Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Greta Garbo RVing

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
Call me Greta Garbo, but we don’t like to park three feet from other people when we travel in our RV - "I WANT TO BE ALONE". We just returned from a year on the road and never once stayed in a commercial park for that very reason. What makes me absolutely crazy is closely related to this “RV 2-close-a-phobia” I have. During the shoulder season, when campgrounds are less congested, we find a site that is as far away from others as possible. Last week we were in a National Forest campground and there was not another soul camping. There were 49 sites spread over hundreds of acres of beautiful woods. Another couple showed up in a large motorhome and decided to park in the campsite closest to us. They were not very friendly, had barking dogs, and eventually fired up their generator to watch TV for a couple hours. Am I abnormal? Do I need professional help? I didn’t yell at anyone--this time.
--Greta-like in Grand Marais

Dear Greta:
You are very normal. Some people are paranoid about camping by themselves. They would rather camp next to you even if you were an axe murderer. I’m assuming you are not. It can be very annoying, especially if they are noisy or nosey. Like many other campground issues, sometimes it is easier to pull up stakes and move rather than to sit and stew. A huge part of camping for some people is the solitude. For others it seems to be the camaraderie. In this case it sounds like your neighbors were into neither. I can only remind you that living in an RV has so many more options than living in a home with close neighbors. The greatest option is that set of wheels your RV came standard with. Use them.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink


Lee Ensminger said...

I agree with Greta! I have experienced the same phenomena-we choose a site with no one else around, and the very next person who comes in plops down next to us as though it was the last site left in the park! Being a band geek, I think I'm going to start taking my tuba with us and put it out in plain view on the picnic table. Perhaps that will be a clear signal to move on. We're not anti-social either, but we do enjoy a little privacy. If the park is full or nearly so, it's another matter, but the number of times we've experienced Greta's situation is unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

I've had the same experience with my Corvette. I'll park in a far corner so that no car door will bang into my vehicle and when I return, there will be some usually not well cared for vehicle parked in the adjacent spot leaving many, many open spots. Maybe a lone vehicle is like a magnet.

Safety might be an issue for many in an empty campground. Parking nearby, not adjacent, to another camper might provide a feeling of security.

Ad said...

It's universal, My other RV is a 30 sloop that we usually spend a month or more on every summer. Pull into a small empty cove set the anchor and the next boat in drops the hook too close. Unlike RV's 2 boats on anchor swing. So in my case the get close syndrome is not only annoying but dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Greta too. I RV alone and want to be alone. I have even fired up my noisy generator when I see someone coming into an empty campground with me as the only RV there. STILL they take the spot closest to me at least 50% of the time. I pull up quickly and move. I have never had the other RV move with me, thank goodness!

Unknown said...

One factor is that people are used to queuing for most things, and pulling into an unfamiliar site, you tend to replicate the established pattern. As the yachtsman mentioned, it's similar in anchoring (but in that case, there might be more to it; a newcomer might assume an already anchored yacht has better knowledge of bottom conditions and knows where it's best to drop the hook). As for acquiring a new & noisy too-close neighbor, I have already had that happen a few times; you just close up and go to the other side of the campground.

John said...

I can imagine Greta's scenario. But I don't get the people that do this. If I pulled into a campground and had my choice of spot, and someone was already there, I'd probably pick the opposite end of the park, or at least a few sites in between us. The only way I would not is if there were some other, overwhelming reason, like few sites with shade or something similar.