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5 new changes to expect about RV travel and camping this summer of 2020

RV travel and camping this summer is going to be different. Very different.

While we may be able to move about more than we have since the nationwide lockdown started in March, RV travel and camping this summer will be far from normal.

As the Memorial Day holiday signals the unofficial start of summer, we feel the need to share what we think will be the 5 things that will change for those venturing out for RV travel and camping this summer.

RV Travel and Camping this summer change #1: Hostility, resentment and safety shaming

If you do RV travel and camping this summer you may visit or pass through various parts of the country where out of state visitors are not welcome.

As I write this just before the Memorial Day weekend, several states are still under strict prohibitions about no essential travel.

RV Travel and Camping this summer
RV Travel and Camping this summer

RV travel is considered non essential.

Other states may be starting to open up state parks and camping but only for residents. And some small communities are telling visitors to stay away, that they have limited health facilities that – should a COVID-19 hotspot erupt – could not treat visitors.

The situation is fluid and changing daily. Follow the updated lists keot by sites like Campendium or theDyrt.

But you should expect some places to not be welcoming for RV travel and camping this summer well into the fall. Hopefully there won’t be many. But there will be some. And expect some “safety shaming” if you post some photos of your camping on social media from those who think your travel is not the right thing to do at this time and will rudely tell you so.

RV Travel and Camping this summer change #2: Campgrounds will be more crowded than ever

As a result of the pandemic and concern about vacationing in hotels or taking cruises or traveling by air, many people are buying RVs. Some business publications are calling this “the summer of the RV.”

The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, cable news and other publications have all run major stories recently extolling the cleanliness and safety of RV travel and camping this summer.

RV Travel and Camping this summer will be crowded
RV Travel and Camping this summer will be crowded

Dealers I’ve been talking to report a sharp increase of people buying RVs online, through virtual tours, even having them delivered to their driveway.

People love the fact that RVs are self-contained and perfect for social distancing.

RV rental companies are also doing record business these days.

So a lot of new people are coming into the RV Lifestyle?

Where will they stay? Even before the virus, a chief complaint by many RVers was that campgrounds were too hard to get into. Many required reservations far in advance. With some state and public campgrounds expected to be still closed or limited to in-state camping this summer, all those new RVers are going to make it even harder to book camping spots.

RV Travel and Camping this summer change #3: Boondocking spots will have more pressure

As a result of the pressure on private and commercial campgrounds, you’re likely to find it much more challenging to find those idyllic, isolated boondocking or dispersed camping spots off the beaten path.

it will be hard to find great boondocking spots like this one in Arizona in your RV travel and camping this summer
it will be hard to find great boondocking spots like this one in Arizona in your RV travel and camping this summer

I still think boondocking will be the best way to do RV travel and camping this summer, but you should expect to have neighbors out there.

Harvest Hosts, a membership site that allows free overnight camping at a network of more than 1,400 farms, wineries, museums, tourist attractions and golf courses, will be a good choice for many. But expect to see more RVers using their facilities, too.

Two other options worth considering are Boondockers Welcome and Overnight RV Camping.

RV Travel and Camping this summer change #4: Social Distancing, Sanitizing and Face Masks will not go away

In all this talk about TV travel and camping this summer, I need to stress that the coronavirus is not going away. It will still be with us over the summer and the need to take every precaution when we are in public will still be great.

Indeed, with some health experts predicting a second wave to show up later this year, no one should take an RV trip without bringing along a supply of hand sanitizer, gloves, sanitizing wipes and face masks.

When you are fueling up along the road, wear gloves when you touch the pump.

Wear face masks when you go into gas stations, restaurants or grocery stores.

Try to avoid public rest rooms at businesses or in campgrounds. One of the reasons you have an RV in the first place is because it is self-contained. So, use the bathroom and shower in your RV.

Minimize your exposure to other people and if you gather around a campfire…. make it a big enough campfire that you can stay six feet apart.

RV Travel and Camping this summer change #5: You’ll need more patience for getting RV service and parts

While the RV boom may be good for the industry, the extra demand it is putting on RV service shops means it is going to take more time to get your RV serviced.

RV manufacturers, suppliers and parts companies all shut down for almost two months. Existing inventories were quickly depleted and until the supply chain can restock, things like water pumps, air conditioning parts and circuit boards for various RV accessories like power awnings, retractable steps and the like mean you can expect longer repair wait times.

In addition, many service techs who were laid off during the shutdown have found other jobs or moved on, meaning many dealership service shops are short-handed.

My best recommendation is to find mobile RV repair services. Most of these are small businesses, individually owned. Even in the best of times, we have found them to be very prompt, usually coming right to our campsite.

I have found these mobile RV techs are familiar with all the things that can go wrong on an RV and pretty much able to fix problems right on the spot. Google “RV mobile repair” near your location and you’ll find them.

Or call a nearby campground and ask them who you can call. Every campground has the name of at least one mobile RV tech service.

So there you go.

None of these changes to RV travel and camping this summer are particularly good.

But we believe in being real here.

And we also believe that there will still be lot of good RV travel and camping opportunities this summer.

It’s just going to be different.

What do you think?

Bonus Tip: For a a very frank discussion about the pros and cons of RVing, review this post that applies to RV travel and camping this summer:

Ten Important things the RV Lifestyle IS…and IS NOT 

Final Tip: Review this video we did for some camping etiquette suggestions that will help with your RV travel and camping this summer:

Get more RV travel ideas, tips, news, and perks!

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5 new changes to expect about RV travel and camping this summer of 2020

14 thoughts on “5 new changes to expect about RV travel and camping this summer of 2020”

  1. Corrine Martig

    Again thank you! We’re still hoping to travel to California to see our new grandson. Getting anxious but want to stay safe and not annoy others.

  2. Christy Largent

    We are one of the “newbies” you’re talking about. In fact, we hope to finalize our RV purchase this week.
    Yesterday, at a large RV dealer here in North Texas, our salesman told us his company was already topping their highest month ever, he had beat his own personal best in sales, (as one of the company’s top salesmen) and it was only the 19th of the month! These are strange days indeed. We are hoping to make many memories with our teenagers this summer in our new (to us) RV.
    Thanks for all you guys are doing. We love your channels and blog!

  3. Thanks Mike and Jen. Recently laid off now we have some time to get serious about travel in our RV going thru some big time interior Renovation setting in Scott County Park because it beats Reno in the alley! Thanks for all you do to keep us informed.
    Tom and Loxi Hopkins

  4. John Cawthorne

    After 45 states and 7 provinces over 5 years and 80k miles it’s looking like a thin year. I do hope we can make at least one trip to the left coast to see the prodigal son and grandson but our planned return to AK for the summer is off.

  5. I think I agree on most of what you say. But I refuse to be shamed. I have traveled the country this whole time for work and have been from coast to coast several times. I don’t care what anybody else thinks, if I want to go somewhere that’s open, I’m gonna go. I’ve never lived my life in fear of anything and I’m not starting now. I take precautions more so to apease others than any fear for myself. I personally feel masks are useless and 95% of people aren’t using gloves properly so they are useless. I will not allow anybody to shame me while doing something I need or want to do.

  6. Good advice. If we all consider how we impact others – like wearing masks is not for your protection but to protect those you come into contact with – we could make RVers a model for everyone. It should not be too much to ask of us.

  7. Hope all is well with you and Jenn . So very unfortunate to see the Dam breaches that have devastated the Sanford area ! Your RV may have to be used as temporary shelter for medical staff , the heros of our current society may need your help.covid -19 is still a threat and now this catastrophe. Stay well my friends.

  8. Pingback: Is this the year of the RV? Here are 5 reasons the answer is Yes! | RV Lifestyle

  9. John Sagraves

    I don’t see it. Full timers are hunkering down. Next exit, campervankevin.. list goes on. After 6 months we could not wait to get home. Have no desire to leave home except for a vehicle to visit family in Los Angeles and Lansing. Hunkered down until vaccine comes out. Due to age and health, doctors said if you get it, you die. No redo. Just saw stats 80 percent fulltimes are older. I think they are hunkering down.

  10. John Sagraves

    Shoe might fit. Camo Dave. : why are some YouTube nomads so tone deaf to how they’re seen. Shoe might fit.

  11. Jerry J Parkinson

    I’m sorry but I disagree with most of you. I am not paranoid and intend to continue traveling and camping at every opportunity. This has been blown way out of control. The risk to campers is extremely low unless you go to high density spots like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon tourist areas. i wouldn’t go there anyway during peak season. Yes, there is going to be problems. Most of it will be caused by people paranoia and not by real problems. The truth is coming out, this is not as contagious as some people are claiming. Just use common sense and use good hygiene practices that you should be doing anyway.

  12. Jerry Parkinson

    I’m sorry but I disagree with most of you. I am not paranoid and intend to continue traveling and camping at every opportunity. This has been blown way out of control. The risk to campers is extremely low unless you go to high density spots like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon tourist areas. i wouldn’t go there anyway during peak season. Yes, there is going to be problems. Most of it will be caused by people paranoia and not by real problems. The truth is coming out, this is not as contagious as some people are claiming. Just use common sense and use good hygiene practices that you should be doing anyway.

  13. Jerry Parkinson

    I’m sorry but I disagree with most of you. I am not paranoid and intend to continue traveling and camping at every opportunity. This has been blown way out of control. The risk to campers is extremely low unless you go to high density spots like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon tourist areas. i wouldn’t go there anyway during peak season. Yes, there is going to be problems. Most of it will be caused by people paranoia and not by real problems. The truth is coming out, this is not as contagious as some people are claiming. Just use common sense and use good hygiene practices that you should be doing anyway. I will wave or shake your hand. I am comfortable with either.

  14. Quite a bit is spot on but remember that not all RVs are self-contained,and that’s not “why” we have RVs. Pop-ups, vans, … self contained RVs are for the affluent.

    That said, I will continue to travel full time in my non-self-contained RV and take proper precautions

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