Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Grandparent Hints and Tips, RV Campgrounds, State & National Parks, Tent Campgrounds, Uncategorized
RANDY’S RANTS – What is a RV?
Sometimes I feel like letting it all out and ranting about one (or more) of my pet peeves.
One of these is the perception that only motor homes are RVs. Maybe Robin Williams in the movie RV worked to cement this view?
We were at a New Years Eve celebration with a group of friends. Seating at the tables in the main ballroom of the hotel was assigned according to when we made our reservations. With 12 seats situated around a large round table, there were several strangers situated with our group.
The woman sitting to my left was at least my age, maybe a little bit older. It was hard for me to tell since the make-up on her face was at least a 1/4” thick and filled in any wrinkles like Bondo does on a wrecked car. She was “dressed to kill” with long black gloves and enough jewelry to require an armed guard. Her companion wore a tuxedo. Shucks, I only had on my Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Suit!
Somehow or other in an effort to create a conversation I mentioned to her that Nancy and I had a RV and enjoyed traveling to new places. In fact, we really had not planned to be at the current celebration, but the cold weather had caused us to cancel our plans to head south over the Christmas school break.
I have encountered people with this perception before – that an RV is exclusively a drivable motor home, anything that you pull is not an RV. Normally, I just ignore the error or find a polite way to enlighten the individual by explaining that the term RV is for a Recreational Vehicle, which can be any number or type of vehicle that one does not need to drive.
After a brief hesitation to take another sip of her wine, she continued, “We own a real RV. It is a 40 foot long Monaco Windsor PKD, that is a class A RV that we drive. You must be aware that some parks won’t allow anything but a RV – no trailers.”
I could feel my temperature and pulse rising. Not only was she misinformed on what constituted a RV, but also came across as being one of those people that always seem to have something that is better than anyone else.
Nancy was listening and knew what I was getting ready to do. She squeezed my leg to get my attention and slowly mouthed to me, “Leave it alone – NO.”
I am sure the two Margaritas I had consumed earlier had an effect on my ability to restrain myself from any further comment. But, despite the command from my dear wife, I had to respond to this strange woman.
“Excuse me, but are you saying that only motor homes are RV’s?”
“Why, of course.” She responded. “In order to call something a RV you must drive it. If you pull it with a truck or something like that it is just a trailer or camper.”
“NO, you are totally mistaken!”, I countered. “The term RV is short for a Recreational Vehicle which can be most anything that has sleeping, cooking, and a power connection. My tow vehicle is registered as a motor home since it is a fully self-contained vehicle with beds, kitchen, water, electrical power, and a potty. The vehicle I pull is a 5th wheel trailer but it is also classified as a RV.”
She looked at me as if I was some creature from outer space or a lunatic that had just escaped from an asylum. She immediately turned away from me – conservation ended. A little later, she changed her seat so that she was several positions away.
No, it was not a pleasant encounter – but it was amusing in a special way. Fortunately, it was something that I rarely experience.
For the most part the beauty of camping is that it does not really make any difference what your vehicle is. Once in a campground, like when we go to the ocean, the million-dollar motor home is often parked next to a pop-up or tent camper on one side and a smaller aluminum skinned trailer on the other. In this environment, everyone is equal. There should be no one-upmanship behavior, all the people assembled are there to enjoy the facility, and amenities offered near-by and the outdoor camping experience. We share the same campfire, the same stories and enjoy exchanging tales of our adventures in the same manner as writers for this web site.
I see camping as a great equalizer. It has nothing to do with social status, how much money you make or what size your RV is. In fact, you do not even need to be in a RV – you can be in a tent pulled out of the back of the family SUV.
I love this community. I honestly do not know where else we can easily find the opportunities that remove the social barriers or physical neighborhoods that often separate people. Camper’s watch out for each other, speak to strange faces, assist anyone with a problem, and even share favorite recipes or meals with people they have never seen before.
The opportunity to meet new folks and create friendships is one of the reasons I enjoy camping so much. And, while we are on the camping subject, the term RV is most certainly not exclusively reserved for drivable camping vehicles.
Happy and Safe Camping Travels to All!
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