Sep 062014

Most RVers are really nice people but they don’t give you a personality test before they let you buy one of these things, and like every aspect of life, there are a few snobs out there, as well as clods and outright idiots.

I’m rather well known in the RV world because of the Gypsy Journal, my books, and the seminars I present at RV rallies. When we had our old MCI bus conversion we were at Elkhart Campground when a couple in a big fancy coach that cost well over half a million bucks pulled in next to us and they were really rude. I heard them saying that they didn’t want to be parked next to that “piece of sh$t.”

They ignored us for two days, turning their nose up every time they saw us. Then one day I was outside doing something and the man came over and stuck out his hand and said, “I didn’t know you were famous. A bunch of people told me I was parked next to Nick Russell. Nice to meet you.” I never said a word, just stared at his hand until he got tired of holding it out and walked away.

We’ve met a few like that, and they’re not all driving high dollar motorhomes either. I don’t worry what they think of me, I love me enough for both of us.

Then we have the RV slobs, and unfortunately they outnumber the snobs by a wide margin. We were in Lake City, Florida a few years ago and this rig was sitting in the middle of the parking lot taking up half a dozen spaces the week before Christmas, with all of their slides out.

walmart slob 5

Or how about this guy, washing his motorhome in the middle of the parking lot of the WalMart in Rapid City, South Dakota? Doesn’t that give people a good impression of RVers? We are our own worst enemy. Fortunately, these are not the norm for RVers, but it only takes one rattlesnake to bite you and you don’t like any of them after that.

Walmart RV washing 5

Unfortunately, while we can give them the benefit of the doubt and think the snobs and slobs are really good people deep down inside, there is no excuse for being an outright idiot.

I’ve written often about my phobia over high bridges, and while I poke fun at myself about it, the truth is that gephyrophobia is a real anxiety disorder and no joking matter for anyone who has it. If Terry wasn’t capable and willing to take the wheel when we come to a big bridge, our RV travels would probably end pretty quickly.

So I wasn’t impressed when a guy e-mailed me after I posted my blog It Can Be Paralyzing to tell me that his sister is also afraid of heights and that when she came to visit him in her motorhome, he purposely routed her over a very high, very narrow bridge for the next leg of her trip. He said she called him in tears, totally freaked out when she made it to the other side.

And that’s funny? Really? I fail to see the humor. I think it’s cruel and you’re an idiot.

Have you entered this week’s Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Big Lake Lyinching Audio cover

Thought For The Day – I wish I spoke idiot so I could tell you off in your own language.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  19 Responses to “Snobs, Slobs, & Outright Idiots”

  1. Ran into a few of those types myself. On our last trip we were besieged every Friday night by locals who brought the RV out and then invited every friend & family member they had to come on out to the campsite! The 10 or 15 extra cars got parked all over the place, including 3 in our large campsite! But there wasn’t just one group – but several! Their main path to other amenities in the park seemed to be right through our campsite, close to our windows and practically under our awnings! We managed to just ignore them for the most part, but it wasn’t easy!
    Usually, I feel kind of sad for the “weekenders” knowing they’ll all have to leave & go back to work. Not this time! I wanted to yell out the windows, “haha, all you loud obnoxious uh, people have to go back to work tomorrow! Nanananana!”
    They could have bought less beer and rented a couple more campsites instead of crowding ours and several others!
    Some people’s kids….

  2. You nailed it in one sentence, “We are our own worst enemy.”

  3. Nick we are our own worst enemies, however, look at the numbers, there are many more nice, considerate, friendly Rv’ers than the problem ones. We shall survive.

  4. Personally, we always make it a point to park out where we cause the least amount of problems, parking-wise. In my book, courtesy simply goes a long way.

  5. You just touched the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure every reader could come up with a list of all the snobs and slobs.

    I’m still stunned at the response in yesterday’s blog.

  6. Nick your response to the snob in Elkhart was golden! I could see the events happen in my mind as you described them, and the jerk left standing there with his hand stuck out.

    Regarding the sadistic brother; with relatives like that who needs strangers? That’s sick

    Happy travels!

  7. Hi Nick – I am somewhat new to reading your blog, but enjoy your frank, pointed discussions. My wife and I are about to begin our Full Time Journey on Oct 1 2014! We are excited about this change in our lives. We are doing this on a very small budget and will have to find work in the places we stay. We hope that we are not seen as the “slob” category as we bought an older rig to begin our new life in. We are great, friendly, (but on the shy side), types of people. We hope that we will make many new friends out there on the road!

    Thanks for your blog writing – I always manage to learn something from you.
    Scott (Soaring Eagle)

  8. Scott, It doesn’t matter how old your RV is, the view out the windshield’s the same as the guy in the million dollar rig parked next door. We look forward to meeting you one of these days. My wife is also shy, but this lifestyle helps you meet lots of very nice people.

  9. How is returning rude with rude helping our world?? I don’t understand why you couldn’t be the bigger person and extend your hand! You sound kinda rude yourself!

  10. “the view out the windshield’s the same as the guy in the million dollar rig” … and they got to hook up the black water hose the same 🙂 I kid some very nice RV friends with new diesel rigs … don’t they push a button and a robotic arm installs the utilities hoses? … or push a GPS button and a concierge service responds they will be there in 15 minutes to do the hookups 🙂

  11. You hit the nail right on the head, once again. It’s always that one bad apple in the barrel that ruins it for the rest of the good apples. I seriously hope to meet you one day, Nick. My husband and I throughly enjoy your blog & FB posts. Getting one of your books is next on our list.
    Thanks so much,

  12. M Lasalle, the neighbor wasn’t offering his hand in friendship. He was rude until he found out how well known Nick is and then was sucking up. If you ever have the opportunity to meet Nick and Miss Terry you will find that they are two of the nicest, sweetest people in the world. They help RVers all the time and give and give of themselves to make all of our lives better. I’ve only had the pleasure twice to be at their RV rallies but both times they have stopped what they were doing to give me their full attention. When my husband died four years ago I was lost and heartbroken and even though they were in the middle of hosting a rally and working nonstop Nick spent over an hour sitting with me assuring me that I could continue RVing alone even at 70. No, not rude at all, just a man who doesn’t suffer fools lightly.

  13. Nick’s about as rude as a speckled puppy. He might piddle on your shoes because he’s so happy to see you but that’s about it. He and his lady are my heroes.

  14. Joyce and I are hosts at Nehalem Bay State Park, OR right now. Last night we caught a guy dumping his black water in one of the dish water dumping stations from a bucket. The rangers promptly booted him out of the park.

  15. Nancy … you pegged Nick and Terry right.on.
    Thats 1 of Nicks’ qualities I admire most….. honesty.
    I dont always agree with him, but he calls it as he sees it.. always. If new RVers would do more research before they jumped in to the lifestyle they would recognize Nick and Terry as part of the highly revered wise Professors on campus. I certainly do! I actually cried when I finally had an opportunity to sit in their presence. It had been on my bucket list for many years.

  16. We are new to RVing and my theory is I always treat people like I want to be treated. If we need help I ask someone for it and if asked I would help if I could. I find that “oldtimers”( people who have been at this many many years ) are my best resources for info on anything to do with an RV..Doesnt matter if you are in a conversion or a million plus RV we all need help sooner than later.

  17. During the first year we were full timing, we came up against some serious medical issues that made us consider turning around and going back home. But we had been to one of Nick and Terry’s seminars where they described how they had met a similar challenge early in their full timing career. They had honestly shared their successes and disappointments so that others could learn.

    Remembering their story and how they used it to help others inspired us to keep going and not give up our dream. Ten years later we are still enjoying our life on the road.

    No, Nick is not rude or mean. He just has the courage of his convictions and a heart of gold.

  18. Here’s my take on it, for what it’s worth. If I see some clod parked in the middle of a WalMart or something like in the pic of the guy with the trailer, I am going to park my car right against his nose and make it as difficult as I can to make getting out a real pain in the a%% and then I’m going to take every minute I can in the store and afterward walk across the parking lot to Cocos and have dinner. Anybody who thinks this is ok is as rude as this guy is. Park on the edge and walk, it won’t kill you! Why deprive the store’s customers of half a dozen or more parking spaces close in. What a jerk!

  19. I’m so happy I found this posting on snobbery in RV parks. We’ve been through the mill when it comes to being slighted by big-rig folks. I’d say we were even persecuted and bullied. : / We were in our old VW Camper Bus, back before we’d ever had a chance to fix her up. It was our first camping trip in our Westfalia, and we were so excited– me, my husband, and our young daughter.

    Well, we occupied a ‘primo’ space, paid two weeks and set about making our little camp. We were at Holiday Park in Fort Worth…on Lake Benbrook, for the record. Anyway, a few days into our stay, I noticed the park ranger spying on me in his binoculars. I thought I might be mistaken at first, until I picked up my binoculars and caught him red handed.

    I only wish that had been the worst of it, but…by the time they were finished, we were being falsely accused of having our daughter in the sun, being turned in for medical neglect?! *I still don’t know where that came from!* And, I found myself traumatized by it all. I’m so happy our daughter was too young to realize what was going on.

    Needless to say, they had nothing to back up their claims because we were innocent. My husband was ready to take-off and just let the rest of our prepaid stay go. I wouldn’t budge! So, I continued to watch the park ranger spying on me for the rest of the two weeks, and we pulled out when it was our time to go.

    Fast forward to today — We have new neighbors in our current RV Park; which is privately owned. My husband said “Hi” to them yesterday while they were setting up and he was walking our little dog. I wasn’t surprised when he told me they had practically ignored his greeting.

    And, yes, they are in a HUGE fifth wheel trailer! I’m not against what people have, but how they behave towards those of us who live/travel in more vintage models. Now…I find myself wondering what to think of our new neighbors. : / I’d like to be friendly and neighborly, but I can certainly turn my nose up to them if they do so to us.

    Being a family full-timing it in our glammed up 84 Aljo, and somewhat ‘sapoed’ in, I am very self-aware of how certain ‘thinking inside the box’ types of people view us and our way of life. Still, I feel Blessed to have all that we have. We love our little island bungalow, as we refer to our tiny home on wheels. My husband has turned what once was a gutted out deer lease trailer, into a cozy little home for us.

    Anyway, I just wanted to comment…but I didn’t mean for it to go on and on. I am a writer too, and I tend to get started when I am passionate about a subject. : ) I enjoyed your article/post, and I hope…once we finish our remodel, we might see you down the road a-piece. You and your wife sound like our kind of people!

    Blessings and Safe Travels!

    Penny Espinoza (Gypsy Vin Rose)

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