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Our top five RV frustrations



blog-0742233001378216944.jpgNot all is always good about RVing.

Here are our top five RV frustrations:

1) Deplorable campground conditions – This, we believe, is one of the biggest scandals of the RV world. There are many campgrounds that could more accurately be described as overcrowded slums. What amazes me is that they have good reviews in the big publications, which tells me that either the reviews are phony, the publication doesn’t physically inspect the campgrounds or they are so out of date they are worthless. Just this year we’ve stayed in campgrounds where the sewers are clogged, the bathroom toilets are clogged, the sites are dirty, the restrooms have bugs and broken windows, the water hookups leak, electric pedestals are dangerously loose and shorting out and the help is surly and indifferent. We need to put pressure on campground associations, reviewing sources and sometimes local health departments. Filthy, ill kept campgrounds really do damage to the entire RV industry and need to be exposed, run out of business or forced to clean up.

2) Unscrupulous RV dealers – Yes, there are some of them, too. I hear a lot from readers about RV dealers who do shoddy service, bill for work or parts they didn’t install, price gouge and promise a certain delivery to get a sale but then keep backing off the date after purchase. Another complaint I’ve heard more than once is about salesmen who badmouth certain models (which they sell) only so they can move out inventory on models they haven’t been able to sell. I recommend that new buyers get at least two quotes from competing dealers and get eveything in very detailed writing before buying.

3) RV Class Discrimination – There are too many RV parks and resorts that refuse to allow Class B or C motorhomes to stay there. This often comes from communities that want upscale RVers but don’t want pop ups and tents and so they make zoning laws or regulations prohibiting overnight camping by units under a certain length. So even though a Class B or Class C motorhome may have cost as much as the Class A behemoths, they are not allowed entry. Personally, these resorts are not where I want to stay. If we wanted a subdivision, we’d have bought a vacation home instead of an RV. But a lot of folks have written me over the past two years who resent being excluded from RV resorts and I see their point: Such RV class discrimination is just wrong.

4) People who burn trash in their campfire rings Burning your RV garbage in he campsite firepit is hazardous to your health and the health of those who are nearby and have to breath it. The typical household trash generated by RVers contains a lot of plastics and paper treated with chemicals, coatings, and inks. Besides the smoke, the ashes that remain contain concentrated amounts of these toxic materials that can blow away or seep into the soil and groundwater. Please, stop burning garbage!

5) Inconsiderate neighbors – This a broad class and includes people who don’t pick up after their pets, cigar smokers who stink up entire campgrounds, campers who insist on watching TV outside with the volume turned loud, those who arrive late at night after most people are asleep and proceed to shout directions and back up instructions as they set up camp, dogs left alone to bark and bark and bark, neighboring campers who use profanity in every other sentence and people who leave campground restrooms and showers filthy.

The simple way for us to avoid most of these frustrations has been to spend more and more time boondockiing or alone by ourselves or with a few friends in state and national forests. That has been when we’ve most enjoyed RVing.

The more we RV, the more we are finding that big campgrounds are just not our thing.

How about you? What are your biggest RV frustrations and how do you get around them?


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I agree with #1 as we have travelled in our Roadtrek Pop190 across Canada and now back across the US - we are still en-route and currently at the Mount Rushmore KOA - we have had some awful sites and now since we are are out of season check them before registering. I have given up on the Dirctories too much paper and not accurate. Re #2 we have been fortunate ... We are in week 12 and so far have had a propane regulator failure (scary), Chevy AC failure, Toilet valve failure and recently waste pipe separation (I drove off to let vehicles pass but there was a dip that broke the connection - I was able to strap the pipe so it did not drag in the ground and we limped the next 50 miles to Sheridan WY). On all occasions we got lucky by using small town RV Service Companies or just "local garages with guys who can fix anything". For example our waste water pipe system is now better than original thanks to Mike in Sheridan WY at Tongue Desiel. Bottom Line go to small town locals for your en-route repairs.


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Regarding deplorable RV parks: We too experienced some bad paks this summer. Maybe a partial solution would be to identify some parks as temporary construction worker parks, long term resitdend parks, "camping" parks, etc. We hate having to camp near junked autos and pick-ups, heaps of personal belongings by junky "yards" at parking sites, etc. Wish the books could rate parks (accurately) somehow - maybe like hotels. We have enjoyed the half price clubs/parks, but these tend to be for the poorer parks.

We are returnees to Roadtreking, having had a Type A for 6 years, we have now returned to our favorite unit - the 210! What joy!

Warner Davidson

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WHewwww. Nothing like venting about the downside of camping! Your article lists what definitely can ruin your stay while in any campground. Unfortunately, you are absolutely on the mark and factual. These things will drive you crazy, if you let them. Keep in mind that we are all from different walks of life and I don't think I have ever stayed in a campground during the last 40 years where I did not observe at least one of these violations. It is unfortunate that we as campers cannot work together and resolve these problems. I agree with your top five but I don't let it ruin my stay if possible. At times it can be very hard. Fortunately, we now have the internet and can look to other campers to provide accurate and current information regarding these issues. Personally I look to the forums I frequent most for information. Any IT campers who would like to try and build a site to offer this information out there? It would not be easy to validate the reviews as we all know about opinions. They are all different and vary greatly. Good luck to all while dealing with these very frustrating occurrences. Hoping we all experience far more good than bad as we make our own trails across the country.

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