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What Type of RV Camper Are You? From Newbies to Full-Timers, We're All Different.

Updated on March 17, 2020
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don has been an avid traveler and motorhome owner for most of his life. He shares his experiences and valuable tips with RV owners.

Interesting Things Happen in Campgrounds

Camping in Florida near Orlando. Looked up and watched as a Balloon came drifting over the campground.
Camping in Florida near Orlando. Looked up and watched as a Balloon came drifting over the campground. | Source

How to recognize the different categories of RV owners

It doesn't really matter if you own; a Class-A Motorhome, a Class-C or Class-B motorhome, or even if you own a fifth wheel camper, a trailer camper, or even a pop-up camper, you eventually fit into one of these categories of camping lover.

As you travel and camp in your Rv you eventually establish yourself as being one of these categories of campers mentioned here.

They camp different, they act different, and they have quite a different level of background and camping experience.

But regardless, you and your lifestyle will fall into one of these categories because it describes how often camp and how avid a traveler you are.

And you need to understand that RVers are all the same regardless of how often you camp or how fancy your Rig may be. We're a community of like-minded people who all live by the same ideals.

RV Owners are Fun People that Travel

Decades ago, a Camper, or RVer as we call ourselves today, went on relatively short trips for their vacations, and it was rare for someone to go further than you could travel in one days travel time.

And, when you did travel further, you had to do some serious pre-planning to make sure that you had a safe and convenient place to spend those overnight stays in your camper, as you traveled.

But, today, with the advent of improved roads, better resst stops, friendlier hotel chains, and drive-in services of every kind, it is not unusual at all, for a person or a family to travel hundreds and even thousands of miles to get to their ultimate destination in their RV's.

And, of course, there are the MILLIONS of RVers on the Road today, taking advantage of these many tools designed to provide services for the occasional and the full time traveler.

After spending the last several years snooping around the country in my RV myself, and meeting so many other RVers in my travels, I have noticed that most RVers fall into one of several categories.

And, although there are no formal definitions of the groupings of RVers, in my head I have come to break them down into these basic categories;

The Vacation Camper

Vacation Campers are those families and couples that work full-time, and only have a few weeks (and weekends), each year, to get away and travel around the country in their Camper or RV.

They usually take one or two long ( 1-2 weeks at a time) vacations. And they love to travel the country, camp and enjoy the different sights while at the same time being self-contained Campers when they do get to their destination.

These Vacationers will also, take several weekend or extended weekend trips during the year to go and practice their favorite sport or hobby.

Some of them will be avid Fishermen, some Hunters, some Water Sport enthusiasts, and so forth, who are using their Camper or RV as a means to live comfortably while they enjoy these pastimes.

The most obvious thing about these Vacationers is that they are avid fans of the outdoors and camping, and even though they have a limited amount of time available, they camp as much as their jobs or wallets, or whatever, will allow.


Before I close on this subject, I have to take a little time to mention one other category, the Camping Newbie.

We all had to start as an RVer sometime and somewhere, and that is what we all were at one time.

It is a painful and often costly process to be new at something, and camping is definitely no exception. The Newbie will buy things and do things that are unfathomable to the experienced and often jaded RVer, but we should all remember one thing that I learned from a boating enthusiast friend of mine, years ago.

We were out in his boat on a lake one day, and we watched as a young boater did one stupid thing after another in his boat, several times endangering himself and other boaters as well.

I commented that he seemed to be proof that some people should not own a boat, if they didn't know how to operate it.

My friend turned to me, smiling, and said;

Don, sad as it is to say, there is no IQ test or Common Sense test performed on a person when they buy a Boat, just a Credit Check!

I thought a moment and laughed with him as I nodded my agreement.

And, my friend, the same is true of owners of RVs.

One thing that I have learned over time. When I am working on something on my RV, or setting up my campsite, when an "old timer" or experienced RVer stop and gives me advice, I listen.

Even if I already know what they are telling me, it is good to get positive reinforcement from someone else, and often during the conversation, you can pick up a good point or two on another related subject.

Just bear with those Newbies that you see, and if they ask, give them what help and advice that they will accept, and learn from.

To paraphrase Darwin; Those that can learn, will, and those that can't learn will be eliminated, as RVers anyway, in one way or another.

The question that you need to consider is; which kind of RVer are you, and which one do you want to be?

Big Rig RV Motorhome Campers

RVers and especially, Part-Timers often take trips to visit or meet old friends, or relatives or to visit a favorite or interesting area of the country.

They travel to an area of the country that they are interested in, and spend weeks exploring the natural and manmade attractions while there.

Part-Timers also tend to have larger and more luxurious RVs than the typical Vacationer.

Also part-timers will travel to an area or site and then they will stay at the site for longer periods of time than just a week or few days. And, of course, they tend to enjoy their luxuries while they are away from their homes.

And, when they leave an area to move on, or return home, they feel that have taken enough time to come away with a true and thorough appreciation of the place and people that they have visited.

Often, Part-Timers join RV Resorts and Clubs, that have more and better amenities available at their sites, than most campgrounds, as well as numerous specialized activities to keep their members occupied and happy while there.

These Part-Timers generally will end up spending a total of 2-5 months a year traveling and enjoying their RV and campground lifestyle, before returning to their home.

The Part Timers

The next grouping of RVers and probably the most enthusiastic for the time they have available, that I can identify as being special, are the Part-Timers.

Generally speaking, these Part-Timers are retired people, or people who work part time, and they tend to go on one or two longer trips a year. They usually have a home, and family, and are what I call "anchored" to their home.

But, at the same time, they also love to travel and see the country when they can,

A Darwin Concept

Those that can learn, will,

and those that can't learn will be eliminated.

The Most Timer or Full Timer Wanna-be

The next obvious grouping of RVers that I recognize are, like myself, Most-Timers. We spend 6-9 months of the year traveling in our RV.

We are members in several popular RV Resorts, and Campground discount Clubs. We use these memberships to get good sites at great campgrounds, at reduced pricing where ever possible.

We usually have a home, that we refer to as our "Home Base" and we generally return to the home base once or twice a year to see; our Doctors, our friends, our neighbors, our relatives and to check on the house itself while there.

And, as a Most-Timer, I can attest that; as soon as we get to our home base, we are working on our planning for our next "Run" as we call it. Part-Timers love the open road, and the travel, and what I sometimes refer to as "Full-Timer wanna-bes".

We wish we were able to run full time, but there is always that something, be it ; health, finances, age, whatever, that makes us return to our homes at times.

The Full-Time Camper

These people are the Kings of RV living. The Full-Timers are those stout souls that make a decision at some point, to change their lives and just say; well ..... " to Hell with it, I'm going to travel this great country of ours and see it all".

Full-Timers generally do not have a home base. In fact many of them sold their homes and purchased a MotorHome or Camper that is a design and size that suits their individual needs for living quarters.

I and most of my fellow RVers respect the Full-Timer. It doesn't matter who they are, they have taken that step that so many of us wish that we had the tenacity or will to take.

Full-Timers generally have pared down their needs for physical "things" to a minimum that they can easily take with them as they travel.

I have met Full-Timers from all steps of life and financial standings. I have met great people traveling and living in; pop-up campers, pickup truck campers, trailer campers, fifth-wheel campers and Motor Homes, in small and large sizes and of all ages.

At no time did I ever hear one of these hearty souls complain about their decision to be Full-Timers or their lifestyle. Oh, they complain all right, but about such things as; politics, the price of gas, the rising price of camping, and such, not their lifestyle.

Full-Timers, generally, are self-entertaining souls that take pleasure in such simple things such as; sightseeing, reading a good book, taking a nature walk, an evening of conversation with fellow travelers, writing or working on hobbies and such.

And, occasionally, when they are a little short of cash, they will take part-time jobs locally, and even at the campgrounds that they are staying at, to replenish their coffers before they travel on.

Full-Timers are living the Good Life!

Great Video on Full-Time RVng

A Full-Time RV Couples experiences

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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