RV nation

Two weeks of camping has opened my eyes as to the whole RV thing that grips America’s retirees.

At the campsites I’ve stayed at, most people have been in RVs or been towing massive caravans that require special truck hook ups. After home ownership, I think an RV is the great American dream. Or maybe it’s just that Americans work so hard during their life that when they reach retirement, they want to see their country from the comfort of a plush, fully fitted out mobile home. I’m yet to be invited inside one, but I hope to achieve that before my trip is out.

Here are a few random observations followed by one big tip.

  • There are different categories of RV. There are the shorter ones, the truck mounted ones all the way through to the deluxe pop out coaches
  • Hiring an RV is also popular with El Monte RV and Cruise America the two dominant companies
  • 90% of the luxury bus ones are towing a car, often a four wheel drive
  • Many of them have bikes, which I guess leads to all those Metamucil and insurance stereotype ads of retirees riding bikes
  • Some also carry motorbikes or boats. Sometimes they have the full gamut of recreational vehicle options with car, motorbike, bikes, ATV AND canoe.
  • They like to wear merchandise from the sights they’ve visited, bringing greater meaning to the saying “been there, bought the t-shirt/cap/entire gift shop up”

And finally, my hot tip comes after I saw a couple spend about 15 minutes hooking their big GMC four wheel drive to the back of their bus. It was the type of hookup that pulls the car along on four rolling wheels. After going over everything, the couple jumped into their luxury coach and took off down the road. As they started off, it became clear that the car was still in park and the rear wheels protested and squealed and jumped and bounced burning rubber and creating big flat spots in the tyres. It drew quite the crowd of tent campers and took the driver about 150m to realise there was a problem and stop to inspect.  So when you are towing a car, always do one final check to make sure you’re in neutral and have released the handbrake.


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