingly more campgrounds become elitist country clubs.
--David in Goliath, Ga.

Dear David:
You need to concentrate on the phrase “Small Is Beautiful.” This phrase is believed to empower people more in contrast with phrases such as “bigger is better.” Size does matter but why not “Less is More.” Size matters to you in your choice of rig size. It also matters to those privileged river site residents. I see two scenarios evolving in the RV world. The first is the one you describe. Many campgrounds are developing themselves to cater only to the high-end RV set or segregating as you in your case. This could change radically as more people are opting for smaller and more fuel efficient rigs since the economic crash and spiking oil prices.

I personally find it offensive when I am denied a space in a campground because of the age or size of my rig. However, mental health is best maintained by rationalizing these social realities. I would not, and do not hesitate to display my displeasure with campground owners who flagrantly tell me I am not good enough for some section of their park. You are as much of the economic engine that runs the ever-changing camping industry as anyone else. You vote with your dollars. Your dollars count as much as the devaluated dollars packed around in the pockets of those in the more luxurious rigs. Money talks and boycott walks. Don’t get mad, get even. Segregation can only be slain by marching, right out the door and down the road to an equal opportunity campground. You must decide if you want to practice long distance kayak carrying techniques or affirmative action. Just say no to your mental complex, stiffen your spine and follow the river to another campground. Letting this social injustice eat away at you will only take you to a mental state known professionally as “up a creek without a paddle.”
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink



Anonymous said...

I own a 16' Casita fiberglass "Egg" and am extremely proud of it.... I can easily afford a large trailer but choose not to. Most people in the larger rigs are very nice and ask to look at the little trailer. I never had a problem yet with campgrounds denying me a spot but would leave if i got treated the way you did.
Joe Z

Anonymous said...

I LOVE my 8'10" Lance cab-over-camper. It gets us into the most beautiful camp spots that the big boys can't negotiate. I can park pretty much Anywhere that I please and have the comforts of my little home away from home
PS. I don't even like camping next to the Jonses let alone keeping up with them!

Anonymous said...

I pull a 13' Burro "egg". The only discrimination I've experienced is in the luxury campgrounds that require "total self-containment." In "regular" campgrounds, folks in the larger, luxury rigs seem to be the most interested in my camper and often ask to take a look inside.