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There's Only One Wrong Way to Camp

When we first decided to move into an RV, we didn't realize there were so many different categories of camping. "Glamping," "Boondocking," "Full-timing," "Hashtag-van-life-ing," and "Cracker Docking" were all foreign concepts. We just knew there was..... camping. 

Turns out, lots of people strongly identify with the particular type of camping they prefer. There are folks who plan their stays in RV resorts, which are lined with sparkling pools and hot tubs, high-speed internet and advanced cable offerings, rolling hills, manicured gardens and grounds, restaurants on property, and other stellar amenities. We've seen lazy rivers, personal trainers and gyms full of Peloton bikes, and curated activities to enjoy. The RV spots in these locations are usually quite large with ample space between each rig and full hook-ups on pads with paver stones. What's not to like, right?! 

5852a8_baccf0d1f8ba4f6d8ac6bf5b9c66383d_mv2_d_6016_4016_s_4_2Desert Shores Luxury Motorcoach RV Resort | Indio, California

Apparently.... quite a lot. Although these RV resorts are clearly the place to go for relaxation and pampered vacation, there is quite a hoard of internet trolls who are always ready to pounce on individuals who are guests of these resorts. Recently, I uploaded a video on TikTok that featured such a park. The comments came fast and furious with one common theme: "That's not camping!"   Trolls be trollin. Whether the source of vitriol was jealousy for these gorgeous rigs (most of which were $700k+ class A coaches) or just a closed mind to other ways of enjoying time in an RV, the comments were just plain ugly. 

20170806_alexandria_bay_007Photo courtesy of RVCastaways.com 

There are many who subscribe to the ideal that "boondocking" is the most pure form of outdoorsy behavior. This means that instead of making a reservation at a campground or RV park, you find a beautiful spot and put the rig in park. Done.  There are no water, electric, or sewer hookups at a true boondocking location, which is often fueled by solar panels and generators. Campers use their fresh water tank and dump their gray/black water tanks at the next available dump station. There are certainly advantages to this camping approach, the most obvious being the connection to nature in total solitude. I once spoke to a couple who was remembering back to a week of boondocking on free public lands in Colorado where, according to their memory, they never donned clothing for seven days straight. There is also a level of flexibility when you aren't tied to specific dates and regulations of campgrounds; it's a romantic version of camping to be sure.

boondocking-1

Photo courtesy of TheDyrt.com

We fall somewhere in the middle.  Usually, we find ourselves in crowded campgrounds, but do enjoy a luxurious resort or deserted mountain vista from time to time. The beauty of this lifestyle is to spend time in nature and to roll down the road to constantly experience new crannies of this gorgeous country. It would be dreadfully boring to have the same camping experience every time you set up camp; mix it up, folks!

In my opinion, there is no right way to camp and only one undoubtedly wrong way: (having a vocal opinion about how anyone else spends time in their RV is clearly the wrong way to camp. Who has time for that noise when there are things to see and campfires to build?) Camping is a state of mind. Get in your car with a tent in the trunk, or your 1994 travel trailer, or your 1956 fully restored Airstream, or your conversion van with bikes on the back, or your 2022 Newmar Class A, and just hit the road. Find the place that makes you feel comfortable and aligns with your goals.  If you want to find the place that has the best candy bar Bingo, that's all you, man.   Perhaps you want to not see another living human being until you had back to the office next week, and that's awesome, too.  Just make sure you leave your spot cleaner than you found it, and you're golden.

What's your favorite way to camp? Do you mix it up, or have you found your niche and you're sticking to it? 

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Happy travels! 

-Emily


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