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> The Future Of "camping"
BigNuge
post Jul 29 2013, 03:07 PM
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I have been camping for a while now (my whole life, I'm 36). This year I graduated from tent camping to a 23' HTT. My wife bailed on tent camping 10 years ago, its been friends & family until we got the camper.

Since we have been camping (locally in New England) so much more this year (compared to the last 10 years) I am really noticing some things.

1, When did we get invaded by Quebec??? The folks seem nice enough, I just see such a strong population of them everywhere I go! I really need to dust off my French...lol biggrin.gif
2, For the life of me I cannot find the attraction/appeal of the "parking lot" style of campground. Aren't we all camping to be in the woods with nature?? Ya know, trees, vegetation, dirt roads etc??? Some of these parks (one right down the road from me) get great reviews?!?!?! I just don't get the appeal. dry.gif
3, Wow....it is not cheap to camp anymore! It is easy to see $40-$60/night for 2 adults?!?! $10/head after that, with a limit of 6 per site. My very last trip cost me $230.00 for 3 nights w 6 people...Why the heck do they make campers that sleep more than 6 then?!?! Mine sleeps 10!!! wink.gif
4, Beware of the websites for campgrounds. While I have not had a terrible experience (yet), I have had to change plans due to the conditions at one of our latest campgrounds.
5, Doesn't anyone enjoy getting back to basics/nature? I know this statement could be cliche seeing as I am enjoying my brand new RV. However, I am not sitting on my phone/tablet/FB surfing the internet. Isn't camping supposed to be an experience with the environment/nature?!?!? I just cant come to terms with the reviews that complain heavily about WiFi signal/access. unsure.gif (Workamping folks aside obviously).

Things were so different 20 years ago....

Thats all for now smile.gif



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Dutch_12078
post Jul 29 2013, 07:38 PM
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Many of us often choose campgrounds for their amenities, full hookups, cable TV, reliable WiFi at the site, etc, because we aren't "camping" as such, but more using our RV's as portable motel rooms while we visit various attractions in the area. My wife and I spend 7-8 months a year in our motorhome for example, and only rarely select a campground just as a place to kick back and relax while we commune with nature. As it happens, this week we're at a state park in Upstate NY looking out at the St Lawrence Seaway just for a few days of down time, but this is only the second time this year we've chosen to do that. RV'ers are no different than the rest of the population, with "Different strokes for different folks." applying equally to all.


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docj
post Jul 29 2013, 09:29 PM
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QUOTE(Dutch_12078 @ Jul 29 2013, 09:38 PM) *

Many of us often choose campgrounds for their amenities, full hookups, cable TV, reliable WiFi at the site, etc, because we aren't "camping" as such, but more using our RV's as portable motel rooms while we visit various attractions in the area. My wife and I spend 7-8 months a year in our motorhome for example, and only rarely select a campground just as a place to kick back and relax while we commune with nature. As it happens, this week we're at a state park in Upstate NY looking out at the St Lawrence Seaway just for a few days of down time, but this is only the second time this year we've chosen to do that. RV'ers are no different than the rest of the population, with "Different strokes for different folks." applying equally to all.


I agree that we use our MH as a rolling motel but I totally disagree with you with respect to the CG amenities that we look for. As full-timers, not snowbirds, we carry everything we need with us. I don't care about cable TV because I have satellite; I don't need wifi because I have my own cellular internet connection; I don't need a laundry room or bathrooms because I have my own, etc, etc. Other than full hookups I don't want anything from your CG other than a clean, safe, relatively pleasant place to stay.

As you said, different strokes for different folks. We are quite comfortable "communing with nature" since we aren't looking for a CG to provide us what we already have.


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John S.
post Jul 30 2013, 05:06 AM
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Sometimes I want nature and sometime I jst want to be close to where we need to be in my rolling hotel room.


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Tom
post Jul 30 2013, 06:22 AM
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BigNuge, is this your first year in a "camper"? Kinda sounds like you've been tent camping / hiking before this. Campgrounds were/are pretty much exactly the same as they were 20 years ago, even longer than that (look up the movie Long, Long, Long Trailer with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez for a fun movie - the campgrounds have hardly changed!). If you are going to have electric, water, and perhaps sewer hookups at your campsite, you are going to pay for that. Campgrounds (such as most Connecticut state parks) without hookups are very much less expensive.

If you want more of an "outdoor" experience, then look at state parks and national park campgrounds... many times they have larger, more rustic campsites without hookups (electric and water). Also, New England is simply CROWDED. We don't really have much in the way of national forest where you can set up anywhere, or BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land where again you can pretty much just go and setup where you want.

My family has gone to both full out "resort" campgrounds with all the amenities, arcades, activities, even restaurants - and state parks that are just a clearing in the woods. We've enjoyed both equally well.

Just have fun! See you on the road!


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Dutch_12078
post Jul 30 2013, 07:11 AM
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Joel, I listed the various amenities that many of us look for, but didn't intend it to be all inclusive for every one, as we each have our own needs and wants. We also carry our own data service, etc., and are currently quite happily occupying an electric only site where privacy, a large space, and a wonderful view of the ships passing by were the deciding factors.


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BigNuge
post Jul 30 2013, 07:15 AM
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The rolling hotel room makes sense. If folks are simply using their RV for exploring the country and just want a safe place to park and hook up for a short while I guess is doesn't matter what the campground offers (especially if your fortunate enough to have a big rig that is completely self contained). I get the whole "different strokes for different folks" thing. I am just shaking my head at how different everybody is now. And at how much "business" has crept into a once simple industry. I had a discussion with a CG owner recently and he made the statement that their will never be a pool at his CG due to the clientele he would lose. Gahhhh, I'm rambling.....

Tom, this is my first year in my own "camper". I have been camping in one before, a handful of times years ago. So, the last 10+ years I have been tent camping. Since the camper has afforded me so many more camping opportunities I have been taking notice. What has changed is a little bit of everything. The people, the courtesy, experience blah blah blah.....all different. I am old fashioned at heart, and never want the things I love to change. When I read a CG review that hammers on a CG for its poor WiFi & the fact that it didn't have their brand of milk (exaggeration) is disappointing to me. Ive also seen folks rail on the fact that a CG had dirt roads?!?!? Its the woods?!?!?! The roads are going to be dirt, the sites are going to be un-level. It is only a matter of time before more and more CG owners succumb to these crazy demands and we are all camping on paved sites with electric fake fireplaces (exaggeration). Mostly, it means that we really are that different, and it is only going to get worse.....Im rambling agin...

In the end, I do make the best of it. When I first set out to do so much more camping this summer I had the idea that we would be doing just that...camping (swimming/hiking/fishing/sitting around the fire etc.). While we still do that, we have adapted to make the trips into a destination/landing spot. day 1 is usually set up and lay low. Day 2 is get out and do some of the local fun things and see the attractions...and so on. We have had a ton of fun with it, and I look forward to years more!



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docj
post Jul 30 2013, 09:11 PM
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QUOTE(BigNuge @ Jul 30 2013, 09:15 AM) *

When I read a CG review that hammers on a CG for its poor WiFi & the fact that it didn't have their brand of milk (exaggeration) is disappointing to me. Ive also seen folks rail on the fact that a CG had dirt roads?!?!? Its the woods?!?!?! The roads are going to be dirt, the sites are going to be un-level. It is only a matter of time before more and more CG owners succumb to these crazy demands and we are all camping on paved sites with electric fake fireplaces (exaggeration). Mostly, it means that we really are that different, and it is only going to get worse.....Im rambling agin...



Although I agree with you that WiFi is not an essential element of the RV experience, I don't view "paved roads" the same way. Although I have no basic objection to a dirt or gravel road, they are difficult to maintain and easily become rutted and difficult for large vehicles to travel on. I assume that is the reason that many of the state and national parks we have visited have paved roads and some have paved sites. If you have a CG with dirt roads and sites I don't think it is unreasonable to expect that I won't encounter multiple potholes on my way to my site.


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Fitzjohnfan
post Jul 31 2013, 12:37 AM
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Bignug, I'd like to agree with you, that things are not like they used to be. I camped with my parents in a motor home from the late 1960s to the 1980s, and when I got married, I purchased my first motorhome in the mid 1990s.
It used to be that people knew how to fix things, now when something breaks, they run for the phone and call roadside assistance.
To plan trips, people used to pull out a map, look for clues to things to see along the way. Now I love my GPS just like the next guy, but its just a tool, and people need to be able to "see" where they are going, not just follow directions.
people used to socialize in RV parks and say hi to their neighbor, and some still do, but more frequently, you see the windows closed and the occupants watching movies or on the computer, never enjoying the outdoors.

Thanks for letting me vent.


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kcmoedoe
post Jul 31 2013, 10:01 AM
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QUOTE(BigNuge @ Jul 30 2013, 07:15 AM) *

. I am just shaking my head at how different everybody is now. And at how much "business" has crept into a once simple industry. I had a discussion with a CG owner recently and he made the statement that their will never be a pool at his CG due to the clientele he would lose. Gahhhh, I'm rambling.....


For the people who own the parks, it is a business. If a park has built it's clientele on repeat business who like what the park has to offer, they may very well be correct that adding a pool would cost them business. Parks with pools, playgrounds and the like do attract a different customer than those without. They also add to costs. So if the park added a pool, rates would have to increase and the customers who have selected that park based on the fact that there will not be many children in the park may choose to go elsewhere. I seem to get the vibe that one of your complaints is that many parks are not highly children friendly, more like children tolerant. But that is true in every hospitality industry sector. Not all restaurants are Chuck E. Cheeses. Most are children neutral and a few are children unfriendly. The Four Seasons resorts don't cater to young families, but the Disney Hotels sure do. In the RV park world, KOA to some extent and Jellystone Parks completely seek that family demographic. Outdoor Resorts and the like do not. Yes, the RV park business is evolving, just like every other business. Go watch the ancient movie Dirty Dancing. At the end of the movie listen to the resort owner's lament about how everything is changing, how people no longer want two weeks in the Catskills learning the Foxtrot, how the new rage is traveling to Europe. Yes, these times they are a changin.
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KFS
post Aug 1 2013, 07:41 AM
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QUOTE
2, For the life of me I cannot find the attraction/appeal of the "parking lot" style of campground. Aren't we all camping to be in the woods with nature?? Ya know, trees, vegetation, dirt roads etc??? Some of these parks (one right down the road from me) get great reviews?!?!?! I just don't get the appeal.


At the risk of sounding uppity let me point out that if you live that lifestyle already, the appeal is getting to it all - not away from it all.

If I want trees, nature, a pool and privacy I have that - its called my backyard. Frankly I've never understood packing up to go sit in the woods and admire a tree. wink.gif I'm that hiker whining "oh look and around that bend I bet we find ANOTHER tree!" I refuse to wax rhapsodic over a squirrel. wink.gif

We choose to camp to be close to friends and boat. We joke that we are a reverse fresh air fund. We take country kids to the campground so they can experience cul de sacs and close neighbors. smile.gif

I think knowing what people want and where they "come from" helps in understanding reviews. I'm a pampered princess type (I own it) yet my FAVORITE park gets not so good reviews here. It's clear the reviewers want a different set of amenities than a COE park aims to provide. Doesn't make them - or me - wrong. Just means you don't book a Boy Scout camp if you need a Hilton.

I also gave a decent review to another campground because while I would cry if I had to spend the summer - it was perfect for our needs as a hotel away from home. I needed a safe place to put my kids to bed while in town for a sport tournament. The campground easily met this need.

I think adding a "type of stay" ranking would really help reviews and understanding that people have a variety of wants, needs, and camp expectations and styles will help OP's understanding.
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John S.
post Aug 2 2013, 12:28 PM
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Never thought if it as a reverse camping but I do that too. I live where millions of people come to get away from it all. Many times there are biking groups that think they own the road four abreast running down the roads as they are in the country. They forget i live there and drive home at the speed limit and if they are under the hills crest it could get ugly. I know in the fall the peepers come out so we watch for them around that time. I would be happy with a concrete site and paved roads and nice neighbors to talk to.


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BigNuge
post Aug 5 2013, 09:13 AM
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I love the comments!! Unfortunately they solidify my assumption/suspicion...we really are all very different, and getting more so.

Who the hell cares where you/I/we come from??

At the risk of sounding like poor folk, camping is camping. You can try and spin it all you want. You like being parked on a concrete pad 11' away from the next DP tour bus big rig with his 55" outdoor HD LCD showing satellite TV broadcast of GMA, mimosas being made at the outside wet bar (actually this is sounding pretty good now....lol) as if you weren't even away from home??? Sorry, thats not camping (and yes, I have all that at home too). Now, to clarify, if I had the means to have something that grand and sophisticated I would love that. However, I would still stuff that baby in the woods when looking to go "camping".

That being said, maybe the "RV Park/Campground" distinction applies. These places are not Camp Grounds just as a $250,000.00 RV is not a "Camper" as much as it is a mobile "Hilton".

It would not be an exaggeration to say that in the near future some folks could use the example of a stationary bike to biking. They are just not the same thing.

These differences and ever-growing distortion/degradation of "common sense & opinion" are what I feel is pulling this country apart......but thats for another forum.

In a slightly related note, I just finished my last official tent camping trip. And I have to say, I still enjoyed it!! Now it is straight HTT camping for me (with an occasional overnight hike with tents) from now on.


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jim crowl
post Aug 11 2013, 08:59 PM
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I've been "camping" for over 50 years, and traveled in an RV full-time for about 5 years. I prefer to be close to nature, but due to work assignments, or desire to explore urban areas an RV park with electricity, internet etc. sometimes makes more sense.

The great thing about a small RV is that you can make the choice. I've spent many nights in national forests etc. camping on a river or other remote location, and nights in a modern RV park next to the freeway. I've never once had to pay $40-60 for a space, and often camp for free. Perhaps in New England this is not possible. In the Southwest and Northwest there are many places to camp for free. Many of the small towns even offer free city campgrounds. In Idaho, where I came from, there are many places to camp outside of established campgrounds along highways that parallel rivers. However there are many places not suitable for an RV due to road conditions, so even those of us who enjoy the outdoor experience opt for an RV park.

I don't feel it has changed that much in 50 years. The big change is the increase in population in a lot of areas. There were areas that you could camp away from the city that now have subdivisions. Campgrounds are more expensive, but it is relative. 50 years ago national forest campgrounds charged 0, $1, $2 or $3 a night. Today there are still free ones, but more likely $5-18 a night. However we paid $6 at a motel 6, and 25 cents a gallon for gas, so RV parks and campgrounds are not any more expensive today considering overall inflation.

People should camp where they are happiest. In one secluded state park I commented to the ranger what a wonderful location it was, with a terrific night sky, and quiet spots along the river. The ranger agreed, but then said "you would be surprised how many people complain that we don't have cable and lots of night lighting.
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QueenofQuitealot
post Aug 11 2013, 09:22 PM
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Well, in the words of Sly Stone "Different strokes for different folks". My DH would be perfectly happy to throw a sleeping bag slap on the bare ground under the stars. My idea of 'roughing it' is a hotel with no room service. Some RVers love all the amenities at a first class RV resort (that's me), some love to pull or drive that baby as far down a lonesome dirt road as they can get then pull over into a clearing (that's DH). With a trailer, our vacation can be a bit of both types of 'camping'.
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