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RVers Attitudes Have Changed

Mike Cianciosi
(Standoff-ishness, Don't Bother Me Attitude)

I have been camping - RVing on and off full time for many years (25). As of late, I have found that we full timers and others have had a recent change of attitude to "don't bother me." It's taboo to talk to each other. It's a very stand-off attitude.

I have been in a rental house for three years and just came back, to my shock. Prior, we used to have pot-lucks. Everybody used to visit with each other. You couldn't even walk your dog in less than two hours because you were chatting with everybody.

I thought we were all the same kind of people -- RV'ers.

Coleen, the RVing editor comments:

I haven't seen or done any formal study on this, but here are my thoughts....

As full-time RVing has gotten more popular, it has drawn people from a wider basis of backgrounds. I think there was a time when most full time RVers who stayed in campgrounds and RV parks were retired. They had worked their career job for 30 years or so, retired, and were out camping and taking life easy.

That's not true today. Now days, many full-timers are working. There are more younger folks full-timing, people who still need to be working and earning a living. And, there are more semi-retired folks, perhaps of the traditional retirement age, who are working full or part time. Some work for financial reasons. Others because they just aren't ready to slow down. But, whatever the reason, when you are working, you tend to need to be on a schedule and you simply have fewer hours in the day to socialize.

Another contributing factor is that RVs have changed. Years back, how many recreational vehicles had satellite TV's and on-line computers, and all the conveniences of home? RVers were outside, where they'd meet one another. Now, it is easy to stay inside and do the kinds of things people living in stick-built homes do.

I also think that in our fast-paced world, people have forgotten how to be friends. Oh sure, we have Facebook friends, email friends, and cell phone contacts, but I'm talking about face-to-face, old school friends.

Mike, thank you for submitting the article you wrote on how you are overcoming this trend.

You can find that article on Mike's method for making friends by clicking here.

RVers, what are your thoughts on this?

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Comments for RVers Attitudes Have Changed

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RVers Aren't Less Friendly, Just More Preoccupied
by: Barb & Tom

I think Coleen made some good points.

We have been full-timing for 23 years. When we first started we were primarily traveling from place to place and were in a small RV. We spent most of our time in nice weather and outside because it was a SMALL RV, and most of our neighbors had small RVs, also.

As the years passed, we became bored with just traveling and started working in campgrounds, etc., on a part-time basis, and we were in a little bit larger RV. We still spent a lot of time outside visiting because we knew many of the people in the campground and the RV wasn't as small, but still small.

Now, we're still working in campgrounds, etc., but now hours are a bit longer (so we're a bit more tired), the RV is considerably longer (and wider), and we now have cell phones (no more phone booths), computers with wifi (no more going to the clubhouse), large screen TV (no more 13" TVs). We still go to potlucks, planned activities, etc., but since our RV is so comfortable, sometimes we simply stay inside and watch TV and simply forget to go outside and visit with neighbors and passers-by (I too remember when it used to take a couple of hours to walk the dog).

I don't think we're less friendly, just more preoccupied.

RV Friendly
by: Anonymous

We are new RVers and although we did some in the past, we have always heard you meet the friendliest people in RV's. Not so, as we are starting to discover.

We just went to Q, Arizona, for a few days and people in our campground wouldn't even look at us, let alone speak. We found people not real friendly, even walking around the shopping areas, either. Maybe it is a new day.

We also stayed at Thousand Trails before that and went into a club house about to have a card game of some sort. They all looked at us like, "What are you doing here?" and didn't smile, speak, or ask us to stay.

What is going on? We are friendly, healthy people and can't figure out what is wrong. I guess we need to join a club or just stay to ourselves until we find the right group.

Anyone else find this to happen to them when they are getting started in the full time life style?

Thanks for any answers.

Coleen, the RVing editor comments:

Sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit. It may help to stay at parks where other people are about your same age.

You may also find it helpful to make the first move. Instead of waiting for the others to speak, go beyond your smile and say, "Hello!" Asking questions is a good way to break the ice. If you can't think of anything witty to ask, the proven stand-by is, "Where are you folks from?" Even scowly people tend to smile back and loosen up when given a sincere compliment.

Look for opened ended, all-inclusive activities. Card games may be limited to a certain number of players, and once started, the players are likely paying close attention to their game. A better choice is an activity that involves a larger group, such as a sing-a-long, camper talent night, or ice cream social. These latter activities, by the way, also give you a chance to clap, say "Thank you!" or otherwise start a friendship by expressing your appreciation.

Some RVers aren't friendly. And, some just don't want to socialize. They go camping to escape the city crowds. They see taking off in their RV as their time away from the rat race. They want to chill, to vegetate, and do their own thing, without having to be socially "on." When you try to befriend these folks and they don't give you a positive response, just smile and turn your attention to someone else who, like you, may be looking for a new friend.

Go to the RV Life and Travel blog.

RV Attitudes - Rejects to Elitists
by: Lakota

It's true, a lot of RV'ers are preoccupied and some have their own little click of people they choose to socialize with. I've camped in all 48 states at over 100 campgrounds, even a few resorts.

Some campgrounds harbored the town rejected tweeks who have figured getting an old RV and drag it into an RV park with lax rules and do there partying there. They stay up all night partying, and then sleep all day while their kids terrorize the rest of the park.

Some of the RV resorts have special clubs you have to be a member of or you don't qualify to even talk or socialize with. The kind of people who drink special wine and play canasta with elite people with half million dollar rigs. Society seems to revolve around your social status as to who you are allowed to socialize with. Its not like it used to be, people being friendly and socialable, even after retirement.

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