Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, a Guide to the Full-time Life on Wheels, begins with making the decision and continues to choosing and equipping the rig, the house-less lifestyle, making a living on the go and easing out of RV life when and if that time comes. Author Janet Groene was happily homeless for ten years. In Kindle or paperback at https://amzn.to/2xgN3fv
THINGS ARE CHANGING RAPIDLY . GO TO https://fmcadventure.com/fmca-commercial-campgrounds-with-vacancy/ FOR A LIST OF CAMPGROUNDS THAT ARE OPEN, THEN CHECK DIRECTLY WITH THE CAMPGROUND.
As Others See Us...
By Janet Groene
Did you know that RV travelers have been the subject of a serious scholarly study?
Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote, “O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us. To see oursels as ithers see us!” Well, somebody has.
In the 1996 book Over the Next Hill , two anthropology professors surveyed the world of RV travelers. Although their focus was mostly on older couples, there is much of interest here for anyone, including a solo woman, who is thinking of going roaming.
This is a time of rapid change in American living and travel habits. If you’re thinking of making a major lifestyle change, this book is just one of many ways to gain insights. The book makes good reading in addition to the many newer, practical how-to books that go with choosing an RV and living the life.
The title credits full-time RV-ers with the curiosity to keep looking for what’s "over the NEXT hill", a healthy attitude compared to living in the past as some seniors do. The authors, who call themselves field anthropologists, pulled into a boondock camping area and were immediately invited to a wedding. They said it was as though they had stumbled into some native ritual in the South Pacific. What fun! They interviewed 50 full-timers and surveyed almost 300 more.
They found that it’s about freedom, but we already knew that, didn’t we? It’s also about a stubborn sense of fair play. They tell one story of a large group of dry campers living on government property at an old military airport. One of them bought a 99-year lease on the land and promptly issued a rate sheet, charging his neighbors who lived there.
The next day, the entire community moved out and settled on a BLM Long Term Visitor Area nearby. They refused to return even after the owner offered to reduce rates and relax the rules. His funds now tied up in the lease, he was forced to continue living here, alone and rejected by his former friends.
The authors met at least one couple who announced they were on their way home to get divorced because full-timing had been a disaster for them. Some full-timers reported that the life gives them a better relationship with their children, allowing them to visit the kids without getting in the way. Others admitted to running away from their kids. One man hadn’t spoken to his wife and children in years and wanted to keep it that way.
Are full-timers individualists? You bet! On the other hand, most of the interviewees were living cheek-by-jowl at free parking spots for months at a time. The authors could have used more interviews with the thousands of RVers who travel constantly, enjoying travel and not just scraping by.
What’s your position? Do you prefer your privacy or does the RV lifestyle give you opportunities to socialize that you would’t find elsewhere? . Do you love the social life of campgrounds, rallies, volunteerism and the ability to visit family and friends without having to sleep on the couch? Or do you, like Greta Garbo, just want to get away from it all?
The big, wide, wonderful world of RV travel has room for everyone.
Over the Next Hill, An Ethnography of RVing Seniors in North America is $19.99 at https://amzn.to/39z1TLR