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Author Topic: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable  (Read 1420 times)

nonrev321

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Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« on: December 05, 2017, 03:01:49 AM »
Need truthful opinions based on experience.

My wife and I have been investigating traveling after I retire in two years.  We were about ready to pull the trigger on a travel trailer than my wife got talking to some folks in her church who travel a lot with a travel trailer.

Seems they are not as happy with the experience as they used to be.  Too hard to find nice places to stay, RV parks are too crowded.  You have to make reservations 6 months in advance for the nice places in good locations.  The ability to just pick up and go and/ or stop anyplace and stay awhile is becoming increasingly difficult due to the demand for spaces.

Truthfully this kind of freedom was one of the major attractions for myself and my wife.  We recognized that some parks would likely be crowded and there would be some need to make reservations in advance... but 6 months ?  Also a RV park that is packed to the gills really isn’t too appealing to me, especially if there is nothing like a line of shrubs or other divider to keep me from looking into my neighbors window. 

Can people comment?  Is it becoming less enjoyable due to overcrowding?

Thanks

nonrev
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 08:01:26 AM by Sun2Retire »

JackL

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 04:27:38 AM »
I just answered your question on the other forum !

"I would say yes to your question, but what we did to solve it for us is to buy our own RV lot.
 We traveled all around the country and in Alaska and then about fifteen years ago decided to snow bird in the Florida Keys.
 It was fairly easy to get a spot in the state parks back then, but then it got increasingly harder until it reached the point that you had to be on the NET at 8:00 AM eleven months in advance.
 Four years ago we found a deal that we couldn't refuse on a Rv lot in Key Largo in a condominium style RV park, and we are now happy campers, and never have to worry about having a spot to come to.
 In addition we can rent it out when we are not there and one thing that I never realized was the fact that it is a fantastic investment.
 We get several contacts from realtors a years that have perspective buyers if we want to sell."

Jack L
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 04:32:39 AM by JackL »

Oldgator73

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 06:28:01 AM »
The problem with owning your own RV lot is you are committed to that location year after year. We really don't like going to the same place every year for vacation. The OP is correct in everything they say. We like to stay in State and National parks and we like to do most things last minute. Can't do that since spots fill up so fast now. It's getting more and more expensive now too. I can travel across the US by car and stop at most any off ramp and get a hotel room that includes breakfast w/o a reservation. I've done it. Just walk in ask for the rack rate and they are usually more than happy to accommodate you. We are not giving up the RV lifestyle yet because we do enjoy the outdoors.

John From Detroit

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 06:43:32 AM »
There are several different factors.
Yes. I am seeing the parks fuller than I recall and occasionally needing to find alternate parking for a few days.. Never had that problem before.

And there used to be a needle point in, as I recall, my Mother's kitchen
"Kissing wears out, Cookin Don't"

With the exception of cooking and perhaps singing.. Most things "Get old" after a while and it is not as much fun as it was 20 years ago.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Oldgator73

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 07:00:44 AM »
We just flew to Rome, took an 11 day Mediterranean cruise and spent a week in Barcelona. I did not enjoy it. 10 years ago I would have enjoyed it. I am tired of the hassle that accompanies most everything you do now days. Flying is such a pain in the butt. I told the wife from now on all our vacations will be in the States and if we can't drive there we don't need to go. I would like to go to Canada though, and we can drive there. As far as RVing, we still enjoy it. We enjoy being in the outdoors. But the outdoors is getting increasingly crowded. Maybe we should just boondock instead of trying to stay in parks.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 08:12:43 AM »
The whole world is more crowded, and in much of the USA people seem more self-centered and generally grumpy. Maybe it seems that way because I'm old now, and complaining about the younger generations is the norm?  Still, we find that with so many more people flocking to RVs, it's more like going to Walmart than a sense of a small community of people sharing an interest.

That doesn't mean it's no fun, or that every person and place will be a drag. Might want to avoid the more popular destinations, though, except maybe for a one time "been there, done that" visit.
Gary
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Gizmo

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 08:15:51 AM »
As far as RVing, we still enjoy it. We enjoy being in the outdoors. But the outdoors is getting increasingly crowded. Maybe we should just boondock instead of trying to stay in parks.

Boondocking definitely opens up a lot of options and diversity.  This is our plan beginning in January.
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Sun2Retire

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 08:18:48 AM »
Need truthful opinions based on experience.

My wife and I have been investigating traveling after I retire in two years.  We were about ready to pull the trigger on a travel trailer than my wife got talking to some folks in her church who travel a lot with a travel trailer.

Seems they are not as happy with the experience as they used to be.  Too hard to find nice places to stay, RV parks are too crowded.  You have to make reservations 6 months in advance for the nice places in good locations.  The ability to just pick up and go and/ or stop anyplace and stay awhile is becoming increasingly difficult due to the demand for spaces.

Truthfully this kind of freedom was one of the major attractions for myself and my wife.  We recognized that some parks would likely be crowded and there would be some need to make reservations in advance... but 6 months ?  Also a RV park that is packed to the gills really isn't too appealing to me, especially if there is nothing like a line of shrubs or other divider to keep me from looking into my neighbors window. 

Can people comment?  Is it becoming less enjoyable due to overcrowding?

I really think it depends on expectations. I you believe you'll be able to just show up to a popular location, during the high season, and find a full hookup spot in an idyllic location with hardly anyone else there and tons of privacy, then you will be very disappointed. If however you accept the fact that there are millions of others out there trying to have a good trip as well, and you may have to adjust accordingly, then you'll come to find there are untold places to visit, many of which will give you the experience for which you are looking. It's really no different if you travel by car and stay in hotels - if you travel to popular locations during their high season, you'll need reservations and there will be lots of people.

Since you are talking about traveling after retirement, already one issue is resolved, scheduling. Since you'll have complete flexibility vs. those still working and only able to get out during vacations and weekends, you'll be able to schedule around the busy times.

Also, give dry camping and boondocking a lot of thought. There are many public parks (and even some private parks) which have dry camping spots available - perfectly nice spots, sometimes nicer, but no hookups. Because more and more people are looking for the convenience of hookups, these dry camping spots are often overlooked. (There is a state park in Arizona which I've been to several times that has both dry and full hookup sites, the dry sites are often wide open while the full hookup section is sold out.) Then there is boondocking, which I define as camping in a remote area without any infrastructure other than the road to get there. There are many, many places to do this, although the majority of opportunities are in the western US. The bonus is that it's either free or extremely cheap.

Since you are still shopping, I would urge you to consider equipping whatever rig you get for dry camping - add more batteries and solar, look for rigs with larger fresh water and waste tanks, etc

Truthfully this kind of freedom was one of the major attractions for myself and my wife. 

I think part of the issue is the experience the RV industry advertises will be yours to enjoy, all you have to do is plunk down the cash and next thing you know you'll be camping in the woods next to a lake all by yourself. The problem is, everyone has the same idea. That experience can be had though, it just takes some digging. And as I mentioned earlier, it's really no different than vacationing by car. While indeed things have gotten more crowded, decades ago Yosemite for example was packed with tourists during their high season, and those that didn't plan would be disappointed.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 08:28:15 AM by Sun2Retire »
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docj

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 08:33:22 AM »
The problem with owning your own RV lot is you are committed to that location year after year. We really don't like going to the same place every year for vacation.

The difference for us is that we are full-time RVers, not vacationers.  We enjoy being in a warm location during the winter and don't mind sitting in place at our own site in south TX for ~5-7 months.  That still leaves us plenty of time to travel during better weather.

That having been said, I do agree with the OP that over the 8 years we have been full-timing things have become more crowded.  The good news is that there are still beautiful places to go that aren't as crowded, they might just be a bit further away.  One of our favorite spots is Prince Edward Island, a pleasant, pastoral place to spend a summer in a cool climate with wonderful people!
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Larry N.

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 09:16:48 AM »
You might also note that things aren't as crowded during the week, and even less so in April/May and Sept/Oct when so many folks have kids in school. Even Colorado state parks, which fill up on weekends (Fri/Sat nights) six months in advance, can usually have several sites available during the other five nights, without reservations.

So yeah, there are more folks out there, but there are still a lot of good experiences available, though if you want complete solitude your choices are harder to find.
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Memtb

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 10:13:11 AM »
   nonrev321,  I just recently retired and haven’t done as much (long distance travel) as we plan to do. There are times we we will have to endure crowded RV parks, high population base areas to see or do some of the things that work prevented us from doing. But, if that was all we could expect from our rv’ing experience ...we would quit. I guess “inside of every silver lining is a dark cloud”!   ;D   Our closest neighbor is about 500 yards away.... far too close! If wind direction is from the proper (wrong) direction....we can hear the occasional semi out on the road! We boondock as often as we can....grizzlies,wolves, and other assorted wildlife are generally good camping neighbors!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 10:14:55 AM by Memtb »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 11:38:24 AM »
There is a lot of territory between boondocking in the outback and crowded full hook-ups in a tourist Mecca.  Especially if you aren't demanding great wifi, swimming pool, and movies for the [grand]kids.  And places that may be crowded or noisy on summer weekends may be blissful at other times.

For the last 10 years our standard mode of travel was to hunker down in some smaller, pleasant park Friday thru Sunday a.m. and do our travel, sight seeing, etc. Sunday a.m. thru early Friday afternoon.  One of the joys of retirement is the freedom to choose off-peak times and travel at a relaxed pace.
Gary
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spacenorman

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 12:27:05 PM »
Personally, I think it's all a matter of mindset.    If you can keep an open mind and remain willing to be flexible - RVing can still be a ball.   If you're one of those folks who is a "fault finder" (parks are too cramped, neighbors are too _____ (noisy, nosy, untidy, disrespectful of "our" site boundaries - pick your favorite or add your own "issue"), traffic is too heavy, drivers around us drive too fast, too slow, etc. - and then dwell on any / every little thing that annoys you - RVing will certainly become less enjoyable.   I'll venture to add that if you're one of those folks - your life is already and will remain miserable no matter how you choose to fill your days - but that would probably be off topic. 


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kdbgoat

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2017, 12:28:44 PM »
And places that may be crowded or noisy on summer weekends may be blissful at other times.

That describes the local state park here. It fills up, or is close to full, every weekend. The weekend crowd is mostly working folks with their family and they just want to unwind, party, and have a god time before having to go hit the clock Monday morning. From about 2:00 Sunday afternoon until about 2:00 Friday afternoon, it's just about as peaceful of a place you could imagine.
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Oldgator73

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2017, 01:02:27 PM »
We try to go Sunday-Thursday. Unless we have something planned with the grandkids. We went to a State Park in NY in the Catskills with no hookups. It was actually pretty nice with a nice stream right out our front door. Woodstock, NY was only a few minutes away.

winona

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2017, 02:28:17 PM »
One man's ceiling is another man's floor.  So talking to 10 people will give you 10 different opinions.

I traveled a lot this last summer and had no problems with reservations or in parks.  Yes, some of the rv parks had neighbors close by, but I don't expect a 10 acre, totally secluded spot.  Indiana and other state parks I've been in seem to have larger spots than commercial rv parks.  It's all in what you want and where you go.  I figure it's not a permanent forever place since I still have my home, so I go with the flow.  And I'd rather see a family out camping and hiking and sightseeing together than sitting at home playing video games!
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SargeW

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2017, 03:35:47 PM »
Personally, I think it's all a matter of mindset.    If you can keep an open mind and remain willing to be flexible - RVing can still be a ball.   

I concur. The DW and I have been RVing for 20 years now in all different kinds of RV's. IN that 20 years our style of RVing has changed too. In the beginning we wanted to be "out there" in the woods and away from everything and everyone.  Then through the years our wants and needs changed. 

Today we enjoy our amenities, most of which we bring with us. We are full time RV'ers, so we plan accordingly where we want to be, especially in the popular summer months if we want to be at a west coast beach location.  Reserve early? Absolutely.  But being retired gives us the ability to be flexible. You also need to think ahead to major holiday's if you want to be someplace popular. 

The internet makes most stuff easy these days, you just need to learn how the system works. And trying to take someone else's experiences and wants and making them your own is not a good measure of how you and your wife want to spend your retirement.

I am not telling you that the RV experience is all happy and care free. There will be challenges in any life style you choose.  But for us, the rewards and one of kind life's experiences far outweigh the occasional challenge that comes up.

The choice is yours.
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Gizmo

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2017, 04:15:37 PM »
I concur. The DW and I have been RVing for 20 years now in all different kinds of RV's. IN that 20 years our style of RVing has changed too. In the beginning we wanted to be "out there" in the woods and away from everything and everyone.  Then through the years our wants and needs changed. 

Today we enjoy our amenities, most of which we bring with us. We are full time RV'ers, so we plan accordingly where we want to be, especially in the popular summer months if we want to be at a west coast beach location.  Reserve early? Absolutely.  But being retired gives us the ability to be flexible. You also need to think ahead to major holiday's if you want to be someplace popular. 

The internet makes most stuff easy these days, you just need to learn how the system works. And trying to take someone else's experiences and wants and making them your own is not a good measure of how you and your wife want to spend your retirement.

I am not telling you that the RV experience is all happy and care free. There will be challenges in any life style you choose.  But for us, the rewards and one of kind life's experiences far outweigh the occasional challenge that comes up.

The choice is yours.

Nicely said and a lot of truth. 
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
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muskoka guy

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2017, 04:24:29 PM »
I also answered it on the other forum, and the answer is still nope. Still getting more enjoyable.

UTTransplant

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2017, 05:46:19 PM »
... And places that may be crowded or noisy on summer weekends may be blissful at other times.

For the last 10 years our standard mode of travel was to hunker down in some smaller, pleasant park Friday thru Sunday a.m. and do our travel, sight seeing, etc. Sunday a.m. thru early Friday afternoon.  One of the joys of retirement is the freedom to choose off-peak times and travel at a relaxed pace.
This is what we do too. State parks, national parks, gorgeous places Sunday night through Friday morning. Friday and Saturday night we find a traditional RV Park, go to town for groceries, do laundry, and all the other exciting tasks that aren’t easy to do in the boonies. We also tend to hit the big tourist attractions in May or September, after families with children have to be back in school. Yellowstone is so much more pleasant then than July! We do lots of dry camping during the week, but it is nice to get the hookups on the weekends.
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ArdraF

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2017, 06:49:22 PM »
People who still work have limited times when they can go camping.  Retirees can work around that.  We've been RVing for about 40 years and still don't do much preplanning.  The exceptions are holiday weekends or places we need to stay for a specified time because they're near family or some event we're attending.  Other than that we've gotten to the exit of a campground and literally said "Right or left?"  We usually call a campground an hour or two in advance and seldom have had a problem.  We don't boondock in as many places as we used to because we don't feel they're as safe as earlier.  Our needs and wants have also changed through the years which determines where we stay to some extent, but we have our "house" with us and can be quite comfortable boondocking if that's all we can find.  It sounds like your friends who think it's less enjoyable are snowbirds and perhaps they want a certain type of place or want to stay with friends which can be more difficult in the season.  But for people such as ourselves who are travelers (as opposed to parkers) it isn't such a big deal.  We prefer the flexibility of changing direction or spending more/less time at a place of interest so we seldom make reservations.

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Patnsuzanne

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2017, 07:48:50 PM »
We’ve really enjoyed being able to travel without a schedule since we retired, but our situation is a little different in that we live on 10 acres, surrounded by hundreds of acres. You can see one other dwelling from our place, and that’s if you’re on the east side of the property.  So yes, we can feel crowded, even in state parks where the sites are typically larger, and with somewhat more privacy than commercial parks. That being said, we consider our trailer our hotel room on wheels that we tow around with us. We’ll decide on a city, location, relative or other destination we want to visit, then look for a place to park our “hotel” while we are there.  We pack once, eat our own food, sleep in our own bed and have our own bathroom.  Even a crowded campground beats a hotel downtown or out on an interstate. Of course, living in Florida means we already have a warm place to spend the winter.
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BIG JOE

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Re: Truthfully
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2017, 01:05:57 AM »
Just "Wing It" ! Expect little, Demand even less. Home.. is where the Hook Ups are... Today. Say Hi.. to a stranger. Wave at your neighbor. Bad weather (?), find the Rec room. Ask a Local... what's to see & do....

Life Is Good.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 01:09:09 AM by BIG JOE »
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Utclmjmpr

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2017, 06:09:24 AM »
 Why would you slap my face before making a request??  If you approached me on the street for directions,,and prefaced the question with the admonishment to be "truthful", I would tell you to stick in your ear and walk away.....
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kdbgoat

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2017, 06:22:36 AM »
Don't take the "truthfully" thing to heart. Around here, and I'm sure other places, it's just an expression.
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Len and Jo

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2017, 08:28:01 AM »
Our trips are typically one week to one month in length. Our RV stays in storage during the Michigan winters and we avoid traveling in the summer when school is out.  We have about 30 years of trips under our belts and still love our fall and spring trips..  We in general pick an area or spot we went to explore and then just go.  Very little or no reservations to tie us down to schedules.  One of the things that help make our trips fun is keeping the schedules simple and flexible.
Len & Jo
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gwcowgill

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2017, 09:31:12 AM »
We bought our first travel trailer in 1967 while the kids were young. We have never been without an RV since except when the military sent  me overseas. Yes, sometimes it is a hassle getting a place to park but, we have always been able to find a place, maybe not in that big resort park, but we have found a place near where we wanted to be. We still find the RV the best way for us to travel. I don't like Motels and Hotels and I don't like wrestling with luggage. I have spent many a night in Motels when traveling for my military and school jobs and I really never enjoyed that. BTW, I have spent many nights in Church parking lots. I will RV as long as my health allows.
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Utclmjmpr

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2017, 10:45:22 AM »
 My point is,,If you ask a question and don't expect a "truthful" answer,,,then whats the point??>>>Dan
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Oldgator73

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2017, 10:51:25 AM »
My point is,,If you ask a question and don't expect a "truthful" answer,,,then whats the point??>>>Dan

I'm a parent and grandparent so the concept of a less than truthful answer is not outside the realm of my universe.

Lowell

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Re: Truthfully - is RV'ing becoming less enjoyable
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2017, 11:39:21 AM »
I'm getting to the age that everything is less enjoyable.  But it beats the alternative of doing nothing!
Lowell

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