Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
All the headlines lately seem to point to the fact that although the housing industry is still making a slow recovery, the RV industry is smoking hot. I also read often in your column that campgrounds are full and some impossible to get into without a reservation. Is the future of RVing going to be degraded because of its popularity? Is there really “Combat Camping” in my future if I plan to buy an RV and travel?
--Paranoid in Peoria
Think of the RV lifestyle as a revolution. I have watched it evolve for over 50 years. It is no different than any other supply and demand issue. It is pretty simple math. You multiply numbers and divide resources. However, we are a creative, entrepreneurial bunch. Some people see the glass half empty, while others see it half full. What we are seeing now is the tip of the iceberg. “The boomers are coming, the boomers are coming.” This aging demographic will change much more than the RV business. It is also creating many business opportunities. I believe we will see many creative solutions to the crowded campground situation, how RVs are perceived by local governments (last weeks column), and infrastructure to handle this tsunami of rolling homes.
There are still plenty of great RV adventure opportunities without the need to book yourself into a tight schedule. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, roll with the punches, and go with the flow. When you add up all the good, the bad and the ugly of traveling the “Blue Highways," I still tell people it’s, “Sucking the juice out of life.” Try it, you will like it.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink
In my research and web browsing it seems that Eastern RV destinations book up quickly and are crowded more often than those in the West. It's also true that alot of destinations closer to major population centers are more crowded. Learn to boondock more often...there are alot of great spots where you'll feel solitude.
We started full-timing four years ago and made reservations as we went, worried we'd never find a spot. As the years have passed, we've relaxed on that front and are on our way to Alaska this year -- haven't made a reservation yet, and have found places to stay everywhere we've stopped. Many campgrounds are for sale or closed, which tells us that despite the number of retirees, many people are not opting into the RV lifestyle, probably because of the cost of fuel (over $5/gal out here in BC at the moment).
"Paranoid" can relax. We haven't seen evidence of "combat camping," and going with the flow is the best way to travel anyway :)
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