There seems to be an ongoing trend amongst the RV groups. Words that I used to use have come to mean other things. Most of the these words were used mostly within the RVing community or had a different meaning within the RVing community than in the general population.
Camping was done in a tent, a travel trailer or motorhome. Now you can only camp while in a tent. You are not allowed to call it “camping” if you are in a trailer (they are no longer called “campers”) or motorhome. I’m surprised that campgrounds are still called campgrounds. Give them time and they will come up with another name for them.
Boondocking is one that the meaning has changed greatly. Way back in the early 1980’s the word meant any time a self-contained trailer or motorhome (recreational vehicle) stayed any where, for any length of time, without using any hookups (no water, no sewer and no electrical). This term applied in campgrounds, in parking lots, paved or unpaved, in someone’s back yard, any where.
Now the word means something different. You have to not only be self-contained, but you must also be XX number of miles from any other living (or possibly dead) person. You cannot be on pavement. I’m not sure about gravel. There’s a whole convoluted definition that applies now. I was informed that because the “newer definition” is on the internet, it’s the correct one. So I came up with my own word for the type of practice that I used to call boondocking. I call it “freedom parking” and put my definition on the internet.
My Official Definition of Freedom Parking as of 05/18/2013 4:24PM MST: “Freedom Parking” is any time that one parks their Residential Vehicle in a place and they remain self contained and do not hook up to any utilities and/or do not use any facilities. This can be in any no facility campground, the side of any road, any paved parking lot, any store parking lot, any rest area, shoreline of any water (lake, creek, river, ocean, bay, reservoir), any vacant land either public or private. (http://freedomparking.webs.com/)
I’ve noticed that the term “RVer” have been redefined to mean something other than “a person who is in a Recreational Vehicle” (long or short term). Now you have to “RV” in certain kinds of “RV”s. Some folks don’t think any kind of home built or converted recreational vehicle can be called an “RV”. I always thought that “RVing” was more a frame of mind rather than actually being in a travel trailer or motorhome. I am in an RV park where there are a lot of people who are living in travel trailers and motorhomes because their jobs demand that they work far from home. Although some really have no home any more. I really don’t consider them to be RVers and I don’t think they think of themselves as RVers. For them, the RV is simply a better choice than staying in motels and hotels.
And then there is the time frame. For some you can’t “RV” (be in your RV) for more than XX number of days. Not continuously but scattered out over the course of a year. Others think, for “fulltiming”, that you simply have to be on the move all the time and never stop for more than a week at a time. That is a very expensive way to stay in a park. Private parks offer a much cheaper monthly rate as opposed to the more expensive nightly or weekly rates. But when you stay for the “long term” (6 months or more) you become the dreaded “semi-permanent” or “permanent” RVer who the park reviewers think should not be allowed in the parks. But isn’t a “snowbird” considered a “semi-permanent RVer” when they stay for 6 months or longer in a park waiting out the winter?
I also find it interesting that the RVers of today seem to have never had to work. They seem to have a deep seated dislike to those in the RV parks that do still have a job and live in their trailers and motorhomes while they work at jobs that are outside the parks. I remember when “camping or “RVing” was a cheap way of vacationing. Now only the well-to-do are allowed to “RV”. I read the park reviews and am just amazed at the derision heaped on those of us who live in RV parks for months or years at a time.
I no longer fit the new description of RVer as it has changed rather than me changing. I’m not too sure I want to be an “RVer” by today’s standards. I have stopped posting on RV forums because the rabid intolerance of the current RVers for those who are different from them is disturbing. Most of these “groups” are very intolerant of anyone who is different than they are. I have discovered that I am pretty much avoiding various “groups”.
So I live 24/7/365 (366 in a leap year) in a self-converted Residential (built from residential components for long term living) Vehicle. I have decided that I am an Residential Vehicle Dweller…. or an RVDer!
PS. A friend read this and commented that it got her to thinking about what to call herself since, like me, she feels that the description of RVer does not really apply to her. She came up with “Mobile Dweller” or “MD”! I like that one too!