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by Ron
 Responsible Boondocking
Do you remember when many trailer parks were predominately occupied by transients? Some folks still have that perception of RVing. They don’t realize that many RVers today have a considerable investment in their RV and often patronize upscale RV resorts.  In addition our financial impact on the local economy is very positive. Although our image is changing we have observed some practices by boondocking RVers that may impact others and affect this wonderful lifestyle in a negative way. 

We have seen those who camp for days at a time in a shopping area parking lot. This could reinforce that negative perception of early days. First of all, let me say that there is nothing wrong with staying overnight in a Wal-Mart or mall parking lot where such parking is allowed. Many are doing this for convenience rather than detouring to an out-of-the-way campground. It also eliminates a lot of RV maneuvering and setting up, in addition to avoiding an expensive one-night stay for facilities that are not needed. It is those who abuse this privilege that need to consider their actions. When a retail facility (Wal-Mart, Camping World, etc) is generous enough to allow us this courtesy we should limit our stay to the overnight stop. We have seen many who set up camp for as long as they can get away with it. The lawn chairs and awnings come out and they are settled in. 

In some cases the above actions have resulted in prohibitive local ordinances or a change in store policy. The thoughtful RVer who only wants to catch a few winks overnight while in transit may eventually find this convenience taken away. If economics are involved, there are many ways that camping costs can be reduced without taking advantage of these considerate merchants. 

And we can show them our appreciation by a personal “thank-you” and by shopping at their store. One full-timer told me that he helps round up shopping carts and returns them to the collection area. This thoughtful person even picks up litter to show his appreciation. Ron Rohlfs doesn’t have a computer so he won’t read this, but if any of you know him, compliment him on being a good neighbor. He is my kind of guy. 

A personal note: This semi-retired writer needs more time to loaf and play. Hopefully you will understand when this column shifts to a bi-weekly format. See ya at the pool. 
 

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