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Jerry S
Hi everybody,

For those of you who don't know my camping and RVing credentials: 15+ years in tents and 15 + years RVs; 49 states and most of Canada; over 200 campgrounds and RV parks; 5 months of RVing a year for 10+ years since retiring. I discussed my views about the site in the Campgound Reviews (mostly with Texasrvrs) string in this Forum a few weeks ago.

Since my area is about to be hit with really fridged (highs less than 10 degrees) for the next 4 or 5 days, I thought I'd try to start a hot topic. As mentioned in the aforementioned string discussion, there are some park amenities that one camper considers a positive and another camper considers a negative. One of my favorite examples is campfires.

I have read many pro campfire reviews complaining about: lack of fire rings; the size, placement, and/or what the rings were made of; restrictions, etc. Many write about the tradional aspect of campfires: just siting around it at night; s'mores; treat for the kids or grandkids; etc.

The anti-campfire people say: their rigs fill with smoke; embers and ash fall on their rigs and awnings; they can't sit outside at their own sites because of the smoke/smell; the inherent danger of open fires; the things some people try to burn; fires in 80+ degree weather; etc.

The one complaint of the pro-campfire people that I have the biggest problem with is being upset about restrictions. While some parks may ban fires for their own reasons, many bans are due to governmental (municipal, state, federal) decisions. These can be permanent or temporary but almost always based on public safety issues. I have been out west numerous times over the years in states that have dozens of fires burning tens of thousands of acres and some camper will complain about not being able to have a campfire. They act as if it is a constitutional right.

One more thought to get the ball rolling. All you have to do is read how many reviews complain about the lack of space between RV sites to realize that most RV parks are not condusive to campfires - at least to your downwind neighbors.

I could go into each of the pro and anti items above, but I'll wait to see what others think.

Jerry S.
Cheryl Fuller
Jerrry, I must admit that the title to your thread got my attention. I am one of those who isn't in favor of campfires, mainly because of the smoke issue. I shared before, but once we were camping at a riverfront campground - due to early reservations, we were able to secure a site directly on the water. As we were less than 100 ft. from a small dam, we could hear the water running and it was so nice to sleep at night with the window open and let the sound lull us to sleep. Then a group of party'ers moved in next door. They proceeded to have a campfire less than 15 ft. from our bedroom window and drank and carried on around the campfire until all hours of the morning. The worst part was the smoke, which permeated our rig and I could smell it for days in the window coverings and upholstery.
Jerry S
Hi again,

Just wanted to add a little note to the opening of my initial post. The Forum string I was refering to was titled "Review Comments". My first post starts on page 2.

Cheryl: Thanks for your interest and comments. I realize that the fact that your neighbors were late night partyers was part of the story, but the smoke and lingering odor problems would have happened even if it had been a quiet couple who simply had the fire burning for a few hours.

Jerry S.
Let me add my two cents worth of thought.
I built a house on a quiet country lane a quarter mile from a 158 sites campground 32 years ago. Today I still live in the same house, but the country lane has turned into a suburban street and the campground has turned into a 600 sites monster with some of the sites less then 50 feet from my backyard. The municipality tries to impose a buffer zone between the campsites and the neighbors, but the owner of the campground doesn't care. As he has a rich father, he has money to spend on dragging this through the courts.
I can tell you from experience that on hot, muggy evenings smoke does not rise, no, it comes right into my backyard and makes it impossible to open the windows on many nights. Having several hundred fires west of you, even when there is a smog alarm, takes the romance out of campfires very quickly. It has come to the point that we are very happy when we have a rainy weekend in the summer.
So yes, I do not enjoy campgrounds with campfires.
We have stayed in a couple of parks that had community fire pits. It is an interesting way to control the fires and meet your fellow RVers.

Klaus & Wanda
Southeast Michigan
21' 5th Wheel
John Blue
In all our time on the road we have never had a fire and never will. We have everything inside to cook with and have no need to have a fire. The smoke is a problem to all other RV people around your unit and it will get inside and be a problem. I think of a cave man each time I see people around a fire. All RV units now have some way to cook food. Large number of RV parks will not let you have a fire in first place. People walk off and let fires blow in trees and soon you have BIG fire to put out.

My two cents!
The entire question of fires or no fires is just one more example of the growing need to distinguish between RV parks and campgrounds. To me, most folks who pull up in a nicely-appointed motorhome or fifth wheeler, are not attracted to outdoor fires. True, there may be some, but I would think that most would not. On the other hand, true "campers" (as versus folks who stay in RV parks in nice rigs), might tend to like outdoor fires. Its not just outside fires, but a host of other things (i. e., paved parking spots, 50-amp plug ins, facilities that cater to adults, etc.) that distinguish between RV parks and campgrounds. My wife usually corrects people who think we go "camping" by telling them that what we do is RV'ing--not camping. And, personally, I think the issue of fires versus no fires is another example of why we need to distinguish between a "campground" (where fires probably are desirable), and an RV Park, where most folks, like John Blue, don't see the need for an outside fire.
dog bone
i myself enjoy a fire. invite the friends. have a nice conversation. cook hot dogs, smores and even pop corn. i enjoy cooking a nice steak or a hamburger on an open fire.

just like anything else you do in life, not just camping, you have to respect the rights of others. i use dry and aged wood, hard wood most of the time. that way the smoke stays at a minimum. don't burn when it is to windy. when i leave the area or go to bed the fire is out. i enjoy being in the outdoors and i don't want to ruin or wreck the experience for someone else.

that's my story and i'm sticking to it. laugh.gif
Since I had a related discussion with Jerry S a few weeks ago, I just had to jump in on this. I have the same feelings about campfires as I do about a lot of other things in life. If the campfire (or whatever) doesn't cause me a problem, then it is fine. However, all campfires produce smoke and ash and sparks that usually drift into someone else's space, and then there is a problem--especially if it is my space. I do not admonish people who like to have a nice fire to sit around and talk with friends, and most of these people do not want their fire to cause trouble for others. Unfortunately they cannot control where the ash, and sparks, and smoke go. I suppose it is someone's right to have a fire (if it is legal to have one in that area). But I should NOT have to breath their smoke and clean up their ash, and repair damage to my coach caused by their sparks. We sometimes stay at places that allow fires, but it is not something we look for, and we have never had one ourselves in the 8 years that we have been RVing. (Beastdriver, thank your wife for the terminology. I plan to say the same in the future.) And fortunately we have never had a really bad experience with someone else's fire. But you never know.

I agree that there is (or should be) a distinction between campground and RV park. This is what Jerry S and I were discussing earlier, and there have been other threads about this on this forum. I think fires are ok if the campground and its spaces are large enough to support them. If the place is more of an RV park where spaces are fairly close, then fires are definitely not a good idea. I put part of the blame for this on the camp/park owners. If their park and spaces are too small to handle fires, then they shouldn't provide the fire rings or other means to build a fire, and their rules should say "no fires." Unfortunately many owners make the mistake of trying to please everyone and then no one is happy. Bottom line: There are appropriate times and places for a fire and all campers/RVers should be mindful about how their fire affects others.
I use the ability to have campfires as criteria for choosing a campground. The time relaxing around the campfire at night is, to me, part of what camping is all about.
We also enjoy a camp fire. In the Northeast-New England States most campgrounds-Resorts-Rv Parks have fire rings. We enjoy the conversations of friends, family, and fellow Rv'ers around the fire. We have invited many to our fires and have made numerous new camping friends in this manner. As an example, last September in Camden Maine, we had a couple next to us from St. Louis, and invited them to join us at the fire. Kathy had baked an apple pie that day, so we all had apple pie with ice cream at the campfire, a fine way to end a great day, having made new friends on our vacation . No matter what the subject, you will have those who are in favor and those against. Some common sense rule should prevail, but there are those who have no common sense, and or those who just don't give two hoots about any one except themselves. We also use good seasoned hard wood, do not leave fire unattended,or have one when the wind is blowing, and we put it out upon retiring. Just some good common sense rules.
Would this also apply to a BBQ. Most RV parks and campgrounds have outside BBQ's that when lit produce smoke, Not as long as a fire pit would but smoke that gets into a rig and lingers all the same. I agree about the fire pits that smoke for quite some time but I have also gotten some very strange smells and not always pleasant from a BBQ. I carry a small weber with me because I like a good steak cooked on a BBQ and I would hate to think that bothers people as well, I try to be as courteous as possible to my fellow RV's.

Juta a thought,
One thing I look for when we go "camping" in our "RV" is the ability to have a campfire. Some of our most memorable camping experiences have been sitting around the campfire with our two sons and other family/friends. We typically have smaller fires and make sure they are out before we go in for the night. Perhaps when the kids are no longer with us this will change, but for now we love to sit outside around the fire looking at the stars, watching fireflies, telling stories etc. With all the amenities of home inside the trailer (i.e., play stations, dvd's etc.), we don't really spend family time if we are inside in the evening. I agree that Beastdriver nailed it on the head regarding distinctions between RV parks vs. campgrounds. Although we have a brand new fifth and like some of the "finer" aspects of RV parks, we still really enjoy parks that have more of a campground feel. Thankfully we have this website that has so many park reviews so we can make the choice that seems to suit us best - I've rarely been disappointed when choosing a park based on the reviews I've read here.
Jerry S
Hi again everybody,

I was going to wait a week to get back into this string but the response has been heavy enough that I might be unable to remember/ comment on every post. Forgive me if I don't get each formun name exactly right. The initial responses came mainly from the "anti" people:

Cheryl and Wprigge have definitely had bad experiences with campfires and are understandably not in favor of them.

Newportnic likes communal fires. These have been nice where I have seen them but especially in smaller parks, they are usually only during the summer vacation season when the park is fairly full - and even then not nightly. They are also often too big to sit around or roast marshmellows safely. Many campers will still prefer their own, intimate, family fire on their own site.

John Blue doesn't see the NEED for campfires. (I have read many of John's posts in this Forum and have been impressed with his opinions, so don't take this the wrong way.) We are First, we are not talking about a NEED. People want campfires. The argument can be made that, at times, the campfire is a need - large amounts for food to be grilled for more than just 2 people, for example. Atmosphere, s'mores, etc. are WANTS. Generally, if you are in an RV, fire is not needed for heat.

Beastdriver ressurects the campground vs. RV park issue. Too many inexpeienced "campers" don't have a clue as to the difference. As some of the following posts attest, many RVers like campfires.

Dogbone has the right attitude about responsible fires. Unfortunately, too many campers don't even think about the things he considers before having a fire.

Texasrvrs, as usual, is right about common sense and courtesy. I am shocked to hear that you've never had a bad expeience with a campfire. I couldn't begin to count my bad expeiences. I am not talking about every next door fire, just the problem ones.

A3medic has the "fire is part of the camping experience" opinion, but does he/she follow the Dogbone ideas about reponsible fires.

Butch basically agrees that fires, if done right, are OK. I still say most RV park sites are simply too close together and most fire rings too close to the RVs for campfires not to be a problem for the neighbors.

Rodman points out that even BBQ's can create problems. At least they are doing something productive - cooking.

Campinggirl 1964 is another "camping experience" people. Again, do you follow some of the acove noted "rules" of fires.

Summary: The "anti" side has experienced or understands the problems I mentioned in the original post. The "pro" side says they are responsible fire users. I just wish they would educate their fellow "pros" on how to be responsible and considerate.

I can hardly wait to start my next Fire" in this forum.

Jerry S.
Jerry S,

First, you've done quite a good summary. I enjoyed reading it.

Second, I just wanted to say that one reason we probably haven't had a problem with someone else's campfire is because 95% of the time we have stayed at "RV parks" most of which didn't allow fires. The other 5% of the time we must have been beside campinggirl1946, rodman, Butch, A3Medic, dog bone, or Newportnic, or one of the many other considerate responsible fire builders. By the way we don't mind a BBQ grill. They are usually fired up for only a short time; they don't produce as much smoke, etc.; and the food usually smells great. They just have to be careful not to leave that fire unattended or they just might discover that one of their steaks is missing. laugh.gif
Cheryl Fuller
We have been at a few parks that had grills, but we have never used them. Like Rodman, we too, carry a small propane grill in the basement of the motorhome and we use it. Call me paranoid, but those provided grills just seem nasty to me. Ya' never know what has been on there and yes, I know that the fire would burn any residue off, but I would feel the need to use a steamer and a day's worth of elbow grease before I would put anything that was going to go in my mouth on one. Probably 98% of the parks we have stayed at do not have fire rings.
The spouse and I enjoy sitting around our campfire talking, roasting hotdogs, making s'mores, watching the flames dance, and listening to the sounds of the night (whipporwills, coyotes, etc.). Most of our camping is done at state or national park campgrounds with ample space between sites. When we stay at private campgrounds/rv parks we do not have a campfire because in most cases we feel the sites are too close together.
I have viewed this site dozens of times for the reviews. This was the first time I looked at the forums and I hit upon an issue like this. I guess this issue really draws the line between RV park people and RV camper people. I am always a respectful camper and am aware plenty are not.
I have been annoyed while sitting around like "a caveman" by some class A people running their generators 24/7. I try to be tolerant and not judge why they seal themselves up in A/C emerging only periodically to walk the poodle. To each his own I guess. I will continue to enjoy RVing in the great outdoors with my kids, just like I did with my parents. Like my parents who taught me, I am teaching my kids to enjoy yourself without negatively impacting others.
Even though we just bought our travel trailer last year we go more for the camping than the RV parks. We enjoy staying at some of the state parks and national forests in our area. It is nice to get out and be amongst nature. Part of the experience we like is having a campfire. It is fun for us sitting around a campfire talking with friends and enjoying the night. It is also nice cooking on a campfire every now and then. Of course where we stay the conditions are more appropriate for having a campfire. The campsite are spaced further apart so we are not right next to our neighbor. However, if the conditions are not conducive to have a campfire (i.e. spaces to close together, etc.) we have no problem not having one.

In the end it doesn't matter if you like having campfires (with the smoke) or not; like running a generator (with its noise and exhaust fumes) or not; like staying up late outside and talking, or like to squirrel yourself away in your RV, it all boils down to respect. The good, respectful camper/RV'er is the one that can go out and enjoy their experience without preventing their neighbors from doing the same. This is the type of people my family and I try to be and the type of people we hope to have around us.
Jerry S
Back again,

I'm almost finished reviewing the almost 30 parks I stayed in last year. I keep having a problem getting my review of a park in Devils Lake , ND to post. I'll give it another shot tomorrow.

Anyway, back to this string. For Cheryl F, Txrv, and COWolfpack: Either you guys never go to the variety of parks or areas (think northeast, midwest, northern plains,etc.) that I do or you go to RV only parks. I just went through my Woodall's and checked the parks I visited for fire rings and/or wood listed under facilities. The states are LA, MS, AR, IL, MI, MN, ND, MT, WY, SD, NE, and IO. 21 of 29 Rv parks indicated fires allowed. These are all full service parks with mostly RVs as customers. Three of the non-fire parks were the 3 casino RV parks in Tunica, MS. I spent the summers of 2004 and 2005 in northern NY and New England and, as somebody mentioned earlier, most parks out that way allow campfires. So you can understand how I find it hard to believe that you can stay at "campfireless" parks 90+% of your travels.

For Texasrvrs: Both Coushatta and Paragon in LA list firerings. Also, thanks for the compliment regarding the summary.

For Lance-a-lot and A3medic: I applaud you for being considerate of others when it comes to having a campfire. A3: I was also a bit put off by the caveman reference. Your retort about generators was appropriate. Lance: I enjoyed my years of tenting in state and national parks in the 70's and 80's and envy your ability to do that. This aging mind and body now needs its creature comforts.


Jerry S.
Jerry S,

Your statistics about the number of RV parks that allow fires is interesting. Maybe more parks where we've stayed have allowed fires and we just didn't know it. It's possible we just didn't notice the fire rings or fires--especially if they weren't bothering us. I am sure we've never had someone else's smoke blowing right into our coach. That we would have noticed for sure!! Maybe I should amend my statement to say that for whatever reason people did not seem to have fires at about 95% of the places we've stayed.

Also we've never been to Paragon, but we have stayed at Coushatta about 4 times, and I cannot remember ever seeing a fire or fire rings there--or even a BBQ. Maybe my mind is farther gone than I thought. We just may need to make a trip over there to check it out!!!!
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Feb 7 2007, 09:58 PM) *

Anyway, back to this string. For Cheryl F, Txrv, and COWolfpack: Either you guys never go to the variety of parks or areas (think northeast, midwest, northern plains,etc.) that I do or you go to RV only parks.


Actually I have never been to an RV only park. The campgrounds we have been to have allowed everything from tents to big rigs. We do a lot of our camping in state parks and national forests. Unfortunately at this time in our lives we don't have much time for travel so we normally stay within our home state. Hopefully as we get older we will have more time to travel but that is still some time away. Usually the sites are far enough apart in state parks or national forests to have a campfire without bothering anyone else. We do take the opportunity at times like this and do enjoy a campfire. However, if the sites are so close that we can't have a fire without smoke blowing into our or a neighbors rig, or risking ember damage, we have no problems forgoing the fire.
I have served as a volunteer camp host at a state park. One of the duties was to clean fire pits.
I can assure you that if anyone performs that chore for 45 sites, you will have a greater appreciation for the anti-fire pit group - especially on Monday morning after all the week-end warriors have left.

RVers of all types - tent, trailer, 5W, and motor homes - put aluminum cans, plastic material, and assorted trash in the fire rings. They will drag the biggest part of a fallen tree onto the campsite and start burning it at one end expecting it to be completely gone in a couple hours. Some will try to build a fire so big that it would melt all of the tents in the campground and could be seen from the space station.

I suspect that any self respecting home owner would not want to permeate their home with smoke and fire residue, so why would they want to do so in their or someone else's RV?

There is a time and place for a camp fire as long as it comes with courtesy and common sense.
Perhaps if the individual camper had to clean his/her own fire ring after use, there would be less camp fires.

Now........about leaving the bathhouse in a mess!!!

Jerry S
Hi Rick (RLM),

I have been waiting for someone to mention that some people will throw almost anything into a fire or use it as a garbage recepticle. I hinted at it in my initial post. I have seen everything you mentioned plus: old wood from furniture, fences, buidlings, etc., every imaginable paper product (newspapers, magazines, boxes, etc.), and numerous non-combustables. Pro-fire participants in this string have talked about using only aged, dry wood. Good for them (and us), but I don't believe they are the majority. Unless your firewood has gone straight from being a tree, with a proper drying period, to being firewood, it is probably inappropriate to burn. If it has been a table, a fence, a porch, a magazine, a paper cup, etc., it has gone through some sort of process which has added possibly toxic chemicals (paint, varnish, ink, wax, etc.). Oops, I'm starting to fall of my pedestal. I can only hope some of my preaching reaches the ears that need to hear it.

Thanks again for bringing this part of the issue to light - without a fire.

Jerry S.
Cheryl Fuller
We have stayed at very few Campground and RV Parks - we look for mainly RV Parks. Out of your list Jerry, we have stayed at numerous parks in WY and MT, but have never been any place there that had fire pits. As for running our generator, in the 2 1/2 yrs, we have been rv'ing, only twice have we been allowed to run our generator while parked in our space. It clearly states in the park rules that generators may not be run. The 2 times we were allowed to run it, it was over 100 degrees and the power was out - once at Blazing Star in Texas and once at Terry Bison Ranch in Wyoming. Oh, and by the way, my dogs are Maltese and not poodles....
I have been reading about this topic with great interest to see what others have to say. We do both types of camping depending on the time of year and the park we are in. We like to have a small campfire in the fall or winter so we can sit around outside and let the kids roast s'mores, but it is not a concern to us if a park does not allow campfires. We travel and camp depending on the situation. We have local RV campgrounds that have plenty of room between sites and allow campfires and we "TRAVEL" in our RV in the summer.
I know I'm talking too much, but here goes again.

I just wanted to let A3medic know that we (and I think most "RVers") do not like to have generators running next to us either. That's as rude as someone else's smoke blowing in your rig. The only time we have used our generator in a park/campground was one night when the power went out and everyone else was firing theirs up too. Mostly we just use it when we stop at a rest area to fix lunch. We usually park in the truck area and only have it on a few minutes. If it happens to be really hot we might leave it on to run the roof air, but I don't think it can be heard over the truck noise so I don't think it bothers anyone.

Also while we may not sit around a campfire, we also do not "seal ourselves up in A/C emerging only periodically to walk the poodle." Usually our trips are to an area that has lots to see and do outside the RV park. We spend a great deal of time sightseeing and basically use our motor home as a rolling hotel room. However, we can certainly understand how many people like to get away for the weekend and relax by cooking out and sitting around a campfire with friends and never leave the camp. This just emphasizes again how different people are looking for different experiences from campgrounds/RV parks and if you end up at a place that doesn't provide you with your expected experience you will probably be unhappy.

Jerry, we have rarely stayed at RV only parks, and not on purpose even then. But we do tend to pick places that lean toward RVs--especially big rigs--and those usually do not allow fires.

RLM, You need to post this sign: "Your mother does not work here so you will have to clean up after yourself." However, I doubt that will help in all cases. Some people are just natural born slobs and expect the rest of us to clean up their mess. Course that would never be anyone on this forum. We are all very nice people.

Finally, all this discussion has left me with this thought: Building a campfire is so simple even a caveman can do it! tongue.gif
Cheryl Fuller
TexasRvers - I don't think anyone here can possibly think you talk too much. I am always happy to see new posts when I come here. I am on one forum that probably at least 10 posts are written every minute, but this one is much slower, so I love seeing new posts. Keep "talking", girl.....
John Blue

I see we think the same way. We only use our gen. in rest stops, on open roads to run A/C units on roof, and never in any RV park-any place. We also sit outside, walk at night, tour all over the place outside the park, talk to other people around the park, and enjoy life. We have never been a problem to anyone that I know of. Smoke in our motorhome is a problem to me. We use our motorhome as a rolling condo and move from place to place to see the USA. We use Nat. parks, State parks, CORE parks, Good Sam parks, passport parks, and high dollar parks. tongue.gif

We also have been to Conshatta and Paragon number of times and I did not see any fire rings in two parks. Also no one had fires in two parks.
Jerry S
To Txrv and John B:

My mistake on Paragon, Woodall's does not show fire rings or wood in its facilities listing. The listing for Coushatta, however, does show fire rings and (Cheryl's favorite) grills. As many times as I've been to these 2 parks, I can't remember seeing them either. I can't seem to locate my Louisiana park folder and I don't feel like pulling up their websites right now.


Jerry S.

If one was to come to New England, and or New York, (as New York is not a New England state), you will find most, if not all campgrounds, Rv parks, etc, have fire rings.
John Blue
Jerry S,

I think the mixup at Coushatta is Bar-Q cookers at each cabin. Remember each one had a Bar-Q cooker at steps that go into cabin. No fire rings on the ground anyplace. Now more cabins have been added and more RV sites are gone. Our books "TL" and others have a lot of mistakes in them. tongue.gif
Jerry S
Back again,

John Blue: Thanks for the clarification on Coushatta. I don't know how long you've been going there, but I really miss the RV sites (replaced by chalets) that used to be at the front of the park. It was only a 5 minute walk to the casino and 2 minutes to the lodge/pool/laundry. Now, depending on where you are in the park, it is a 10-15 minutes walk. I know there's a shuttle, but I am very unAmerican - I walk when possible.

I was slightly amused by the afront some took by the hibernation/poodle comment. While I agree with the "to each their own philosophy", I has have observed this behavior ( at times for more than one day) and find it curious. Then again, people have looked at me like I am crazy when they hear that I've walked a mile or two from the park into town and back.

To get sort of back on the topic (but neither pro or con), one my favorite little stories from last summers travels points out how "camping" has changed. Before packing it in for the night, I often enjoy taking a few laps around the park to see how full/active the place is that late. I usually do this between 8PM and 10PM just after sunset. At this time of night, the main activity is usually people sitting around their campfires. I think this experience happened at Yellowstone River RV Park in Billings, MT. During my first lap I noticed that there were only a couple sites with fires. On my second lap, I counted. There were 2 sites illuminated by fires and 5 sites illuminated by laptop computers on picnic tables. In several instances there were 2 or 3 adults huddled around the screen. I guess the new fire is the computer screen.


Jerry S.
John Blue
Jerry S,

Walking is one of my bags. I walk two miles each night here at home and around five miles more in day time hours around our home. Not bad at my age. At Coushatta I walked over to the fuel pumps and back couple times at night to get in my time. We never go into the casino to feed the machines only to feed the Blue's. We stay in casino's due to good prices and good food. I never use the shuttle to ride in, I walk every place. I would guess the RV park move would free up more space in front plus add cabins in back of lot. That place has a lot of parking space.

I agree on the Laptops. We see more and more people used them day and night. We also carry laptop and cell phone with Blue tooth hookup if we need it. We have outside ant. on roof of motorhome with amp that will go out around 60 miles to a cell tower. This way we can work internet about anyplace we go into. If you have no service on phone in most cases this will fix the problem. We had good cell service in Yellowstone with the amp on and no service with it off. smile.gif
Cheryl Fuller
I have never seen anyone "hole up" inside their motorhome. Now, mind you, I don't take umbrage with the comment - I just have never seen it happen. We are always out and about during the day and in the evenings, we are usually sitting outside with a drink, dogs in the X-pen and chatting with neighbors. The only time that we have hibernated in the RV was at an rv park in Sheridan, Wyoming. We had stopped about 6:00 in the evening (were on our way to Canada). As hubby was doing all the hookups, he noticed that there were a lot of bees. By the time he was finished and had come inside the rig, there were hundreds of them around the motorhome. We stayed inside that night because we didn't want to open the door and take a chance of them getting inside. By the next morning they were gone. In talking to the neighbor the next morning, he mentioned that they had thought about unhooking the toad and going into town to eat but decided against it because they did not want to open the door and he certainly didn't want to stay outside long enough to unhook his vehicle.
Big Ben
Boy, this is about the most heated posts that I have seen on this site. It has been my observation most fire worshipers are weekend campers. Don't think I have ever seen a full timer building firers.
Folks that camp and or RV for a weekend or 2 week vacation seem to have a hard time under standing that we full or part times still enjoy our TV shows and like to stay in touch via cell phone or computer.
When you see several people huddled around a lap top, they are probably sharing pictures.
I like the idea of a community fire ring. We have stayed at a few parks that have these and have always enjoyed them.
We all have different reasons for why we Camp/RV, but it is the things we have in common that has brought us together on this site.
Jerry S
And again,

John Blue: I knew other walkers existed but so seldom see any of them. I do have some question3 for you about the computer/cell/antenna set up but I'll put that in the "Chat" section of this Forum in the next day or two. I don't want to get that far off topic in this string.

Cheryl: You have sort of proven another point: just because you've never experienced or observed something in a park doesn't mean it never happens. If you are always out and about, you can't know what goes on during the day at the park? Under certain circumstances, I often don't leave a park for a day or two. I walk, do laundry, use the pool and other park facilities, etc. On the fire topic, for example, I have seen campfires (with too much liquid fuel, I assume) with flames shooting 6 t 8 feet in the air. It does happen.

Big Ben: I'll take your opening sentence as both a compliment and a pun. While your generalization makes sense, my experience and observations say there are plenty of full-timers out there who, at times, will have a campfire. Probably not the majority, but certainly not only 1 or 2%.


Jerry S.
Big Ben
Jerry, It's not a complaint. This forum could stand some more activity.
Jerry S
Big Ben,

Please re-read my post - I wrote "compliment", not "complaint".

As long as I am back on , I go ahead and ask about your WIFI setup. I just re-read the "Misleading WIFI Claims" string, hoping some of the information there would help me. It did not.

Is the antenna you mentioned part of your satellite system or cell phone set up? Or is it something just for WIFI boosting? Since I don't have a satellite system or use a cell phone (I told you I was unAmerican), I am not certain about what you are describing. If we are talking about installing a satellite dish or getting a cell phone service and their monthly fees, that is probably outside my budget. I'm cheap and poorer than most on the road retirees.


Jerry S.
Big Ben
Sorry Jerry, misread.
John Blue
Jerry S,

I think the cell phone trick is on me.

WiFi and cell phones are not the same. We have WiFi in laptop and in a lot of park service is very poor. Due to this problem we added a cell phone ant. on roof of motorhome. You have small cable coming down inside that goes to a cell phone amplify then the cell phone hooks up to this amp. This will move power up from .6 watts to 2 watts and range up to 60 miles in open range. The cell phone has a modem inside and we use that to work laptop over the internet. This way we can work anyplace we can find a cell tower. We also have sat. TV system and XM radio.

We will be off line over the next three weeks. Off to San Diego for 5-1/2 days they cruise ship thru Panama Canal for fourteen days they back in south FL. Life is tough. tongue.gif
Jerry S
John Blue,

Yes, the antenna question was for you. I had previously been able to respond to multiple posts, but screwed up this time by not double checking who wrote what. Thanks for the info. Since I am one the few remaining people in this country over the age of 2 who has never even used a cell phone, I guess I will have to settle for hoping RV parks continue to improve their WIFI service.

Have a great cruise. My older brother and second wife took that cruise several years ago and enjoyed it.
OK guys, I'm gonna settle the question about fire rings at the Coushatta Casino RV park. The RV sites do not have fire rings or BBQ grills. I know this because I am currently sitting in one of their sites. However last night we did notice that people in at least two sites were using portable fire pits and there were some table top grills set out at several sites. I can see the cabins (that's the chalets for you fancy people) and they do have a BBQ grill but still no fire rings. Finally their rules state "No open campfires. Bar-B-Que pits and grills only." So there. We just had to come over here to see what was correct. It had nothing to do with the fact that we like to lose our money at the casino every now and then.

About the increase in chalets. The last time we were here was about a year and a half ago in the summer just before Katrina and honestly we can't see that there are a lot more in the RV area than there were then. There are 8 beside the lake by the tennis courts, and 25 along one side that stretch around to the back. We are thinking these were there the last time, but we have trouble remembering yesterday. However, there does seem to be a lot more on the road from the office down to the park. There have always been some in this area, but now it does see like there are more. I guess I was expecting to see a lot more of the RV spots converted to chalets but not so. There are still about 108 RV sites.

Big Ben, I like your take on fire people generally being weekend people and no fire people being more full and part timers. I had never thought of it that way, but I think there is a lot of fact in what you say. Also your comments about TV and cell phones and computers are true. If we were on just a weekend outing we could do without them too, and would probably appreciate the break from the rat race. But when we are gone for 6-10 weeks at a time we are not just on vacation. We are living on the road and need to stay in touch.

Ok the casino is calling.

PS I'm on the Coushatta WiFi and even though we are toward the back of the park we are getting a good signal.
Unless I missed it, there is one other aspect to this "argument" that has not been mentioned. That being those folks who cannot tolerate the smoke for health reasons. My better half has COPD. As such, any kind of smoke causes her considerable discomfort. While we try to find campgrounds that do not allow campfires or have a no fire section, this is not always possible. On more than one occasion the wife was forced inside due to other folks campfires. Fortunately the air system on our coach does a good job of filtering the air. On a couple of occasions we were forced to pack up and leave. We said nothing before leaving because anyone dumb enough to build a fire with flames 10 feet high using 2x4s and gasoline was not going to pay any attention to what anyone else has to say.

Personally, I like campfires but I think the world has enough pollution in it without adding to the problem. Unless it is really needed, this is one tradition we could all do without.

Just my 2 cents.
Cheryl Fuller
QUOTE(Jerry S. @ Feb 11 2007, 11:48 AM) *
And again,
Cheryl: You have sort of proven another point: just because you've never experienced or observed something in a park doesn't mean it never happens. If you are always out and about, you can't know what goes on during the day at the park? Under certain circumstances, I often don't leave a park for a day or two. I walk, do laundry, use the pool and other park facilities, etc.

I'm sorry, but I guess I don't understand how I have proven your point - if you are at the pool or walking around or doing laundry, wouldn't that constitute being out and about? But since you raised the issue, it would occur to me that the original poster of the comment about people hibernating in their rigs, only coming out to walk their poodles, would have no way of knowing if that were true, unless he was hibernating next to them. Otherwise, how would he know they did not go out when he was not spending his time watching their RV.....
Jerry S
Let's see if I can keep my responses straight this time:

Texasrvrs: Thanks for the "I,m standing here live report". I guess that puts an end to that burning question. Concerning the chalets: Until about 4-5 years ago, the 20 or so chalets you see that are closest to the casino used to be RV sites. Back then the park had about 150 RV sites. I don't think there has been much, if any, conversion of sites in recent years. I hope you did OK at the casino. I am glad to hear that they seem to now had park wide WIFI. Is it still free?

abn: This issue has not been brought up, but I am glad you did.

Cheryl: The "point" wasn't specifically about knowing whether or not another camper ever left their rig. It was that someone who spends the day in the park will see more of what goes on in the park than someone who goes out for most of the day. I won't waste the time and space to give you a specific example of my being out and about in the park (especially a small, uncrowded park) most of the day and only seeing one of my neighbors outside their rig once or twice the entire day.
We camp at state parks where campfires are the norm and we will actually delay or not go camping at all if there's a fire ban because of dry weather or wind conditions.

My sister who is mentally and physically challenged loves campfires. Being autistic, it is one of the things that will keep her attention for more than a few minutes. She loves it and the times we have gone camping and it rains, she keeps pointing to the campfire ring wondering why we're not having a campfire.

Having a campfire for me is very relaxing. There's something about watching embers glow and flames rise and fall that is a great stress reliever for me.

I'm not one of those kind of people who builds a bonfire and lights it with lighter fluid...we usually don't burn more than about three or four pieces of wood which is plenty enough to get enough coals for us to enjoy another thing we like about campfires...mountain pies!

I also like having a campfire because the smoke produced cuts down on those pesty mosquitoes.

The times we don't intend to cook over the campfire, we use duraflame logs which produce little or no smoke or smell, but is just as nice to look at as a real fire.

And, once we start a campfire, we don't leave it unattended and when we're done we make sure that every flame and coal is out before leaving the campfire ring area and we also carry a 5 gallon tin can to put our "campfire debris" in so we don't leave the site a mess for the next person to clean.

Like the one person said there's a difference between camping and RVing...having campfires is one reason why I stick to camping. smile.gif
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Feb 8 2007, 08:42 PM) *

Also while we may not sit around a campfire, we also do not "seal ourselves up in A/C emerging only periodically to walk the poodle." Usually our trips are to an area that has lots to see and do outside the RV park. We spend a great deal of time sightseeing and basically use our motor home as a rolling hotel room. However, we can certainly understand how many people like to get away for the weekend and relax by cooking out and sitting around a campfire with friends and never leave the camp. This just emphasizes again how different people are looking for different experiences from campgrounds/RV parks and if you end up at a place that doesn't provide you with your expected experience you will probably be unhappy.

We usually camp during the week when it's less crowded and during the times we have gone to a campground other than a state park, we have come across people who don't necessarily hole themselves up in their RV, but hole their pets up in it. We've camped next to RV'ers like this and it breaks my heart when I'm at my campsite just relaxing and I have to hear howling and scratching on the door of the rig next to us because the dogs left there miss their owners and these are the same type of people who go around calling their dogs "their babies"...what person in their right mind would leave "their babies" alone by themselves for hours on end??? Maybe they don't realize that their babies don't act the way they do in their absence as they do in their presence...just food for thought for those of you who read this who do leave your pets alone while you go out sightseeing.

I apologize for going off topic, hope ya'll don't mind! smile.gif
QUOTE(BBear @ Feb 14 2007, 01:46 AM) *

I also like having a campfire because the smoke produced cuts down on those pesty mosquitoes.

You are lucky, here in Eastern Canada the mosquitoes, black flies and other friendly beasts are not overly impressed with smoke from campfires.
Jerry S

You've got a lot more guts than I do. Going off topic isn't going to bother too many people, but critical of dog owners is liable to open up a can of worms. So far, even I haven't dared to take on the dog lovers. Put on your protective armor and good luck.

Jerry S.
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