Travel Tip 14: Prepare for Reduced Privacy at RV Parks and Designated Campgrounds
It comes with the territory.
One of the most amazing things about camping and being outdoors is the solitude that comes with it ― at least for those of us who travel solo. But the truth is that many of us still long for a sense of community. We like being part of a group from time to time, even if it’s only for a few months each year.
Solo travelers also recognize that there is safety in numbers. For example, while I don’t think twice about solo camping in the middle of nowhere in Nevada, I wouldn’t dare try that in Mexico or anywhere else south of the U.S. border.
These are just some of the many reasons that most full-timers RV at established campgrounds and parks.
Unfortunately, that sense of community comes with a big sacrifice: privacy.
The parking spaces were my biggest disappointment when I first started RVing. In the beginning, I was almost always lucky enough to get a spot away from everyone else, but I knew the day would come when a park would be way too full to give me that option.
Most RV parks only provide lots with enough space to park your RV and a tow/towed vehicle. There are some exceptions, but they are few and far between.
The most private lot I ever had was at Guadalupe RV Park in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. The owners planted brush and palm trees to mark the edges of each lot. That made it much easier to enjoy the outdoor spaces without being seen.
So, what are some ways reduced privacy plays out at campgrounds?
Well, for starters, you’re likely sharing a space with retirees who are often looking for new sources of entertainment. Too often, that involves them helping the neighbors mind their business ― i.e., your business.
This isn’t always a bad thing.
Once, while RVing in Mexico, I had only just moved to an RV park, so I hadn’t spoken to the neighbors yet. I then left for the United States to install my GFC Superlite. The neighbors panicked when I didn’t return for a few days.
They were about to report me missing to the local authorities when they realized: no one even knew my name.
When you’re a woman traveling solo, neighbors who care to notice you might have gone missing are definitely worth having. Needless to say, they were relieved when they saw me pull into camp the following Sunday afternoon.
What can you do to ensure you have more privacy in designated campgrounds?
Whether you want community or safety, the lack of privacy can start to wear away at you over time. For example, I plan to leave my current spot now that the villa is completely booked. When I first arrived, I was the only one here. While I am still the only RVer, the influx of 80 semi-permanent residents has totally ruined the tranquility.
Next week, I’ll share some tips I’ve used to balance privacy with community and safety on the road. Here are some of the questions I’ll answer:
How can you find campgrounds and RV parks that aren’t overcrowded?
What changes can you make to your lot to improve your chances of getting privacy?
How do you set boundaries with neighbors to ensure you aren’t constantly disturbed?
What can you do to keep the neighbors out of your business, especially when you tend to attract attention at camp? (For example, when you’re the only millennial!)
Alexis Chateau | Free Ramen is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.