Prior to the start of our adventure in late July, we hadn't spent much time in our travel trailer. In fact, when we did go out, it was for short weekend or vacation trips, usually lasting no longer than a few days or 2 weeks at most. And most of the time, we tried to stay in state parks. Our goal then was to get away from work, get to natural outdoor locations, do a bit of hiking, enjoy a campfire, and do a bit of fishing. The way we camp today is a lot different, and the other campers we encounter are certainly different.
Today, we spend most of our time in commercial RV parks. The campers we encounter here are different from those who usually frequent state and national parks.
In almost every RV park we've visited, there has been a sizable number of long-term or permanent campers. Many of these are workers who live in their RVs as their jobs move them about from place to place. Most of the time, the workers live alone in their RVs while their families remain at a permanent home. Each weekend, these workers return home to their families for a brief visit before returning to their RV for another week of work. Sometimes the workers are a bit older but not yet retirement age, so a husband and wife whose children have already grown will travel about in their full-time RV. Quite often the wife spends her days in the RV park while the husband goes off to his job. We occasionally do see a young family with pre-school children living this lifestyle, but those instances are pretty rare.
Some of the long-term occupants of RV parks are full-timers who are retired. They find a park they like and stay there for extended periods of time, especially if there are good services nearby. These services include groceries, dining, entertainment, and similar businesses. As long as the weather is good in a locale, these full-timers will hang around, especially if the park is a quality place and the price is right. In Colorado, we saw lots of folks from southern climates who return for several summer months year after year to enjoy the cooler temps of the mountains. During winter months, some of these folks will find a warm location while others return home to Texas or Florida or wherever their brick and mortar home is.
Then there are the short term and overnight visitors. These are the people who pull in for a night or two on their way to a more permanent destination. For example, we had an older couple from up north pull in next to us last night for an overnight stay on their way to the Texas Valley. The gentleman said he stops overnight here twice each year, once going to the Valley and once on the return trip back north. I visited with another couple earlier in the week who had come through on their annual trek from Denver to Florida where they winter over each year.
So, some parks are called "destination" parks, while others are simply overnight stays while on the way to destinations. Destination parks are a stop where people will spend longer periods of time. Such parks offer good weather for the season, activities, and conveniences. Overnight parks usually offer few if any of these, but they do offer adequate amenities for overnight stops.
RV parks can become little communities, especially if the park managers/hosts plan activities, such as weekly lunches, happy hour get togethers, or other events. Even without these events, people walk around the parks and get to know their neighbors. We often see our neighbors at the laundromat. RV folks like being outside, for the most part, so we spend as much time out of doors as possible. This allows us to come into contact with others.
One of the great advantages of RVing is getting to know the people who share this lifestyle with you.