Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Half Lit RV

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
Visiting Seattle, Washington, we found the RV camping options wanting. We finally picked the one closest to our daughter’s home and ferry terminal. Like the rest, this one was basically a parking lot with as many RVs jammed into it as possible. To make it resemble a parking lot it even came with dozens of floodlights that lit up the whole area. My husband ended up duct taping black garbage bags over the bedroom windows and vents just to keep the light out during the night. Our rig looked like it had been in an accident. Not only did we pay dearly to stay in this poor excuse for an RV park, but the manager complained about our garbage bag-covered windows and said we would have to remove them. We have just started RVing. Is this what we can expect living this lifestyle? --Half Lit in Ferryland

Dear Half Lit:
Urban RVing, you will find, is often cramped and costly. It’s all about the cost of real estate. You will learn new tricks the more you travel. Let me give you one for the next time you sleep under a floodlight. If your eyelids don’t do the job, go to Walmart and buy an eye mask. It’s kind of fun. You will think you are sleeping with the Lone Ranger. It will save on garbage bags and duct tape. Camping near a big city will often involve noise pollution, light pollution, air pollution and every other kind of pollution you can think of. It’s simple math: multiply numbers-divide resources. If you do not have to be close to family, hospital, or some event, consider staying farther out of town and commuting in. You will find it much quieter the more rural you get.

If you haven’t already discovered online resources, start by reading campground reviews. They will give you a much more accurate description of what to expect than the creative marketing presentation of a campground website. A website can make an asphalt parking lot campground sound like Shangri-La. If you spend some time and effort, you can often find a fellow RVer online who lives in the area and will be more than happy to share some insight on where to stay and where to avoid. Try some of the RV forums to present your questions. Don’t get discouraged. You will find your favorite little safe harbors to drop anchor. You just need to get more experience under your belt and more miles under your land yacht.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink


Merikay said...

From time to time we end up in an undesireable park. I just remind myself that we will move on and never come back. Black garbage bags? Why not put them up inside where they won't be noticed.

Tommy Molnar said...

Generally speaking, and in MY personal experience, the farther 'out of town' you stay, the better your experience. Exceptions, of course.

Unknown said...

I use the silver covered insulation material on the inside of the coach. It not only keeps the light out, it also seems to muffle the sound.

Anonymous said...

We too use the silver bubble material. It is easily stored under the mattress when not needed. It is also good for blocking heat when the sun is beating down on the windows.

Ev in Oregon said...

I recently replaced the original curtains in my 1988 Bigfoot travel trailer with mini-blinds. Keeping in mind that I may have an issue such as you described, I ordered dark blue blinds (the trailer has a light blue interior color scheme). There were "room-darkening blinds" available, as well, but more expensive than what I bought. I'm delighted I went this route because they've been very effective at blocking out invasive light.

Welcome to the world of RVing -- you're gonna' love it! The occasional annoyances are far outnumbered by the positive experiences you'll enjoy & the wonderful folks you'll meet.

Ellen said...

I bought black towels from Walmart, stitched them together (nothing fancy -- I'm no Martha Stewart), and I roll the long end to fit over the top of the inside valance. Two of our three windows in the bedroom of our Class C are covered this way -- and they help keep out the sunlight during hot days as well. We use the silver stuff but rarely, as we've heard it can damage window seals. Ear plugs help reduce noise at night.

Great advice here -- staying as far from urban centers as possible is key.

If we'd decided on whether to RV or not after our first (disastrous!) RV trip, we would have quit six years ago! Instead, we toughed out the rotten experiences and have more great memories and stories than from any other time in our lives.

Too Many Cats said...