Now that our 2800-mile inauguration into RV ownership is complete, traveling by RV has taught me a few things about camping and human nature. Some of these revelations came while sitting behind the wheel and staring out at 2800 miles of road while others stemmed from the 4-hours spent scrubbing bugs off of the front of the motor home at the end of the 2800 miles. Nonetheless…
After much consideration, I have concluded that traveling by RV is exactly that: traveling. It no longer qualifies as camping. Having progressed from tent camping to the VW Westfalia camper van and then to a pop-up tent trailer prior to joining the ranks of the motor home indebted has provided the necessary insight to draw this conclusion. In the aforementioned variations of camping, each one was a step up in amenities, comfort and, with a little imagination, luxury. However, there is one key distinguishing element that separates these other forms of shelter from the motor home and defines the difference between ‘camping’ and ‘traveling’: the outhouse. With the tent, van and tent trailer you were quite limited to where you could camp due to basic bodily needs. As such, campgrounds were built around facilities that filled this need which would otherwise involve squatting over a log and using leaves. Moreover, this basic bodily need usually arises in the middle of the night where upon stirring restlessly for a bit, a person would relent to waking their spouse in order to escort them through the dark to the camp facilities. I was the designated escort.
Some campgrounds have very nice facilities with running hot water and even showers. In particular, the facilities found in Oregon State campgrounds are extremely nice. Not Taj Mahal nice, but nice in relative campground terms. However, there are the other extremes too: the decade old, hole-in-the-ground, spider and fly infested abyss without a seat. Or even worse, the ones that even the spiders and flies wouldn’t inhabit.
Conversely, the RV takes this amenity with you where ever you go or spend a night; sans the spiders and flies unless you are very poor housekeeper. Having your own personal throne to sit upon in semi-privacy (because the walls in the RV’s are NOT at all sound proof) is the key distinction between traveling and camping. Some people might argue that this deprives you the true experience of camping and I will accept that because after all, simply traveling is just fine with me.