Odd experience in a State Park Campground

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Isaac-1

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SW Louisiana
We spent the night last night in a lakefront Texas State Park campground (memorial day weekend), After settling in I went out for a walk around the campground, which consisted of about 25 full hookup sites (20 of which were pull through's), 35 water and electric only sites, and 60 water only (primarily tent camping) sites.  The place was at near capacity, with a few vacant "reserved" spaces for the no shows. 

I was surprised to see that out of the 50+ sites with RV's in them we were the only ones there in a motorhome, the rest were travel trailers and 5th wheels, there was even one of those tent up in the air platform things on the back of a pickup truck, but not a single other motorhome of any class.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of tent campers at this campground, some of which were even occupying water/electric sites.  (there were also a few smaller trailers in the water only "tent" sites).

I know motorhomes are in the minority when it comes to RV's, but still I was shocked to not see a single other motorhome in the campground, not even a camper van.
 

Pugapooh

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Montgomery Co,MD
Hmm,interesting.  Maybe just a fluke. 

I find it interesting that there are no ?duplicate? RVs when we camp.  So many different brands and styles. 
 

ArdraF

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I think you're seeing the long-term effect of the 2008 economic downturn.  Many people lost their motorhomes because of being underwater in their loans.  Those who have started buying again are either just starting and buy less expensive trailers and/or they don't want to go into debt to buy something they can't afford.  There also don't seem to be as many motorhomes on the market when we pass RV sales lots.  They mostly seem to be trailers of one kind or another.  There are exceptions of course, but this is generally what we're seeing.

Another reason might be length limitations at the state park.  Many motorhomes are over the site length so they go to commercial campgrounds.

ArdraF
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Where I live, motorhomes are a small minority of RVs. Very few dealers sell them, but there are hundreds of towables of all types. Small ones are particularly popular because they can be towed by a regular SUV, but I have seen a lot of 30? ones too, generally with 2-3 kids along. We are in an area where many people already have pickups, so it is a logical thing to tow a trailer. We were at a 60 site campground this weekend, and there 6-7 motorhomes there (depending on the day). All the rest were towable. And note I am in the land of Winnebago, one of the few motorhomes sold locally.

I don?t think it has anything to do with the 2008 economy. The economy is booming here with some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, around 2.3%, so discretionary income is available. I think it is because so many young families are now RVing/camping.  A towable, be it a RPod, pop up, or 30? trailer, is an excellent choice for family trips. Motorhomes are more common with old farts like us (grin).
 

Larry N.

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
Trailers also dominate in the Northeastern US.  There seem to be regional preferences for a type and size of RV, but I've never figured out why.
My suspicion is that distances between places and campground sizes play a part in that, though there's probably more to it. And the few times I've been near the east coast, campgrounds seem to be more sparse than here in the west, or maybe I'm just not in the right places to find much.
 

NY_Dutch

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We prefer state and national parks, and during the summer season in the northeast, we also see many more towables than motorhomes in the parks. But in the winter season in the southeast, we see much more equality between towables and motorhomes. The average age difference of the campers between the two seasons is one obvious reason...
 

blw2

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Saint Johns, FL
I didn't give it much thought or even really look close, but now that I'm reading this I remember the last time I drove past my local camping world ....er, Gander RV now..... It seemed like there were far fewer motor homes and more trailers on their lot than what I ever remember before.
  Just a fleeting thought across my mind at the time wondering if it had to do with the Gander name change.  Regardless, I just figured it would be because they are more affordable therefore more sales volume

I have mixed feelings about it in one regard....more TT's on the "road" means even more difficulty in finding available state park sites...which is getting harder these days around here.
One would hope more demand would spur the free market to build more and also improve existing...but my gut tells me that especially for the state parks but probably elsewhere too.... IF that growth ever does happen it will be after a huge lag time and will result in a catch-up at best....
 

Roy M

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Lots of MoHo's on the lots but they don't seem to be as prevalent on the highways. Lots of fifth wheels and tt's on the road though. Truck campers used to be very popular but they seem almost extinct now although fall hunting season brings them out. blw2, camp sites are darn scarce here as well.
 

SargeW

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I am in a county park in Santa Barbara and it has over 300 tent sites, and all were filled for the holiday weekend. Plus the 120 RV sites as well.  Motorhomes are usually the minority in this type of park. But because it is Ca, the average tent site is still $40 a night (and up). 
 

grashley

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Our last trip to a state park - a week ago - had similar observations.  The host had a class C.  There were one or two class B.  About half the remainder were tents.  The other half - or less - was TT, FW and pop ups.  The place was packed!  Sunday night, there was our FW, one other large FW and a class A.

Note many sites were a bit tight for a FW to long MH.  Also, no FHU sites.
 

Dontpedalit

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We were at Huntsville SP.  Where were you? Our first time out. Such a good time! We will be going back. They had great hiking & biking trails mostly shaded by tall pines(wonderful smell), and a very quiet fishing lake. Had some awesome mornings paddling with my boys. I did notice the same thing... I think it's the price point.  Those RVs are just too up there - I couldn't afford even a used one unless it was trashed. They've just about priced themselves out of the mainstream middle class consumer market.  Not to mention, using a tow vehicle and being able to disconnect from the living unit adds a level of flexibility that can't be ignored.
 

SeilerBird

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ArdraF said:
There also don't seem to be as many motorhomes on the market when we pass RV sales lots.  They mostly seem to be trailers of one kind or another. 
Ardra I usually agree with you however on Memorial Day I drove from Orlando to Tampa to see a Rays games and on Interstate 4 there are about a half a dozen gigantic RV dealers and they were all overflowing with motorhomes. I mean I felt like I was in Q. I have no idea if there were more motorhomes than towables because I was watching the road and not counting RVs but from what I saw there seemed to be a lot more motorhomes. I was positively shocked at the number of RV for sale. I have driven this road in the past but it seems like there are a few new RV dealers, ones that I had never seen. They must be doing some serious business down there. If anyone is looking to buy an RV this would be the place to go to. Much better than an RV show.
 

edjunior

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Roman Forest, TX.
Isaac-1 said:
We spent the night last night in a lakefront Texas State Park campground (memorial day weekend), After settling in I went out for a walk around the campground, which consisted of about 25 full hookup sites (20 of which were pull through's), 35 water and electric only sites, and 60 water only (primarily tent camping) sites.  The place was at near capacity, with a few vacant "reserved" spaces for the no shows. 

I was surprised to see that out of the 50+ sites with RV's in them we were the only ones there in a motorhome, the rest were travel trailers and 5th wheels, there was even one of those tent up in the air platform things on the back of a pickup truck, but not a single other motorhome of any class.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the number of tent campers at this campground, some of which were even occupying water/electric sites.  (there were also a few smaller trailers in the water only "tent" sites).

I know motorhomes are in the minority when it comes to RV's, but still I was shocked to not see a single other motorhome in the campground, not even a camper van.

Which state park was this?  Most of the parks around us were cram packed over the weekend. 
 

edjunior

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Dontpedalit said:
We were at Huntsville SP.  Where were you? Our first time out. Such a good time! We will be going back. They had great hiking & biking trails mostly shaded by tall pines(wonderful smell), and a very quiet fishing lake. Had some awesome mornings paddling with my boys. I did notice the same thing... I think it's the price point.  Those RVs are just too up there - I couldn't afford even a used one unless it was trashed. They've just about priced themselves out of the mainstream middle class consumer market.  Not to mention, using a tow vehicle and being able to disconnect from the living unit adds a level of flexibility that can't be ignored.

We haven't camped there yet, but we have been through.  It is an awesome park for sure.
 

docj

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Isaac-1 said:
I know motorhomes are in the minority when it comes to RV's, but still I was shocked to not see a single other motorhome in the campground, not even a camper van.

The Recreational Vehicle Industries Association (RVIA) reports shipments of RV to dealers (not sales).  Here's a link to the year to date data: https://www.rvia.org/news-insights/rv-shipments-april-2019

Notice that motorized RVs (of all types) amount to ~12% of RVs shipped in the first 4 months of this year.  This percentage has been pretty much the same since th3 2008 downturn.  That would mean that, at best, you would expect only 1 in 8 RVs to be motorized.  I understand that you saw even fewer than that, but that's just the variability of small sample size.
 

Lou Schneider

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docj said:
I understand that you saw even fewer than that, but that's just the variability of small sample size.

That's all right, the motorhome - towable ratio will be skewed in the opposite direction at something like an FMCA rally, so it all evens out in the end.  ;)
 

Hanr3

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I too was camping over the Memorial Day weekend at a State Park. This park has 316 sites, all but 26 were occupied by Friday noon. There are  about 25 full hookup sites, 6 primitive sites (no water or electricity), and the remainder are electric only. I didn't count, however thinking back. There were about 3 dozen tents, only a couple of Class A and Class C (less a dozen), about 3 dozen 5th wheels, about 2 dozen pop-ups, and the remainder were travel trailers. Travel Trailers are by far the most popular in my neck of the woods, Central Illinois. There were plenty of camper and boats in camp sites. However I think there were only two of us triple towing. The rest had two tow vehicles, except one Class C.

The thunderstorms and rain kept the campground pretty quiet and the lake pretty empty. Which was great for us. We took the boat out and let the grandkids swim all three days. Watched movies when it rained. Even managed a couple of campfires and smores.

One gentlemen and his wife in the site next to us had a nice Class A. Memeorial Day was the start of thier 3 month trip, first since retirement. They meet family at the campground, then were heading towards Alaska, returning to meet family during Labor Day weekend. Sounded like a nice plan.
 
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