We Roadtrekers are quite different from the rest of the RV industry. In fact, while Roadtreks offer the basic functionality, it has always been our major focus to allow our owners to “dry camp” for reasonable periods of time. Of late, we are very focused on environmentally responsible and long term “off the grid” touring and living.
We are not basic RV units. We don’t need plugs, and we don’t need concrete pads. We can stay for extended periods, and we don’t need those hookups. We have off the grid capability, and we use it.
This has become recently a focus point for many private campground owners, who seem to resent and attack both this company and Mike Wendland for promoting that lifestyle. And frankly, I am not in the mood for mediation on this topic. We have the right to travel and camp, and campground owners do not have the right to take money for nothing. Our units don’t need their amenities. We may choose to use those amenities. And we do, a lot. But we don’t have to, and nobody will tell us that.
Boondocking is not a dirty word. It is an enjoyable choice, just like choosing to stay at a campground that has amenities. A choice. And no campground owner should have the ability to take choice away. We have rights.
When we buy a Roadtrek, we didn’t sign up to sustain every campground owner with our dollars. We do use campgrounds frequently. And we spend a lot of money in them. And then, when we choose not to, we don’t expect to be attacked for using the functionality of our highly engineered units to enjoy traveling with low cost and flexibility.
We do reward the non campground businesses that allow us to overnight, by spending money there. We are usually parked for eight hours, maybe nine or ten, and we don’t carry kids, and we don’t have slides that take up two or three spots. We are clean, and quiet. And we spend money in the community. A lot more than the campground owner charges. Fuel. Food. Repairs. Laundry. Clothing. Hardware. Books. We sight see and visit museums and stay in hotels. And the campground owner simply competes with some of those activities, and is therefore attacking his indirect competitors through us.
Roadtrek has recently seen much online action from angry campground owners who resent the word Boondocker. And those owners have no idea where you are camping, they have no idea if they were personally affected. Some just hate the word and the concept that someone would actually sleep in a vehicle in a parking spot, that they are NOT paying for.
Mike Wendland and Roadtreking.com has been attacked for running a site that promotes boondocking. Campground owners are threatening him, and threatening to stop advertising with the FMCA if he doesn’t stop this type of reporting.
Well, the FMCA represents motorhome owners and manufacturers, not campground owners. We need campgrounds, and we like some of them, and we like using them when we decide to use them.
While we have some shared interests, manufacturers and campground owners and RV owners have mostly divergent interests.
And campground owners, our Roadtrekers are your customers. Don’t attack your own customers. That’s a huge mistake. Especially if they don’t need you, and our owners don’t need you all the time.
I am going to continue engineering, building and selling Roadtreks, and making them better and better all the time for boondocking, which I think is a sweet word, and a wonderful pastime.
I have asked Mike to create a page here that tells all Roadtrekers what communities have ordinances against RV parking, and what communities allow it. We also need to know what campgrounds welcome Roadtrekers, and what campground owners don’t.
We need a lexicon to compare routes and we need a list of businesses and places that welcome us. That’s important.
Maybe our next model should be called the Boondocker.
– Jim Hammill