We all know that one person, couple, or family that has taken to the road in their RV. Some of these people are only gone for a few months while others live in their RVs full time. When we get the chance to see them, we are regaled with tales of their travels and the new friends they made at campsites or at other places they were visiting. From the outside it seems like it would be difficult to make these friends as RVers appear to be completely closed off from everyone around them as they travel in a mobile home with everything they could ever need. But RVers actually have a rich culture and a strong sense of community. Many of these people follow the same annual patterns and get to see friends at the same campgrounds. Since the rise of the internet and social media, this culture and community has become even stronger as RVers are able to connect with likeminded people around the world. There are many different aspects of RV culture that makes it enticing for so many people.
For some people, the RV life has become the new “American Dream.” It allows them to travel while having a home. For many fulltime RVers, the biggest drawback to traveling for long periods of time was that they did not often get a chance to sleep in their own bed. RVs allow them to have both: travel and their own bed. RV life helps them save money. Even if the RV needs repairs, it is more often than not far cheaper to repair the RV than it would have been to repair the same thing in a house. It forces them to spend more time outside and try new things. This is a result of the mild drawback of the RV allowing for so little personal space, but many RVers are grateful that they have become more unplugged. It also forces them to live a more minimalist lifestyle. Many people find that a minimalist lifestyle has more benefits than drawbacks. And, without the extra space found in a house or an apartment, it is much easier to keep track of what you do and do not need.
The internet has become a large part of the RV culture and community. For the individual, couple or family that has taken to the road, it allows for at least one person to hold a stable job that they are able to do remotely. This gives them a steady income to fund their expenses and excursions. For others, the internet allows them to connect with other RVers. They can ask for advice, offer suggestions, or even connect with people who share their interests. They can find up-to-date reviews of campgrounds and RV parks. They can find what days certain attractions are busy. It even allows people who are undecided about whether or not to purchase an RV to discover the ups and downs of owning an RV as well as get insights and opinions from those who already have RVs.
The RV culture is different from many others, but a big aspect of it is its power to draw in new people to the community. In addition to the internet community where one can find insights and opinions, the community found at campgrounds and RV parks is unlike any other. Ed Richardson, owner of Stony Ridge KOA in Perrysburg, Ohio, compares RV people to motel people, for example. “Motel people check in. Unlock the door. Go in. Shut the door and never walk out again. If you walk down the roads in a campground it’s, ‘Hi, where you from? Where you going?’ And if anything goes wrong at your site, there will be four or five people there giving you a hand.” The RV community is full of people ready and willing to connect and help wherever they can.
From the outside, it looks like RVers live a life where they only interact with the people they share their mobile home with and those they occasionally visit. But when examined closer it becomes clear that there is a strong culture and community among RVers. They share interests, goals and desires. RV life provides many with opportunities they would not have had if they stayed in a house or an apartment. This lifestyle helps them save money, connect with others and fulfil their dreams of traveling.
Writer – Emmalee Rice.
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