My Personal Thoughts and Observations...
This page was last edited 04/10/02
As I participate in the RVing world I am making observations and like anyone I have the attendant thoughts which may or may not be of interest to anyone. That's what this page is of course... a place for me to comment. Don't take it personally 'cause it certainly isn't personal... just my observations. A bit of history about Roy and Carol could also give you some insight in the attitudes I display here. I've also decided to start a human interest page based on news stories and such that I find around. I'll do this as I get time.
We bought what we believe to be one heck of a nice RV. Since the purchase we've started to focus on RVs where before we really didn't pay that much attention. It's like never noticing a VW and then you buy one and all of a sudden they're everywhere! They were always there before but I just didn't pay that much attention.
We haven't been back into RVing all that long but as we visit camping parks we've been observing the other units that are there. We've also been observing the accessories that they have and are using. That gives us ideas on what we need to do. If there is one thing that we've noted throughout it is that there seems to be no standard in anything. Unless there is a club in a campground (which means several units of the same manufacture) then there seems to be as many different brands as there are campsites. We viewed some 250 units in Branson and found that there were very few units of like manufacture. The brands that did seem to have more than one represented were still five (5) or less in number and there were only a couple of those.
We were visiting Branson on a weekday so I'm making an assumption that the RV units were more representations of serious RVers than casual weekenders. Among all those units there were motorhomes and fifth wheels. There were few if any popups, or tents present. The accessories that the units had (apparent due to being seen from casual outside view) were many and there were no set standards. For instance it seems that no two people had purchased the same sewer hose support, satellite dish mount, etc. You just virtually can't be wrong no matter what you get to do the job it would seem.
There were several oddities. For instance why would a guy driving a Holiday Rambler Navigator (very expensive motorhome) have a vehicle that he's towing set up with a welded up piece of trash in the front bumper area to tow it? It was a small pickup but even so... gimme a break! Another guy has a big motorhome and a satellite dish but must have spent hours cutting up PVC pipe and gluing it together to make a stand for the satellite dish to sit outside. For a few dollars he cold have had a nice Bullseye mount or a tripod for the satellite dish and been able to adjust it to obtain signal easily.
On the other hand there were some very nice folks that had put a lot of care and work into their RV. We enjoyed visiting with them. You'll virtually always find friendship in the campgrounds and usually folks are more than willing to help out with their solution to a problem/situation.
On a family relationship level I have to give the RV world a strong 10 out of a possible 10. My wife and I have been enjoying the outdoors and the new friendships we've found. Our grandchildren have really gotten into RVing and they are having a ball when we take them with us. Mark it down in the how to wear out a kid category. They are also going places that they otherwise would not, and seeing historical sites, natural beauty, and enjoying the friendships also. Cooking over an open fire is exciting for them also.
On a sad note... a friend recently passed away at age 62, quite unannounced. It happens that he and his family were the initiating factors that led my family into trailer camping. We started nearly twenty-five years ago camping with their family and it was a grand start!
I have some thoughts on a consumer group that I saw advertised recently. I really value the input of others when it is taken in a positive light. What I hate to see is a preponderance of attempts to show sales/service people as all being 'out to get you'. That is simply not the case. It is of some value to have input on what to buy and where to buy it. You must remember also that there are a lot of nice people out there prepared to assist you with your purchases. The people that I have dealt with are extremely nice and have attempted at every turn to help out with our RV.
At no time do I want you to 'waste' money on your RVing experience, yet you should be prepared to spend some money. Investment in the proper accessories will pay for itself in the long run. If you're a cheap bastard then this is not the place for you. If you're conservative then that is fine and RVing is a good place to make those kind of choices. Personally... I won't spend hours trying to rig something that I can simply spend a few dollars and purchase.
As I've read the newsgroups lately I've noted a lot of divergence of opinion. As always there are numerous opinions about everything. It still is a good place to get information and perhaps help out another. This is also a good place to poll a group to get links to information you may want or need. As I note these links, if they are of general interest I'm trying to put them on the web page for others.
What I'm also seeing is that there are more camping/RVing experiences out there than anyone could possibly enjoy if they had a lifetime to enjoy them. There are groups for folks from all walks of life... young/old, men/women, married/single, extroverts/introverts <g>, whatever. I've already learned about places that I would have never known about, let alone visited. I'm putting some of them on my list of places to see. There are numerous opportunities for my grandkids to get a real-time education. It has brought the family closer together if that is possible in our family. We already enjoy each other's company often.
The upbringing of folks seems to be as diverse and the areas that we are visiting. When I was brought up it was not acceptable to wear one's hat while 'in the house'. In a refreshing meeting the other day I actually found a father that subscribed to some of the basic conduct that I had been taught when growing up. Parents these days either want to believe that their kid wasn't guilty, or that the kid is only growing up, or it couldn't possibly have been their kid. Don't get me wrong... there are one hell of a lot of nice kids out there. There are also one hell of a lot of squirrels out there. What kind of an idiot would sit down at a dinner table and wear a 10 gallon hat ( western hat ) to eat? Gimme a break! The guy is a card-carrying member of 'squirrels are us' in my opinion. Just as bad is the baseball cap. Only good if a bird is loose in the restaurant and there is a threat of bird droppings. Pardon me? Haven't seen any loose birds lately in restaurants! And then there's the multi-colored hair crowd... and is piercing in or what? Or what a joke? Are we raising Indian tribesmen. I thought National Geographic was where this kind of thing was a regular.
Had my kids come home pierced or with some kind of crapo hair I'd have given them hell to be sure. Had I had boys... it would have been a rare day they would have been stupid enough to wear their hat 'in the house'. My kids don't seem to have suffered for the attitude and in fact they are all productive members of society.
The subject of Wal-Mart parking/camping comes up on occasion so I've a mind to address it. My personal feelings are that any parking lot, Wal-Mart included, is a viable spot to stop my motorhome and 'park' for a quick nights rest. When traveling it is sometimes impossible to locate a decent campground at a reasonable price that I can safely get into at 0-dark thirty if you know what I mean. I can pull into a rest area (which I have done) or a Wal-Mart (which I haven't done yet) and spend a night getting some sleep. There are always the folks that take advantage of this and 'camp' at a Wal-Mart. I have seen it.
8 PM in the evening... a time when anyone could have found a good campground at a reasonable price (there was one 5 minutes away this time) and there were four (4) units in a Wal-Mart that we were visiting. They had barbeques out, lawn chairs, and other such dribble. They were clearly 'camping'. They were not forced by darkness or other safety considerations to park at Wal-Mart. I don't believe that this is right. We will, of our own volition, end up killing a good thing for the travelers that need a quick 'rest stop'.
The city of Rapid City, SD has addressed the problem and a ban is on the way. For more information<CLICK HERE>. With what they have been faced with... I'm going to have to agree that the response was necessary. There are probably more reasonable solutions to the problem that would require some enforcement. Perhaps a flyer passed out by the Wal-Mart when someone comes to 'stay'. The flyer could indicate a time limit for an RVer and a clear indication that the lot was to be used for a quick 'rest stop' and shopping at Wal-Mart. Seems like a reasonable solution. I too sent a letter <CLICK HERE>.
Roy, age 51, started working for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department when he was 18 and it turned into a 12 year career. Roy moved into other areas of business and now owns a security firm (28 years) purchased while a police officer as a sideline, Internet service company for the last seven (7) years (www.sound.net), a web development company for the last seven (7) years. My typical day might include as much as 100 miles on a police Kawasaki motorcycle escorting funeral processions, or a day at the office working on typical office problems. A lot of time is also being devoted to the RV world now... both in the construction of this page and the fix up of the RV we bought to just what we want. I have a daughter, Nikki, and she is married and her husband brought four kids into their marriage. She now has a baby girl, Kinsey, and with that and Stephanie's new baby boy we have 13 grandkids. Can you say adapt?
Carol, over 50, is mother of three girls (age 29-35) and is retired from checking groceries for 20+ years and is now a housewife. She has a craft hobby fixation with sewing taking a strong lead. Got her a new Singer XL 1000 with the computer interface and she's spending a lot of time making things for the grandkids (thirteen (13) currently). That with the Singer Serger that she has makes sewing a lot easier. Carol also does a lot of cross-stitching when she can find her glasses. <grin> Carol loves the RV also and can take her sewing with her, which she does. Does a lot of that while I'm driving. Carol loves to travel and does so often without RVing and with Roy's ex, Glenda. It seems that they have a lot in common and travel well together. A trip to Vegas every year and a lot of shopping at the outlet malls among other things.
The smartest man is the man that knows when he doesn't know.
A job can always get done. All it takes is two books... the phone book and a check book.
The money you saved by doing it yourself comes in handy when you've got to pay someone else to fix it.
Sound.net is your 'overall' internet provider.
Outfitters are 'out standing' in their field.
Arrogance seeks to know all the answers,
wisdom seeks to understand the questions.
Improvise, adapt, overcome.
The secrecy of my job prevents me from knowing what I am doing.
When I die I want to go peacefully like my grandfather, not screaming like the passengers in his car.
Dream with your eyes wide open. - Barbie
The best laid schemes o' mice and men often go astray. (Robert Burns 1759-1796)
"Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection - they have many friends and few enemies." Wendall Phillips, 1811-1884.
What is 'Occams Razor'?
It is the principle that states that the simplest explanation for a phenomenon is the one preferred by nature. It isn't a 'Law', just a rule of thumb that we use do decide how to evaluate many competing theoretical explanations prior to testing them against the real world.
Thanks for your patience and understanding...
© 2001 Roy
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