Just like having a home, kids, grandkids, car, boat or any other possessions that make your life more enjoyable, RVing can be an amazing, wonderful journey. We love RVing and can’t imagine what our lives would be like without it as we have had many incredible trips, seen absolutely beautiful scenery this country has to offer and made many new friends. I’m about to tell you the 5 things that we don’t like about RVing. They may sound awful, but don’t let it scare you, because they are far and few in between.
The best part about traveling is you know you are on your way to some place new and exciting. Part of the fascination and fun is in traveling, is seeing the beautiful scenery while on the road. We love exploring new areas, riding our bikes through beautiful parks and scenery and meeting new people. But the worst part can be the traveling itself. I start to get antsy after 3 hours because I get tired of sitting. Even though we may stop for breaks, I just want to be there and get set up, relax and see what the area has to offer.
a) The worst fear about traveling is having a Blow Out. If you don’t think it can happen to you, better think again. We have had 2 blow outs in 4 years on tires that had good tread. We have talked to many people that have had at least one, if not two blow outs. Kat and Bubba from Tipsy Marlin had 2 blow outs in the same day. Just be prepared with the proper equipment.
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b) We absolutely hate traveling through busy Major Cities. Driving at 10 mph for long periods of time is not fun. People can be rude and not let you get over when you need to exit, especially when traveling on bad roads with miles of construction. Even worse is when your GPS doesn't give you enough notice for an exit or gets confused because it thinks you're off the road because construction has a temporary road you have to drive on, or even worse tells you to make a wrong turn. We also hate the SO MANY bad roads across America especially the ones that have a steady rhythm of ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum that rocks everything you are carrying including your own kidneys.
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c) Another thing about traveling (with a HDT - Heavy Duty Truck) is having to use Truck Stops. If you are just going in for fuel, it’s OK, except for the huge pot holes and cracks you have to dodge in their parking lots and potentially long lines at the pump stations. The good part is how quickly you can fuel up with two pumps when you have two tanks holding 150 gallons each. We love truckers. They are one of the most essential people on this earth as everything you have was on a truck at one time and they deserve better than what they have to go through at truck stops. But we don’t like it when they park where they are not supposed to such that you can’t get through the parking lot. Most of the time it’s not their fault, it’s the poor design of the truck stop itself. However, it can be a nightmare for others trying to maneuver in or out of the truck stop.
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d) Another thing we don’t like about traveling is Inclement Weather. We make our reservations in advance due to our length and set-up and want to make sure we will fit into a site. So, when our time is up and we have to move on, we may have to deal with rain, or even worse, snow or ice. We have been forced to leave early and seek out another campground many miles away due to an oncoming hurricane and traveled in that freak ice storm Texas had back in 2021.
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e) Postponements due to construction, weather and unforeseen circumstances can also be a problem. Especially if it increases your expected length of time to get to your next destination such that you have to set up in the dark. Most campgrounds close their offices at a certain time and if you are not there by then, you may be locked out or not be able to get to your site. Or if they have a packet waiting for you, you will have to figure out how to maneuver through their park in the dark and hope you can find the numbers on the sites. Most parks are very dark at night and trying to get pulled in where you need to be and hook-up can be a pain in the butt.
f) Last but not least, we just don’t like the Setting Up and Taking Down of the Equipment every time we move to a new campground. It seems like we just get our chairs, stools, tables, grill, griddle, rugs, water softener, filter, pressure gauge, power cord, satellite TV, propane hook up, table cloth, awning screen and flags just the way we like them and then we have to put them all away again. And it’s just no fun setting up or pack up in the rain or snow. Dealing with car attachments, chocks, leveling, electric, water and sewer hookups in bad weather can start the day out on the wrong foot.
2. Care of Equipment
a) There are a lot of things that you need to take into consideration when owning an RV. One of the first things that did not dawn on me was Repairs and the fact that you can’t just drive down to your local dealership at the corner to get things fixed like you do with a car. Depending on the RV you have, you may need to take it to a repair shop that specializes in your brand. You may even have to drive several states away for proper repair. Or maybe you don’t trust the one-time-never-see-you-again mobile repair guy or maybe you have heard horror stories about the local RV dealer. And if you do find a reputable repair shop you trust, it may take months to get in. Even worse, I have heard of people taking their RVs (usually motorhomes) in for repair and not getting them back for months. In other words, you better have some handyman skills that you can use on the fly to get you by. That means you need to have tools with you too.
b) When traveling on the wonderful roads that we have from point A to point B, we are always wondering if Something Broke. We have learned to open the slides just enough to look at the sofa area and make sure the end tables (with the non-slip pads) have not moved or the drawers have opened to get crushed by the opening slides. We have also learned to open the refrigerator doors very slowly. Over time, we have added bungie cords to many cabinets and learned what needs to be put on the bed or on the floor.
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c) Just like the RV, you will need Repairs or General Maintenance on other equipment too. You will also need to have repairs or general maintenance on your truck, car, trailer/tote, bikes, appliances, and basically anything that has power or moves. You do need to keep in mind that general maintenance is needed from air filter vents, water cartridges, insect prevention, caulk to roof condition, brakes, bearings and batteries. It is your home away from home and traveling down a road shaking it like an earthquake will require both repairs and maintenance.
d) Washing and cleaning can be one of those things you enjoy or don’t. We don’t. Cleaning dust, mud, dirt, salt, bird poop and whatever else off of the RV and truck just isn’t one of those things we enjoy. Re-caulking and polishing just isn’t our cup of tea. But it is part of the package. Just like a home. You may not need to clean the outside of your home very often, but you have a lawn, garden and landscape you need to take care of. Of course, you can always pay someone to take care of all of these if you want. Cleaning the inside isn’t that much fun either. Vacuuming tons of sand or tiny bits of gravel, or polishing dust from all the wood surfaces just isn’t that much fun. But you got to do what you got to do to keep your traveling home in tip top shape.
e) Dealing with the Black and Gray Tanks are not exactly at the top of our list for fun and games. When you have a sewer hookup, it’s no big deal, until it starts to leak, or you didn’t have a good connection or you forgot your gloves. If you boondock or stay in campsites without sewer (which we do a lot), you will need to use the "blue boy" (portable waste tank). We try to use the parks bathrooms. Dave happens to like using the parks showers (when they are nice) as he likes super long, super-hot showers. He times that with his morning constitution to save on both tanks. I will take a camper’s shower in the RV and periodically use the park bath houses.
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f) Originally, when we started camping in parks Without Sewer (USACE campgrounds which we love), we were very careful about how much water we were using to fill the gray tank, i.e., washing dishes, shutting off water while brushing teeth, doing no laundry in the RV, short showers, etc. But, here we are glamping in this beautiful set-up, but using water like we are in a pop-up. So, we decided to use the water almost as normal as with sewer. That is using the dish washer and laundry as wanted, but taking short showers, which I do anyways. Then just dump the gray tank as needed. Dave empties the 75-gallon gray tank about every 2 to 3 days. If we don’t do any laundry, we can go about 4 days without a dump. Dave says it’s really not that big of a deal to dump gray water. Black water? Well, that’s a little stinky, so the campground bath houses are still in play. We can go about 2 weeks on our 50-gallon black tank, which is about the longest we ever stay in one place. We will then use the dump station on our way out of the park.
Most campgrounds are old and were made for the 25-foot weekender pull trailers from days gone by. They just weren’t made for the 45-foot motorhomes and toy haulers or the big fifth wheels being pulled by dullies or HDTs. Many campgrounds have taken 2 back-to-back back-in spots and turned them into 1 long pull-thru site or revamped sites to accommodate bigger rigs. Some parks are adding sites that are extra wide so the pull-vehicle can be parked along side instead of in front of the RV.
Another problem is the fact that there are soooo many RVs out there now. Just being able to reserve a site in a campground is difficult. I actually waited for a campground to release campsites for reservations to the minute they were released (6-months in advance). At that minute, the site I wanted was already taken and it was sold out in the matter of minutes.
The biggest problems we run into are:
a) Tight entries and roads and there are no places to pull over while getting registered and RVs end up sticking out in the road. Then we have to squeeze through the gate in hopes of not taking out a pole.
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b) Bad roads seem to be a common theme in many campgrounds. Pot holes and ruts are not exactly kind to anyone’s rigs. And many roads are narrow making it difficult to back into a campsite. Or they might have ditches which cause you to have to do a 16-point back-in. And you know someone is always watching.
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c) Highway traffic or airport noise is annoying. When you are camping, you want peace and quiet and don’t want to hear the highway or jets taking off. Have you ever noticed how many RV parks you see along the highway when traveling?
d) Untrimmed trees are dangerous. Not only can they scrape and damage your vehicles and equipment, they can be in your way when trying to set up such that you are constantly ducking and hoping to not get poked in the eye. They can also get in the way of your awnings.
e) Poor amenities are also uncalled for. Dirty bathrooms, showers that are push-button or have no hooks or shelves or bench are ridiculous. Dirty or malfunctioning pools or hot tubs is annoying especially if that is one of the reasons you want to be at that campground. Speaking of hot tubs…do not let little kids in hot tubs! Hot tubs are made for adults to relax and enjoy. They are not met for little kids to play or snorkel in. Oh, and by the way…keep the rubber pants out of the pool too.
f) Paying for “extras”. We think Wi-Fi should be included such that you can get connection at your RV. Also, you shouldn’t have to pay extra for 50 amp or to have packages delivered to the campground for you. The cost for campsites is going up and not cheap and we would like to see these things included. Oh yeah, don’t charge me to use your pool table either.
Actual campsites can cause additional stress too, such as:
a) Unusable campsites just pisses us off. We have seen many campgrounds with electrical posts painted red or bagged so they can’t be used. Of course, these are usually the best ones in the park. Poor park maintenance is uncalled for.
b) Unlevel campsites can be unusable. We have actually been at campsites where we had to put block after block under the steps just to get inside the RV. We have actually shoveled gravel into the aprons leading into the campsite due to the huge ruts and pot holes. Mud pits and long grass is just poor maintenance too.
c) Blind back-ins, why? Most of the campgrounds we go to have blink black-ins. Maybe they need to have an actual RVer on their committee when they design campgrounds. Blind back-ins can be very trying for the driver and spotter as they cannot see the site they are backing into. Many sites have views that require blind back-ins and that we understand. But when there is no view, keep them so the driver can see where he/she is backing using his mirrors.
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d) Crowded campgrounds decrease the enjoyment. Campgrounds that have sites that are so close your awning almost touch or you can hear their conversation from the inside, just makes the camping experience less enjoyable. We like a little room and privacy.
e) Ants, bees, biting flies can ruin a vacation. There is always going to be some bugs you have to deal with, but campgrounds that have huge mounds of red, biting ants can be controlled by campground maintenance. We use spray and powder all the time, but find ourselves getting bit once in a while anyways. If you do get bit, don't scratch it and spray BioFreeze on it several times. No more itch.
f) First Come First Served is taking a chance. No site-reservable campgrounds can become a problem if when you get there and there are no spots left. Call a head if you can, but you are still leaving it up to chance with the other millions of RVers searching for a campsite too. This is when Walmart’s that allow overnight stays come in handy.
One of the absolute best parts of camping is meeting new people. We have made a lot of friends along our journey. Maybe you saw your picture in our Christmas video. However, people will be people and sometimes they can fall into one of these categories:
a) Rude campers: those with yapping dogs, or party after hours, or play loud music, or are drunk and yell or fight may make you want to move. We actually know of a person that got shot to death due to a neighbor getting involved with a domestic issue in the camper next door to them. Also having people cross through your campsite is rude.
b) RV park self-appointed cops: You gotta love the speed-controller that yells at you for going 7 in a 5mph area in your car, but they speed along in their own golf cart or bicycles at 15 mph or more. Dave got yelled at for wearing his flip-flops into a pool deck as there was a sign that said “no shoes”. I got yelled at for driving my Spyder across a path from the RV park to the Walmart next door. I never did that. I just drove to where the path started to see where it was located. I was on a street.
c) Small rigs in the biggest sites: Some parks we have been to have open sites and some sites are short and some are long enough for us to be able to keep our truck and RV together. (Sometimes we have to park our truck elsewhere). It frustrates us when we see a 20-foot trailer in a 65-foot site when there a ton of 40-foot sites available.
d) Miss-informed or rude hosts: We have mostly met super nice, very helpful, friendly hosts at campgrounds. We have partied with some and became friends. However, we have met some that don’t smile, yell at Rvers, talk nasty about other RVers to other RVers, etc. We know of friends that have talked to a host in advance describing their rig set-up, length, needs, etc. and they just said “No, problem, you’ll be fine.” And they are not fine, cannot maneuver in their park and then need to find someplace else to go. With a big rig, you have to Google Earth and research every campground and not rely on the host.
❤ WE LOVE RVING!
There are times when we get frustrated with things that happen while RVing, but that is part of the lifestyle. Just like dealing with homes and kids…it’s always something. The “good” out way the “bad” by a lot, that you forget the bad stuff quickly. We never get bored. We have seen some of the most amazing sites, road through absolutely gorgeous mountain terrains and have so many new friends. The great part is that we meet up with our new RV friends from time to time to reminisce and have fun. These friends will do anything for you. You don’t know how it will be until you try it. You have to try it to see if it is right for you. Give it a try. Knowing what we know now, we would not have changed anything for the world and feel so blessed to be able to live like this.
❤ Thanks for stopping by ❤