I have now owned four RVs, a class A Winnebago, Class C, a 5th wheel and now another class A RV. I have traveled from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, from Tucson to Hampton Roads VA from Kentucky to Texas and back through La. Ms. Al. to Fl. and then up through Ga and Tn. I have learned some expensive lessons. Old RVs are just looking for a place to be repaired, if you can’t do it yourself your going to pay through the nose for someone else to do it for you. New units are not immune to being broken and getting them fixed can be a nightmare dealing with dealerships and their (lack of) service departments. First off RVs are built to get a person to spend money, lots of money not to work well or last a long time. Even if I pay a lot of money to have something done I can’t expect that it will be done right the first time and can’t expect courtesy or respect for spending my money at their place of business. Maybe it is because the usual customer they deal with is a demanding chiseling old bastard and they are just trying to get even with the next customer. I just know whether buying something or getting something serviced or repaired I have to be on guard to being treated badly or even ripped off.
RV parks and destination parks. Unless you get a personal recommendation from a friend, you don’t know what your going to get even with franchise operations. Almost all don’t give value for the money; many are outrageous with their charges and crowded facilities that are poorly maintained. Frequently their staff are rude uninformed and uninterested in you. Just pay your money obey the rules and don’t complain or need anything they can’t sell you. This extends to those communities that don’t want RVs parking in the business parking lots either because the local RV park is owned by somebody with political pull or the town is so snooty that they don’t even want quarter million dollar units there because it doesn’t fit in with their idea of paradise. I have some choice words for them mostly bad words ending with good-bye I’ll take my money else where.
Clubs and organizations are another sore point with me. Most clubs are businesses out to maximise profits not for fellowship or aid to the RV’r. You’re an economic unit to be used and milked while bull-shitting you into thinking they are doing you a favor by taking your money. Most organisations have some Byzantine rules and procedures that only the inner circle knows how to work to their advantage. Also be aware there is a hierarchy of membership first those with the big expensive rigs think they run things and will be quick to let you know it, if they will talk to you at all if your a lesser creature, the one with the older or less expensive unit. Next are the people that feel they have senority and privelage and tell you how things are run usually to their advantage where they feel more in control. Then there are the rule Nazis, the usually self appointed people who enforce the rules on others whether the rules actually exist or not. However these same Nazis don’t usually bother the big guys as they’ll be sent packing real quick. There is a sub group I call the scouts they have to find out all about you, where you come from, why your here,where have you been, what are you politics, who do you know, what is your sexual preference/religous affiliation, how much money you have or don’t have, what did you do in your previous life, yadda yadda yadda…crap they never stop asking questions and spreading the news. Be aware there are some serious politics in these “clubs”.
So you ask “If you don’t like RV businesses and clubs then why do you RV?”. I use an RV to live in, to travel and see this part of the world. Traveling sooths a deep seated need within me. I have always been on the move since I can remember, never staying in a place for to long a time just a few months, maybe if forced a year or two, then I pack it up and hit the road. A new place, new people, new experiences are to me, like going to a smorgasbord and being hungry, it satisfies my need.
I enjoy the natural beauty of the world around me and enjoy meeting new people (up to a point). Camping out in the woods or desert with nary a soul around sooths me like petting a furry pet, either you like/need it or you don’t. I need the experience of travel and solitude to me moving is life; birds do it, elk do it even butterflys do it.
I am going to try and fix things myself and be as aware as possible to the actual costs involved in maintaining my unit. I am resolved not to use RV parks if possible and if I do for only as short a time as possible. I will participate in clubs only to the extent I feel comfortable, if I don’t feel treated well I am out of there! I hope that when treated ill by someone I have the nerve to tell ’em to go fry ice and leave me alone I don’t bother others or treat others badly and I don’t want to be treated less then how I treat others. Fair enough I say….