Editor’s note: A coding error had this story appearing on the website only and not in Monday’s newsletter. RV Daily Report is running it in the newsletter today.
EDMOND, Wash. — “I have learned more about RVing in the last six months of full-timing than in the last 10 years of RVing part-time in a smaller RV. I’ve written recently about the need for more campgrounds to accommodate all the new RVers. But I now believe I was looking at this wrong: It’s not a lack of campgrounds, it’s just way too many RVers,” wrote RV Travel Editor Chuck Woodbury.
“Yahoo Finance ran a story last week, saying the demand for RVs is “insatiable.” Why? Baby Boomers are retiring en masse and buying RVs en masse,” he wrote. “The fact is, the word is out that traveling or even living in an RV in one’s retirement has many advantages over buying a second home, and is typically more affordable.
“Visit Arizona or Florida in the winter to see the evidence. If you’re a young RVing family, good luck finding a place to stay: Most parks in these areas require guests be at least 55 years old.
“February’s survey of manufacturers conducted by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) found wholesale shipments continuing the strong start to 2017 with a monthly total of 39,428 units. That represents a 9.7 percent rise compared to 35,929 units in February 2016, and an 8.6 percent gain over last month’s very strong total of 33,859. These RVers will now compete for the same campsites as you and me.
“The RVIA is relentless in its promotion of RVing. It’s doing a great job. RVs are flying off the lots. RV makers and dealers are peeing their collective pants, they’re so happy. The image that the RVIA is promoting is misleading. Look at the image above. These are used in advertising by the RVIA to create demand for RVing. How often can you camp in such places? An RV park is much more likely to be like what you see in the photos below — row upon row of RVs with little space between rigs.
“A spontaneous RV roadtrip is all but dead. The idea of going where you want, when you want is nearly impossible unless you are far from popular tourist destinations or hole up often in rest areas, truck stops or Wal-Mart parking lots,” said Woodbury. “Forget showing up at a popular National Park expecting to find a campsite. Heck, you probably won’t find a campground within 20 miles in the prime tourist season.”
“RVs are still wonderful for mobile living. Gail and I love our RV and the ability to ‘travel with our home.’ But we have abandoned the idea that we can leave one campsite and easily find another decent one that evening without making a reservation, typically weeks or even months ahead in popular areas. We don’t like staying in parking lots,” he explained.
Woodbury’s full editorial can be found at www.rvtravel.com.