By Bob Difley
There are as many different reasons why people buy RVs as there are makes and models to choose from. RV ownership usually begins with a single purpose, such as spending an annual two-week vacation and several additional weekends a year at popular RV resorts like the Jellystone Parks or your local state park when you have young children.
Many buy their rigs to make frequent family visits to relatives or reunions, visiting plush RV resorts with golf courses, fishing or hunting trips, connecting Harley riders at rallies like in Sturgis, South Dakota (some of which tow multiple Harleys in a trailer behind their motorhome), and hobbyists who follow the chili cookoff circuit, remote-controlled model airplane rallies, bluegrass festivals, and participants in civil war re-enactments.
If you bought your RV to visit your grandkids, who don’t have enough space to offer you a room (so you stay in your RV in their driveway), you probably don’t even know that there are such things as chili cook offs (photo above), where hobbyists spend several weekends a year–competing in chili cooking contests competing for thousands of dollars in prizes–from the Desert Rat Regional Chili Cookoff in California to the Massachusetts State Cookoff. In fact you probably also don’t know that the International Chili Society’s website lists these cookoffs in states all around the country, including several winning recipes.
The point is that once you purchase your RV–whether a motorhome, trailer, or fifth-wheel–you are now the owner of a magic carpet that will transport you to adventures that you never knew existed before. And you will find out that there are many RV owners–not quite just like you, but with a common bond–that will pique your curiosity about their life and hobbies enough that you will want to find out more.
All it takes, whenever you spot a group of RVs that seem to be participating in some group activity, is to wander over and check it out. I have yet to find any RVers that do not welcome others to join them, either because they are always seeking new participants in their hobby, or just to join them around the campfire.
I have ended up spending hours with groups as disparate as ham operators–I had never seen a ham radio before–abalone divers, square dancers, Civil War re-enactors (I ended up taking part in a Civil War re-enactments at Ft. McAlister outside Savannah, Georgia), or just groups of like-minded individuals like the Loners On Wheels for solo RV travelers, gay and lesbian RVers, musicians (I don’t play but found their impromptu jam sessions [photo left] extremely enjoyable), and the au naturale (that means nudists–sorry, no photo).
There is another single factor that ties a lot of these folks together, other than that they all use RVs, and that is that they often gather together in boondocking locations where they can circle their rigs around a common campfire, sharing evening potluck dinners, and “talking shop” on their particular interest.
And when you learn how to use your RV for different reasons than why you bought it (including boondocking), a new world of adventure opens before you like the unfolding of a wildflower under a warm Spring sun.
Check out my website for more RVing tips and destinations and for my ebooks, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (or for Kindle version), Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (Kindle version), and 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang out of your RV Lifestyle Dollar (Kindle version).