Sunday, July 23, 2017

Busting my First Stealth Camper

What is the right attitude -- the fair attitude -- towards a certain category of campers? I refer to 'stealth' van tramps. There is something about them that makes me want to bust them, in my job as a campground host.

Is it their impudence? They think they can outsmart the system. Maybe what really pisses me off is they think they can outsmart me with their little games.  There is a grim humor in this: think of the old Roadrunner and Coyote cartoon. But I'm not thinking about the fun when trying to bust them, even when they do no apparent harm to anyone, including me.

Some of their scheming for free camping makes no economic sense. For instance, last night we had a new-ish, $50000 Mercedes van trying to play the stealth trick. The camping fee was $5. That is a ratio of 10,000 -- ten thousand. We have vehicles with $20,000 of all-carbon mountain bikes in the back of a $50,000 pickup. And they act so wronged and victimized to pay any fee at all. Our fee would barely pay for a cup of coffee in town, after tax and tip.

The rules that apply to everybody else don't apply to themselves. Why not? It's as if they have all been programmed by some internet blogs to play this game. (I could give you a list...) Regardless of the bloggers' intentions, they are not doing their readers much of a favor.  

Although van tramps purport to be self-contained in their rigs, I have yet to meet one that I considered truly self-contained. They don't have the space for storing trash or poop, so they need public facilities; but they don't think they should have to pay anything for the convenience.

Still, the real explanation of my aversion to van tramps almost sneaked in to the opening sentence of this post by way of Freudian slip. I almost said "a certain class of camper," instead of "category." 

"There he goes again," says the long-suffering reader of this blog, "Making a piƱata out of yet another group of people." OK, let's give a constructive alternative: people who are desperate for free camping would be better off asking for advice from hosts and rangers, rather than trying to trick them. They would be wise to maintain a perfectly clean campsite, avoid building fire pits, and having campfires.

12 comments:

  1. I think for a certain class (yes, I said "class") of people, it's just all in the trickery. It could be over a buck; they just want to win and then their egos soar, especially as they get to tell the tale to others.
    They're not desperate for free camping.
    Ain't no changing people. People are wired the way they're wired.

    George

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    1. I must be getting too nambie-pambie if my commenters are forced to do the "blasting."

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  2. A certain percentage of the population is made up of sociopaths, pond scum, human trash (PC term), bad dudes. I guess some like to camp. They defy logic. Make them follow the rules. That really pisses them off.

    Chris

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    1. I suppose that they do take it hard when somebody sees their little tricks.

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  3. As far as "class" goes, they're in the one called "low". It's not economically determined, it's a matter of ethics (or lack thereof). The guys rolling through my current RV park in their half-million dollar rigs who don't think the rules apply to them are in that same class in my eyes. Fortunately they're the minority.

    Go bust them! ;)

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    1. Still waiting for my first Class A motorhome customer. If they come down our road and then cross the river to camp on the far side, they deserve free camping for the night!

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  4. Anonymous [redacted]: You have been living...for years yet you diss other campers for trying to save a few bucks! LOL

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    1. Dear Anonymous, it is important to distinguish bargain hunters who follow the rules from those who don't!

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  5. I'm not sure what class I'm in and I don't really give a damn for anyone's opinion on that. But there is a view point of some of us humans that we are free. We don't hold ourselves above any one else and we don't accept anyone as our superior. I understand that making use of improvements requires contribution to the associated costs and accept that but in a world where we are equals how is it possible for one equal to make rules for another? In truth there is only one and that is the power of force.

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    1. Yes, the land management agencies use force and make the rules. It sounds like you are working into an anarcho-libertarian argument. I don't care for that way of thinking because it completely ignores the harmful or obnoxious effects we can have on people around us.

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  6. Your use of the term tramps is telling. There is, in the world of nomadic life, an interesting urge to rank all the other nomads. We stay trapped by our evolution and waste so much time on our position in our community.
    To society at large we all are just homeless tramps.

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    1. Using the word 'tramp' was meant to be humorous. One of the difficulties of writing a blog is letting the twinkle in the eye show through to the reader. It is easier when talking to people in person.

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Comments are appreciated. Feel free to disagree as much as you want with any idea in the post or other comments, but resist the ad hominem approach. Please don't be discouraged if I don't respond to every one of them.