Friday, December 28, 2012

New RV Math

Darling, for $19 a night, I will learn to LOVE camping, trade these high heals and makeup for the chance to travel.  

It's a quote I love, that I heard recently. The campground I am in charges $19.80 per night for camping in Florida at a gorgeous state park campground.

I met a nice couple at the campground who said "We are new at this!  Last time we came to Florida  and stayed in hotels. The price was absolutely ridiculous for what we got. One day we were out sightseeing when we found this park for $19 a night. So I said to my husband, let's get a camper and he said Honey, you don't camp! and I said darling, for $19 a night, I will learn to LOVE camping, trade these high heals and makeup for the chance to travel.  

They went on Craigslist, found a camper for a pickup truck for under a thousand dollars, then drove to Florida to give it a test run. They figured if they hated camping, then they wouldn't be out much money. They came by my site walking their dog when they struck up this conversation. The lady explained "And I do LOVE camping!  The dog goes with us, we can cook at the camp or we can go out, but we aren't just pouring all our money into a hotel room just to sleep and bathe. The restrooms here are nice, the showers are clean, nature is beautiful, what more could we want?  This is wonderful!

It was so much fun to meet someone smitten with the new lifestyle of camping and RV-ing.

28 foot Fleetwood Tioga Montara Class C RV, by
Home is where I park it!
I prefer grass, but my Camp Host lot came paved in concrete.
Home sweet home!
Note: the white car shown is not mine, my friend was visiting when I took this. 

I meet many delightful people in the campground.

But some can't read, count or do math, but still manage to own a luxurious RV that costs a bloody fortune.

How do they do it?  Win the lottery?  Make money the old fashioned way?  (Making money the old fashioned way is to inherit it!)

I am in a park that states on the webapage "Maximum RV length = 30 ft."

So what happens when a 38 foot RV shows up for a 30 foot site?  Recently this happened (again!). The owners lied to the reservation folks so they could get a spot in here because of our wonderful rates. By the time they arrived, they forgot about their lies and ended up yelling at us that their million dollar rig was a nightmare to park on their lot and they didn't appreciate negotiating our curvaceous skinny one lane road.

Believe me, those trying to maneuver around their bumper sticking out in the road,  weren't too happy either. They were offered a refund which they refused, so they had to repark their rig crooked on the lot, to make it more or less fit. Then their car wouldn't fit on the lot too, it stuck out in the road and we were trying to get them to park it at the parking lot at the rangers station, but they didn't want it that far away (it was a brisk 60 second walk) and that didn't suit them either. So more cursing and reparking until they somehow had their rig crammed into the woods and their car on their lot too.

When they left a week or two later, they came by to tell me that they were writing a complaint about what a nightmare our park was and how it took them all freaking morning to extricate their rig from the tiny lot. So I asked the million dollar question.

"Just how big is your rig?"

The man barked at me "It's only 38 feet and we're only towing a Saturn car!"

I tried to gently explain about the website and brochure mentioning the 30 foot limit and he looked at me like I had three eyes and two noses.

Doesn't 38 = 30?

It's a common problem here, people want the great rates and are willing to fib about the size of their rig to get in here. He also went on to complain that we needed 50 amp electrical service, not 30 amp.

Um, well, since 99% of the rigs under 30 feet are 30 amp...  hardly worth installing 50 amp, when no one is going to use it.

I find this all so funny. Let's lie about the size of our rig, pretend it's 8 feet shorter, then scream and yell when it doesn't fit...

Awhile back I wanted to visit a remote campground in the mountains but they had a 25 foot limit and I am 28 feet, so I took them at their word. I didn't reserve a spot. Ironically I ended up in another park nearby that had a special section for 25 feet and under. The dog and I took a walk through that area, and oh my gosh, I don't think I would drive anything over 20 feet on those twisty winding sharply curved roads that lead to the 25 foot and under camping lots.  It was a sobering lesson.

Do the math.

28 feet does not equal 25.
40 feet does not equal 30.
38 feet does not equal 30 either.

Hmm... am I going to fast?  Is this too confusing?

At my favorite beach campground in South Carolina, you look at their map, see these huge 50 foot  lots then note that they mention the rig must be under 20 feet on some of the beachfront lots and 25 on others. It's easy to think, hmm... somebody made a mistake here. I will just park my 45 foot rig on that 50 foot  lot and no one will notice. That is until they show up and find out the reason it was marked for 20 and under was because of all the mature trees growing there.

I ran into an RV-er  there who told me "What they need to do here is, cut down all the trees, widen the road, pave the sites, make them all pull-throughs,  then they could get the big rigs in here right on the beach. I looked around the beautiful quaint park with the towering trees and grassy sites.  I imagined the Walmart type parking lot style  the RV owner wanted. It made me want to cry. How could you pave over mother nature?

They do have other lots that can accommodate 40 feet, and they say so on the map but they aren't beach front and this bothered him. Walking one, two or three minutes to the gorgeous unspoiled beach was just too much work for him and he said so.

"And another thing!" he said "That beach needs some bars, restaurants and shops!  It has nothing!  Who wants to sit on the sand and stare at the ocean all day?  They need to build some stuff, especially a boardwalk, cause I don't want to get sand in my RV!  Why should I have to drive 20 miles to the nearest restaurant when they have 8 miles of empty beach here to build on?"

I turned green, the thought of seeing the wonderful beach destroyed by over-development just churned my stomach.

Sure there are plenty of RV parks that resemble a massive parking lot and many folks love them. But I like beauty, so I look for lakes, trees, oceans,  rivers, grass and so on. I don't want to sit sandwiched in between a plethora of trendy eateries and overpriced shops. Give me beauty any day.

And 38 feet still doesn't equal 30...


  1. Good post... unfortunately too true. The $19 a day couple made me laugh.... kind of like the dog someone gives you for free... then come the vet bills, the upkeep, food etc. But.. hopefully, like the dog, you come to love traveling so much you don't mind the cost.

  2. Excellent post. Hub and I are currently researching rigs and we plan to get 30' or under because anything over greatly limits your abilities to enjoy the lovely outdoors.

  3. Afreakinmen... my pet peeves are the people who haven't a clue other people enjoy nature. If they don't? stay at Walmart ... that's really cheap...

    hate it - especially on a tee tiny slice of beach and the A's come in and take up th e $5 spots right on the beach which should be tent only ... blocking other's views along with running their generators and watching TV..

    I really really hate that

  4. YES! You will LOVE the 30 foot and under RV's. Plenty of beautiful old parks that were built by the CCC are in drop dead gorgeous places and they haven't the heart to plow through the lots to make them any bigger. It wasn't THAT long ago, that a 30 foot rig was considered huge! There are numerous advantages to keeping it simpler... smaller...the biggest advantage to small over big is the FUN factor. You can definitely have more FUN traveling around in a smaller rig. There are more parks to choose from to stay at and the smaller rigs have a lot less maintenance costs. There isn't room to accumulate junk and clutter up the rig. This saves time shopping which saves money. In a small rig, you can randomly stop at whim because you saw something you liked whether it's a beautiful vista or a remote picnic table on the side of a country road.

  5. Hooray!! I sure am glad to hear from some one that enoys nature as much as I do. Why don't you generate a hand out for people such as you described and give them a gentle hint to find other places to stay. With your gift for writing,I'm sure you could do it very good and without puncturing their super ego.

  6. Amazing that folks lie like that, then expect to be doted over. Idiots.

  7. That man that said....... That beach needs some bars, restaurants and shops!......needs to go back to the concrete jungle and stay in the concrete jungle.

    It is just dangerous to let that guy loose in nature.


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