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Laura: My RV generalizations prior to investigation

| Updated Jul 19, 2013

I had never RVed before I bought my Roadtrek a year and a half ago, and I had an idiotically pre-conceived notion of what RVers were like.  So I figured I was going to be a lone wolf and have little contact with the others.  After all, I am only just approaching middle age at 54.

I have been known to say hip things now and then and have listened to almost 3 whole rap songs in my life.  Although I don’t know what it is, I know there is a difference between rap and hiphop.

I am connected with Internet and Facebook. I go to art shows once a year. I have, albeit very slowly and with both hands, texted on a cell phone. On my iPad and laptop, I know almost all of the buttons. I can cut and paste!

There is a GPS in my RT, but I prefer maps so it’s like brand new, even though it’s probably considered an antique after a year and a half. I even wear all black sometimes, but admit my fair skin has remained untouched by the ubiquitous tattoo needle. So like, wow dude, how am I going to fit in? Seriously!!!

Laura's Roadtrek… which she calls OLGA for “Old Ladies Get Around”

Weren’t most RVers a bunch of thousand year old fuddy duddies, who sat around, played dominoes, had comfort food pot lucks every night, strung Christmas lights around their awnings and sang old camp songs? Didn’t they travel in groups and go to hokey shows, cheesy gift shops and sent those tiny little spoons with states on them to their grandkids?  Take photos of each other at the overlook and just do group tours of famous caves and museums?

Or weren’t they the ridiculous Chevy Chase family who went to the campground and stayed there, afraid of the woods and all things natural?

Traveling for a while has shown me, that while there may be a teeny bit of truth in my picture, most RVers make me look like yesterday’s news and my larder is now stocked with heaps of humble pie.

It shames me that no less than most of the people I have met have been traveling for years and have been everywhere. Twice.  They know factoids about the most obscure rock formation and can tell me the exact geologic period it was formed and who discovered it. They have also probably climbed it. Twice.

When asked, they are willing to share the best camps, times to travel, which routes are the most beautiful and what I’m likely to see in (sometimes excruciating) detail. They have info! They know flower, bird and plant names. They can navigate downtown or remote forest access roads.

The intrepid travelers know the trendiest bistros, the nicest spas, tastiest bakeries, best libraries and coffee shops. They know where to score concert, rodeo, drama and any other tickets I could want. Yeah and even a hokey show- but I know a lot of people don’t like modern art so we’re even on that one.  I’m especially glad we all have different tastes or else every place we go would be crowded!

RVers read history, science, literature, and keep up on current events. There are book-swapping libraries in every laundry room I have been. It makes sense that most are retired, how else would they have time to travel for such long periods, or afford these well-appointed moving homes?

But many are still working, either while on the road or just have the sort of job that affords them enough time off to wander. I have met several artists, photographers and writers. They are from everywhere; uptown, downtown, small town or no town, including Europe, Canada, Latin America and other parts of the globe.  Most travel in pairs, but there are solos, families, friends, associates, caravans, pods and gaggles along with cats, dogs, hamsters and birds.

I have met travelers of all ages, and while a good number are elder statesmen and women, many of those still hike, bike, zip line, white water, marathon and climb rings around me and most of the young set I know.  These folks are not your sluggish couch potatoes; they don’t sit still for long unless they are driving.  Even the less physically able can be found everywhere- no sissies or whiners in this portable population! I have seen canes, wheel chairs and oxygen tanks in campgrounds, museums and all parks.  Age might slow them down a tad, but they aren’t mothballing that rig until absolutely necessary. There is always one more TO DO on the bucket list!

My camp neighbors can fix anything, are self sufficient, creative and inventive. I have seen homemade trailers, slides, and all sorts of very cool attachments and improvements.  Not only that, they are so tech savvy it makes me weak kneed with envy and confusion.  They are tuned in, hooked up and well wired. There are satellites, the latest laptops, pads, boosters, inverters, apps and gadgets and gizmos that I can’t comprehend.

They Skype, Face Time and beam up their grandkids and friends back home. They conduct business and even run companies while on the road. All while I am still trying to figure out how to hook up my cable. Sigh.

And what’s wrong with stringing lights around the awning? It is not only festive, but I have tripped in the dark and had trouble finding my door handle.  I learned to play dominoes, which happens to be very fun!  And you can bet that no one on earth brings bad food to a potluck. The last one I went to was pretty international; we enjoyed brie, spring rolls, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, wine and very good,  original, live music.  I didn’t see one dish of mac and cheese and if I had, it would probably have had truffles in it.

In fact, I have found that most serious RVers are healthy, well rounded, educated professionals with many passions, talents and a universal love of nature (not to mention, pretty snappy dressers). They are active, up on the latest, curious about the world around them, interesting, always friendly and willing to lend a hand if you have any problems.  A tremendous group of like-minded people who are out to learn, see and experience the country.

So like, wow man, I think I might have a little catching up to do in the “hip, slick and cool” department…..And don’t do the lone wolf thing, you for sure want that invite to the potluck next weekend- Seriously!!!


Mike Wendland

Published on 2013-07-19

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

17 Responses to “Laura: My RV generalizations prior to investigation”

August 22, 2016at3:00 pm, ongre11 said:

Excellent writing. Astute perceptions.

May 23, 2014at3:36 pm, William Scully said:

Sweet very nice RV.

May 22, 2014at8:52 pm, Rj Roe said:

They are very nice. I checked one out at the Calgary RV Show this past spring. You really need DEEEEPPP pockets for the Mercedes model, compared to more practically priced North Amercian Vehicle models.

May 22, 2014at6:58 pm, Angelina Anderson said:


May 22, 2014at6:45 pm, Donna Gunderman said:

Wish i had one right now

April 23, 2014at9:23 pm, Carol Collier said:

I am picking up my new Roadtrek tomorrow and setting out in a few weeks for a year of solo RVing–with a little trepidation about the campground scene. Your article was SO uplifting, enlightening and confidence-building for a newbie. Thanks so much!

April 23, 2014at5:34 pm, LINDA ERDELY PIERCE said:

Yes!! I knew my people were out there somewhere! I’ve got to get closer to this lifestyle!

April 23, 2014at5:33 am, Sandy Moran said:

Laura you are so very talented-and you make me laugh!

February 21, 2014at10:19 pm, Chris Parks said:

Well wrote and I look forward to being a bigger part of the portable population.

February 21, 2014at8:00 pm, Mike Jones said:

The best part of a small RV is the Diesel engine! 😀

February 21, 2014at11:39 am, David Pinkerton said:


February 21, 2014at9:11 am, Ginger Johnson said:

Great article! So true on all accounts! Happy RVing

July 24, 2013at10:34 pm, Les Shanteau said:

Lakeside, Ohio for some serious shuffleboarding

July 22, 2013at10:45 am, Larry Daniel said:

Once Again

Laura, once again you have written a very nice summary of life on the road in a Roadtrek (or some other brand/type of RV). Please keep up the great column you do for Mike. We enjoy it immensely .

July 19, 2013at8:25 am, Campskunk said:

there’s some kind of a toss game played like horseshoes with two teams throwing at each other’s goal that’s big in the RV parks when i started out – i decided that i’d just put myself out on an ice floe before i did stuff like that, but i got to watching, and they sure were having fun…

July 19, 2013at7:46 am, Laura H Postema said:

Great read! Thanks for posting.

July 19, 2013at6:44 am, Kristi said:

Don’t knock shuffleboard til you’ve tried it, right Laura?? 🙂

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