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RomaniGypsy

Our first rally! PLUS: questions for "younger" RVers

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My wife and I went to the Chapter 30 rally (Red River Rovers) this past weekend in Hillsboro, TX... and had a great time! (To any of y'all who read this - you rock!)

 

One member of the club posed a good question, which I wasn't equipped to answer very well. He lamented how younger RVers (not just in their 20s and 30s such as my wife and myself, but also people in their 40s and 50s) don't seem especially interested in "joining" anything. The question was: how do we get more of these younger RVers to join RV clubs and become active in RV-related organizations?

 

Any ideas would be great... and if any of you reading this are "younger" RVers who have elected not to be active in RV clubs or organizations, perhaps you could shed light on why you haven't, and what might convince you to become active.

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We're older RVers who also don't get involved because our tastes are different from most RVers. Maybe it has to do with fulltiming, we don't do weekend getaways, etc.

 

Barb

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Ther is a time and place for everything. I would guess a younger RVer would be on vacation and need to work. Their needs are totally different. As an older RVer you have different needs and joining, though not necessarily particiapting in the social apects, a group becomes advantageous. I would think Escapees if first found by the older Rver bacaua of the mail service and the different BOFs. A younger Rver doesn't have the time to spare for lots of involvement.

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We are "younger" RVers in our 40's/50's. We value diversity in the things we participate in so rather than joining one or two clubs we seek out diverse forms of entertainment to participate in.

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This is why I like the Escapees forum: I'm "young" here. :D

 

I'm 40 years old, DH is 46.

 

DH is an introvert and really doesn't like to join in on a lot of social events. It's just his personality; he's always been that way.


As for me, I'm a more social being, more outgoing, more chatty, etc.

 

We just officially joined SKPs last week. I'm anxiously waiting for my welcome pack to arrive. Tonight I was killing time and looking over all the BOF's that SKP's offers. I'm excited about the potential to get involved in a couple of them that really pique my interest. But I might be an anomaly among my age group.

 

However, I think there are a few reasons that younger people aren't joining. One, I think SKP's (and other RV clubs) are seen as something for "old people". Not too many younger folks are excited to be joining groups for shuffleboard, pinochle, and discussing dentures. (I"m not saying that's how it is, but rather that's how it's perceived.)

 

Secondly, most younger folks are still in the workforce. RVing is usually a weekend activity (or two weeks in the summer), and for that amount of time, no one really wants to spend it getting to know people or doing organized events. I think occasional RVers are looking for a short escape from their duties of daily life, and the less "other" stuff they have to do while on vacation, the better.

 

Third, most younger folks have been hit really hard by the recession/depression of the last 5-6 years. When literally every cent counts, people have to prioritize how the money is spent. Especially if you are raising kids (which many RVers in their 20/30/40's are busy doing), limited resources are usually spent on things other than joining social clubs.

 

And lastly, many people of the 20/30/40's are techno-savvy to the point where the world isn't as large and friendless as it seemed for generations before us. For example, my DH is two hours away this evening camping at a state park with one of my sons and his Boy Scout troop. We've been texting together all day long. My friends who live, literally, all over the country might as well be next door. We see each other on Skype, we email, text, chat, facebook, etc. to the point where we have our friends with us all day long, every day. When that is the (perceived) reality, why bother going out of your way to meet new people? I hate to admit it, but it takes time, effort, and the ability to leave your comfort zone when you meet new people. Sometimes I think it's a dying art, but it is what it is.

 

So there's my take on the answer. I'm sure there are other psychological explanations, too. You'd have to study the psychological profiles of the typical Generation Y'er, Generation X'er, and "ME" Generation to really understand what makes them tick, and why they would be hesitant to join social groups.

Edited by Kinsa

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We consider ourselves "younger" RVers since we are both in our early 50's. We have had the opportunity to stay in a few Escapee Parks and have mixed emotions about them. We like the parks and have tried to "join in" when we are there by going to the happy hours and some of the other events. We have been welcomed to the events but typically after the initial introductions we find ourselves staring at the backs of people who are engaged in their own conversations. I'm sure they don't mean to be stand offish (is that a word?) but it is just human nature to "go where you feel comfortable" and I'm sure they are more comfortable with folks they already know and have something more in common with, as in the same age rather then us "newby's" who are just passing through. So far we have always been the youngest ones in the room at every Escapee Park we have been to.

Now don't get me wrong folks, I'm not upset about this. I'm just giving our perception and maybe a little insight as to our experiences. The parks and other escapees have all been friendly with waves and "good morning" when we see them but after that it is up to me to break the ice and sometimes that gets tiring being the new guy trying to "break into the group". Just a little food for thought from a couple of "younger" full timers.

 

Phil

Edited by wingerphil

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Phil,

 

It isn't because you are younger, it is because you are traveling and won't be there in a few days.

 

And there is a generational shift coming that for some reason most RV organizations and parks keep trying to ignore.

 

Barb

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Barb,

 

Explain your interpretation of the "generational shift" that you perceive is coming.

I'm 71 and curious as to your take on the issue.

CookieMon

Edited by CookieMon

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My wife and I went to the Chapter 30 rally (Red River Rovers) this past weekend in Hillsboro, TX... and had a great time! (To any of y'all who read this - you rock!)

 

One member of the club posed a good question, which I wasn't equipped to answer very well. He lamented how younger RVers (not just in their 20s and 30s such as my wife and myself, but also people in their 40s and 50s) don't seem especially interested in "joining" anything. The question was: how do we get more of these younger RVers to join RV clubs and become active in RV-related organizations?

 

Any ideas would be great... and if any of you reading this are "younger" RVers who have elected not to be active in RV clubs or organizations, perhaps you could shed light on why you haven't, and what might convince you to become active.

 

 

I'm definately "younger"......approx. 21 yrs. old trapped in a 61 yr. old body! :( Having said that, most people think we're much younger when they meet us.

 

We're new to RVing also. However, in the past six months we've been all over California, state parks, National Parks, Quartzsite, Ariz. RV rally, etc. and our experience has been that "generally" speaking, younger people have been easier to talk to and engage in conversation. Again, generally speaking, it seems that the functions where older people are the majority.....we've found that it's not as easy to break the barrier. Wingerphil explained that in other words in his post above.

 

I've also found this to be the case at both the Elks Lodge and Moose Lodge. I had a conversation with one of the "older" but friendler guys last week about this very topic. If younger people feel alienated walking in the door (where ever it is, what ever it is) then they're not going to stick around. The older cliques need to reach out and welcome the newer, younger folks. I believe that's why membership in these organizations is shrinking. But I'll still be there........so that I can walk my talk....reach out to the younger, newer person at these lodges.

 

Having said this, I have to tell you that I have met a few great people in the lodges that are friendly and did reach out.....the same as I have on these forums. There really are a few people whose motivation is to help others vs. those that are motivated by ego.

 

JMHO.

 

JC

Edited by JCZ

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Boomers are now retiring. More comfortable with technology, looking for more than shuffleboard, or aren't looking for the park to provide entertainment because they are out doing things on their own, don't feel that 'that's the way we've always done it' is an answer, etc.

 

Barb

Edited by Barbaraok

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Phil,

 

It isn't because you are younger, it is because you are traveling and won't be there in a few days.

 

 

That's unfortunate because we have met other RVers in our travels who we remain in contact with and have reunited when our paths cross again and that is one of the plusses of this lifestyle.

I guess, just by the design and demographics of the Escapees parks, the activities and socializing are more for the "long term" residents which would explain the experiences we have had in the parks.

We will continue to use the parks as a benefit of our membership but are reluctant to to put forth the effort to participate. It just doesn't seem worth the effort. :( Maybe I'll just raise the hood on the toad and get my tool box out, that seems to work to meet people in other RV parks. :)

 

Phil

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I would love to find some young (late 30s/40s) RVers who are active and into outdoor stuff - hiking, biking, kayaking, etc... I haven't gotten involved with any rallies and such mostly b/c the ones I've seen have clearly been targeted at an older crowd and appeared to be opportunities to sit around and get to know each other vs doing stuff. Also, I'm a teacher and unless a rally is within a few hours of my house I can only travel during summer. I currently travel with my parents and my dad and I do stuff but I'd love to find some other folks to meet up with and day hike or something.

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Great question!

I'm in my 40s. I agree with Teachergal. It would be great to have more events/rallies that cater to younger RVers.

I haven't been active with the Escapee Group in the past 6-8 years but used to be when I was full timing. Is there a GenXer BoF?

I remembered trying to get that group started but couldn't find enough people. If there was a "young" BoF group that would include young full timers, vacationers/week enders, I'd definitely be more active in this RV group.

 

Natacha "Frenchie"

2001 F350 PSD 4x4 Dually

2012 Arctic Fox Truck Camper 811

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This was discussed in detail a while back on RVdotNet. After much back and forth in the posting, the outcome was the events & acitivities were not to the liking of the younger (in mind & age) peoples. Simply the pace was too slow! More high adrenaline events & acitivities are needed.

 

rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

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Boomers are now retiring. More comfortable with technology, looking for more than shuffleboard, or aren't looking for the park to provide entertainment because they are out doing things on their own, don't feel that 'that's the way we've always done it' is an answer, etc.

 

Barb

 

X2; our winter park has lots of activities that we rarely participate in, not because we're anti-social, but because they simply have no appeal to us, nor do we think it is necessary to occupy ourselves with activities at the park. Both of us are active in different volunteer activities in the city that bring us in contact with a broader range of people than just those in our RV park.

 

As for technology, it's difficult to get excited about getting involved in, for example, computer groups, when they're always run at the introductory level. I'd love to participate in a Photoshop techniques group, but that's unlikely when last year' topic was learning to move your pictures from your camera to your computer! I'm not being snarky, but that's part of the generational divide that still exists among RVers.

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Younger people are more able to entertain themselves. They are confident, active and very comfortable exploring an area on their own. Our kids travel the world, make friends easily, and put their trips together themselves.

 

We looked at one rally that was in an area we were interested in. When we broke down what they were doing, we could do the same things for much less $. We do not need a tour bus to drive us around.

 

For something that did work....we attended a military reunion where we had to buy the bus rides, as they were doing things that we could not get access to by ourselves. The highlight was shooting in the training simulator!

 

We have a few friends we have met in our travels. When our paths cross, dinner is full of catching up on all the active things we have been doing, places we have been and things we have seen.

 

this weekend we are going to rodeos....going with us are 3 couples who have never been to a rodeo. They are thrilled to have us invite them to join us. We are sitting together, and we will explain the events and their ties to work on the ranch.

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X2; our winter park has lots of activities that we rarely participate in, not because we're anti-social, but because they simply have no appeal to us, nor do we think it is necessary to occupy ourselves with activities at the park. Both of us are active in different volunteer activities in the city that bring us in contact with a broader range of people than just those in our RV park.

Let me suggest that you then offer to get involved in starting some activities for younger residents. With your extensive volunteer background you should find it easy to do and if there are enough people interested you will most likely find that the park is supportive of your program ideas...

 

 

As for technology, it's difficult to get excited about getting involved in, for example, computer groups, when they're always run at the introductory level. I'd love to participate in a Photoshop techniques group, but that's unlikely when last year' topic was learning to move your pictures from your camera to your computer! I'm not being snarky, but that's part of the generational divide that still exists among RVers.

It sounds like you need to find a park with people more to your liking? How old are the residents in your winter park? I live in a retirement community when not on the road and that sort of class would get little attendance. There are 56 permanent residents and only 5 of them are computer illiterate and of those five, four are past the age of 80. There have been computer and data professionals and others who are computer savvy now for long enough that the vast majority of those who are retiring already have computer backgrounds. Having been involved in program activities in both public parks and visitor centers, I know that one of the things which cause the problem that you refer to is the lack of younger people who are willing to get involved to start new programs.

 

I have long believed that the best answer when I find a lack of programs that I like is to either get involved and change things, or move on to somewhere that I do enjoy. :P

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We are not Rally Attendees, we do attend, every 2-3 years,the Escapees Rallies mainly for the knowledge gained and being able to get honest answers from other Escapees and the vendors. The Escapees have a ton of seminars that cut across many areas of interest. The entertainment at night is a bonus(if we attend).

 

We prefer traveling on our own, setting up our own schedule and interests. Generally at Escapee Rallies there is a HOP prior to it(?) for those interested. After the Rally in the past we have attended DOVE training(Red Cross Disaster Volunteers).

 

We once took a bus tour of New Zealand(part of the Olympics package) and that cured me of any future bus tours. We just don't like to be regimented in any way and we want to see things, stop where we want to stop.

 

We have several friends that go to every rally offered, they are happy doing this and we decline each time they aks if we want to go.

 

If we were fulltime we would volunteer at a public park. We feel we need to give back to this great country of ours and that is a way. For now, we volunteer as DOVEs and at our local Red Cross as DAT1(primary disaster responders) and volunteer at our local animal shelter.

 

We hike, bike etc. during our trips. We enjoy visiting new places and feel that the US and Canada have plenty of places we haven't visited yet.

 

It is not just the "younger" generation that strikes out on their own. RVing allows everyone to do "their own thing", that is a major benefit.

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I am 58 and single. Sometimes that fact that I am solo is more of an issue than my age. I am involved in a solo Roadtrek group and we have a get together every other year or so which works out for me since I still work part time via computer.

 

I do go south of WI for the winter and have stopped for one night here and there at Escapee Parks. I do like joining in on a game night or other activity in the evening. I volunteer at national parks to save on costs of parking and learn about and enjoy nature walks. I usually volunteer 4 days and travel seeing the local country on my days off. I have a class B and seem to be more mobile than others even though those with a class A usually have a toad.

 

I don't often go to rallies since I prefer rolling rallies where you travel from place to place as a group but can also stop along the way as you like but meet up together in the evening or for a boat tour or something.

 

I went to leisure ministry activities at Port Arkansas last winter when it worked in my schedule and loved the nature group and yoga classes. Would have loved to learn bridge or other activities but you had to commit for 6 weeks or so and that did not work in with my schedule.

Edited by Teri_WI

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Wow--great discussion going here! In fact, I found it so interesting I just had to chime in and offer a little encouragement to RomaniGypsy. I became a full-timer in my twenties too. It is so funny to look back on it (now that I'm nearly 60) because I was the youngest Escapee member in the early years, and now I am surrounded by peers. The neat thing I've learned is that age makes so little difference when it comes to friendships.

 

With that said, the most important point made (in my perspective) is that the "support needs" for various age groups do differ. Speaking for the board of directors I can honestly say that is something we are keenly aware of and will continue to address, especially as our demographics grow younger (and they are!).

 

We are happy to have you in the "family" and look forward to meeting you one day!

 

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I have long believed that the best answer when I find a lack of programs that I like is to either get involved and change things, or move on to somewhere that I do enjoy. :P

 

Like so many things in life, the answers to most questions are neither black nor white. In this case, "ownership" of the computer courses at the park belongs to the husband of the long-standing park "matron" and wresting it away from him until they leave is unlikely. But, otherwise, we like the park and prefer it to the others in the area we have looked at. Not having that activity is not a big deal; most of the winter we are so booked up with volunteer and church stuff we often wonder if we really are retired!

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There is so much for people to do in this age I am happy that there are any young people in RV clubs. We attended the Texas Forest River FROG RV Rally in Kerrville, Texas last October. It was the first rally for the group and I felt it was well attended with 143 people with 75 RVs. Not one person under 60 except a young lady of about 40 who was traveling with her mother because she required care. I had always assumed that RVing was for older people with time on their hands?

I do know some people with young kids who do the two weeks in the summer RVing but as their kids get older they no longer want to go with their parents because of sports, boy and girl friends etc. I may not be correct but I will continue to enjoy RVing with older folks like me.

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The good news is that new doors to the RV world are opening to all ages because you can work from just about anywhere now! I have many friends that work from home offices (which could easily be mobile), and more and more businesses are allowing their staff to work offsite. I think (and hope!) we will see more and more younger people full-timing. I remember talking to my son's high school class about "choices," and of course I had to warn them about following all the traditional paths and stereotypical visions of the "American Dream," without giving thought to what they really wanted out of life.

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When staying in an area for a season, we have had very good experiences using meetup.com groups. There are a multitude of choices to socialize with others of like age and/or interests.

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