Camping has changed.....

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Dan Wilson, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Dan Wilson

    Dan Wilson Active Member

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    We got out of camping for the past five years because of other things going on in our life until this year when we bought our popup camper which we love so it gave us a vantage point to make some observations about the changes we noticed and, the recent postings about the possible death of popup campers and the greater proliferation of TT's.
    We ust spent three days, weekdays, at Straits State Park on the Mackinac Straits in the Upper Peninsula. About half of the campers were TT's, and mostly large trailers, at least 23 feet and larger. The campsites were clearly designed back in the CCC days for tents and it was interesting watching people try to maneuver those beasts into their spots, wives shouting instructions to their husbands about turning this way or that way.
    Of the remaining campers they were pretty much evenly split between tents and popups. That was certainly not the case five years ago when popups and tents were in the majority. But what I noticed the most was the quiet. About 9 p.m. everything was quiet. Instead of people sitting around campfires and making noise they were buttoned up inside their portable houses. I have had many camping experiences ruined by late night revelers so I didn't mind, and, truth be told w,e being senior citizens, were buttoned up as well.
    Not very scientific but camping has changed for sure.
     
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  2. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    We were at Straits twice last year, once in June, and once by accident in October, I think Straits is just different because it's a base for the island, rather than a getaway. For me, many of the state parks offer different experiences because of where they are and who they attract. I liked my times at Straits, but it's not a park I'd want as a destination in its own right.
     
  3. jeicher

    jeicher Member

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    Camping at the State Parks have changed considerably since I first began. Back in the 60s many state parks had a parking area from where you would carry your tent to the setup point. Then they added roads with drive-in campsites. Now they are paved pads with people complaining they are not big enough and don't have any or enough full hookups.

    Yep camping has changed....
     
  4. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    It's changed, but I've noticed the opposite with noise. Couple years ago at Myrtle Beach SP the hooping and hollering didn't stop until well after midnight every night on Labor Day weekend. May this year at Sesquicentennial SP we stayed several days. There were four of the houses on wheels a few sites down and Friday and Saturday they got together and laughed it up til very late. Sunday they left and it was very peaceful the next remaining nights.
     
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  5. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    Rigs have certainly gotten larger and much more expensive in recent years. We are recently back from a 19 day trip out west and up to the Canadian Rockies. There are many, many rigs where the total invested cost (rig alone if it has an engine, or rig + pickup) is at least $100K. There were a few popups and also a reasonable number of tents, but the larger rigs were at least 70% of the total campers. I don't think much will change this equation other than a good recession or spike in fuel prices. The interesting thing is, in most of these areas, you only need to get back a mile or so hiking and there is almost no one there. Camping has become a bit of a drive by event for many. I don't mind the larger rigs, but the more difficult thing is that to camp at most any place with reasonable popularity, you have to reserve many months in advance and that definitely limits some styles of camping. When I drive by the normal place selling RVs and look at the 10s of million $ of inventory they have sitting on their lots, it always amazes me. There is apparently plenty of $ floating around to support this industry.
     
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  6. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    My TT is 25 ft. It is usually one of the smaller trailers in "resort" types of places. But its about average in state parks and national forest campgrounds.
     
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  7. tfischer

    tfischer A bad day camping beats a good day at the office Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been noticing this recently too... by 9 or 9:30 the place is dead quiet. We tend to sit out late around the fire, chat, sometimes play games, etc. In the past I never had to worry about being too loud as a dozen other sites near us were doing the same thing. Lately I fear we're keeping people up with our quiet chatter.

    Like you, I'd much rather have this than party crowds everywhere, but it's kind of strange.
     
  8. CheapCampingComfort

    CheapCampingComfort New Member

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    Just got back from camping at the eastern shore for a few nights in our popup, and out of over a hundred sites at our campground, maybe 25% had fires going each night. The rest were watching their shows in their recliners eating s'mores flavored chex mix. And the weather was perfect for sitting out at night. I was soaking up the quiet. 1 log on the fire = 1 beer in the belly.
     
  9. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    State Parks here charge roughly 20% more for a lake front site and people may complain, but they pay it. The huge units are taking up twice the space and using more than twice the electricity. I think there should be at least a 50% increase for 50 amp hook ups and wouldn't mind if they charged double for the 50 amp with sewer sites. The demand for all this extra cost money, have the ones creating the demand foot the bill for their desires.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  10. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    How do you know exactly what they were all doing and eating???

    I rarely have a campfire. Between burn bans, bugs, and Moose-dog and Bat-dog's preference to be inside at night, it's just not something I bother with. In addition, as a solo camper, having a campfire means I'm stuck at ths campsite until it's died down - I like the ability to go take night photos if the mood strikes. Or go use the telescope.

    But that doesn't mean I'm inside watching my shows (I haven't had "a show" since Buffy). Usually, I'm sitting inside in the dark with a good book on the kindle paperwhite - curled up on the couch so I can watch outside, window open for the breeze and sounds, and the dogs happily relaxing.

    In addition, a lot of folks are seasonal or fulltimers. So when you see them go inside at night to watch tv, it's no different than when you do that at your sticks & bricks.

    Rather than just assuming that all these folks are "doing it wrong", we should try to see outside of our own box.
     
  11. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    If I can hear a gnat whizz at 50 meters when camping, all is well...that being said, normal campground noise is fine; fams having fun sitting round a fire, kids laughing & riding bikes, catching lightning bugs etc, if done w/in reason & w/in quiet hours or a tad after...it's the yodellers/moon howlers/hay y'all watch this types that can get aggravating, especially late into the night, but the SP we frequent does a pretty good job keeping the rowdies in line, so...mostly the pop up/tent/ small camper folks have fires, the big rig people generally head inside where we go, & not much you can do when a diesel truck cranks up & pulls their home away from home in or out of the park in the middle of the night, probably woke up a few myself starting the truck at o dark thirty & heading to the water at first light...
     
  12. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Just got back from the local Gander Outdoors checking out fishing stuff, & there were scads of folks checking out campers; read somewhere a few years ago that during the recession back in '09, camper sales were steady, boats too best I remember...we peeked in a couple of the bigger ones, & they were decked out big time comfort wise, didn't bother asking about price, not my thing, but where we usually camp has 3 long sections of pull through sites we call "skid row", & it's hard to believe some of the rigs you see; reservations have to be made WELL in advance for any of the electric sites, as well as the site specific tent sites nowadays...must be a lot of $$$ floating around as you said, been debt free several years myself & plan to stay that way...
     
  13. JLE

    JLE Member

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    We are 'empty nesters' now enjoying our PUP. We've noticed campgrounds in general are much quieter than when we were in our tent trailer with kids over past decade+. Our vacations were always rated by whether we got sleep or not...back then. Now, rarely are we kept up by our neighbours. Works for me! I agree this is because there are so many more bigger rigs and people not outside as much around the campfires. We've rarely had campfires for a number of reasons (backpackers used to little stoves, hate the smell, clothes stink, son was frightened by an out-of-control fire when a toddler, etc.)
     
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  14. generok

    generok Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I recently posted my declaration that I am NOT a camper. I am a mobile lodging fan. I want to bring a comfortable lodging facility with me wherever I want to be that is comfortable, secure, all weather and can tote my UTV on occasion. That leads me to a TT toy hauler. I go where I want, and sometimes that's a CG with a plug and a sewer, and sometimes it is a gravel pullout on the side of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. I honestly do not think the rig has much to do with the behavior as the humans occupying them does. I've seen tent campers be quiet, and $500,000 Newmar owners be completely obnoxious jerks, and vice versa.

    I admit, I am guilty of looking out the window and commenting on someone's "camping" format. But, I've really tried to focus on one thing lately, I mean really focus... no matter what rig they're in, or how much electronics they use, or how loud they are, folks ARE out there DOING it. In an age where you can easily stay at home, you have to give credit to the few that DO get out. They may camp in a "rat" van, or a brand new Class A, but they are getting out there. So, as RV folks, we really need to pat each other on the backs for doing it, because it isn't easy. What's easy is staying home. There's as many styles of camping out there as there are families. Don't get me wrong, there is inconsiderate behavior aplenty, but at least we can give a nod to getting out.

    Ok, I'm done.
     
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  15. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine camping without a fire. I have an old house and don't use the fire places. My town does not permit outdoor fires. The only place to have a fire is camping. It is sad that fires are now banned in some areas and also firewood is getting so expensive. Years ago everyone had big fires.
     
  16. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I would have been one without a fire at night. Not because I'm sitting in a lounger eating snacks and watching a movie, but because of my schedule. I lay down around 7:30 and am asleep by 8. I get up at 3, build my fire, and enjoy the quiet while drinking my morning coffee.

    Don't be so quick to judge.
     
  17. HappyTraveler

    HappyTraveler Well-Known Member

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    As we've gotten older and are now just the two of us, we rarely have a campfire.
    When we first started camping as a family back in the mid 1980s, we only had a tent and sleeping bags, so needed the fire to cook over. As we kept camping and acquiring more equipment, with a camp stove being one of those things, we would only have a fire in the evening. Then as we began going further west, quite few places had fire bans on, so even those evening campfires got more sporadic. Now, even without a burn ban, most places don't allow bringing fire wood with you (here in WNY we have the emerald ash borer beetle) and buying wood just to burn is extremely expensive.
    So I can understand the changes and not seeing as many campfires like we used to see back in the '80s. What I do notice is people will have bonfires at their homes now, like us. And, we have tons of wood to burn b/c we've had to cut down all our Ash trees. ;)
     
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  18. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Talked a dude last week that said he's having several ash trees taken down on his property; he noticed they were starting to die off & didn't know why, the county extension guy came by & told him they were infested w/ that beetle, he'd never heard of 'em, guess they're here too...***Recently got a Flame Genie to take, pellets take up less room in the truck, got the idea from Chloe here on the site, now I gotta judge the pellet burn time etc
     
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  19. tfischer

    tfischer A bad day camping beats a good day at the office Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah at $6-10 a small bundle of wood, it's hard to justify buying enough to cook over the fire. We usually have an evening fire though for s'mores and such, even though it tends to be a small one since what I'd really like to do is burn about 4 or 5 bundles at once but can't justify the cost lol.
     
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  20. rjhammetter

    rjhammetter Husband, Dad, Engineer & Camper

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    We can't transport wood over 10 or 25 miles thanks to EAB. I know for a fact many people still do although it's against the law and against state park policies in Wisconsin. EAB is all over the place around here. It's getting hard to find any healthy Ash trees anymore - really sad and sort of amazing how one little beetle is threatening an entire species of tree.

    We were never in the practice of building fires while our kids were young. For one, we weren't able to sit around and enjoy a fire while also keeping an eye on them. For two, it wasn't worth the risk of them playing, tripping or falling anywhere close to a fire. Now that they are old enough to respect and enjoy the fire, we might build one on two or three nights of the week long trip, and even then it's a short fire that only lasts as long as our $5 ream does.
     

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