Not all campgrounds are alike and not all camping experiences are the same. The beauty of living this lifestyle is the diversity of your surroundings, and there is never a dull moment. You choose where you live and you choose how long you will live there. You may be living in a big rig in a fancy RV park or boon-docking in a glorified van conversion down by the river in a local state park. Neither is greater than the other and both undoubtedly have memory-making potential.
The fancy RV parks are a bit more medicinal than their more primitive counterparts. Some restrict the age and condition of your rig and don’t allow tents, pop-up campers or travel trailers. They have level cement slab sites complete with sewer, water and electric hook ups. Setup is as easy as pulling through and plugging in the necessities and you’re good to go. The grounds are manicured and the shrubbery trimmed. Inside the rig is your very own warm private bathroom complete with shower, flush toilet and sink. The kitchen complete with coffee pot and microwave, the cabinets are stocked with everything good from canned goods to good candy, and in the refrigerator is nothing short of what you remember being in the fridge in a previous life. When the Wi-Fi is connected and the satellite found, some may chuckle and question whether this is actually camping. The RV park dweller would beg to differ and conclude that his or her idea of camping may be a bit different than another’s, but curling up in front of a rigs’ electric fireplace is as close to falling asleep in front of a fire in the wilderness as they choose to come.
The Other Side
On the flip side of this pretty picture is an equally enjoyable camping experience. RV parks are nice for many but not for everybody. The thought of falling asleep in front of an actual campfire; the smell of burning wood wafting through your tent or open pop-up canvas; the laughter of children playing in the playground, toasting marshmallows and sitting out until 2 a.m.; or sipping wine from a local winery while chatting with friends by a campfire is to some what camping is all about. Bring your bikes and hang them on a bike rack or fasten them to the roof. It’s the best way to travel around the campground, state park or nearby attractions. Even though travel trailers, smaller motorhomes and some tent campers have showers and camping potties, all campgrounds have facilities you can use to freshen up. Some more primitive than others but all are clean and just a short walk from your campsite. State parks may or may not have full hook ups. Some have electric and water and most all of them have electric with water nearby to fill holding tanks. Portable coolers filled with ice replace the RV refrigerator and nothing can replicate cooking over a campfire in a dutch oven, roasting hot dogs, corn on the cob and burgers over an open fire or making cherry pies for desert in a pie iron.
Side by Side
Eggs Benedict in your RV can be a memorable experience because of where you’re located and a birds nest breakfast in the cool of the morning, fireside, is a memory not soon forgotten, especially if you’re camping with children. Catch and release fishing ponds and nature trails are common in state parks and campgrounds where structured activities with an activities director is not uncommon in the larger RV parks. Camp stores have anything you need in a pinch. If you run out of milk or butter, the camp store will have it. Bug repellant or tent stakes, you will even find a bundle of wood and Tiki Torch oil in a camp store. On the other hand RV parks have lodges and general stores for the RVrs’ comfort and convenience. Ice-cream socials and stone fireplaces surrounded by cushioned seating arrangements and large room-size televisions make the RVing experience a memorable one. Midnight swims and live music can be enjoyed at an RV park while paddle boats, bonfires and karaoke on Saturday nights entertain the campground crowds.
Whether you choose to live full time in your motorhome in a resort-style RV park or decide that part-time or weekend camping with a travel trailer, pop up or tent in a state park or campground is your preference, you will agree that the diversity within each lifestyle is addictive and results in a lifetime of unforgettable memories.