Saturday, May 12, 2012

A New Community for RV Camping Outdoorsmen

No doubt a couple people -- including myself -- have been surprised by me surviving almost three weeks in a mobile "intentional community," without being booted out. Another phrase for what we are doing is "an RV caravan with a difference." We are attempting to build a community, rather than one more routine RV group.
  
Normally RV Gatherings and caravans are about having a good time, i.e., potlucks, happy hour, local sightseeing, and maybe some how-to seminars. RVers -- typically newbies -- have paid dues to join some organization, and they see the gathering as a chance to recoup some of that money by plugging themselves into a standard product that is at least good for a little entertainment or education. You all arrive as amiable strangers, spend a few days playing "Ten Questions" (Soooooo, where ya from...?), and then depart as strangers, never expecting to see that group of bores again. 
 
For the next few weeks I will learn what I can from our experiment, because something is missing from the permanent-stranger and perpetual-aimlessness syndromes of RV travel. Perhaps I can duplicate some of this group's success by starting a new mobile community that is closer to my own interests.

This new RV community would be dedicated to a non-motorized, outdoorsy lifestyle while boondocking on public lands for a week or two at a time, before moving on to the next place, taking climate and altitude into account. We are focusing on the high altitude lands of the interior West, actually the Southwest. (Should gasoline drop to pre-Obama prices and bank accounts revert to pre-Bernanke interest rates, it might make sense to expand the geographical reach.)
 
What does an "outdoorsy" lifestyle mean? Must you be a youngish Iron Man competitor? Of course not. I simply mean that you have some outdoor activity -- not necessarily strenuous -- that you do regularly enough to be an important part of your lifestyle and personal identity. Considering where we are likely to camp, the logical activities would be hiking, mountain biking, photography, walking your dog off-leash, fly fishing, rock collecting, etc.; in fact, anything but satellite television, driving to town to go shopping, potlucking in a circle of wide-body chairs, and four wheeling. 
 
Nor is this community for people who haven't exercised for years but who have a vague sympathy for the general idea, the sentiment, the dreamy platitude, and who will show up completely out of shape and then hope to get in shape when other people rub off on them. This is not a commercial spa or fat-farm for would-be dieters.
 
When we reach critical mass, I'd expect the community to split into two: one for boondocking and one for campgrounds-with-hookups.
 
So far, my only co-conspirator is over at Box Canyon Blog. We'll see how he responds on his blog. If you are interested in this project, please email me at occupation_of_independence@yahoo.com . (underlines, not hyphens.)
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Community Update: I got email from Ted at KurumiAkiru.com about what kind of rig would be needed. Four wheel drive is not needed, since most public lands boondocking is accessible from bladed 3 digit forest roads. Sometimes there is a ditch or berm that must be crossed to get to the actual campsite, and this can be a bit touchy for low-clearance rigs.
  
Large motorhomes and fifth wheels and Class C motorhomes with excessive rear overhang are troublesome for boondocking; they aren't absolutely unwelcome, but they must expect to put out the extra effort to find a compatible site, which might be miles from the main group. Vans (Class B motorhomes), pickup campers, small Class C's (Chinook type), and small trailers are best. 

4 comments:

  1. It's interesting to see the evolution of intent here, from "surprised I didn't get kicked out" to "I want to start my own community."

    What a great experience to be on the leading edge of creating something like this!

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  2. I'll be following the progression of this with great interest. This is how I envision my RV lifestyle when I break free in 7 years...

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  3. Onestep, well I hope you DO break free in 7 years, but I've learned to be a bit skeptical of the Wannabee Syndrome.

    Maria, thanks for the encouragement, but I'm not naive about how the System is stacked against us.

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  4. I have just read your post A New Community for RV Camping Outdoorsmen. Nice one

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