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Inconsiderate RVers - a different perspective

by Jim Johnson

Although I normally travel in my Class A motor home, this summer I made a trip of a lifetime and went from Alabama to Alaska and return by motorcycle. Even though the trip was exceptional it really opened my eyes to how inconsiderate many of the recreational vehicle travelers really are. I lived in Germany for 7 years and was astounded at the personality transformation of many of the Germans when they got behind the wheel of an auto. It was like a Jeckel and Hyde personality change. I became aware of the same transformation of many of the Rv’ers I encountered. It became so blatant that I kept a log. I relate them so that we all can examine some of our actions that show a utter disregard for our fellow traveler.

  • While on the Alcan Highway south of Tok, on a beautiful piece of road, a Class C motor home passed me with his right side tires still on my side of the center line, almost hitting me. Even though I did not occupy all of that side of the road, it was still mine to use. Be aware of the position of your vehicle when passing others, especially if the other one is small like a motor cycle.

  • While in a RV park in Haines, Alaska, the driver of a pick-up that was traveling in a 5th wheel, sped through the campground repeatedly, raising large clouds of dust that all the other campers had to contend with. I observed this individual do this for 4 days. How inconsiderate.

  • While stopped at a beautiful road side stop at the Yukon/Alaska border along with two large diesel Class A’s from Georgia, we had to listen to and smell the exhaust of one of the rigs for a good 45 minutes. I understand cool down periods, but to let the vehicle run for an extended period, disrupting everyone’s rest stop was the height of arrogance.

  • On the second day camped at Homor spit, a travel trailer parked next to us. That evening at about 9:30, the dog from the trailer, which was tied outside near our trailer, began to bark constantly. The individuals were standing outside and made no attempt to quiet the dog until we finally asked them to tend for their animal.

  • The only vehicle that showed any respect and concern for their speed through the construction areas were Princess Line busses. We saw RV’s of all types speed through loose gravel areas, throwing rocks, raising clouds of dust and generally creating a very dangerous situation. I observed one northbound bus RV enter the construction area north of Fort St. John at approximately 60 miles an hour, with slow moving travelers and workers all over the place. And it seemed the bigger the RV the more arrogant the behavior.

  • We stopped at a gas station south of Anchorage on the Seward highway to get gas. There were two Class A’s fueling with 4 to 5 other vehicles waiting to get to the pumps. When the RV’s completed fueling, they proceeded to wash every piece of glass on the vehicle. Although there was plenty of room where they could have moved to, and free the pumps, they did not. Not needing much room for the 2 wheeler, I pulled up in front of one of the RV’s, and to insure that he was not going to be ready to move before I got fuel, asked him if he was going to be there a while. He answered in a very disgusted voice, that he sure was.

  • I was waiting to get to gas pumps at the Creekside Campground in Seward, setting on the bike with the engine running. A Suzuki Sidekick was at the pumps with the operator inside apparently paying. He exited the station, got to the door of his vehicle, then remembering to buy something else, returned to the station, giving me a look as if to say, “I was here first, and you can damn well wait”.

  • I observed a lady at the Park Avenue Campground in Prince Rupert, leave her full hook-up site and take her dog to the tent area to relieve himself. Not on the edge of the tent sites but right in the middle of it. Has anybody ever seen a dog owner walk their pet in their own camp site?

  • I watched another lady at the same Prince Rupert campground, take her very large dog to the women’s restroom and tie him to the outside door handle, forcing other women to try to get around the dog to get in. On another occasion this same women took the dog into the women’s restroom. We were on the ferry as this individual and listened to her cry the blues to the Purser because her dog had to stay in the hold with the vehicles. As if nobody told her that was the situation. If she would have had her way the dog would have been eating in the cafeteria.

I don’t want any readers to get the idea that I am some old grouchy individual just standing around looking for faults. I only recall the most flagrant occurrences, the ones that just did not have to happen. I would say that pet owners are generally the most inconsiderate travelers we meet. Just because you love your pet, does not mean that everybody else does. Show some courtesy and observe other peoples space. Another trait too often observed is the feeling by large RV owners that the size of their vehicle gives them some special rights. It became painfully clear while on this trip why the general public have such a low opinion of Rvers. It is because of our actions, no other reason.

I agree, for every action like the ones I relate, there were hundreds of pleasant experiences. I met some of the nicest travelers on this trip. I have remained in contact with some and intend to continue the relationship. But as the old saying goes, “It only takes one bad egg”.

I would hope that each of us would re-examine how we interact with others, both Rvers and others, because our individual actions forms the impression others have of us as a whole.