And the first pro of campgrounds is the hookups. The easy hookups that you have available to you.
It’s so nice to just pull into your site, hook up your electric, hook up your water, and probably even be able to hook up your sewer in many cases.
And then you’re all set. Then when you leave, you just unhook and you’re gone. Well, that’s a real advantage!
Campgrounds Pro #2
Another advantage is having access to larger bathrooms and showers.
A lot of people like that. Rather than using the bathroom and shower that many times is smaller and more cramped in their RV.
Instead, they have these really nice showers and bathrooms, and so that’s an advantage too.
campgrounds pro #3
But now, the next pro for campgrounds is amenities. Things like pools and volleyball and mini golf.
And all those other things that campgrounds love to give you to make your stay there enjoyable.
Well, that’s that’s a real advantage. That’s a pro, especially if you have a family.
campgrounds pro #4
The next pro is that when you stay at campgrounds, you usually have the best possible internet access while you’re camping.
And what I mean by that is that usually campgrounds are located fairly close to towns or urban areas.
And this is where there is access to the internet, especially on a cellular use of the internet.
So that’s an advantage. And you know, I have to say that for us when we have gone across the US camping, we stay in campgrounds most of the time.
And roughly 90 to 95 percent of the time, using our hot spot, we have excellent internet access. So that’s a pro for campgrounds.
campgrounds pro #5
The next pro is that you can plan your travels out in advance well if you’re a planner.
And the reason you can do that is because of reservations. You just call in advance and you make a reservation.
And so when you show up you’re pretty well assured that you’ve got a spot. And that’s nice for those who like to plan in advance.
campgrounds pro #6
The next pro is that you can often be very close to urban areas or towns or places that have attractions.
You know, like museums and things like that, that would be nice to go and visit. So that’s a pro too.
campgrounds pro #7
The next pro is about security. But it’s not really about being secure because that’s kind of controversial.
Some people that are boondockers are quick to tell you: “Hey, we’re just as secure as anybody where we are, even though we’re out there. There’s no problem with security there”.
But we’re not going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about how people FEEL.
And very often people FEEL more secure in campgrounds. When they know especially that there’s maybe a gate at the entrance, or maybe a security force that patrols and things like that.
So oftentimes people feel more secure in campgrounds.
Well now, let’s move on to the cons of campgrounds. Because it’s not all pros.
Campgrounds vs Boondocking – Campground Cons
And the number one con is the expense of campgrounds. Yes, if you stay every night of the year in campgrounds, well you’re going to run up a pretty good bill.
Especially if you don’t have something like a discount membership, or a membership like Thousand Trails.
Those can really bring your camping costs down quite a bit. But even so you’re still going to be spending more money in campgrounds than you will boondocking. And that’s pretty clear.
campgrounds con #2
Now the next con is that you’re going to have to camp next to other RVers. And when I say next to them, usually there’s very little separation between sites.
And in some cases, it’s kind of ridiculous you know, how close you are.
In some campgrounds, you’re within inches of each other slides. And so that can be kind of irritating. So that can be a con for staying in campgrounds.
campgrounds con #3
The third con is a big one. And that is the irritation of some campgrounds.
You know, when we’re talking about staying next to other RVers, well it could be any number of things.
They could be playing loud music. Their dogs could be barking all the time.
They could be just loud people and have lots of people over. And they’re all just partying out there.
Well this can be a little bit of an irritation. Because you’re really close by someone else, and that noise just filters right over to your campsite. Well, that’s a con for some campgrounds.
campgrounds con #4
The next con for campgrounds is less nature intensive experiences.
You know, campgrounds, many of them get you closer to nature. But you you’re not really immersed in nature like you are when you’re out boondocking.
So for some that’s a con. Because they still have to get out and drive to go and really be in nature.
campgrounds con #5
The last con is if you don’t like to plan, if you’re spontaneous, well then you’re going to have a struggle for reservations.
These days especially after Covid, reservations are becoming more and more vital to be able to get a spot in campgrounds.
And so if you’re kind of spontaneous, the old days of just being able to show up and make sure you get a spot, well they’re getting harder and harder to find. So that can be a con with campgrounds too.
Campgrounds vs Boondocking – Boondocking Pros
Now let’s talk about boondocking pros though. And the number one pro for boondocking is that it’s CHEAP!
In many cases when you’re staying on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land, it’s even zero dollars a night.
And that’s hard to beat. So it’s a very economical way to camp in your RV.
boondocking pro #2
The next pro is that there are tons of scenic spots to choose from for boondocking.
And when I say “scenic spots”, I mean just blow your eyes out, drop dead, gorgeous spots.
And there’s lots of places on the internet where you can find out about these spots.
So you can go out there and enjoy the most beautiful places to camp. That’s so huge, and that’s a great pro.
boondocking pro #3
And the third pro is that you have more opportunities when you’re boondocking. For things like hiking, biking and kayaking.
That’s because you’re right out in nature. You’re right there!
So if you’re adventurous, and if you love to be active, well then boondocking can be a real help for that.
boondocking pro #4
The next pro is the space that you enjoy when you’re out boondocking.
As opposed to campgrounds where you’re right by other people.
In fact, it could be miles before you find another camper when you’re boondocking.
Or it could at least be several hundred yards. So if you like a lot of peace and quiet, that’s where you’re going to enjoy it.
Or if you like to play your music loud, well you can go ahead and do that.
You’re not going to bother anybody else, because you’re out there and there’s nobody near to you. And that’s a big a pro!
boondocking pro #5
The next pro is that when you’re boondocking, these boondocking spots are very often close to national parks and national forests.
So you really have a lot to choose from in those areas. Especially again, if you’re adventurous and you love nature.
So all of those are great pros for boondocking.
Campgrounds vs Boondocking – Boondocking Cons
But what about the cons? Well, the number one con is that you have to get very good at conserving power and water. (edit – you must also conserve waste as well)
And if you don’t, you’re not going to be boondocking very long.
When we’re talking about conserving, you have to bring your power along with you, your electricity.
And you have to bring your water along with you. And then you have to manage it while you’re out there.
Because it’s not an endless supply like you have when you’re in a campground.
So you’ve got to learn how to do that. And for some, that’s a real challenge. So we’ll put that down as a con.
boondocking con #2
The next con is that there’s often no nearby convenient place to resupply.
You’re often very far away from grocery stores and Walmarts and things like that.
So you have to plan those out. And then you usually have a pretty good drive to go take care of those things.
boondocking con #3
The next con is that boondocking can be very difficult for those with larger rigs.
The smaller your rig is, the easier it is to get in and out of boondocking spots wherever you want to go.
But the bigger the rig is, the more difficult it is to go out in those really rural areas.
You know, the ones way out there. So that can be a con if you have a bigger rig.
boondocking con #4
The next con is internet connectivity. Again, if you’re way out there, then the chances of cell towers being out there for internet access can be very small.
And even phone access too. So that can be a con.
If you really need access to the internet, then you’ve got to rely on something like a cell booster to get it.
But even then, that can be really challenging in some way out areas.
boondocking con #5
Now the next con is there are no reservations. You can’t call ahead and reserve a spot for your boondocking.
So it means that sometimes you’re going to drive out there and find out that it’s already taken.
Or that it’s just not what you thought it was going to be. So reservations are not something that is part of the boondock camping experience. And that can be a con for some.
boondocking con #6
The last con is that there are far fewer spots available to boondock in the eastern part of the US.
Especially as opposed to the western part. But now, the flip side of that is there’s so much land in the western part of the US that’s BLM land or available for boondocking.
In fact, you could camp for years and never camp in the same spot twice.
So you’ve got plenty of availability out in the West. But the eastern half of the US gets much more challenging.
Now that doesn’t mean that there aren’t boondocking spots there. But it’s a lot more difficult to find.
Well, those are the pros and the cons of campgrounds versus boondocking.
My Overall Conclusion
And here’s my conclusion on the subject of campgrounds vs boondocking. My general take is that campgrounds are best for RVers that like convenience.
So if you want convenience then that’s the best way to do it. If you like to stay in control of things.
And not be too challenged by camping itself, then campgrounds are the way to go.
But boondocking is best for those who love adventure. They love nature, and they’re happy to get out there in it.
They don’t mind having inconveniences and so on. Well then, boondocking is a great experience for them.
And as I said earlier, either way you go, you’re going to be able to enjoy your RV camping.
Well that’s it for now. Have safe and happy travels my friends …. until next time.”
However I’m also going to try to involve other RVers, you know, that we really could learn from.
There’s a lot of our RVers out there, and there’s a lot of RVers that have opinions.
But that’s really not what we want to focus on.What we want to do is find RVers that we can learn from.
You know, they have something to teach us, something to share that we can benefit from.
And I’m going to work hard to try to involve folks that I find along the way that will be beneficial not only to me but to you as well.
And I’m sure we’ll enjoy listening to them. So let’s go ahead and get started now and talk about one of the biggest decisions for newer RVers that they can face.
Motorhomes VS Towables – Which To Buy?
And that is, should I buy a motor home or should I buy a towable RV?
Now, that was a very big decision for me. And I really kind of struggled with this for a long time.
No doubt several of you have too. And even if you have a motorhome or a towable, you are probably kind of going over in your mind “Hey, I wonder what it would be like to have one of the other kind”.
So we’ll talk about that today. And the first thing we want to get into is the fact that actually there’s a lot that they have in common.
You know ,you can focus on the differences. But there’s a lot of commonalities as well.
Motorhomes VS Towables – Points In Common
For instance, when you’re talking about motorhomes or towables, they’re going to require some hookup at some point. If you use a tow vehicle with your motorhome.
So you either have to hook it up, or if you’re a towable, you’ve got to hook the tow vehicle to your RV.
And the truth is that it’s about the same amount of time either way you go. So that’s really kind of a wash as far as I’m concerned.
The next thing is that both of them are going to require a certain amount of set up and a certain amount of tear down at the campsite.
And it’s going to be similar. It’s not going to be a lot different from motorhomes to towables.
The next point is, as far as costs are concerned, insurance and fuel costs to me are kind of a wash.
You know, you might have a little bit difference between one part of the rig or the other part of the rig.
But when you take them both as a whole, well insurance and fuel costs are probably going to be pretty close to a wash.
motorhomes vs towables – motorhome pros
But now there are differences. There are things that would make either kind of RV more attractive to certain RVers. And let’s talk about that.
Now first of all, let’s talk about the pros, or the advantages, of having a motorhome.
Motorhomes Pro #1 – Weight Considerations
And the number one thing, and this was the thing that really kind of got me about motorhomes when I first was starting out RVing.
That is that all of your weight considerations are already done for you. And that was big for me.
You know, what happens is that RV manufacturers usually buy their chassis from someone. Then they build their RV on it.
And at that point, they establish the gross vehicle weight rating, the gross axle weight rating, the gross combined weight rating, and all of that.
So will you buy that motor home you’ve got it all worked out for you.I
You don’t need to have to figure out “okay, well I’ve got this tow vehicle. Now what kind of RV can you put with that?”
Or “I’m going to buy this RV, now what kind of tow vehicle can I use to pull that?”
None of those considerations are needed. It’s all taken care of for you. And that’s a big pro when you’re starting out .
Motorhomes Pro #2 – Kitchens & Bathrooms
Now the next point is that bathrooms and kitchens are available while you’re going down the road.
And boy is that nice! You know, I’ve got to tell you that when you’re traveling down the road, your on a long trip, and somebody needs to go to the bathroom, well you need to have a motorhome.
Because that’s going to make it really easy to take care of that situation. So if that’s an issue for you, well then, motorhomes are going to be a good buy!
Motorhomes pro #3 – small towed vehicle
The other point is that when you have a motorhome, and you’re towing a vehicle behind it, to run around town in, you can have a smaller vehicle.
You can have a very fuel-efficient, small kind of a passenger vehicle. And so that means that when you’re running around town you’re not burning all that fuel that a bigger tow vehicle would be burning up if you’re towing an RV.
So that’s a real kind of an advantage right there.
motorhome pro #4 – may not need towed vehicle
Now the fourth advantage I want to mention is that if you want to go really light, and you are in a motorhome, you can buy a small Class C. Or you could buy a small Class B and you don’t even need a tow vehicle.
You can actually use the RV for traveling around town. And so you’ve got all of your usable RV and over-the-road vehicle right there in one vehicle. You don’t need anything else.
Now that’s only true of smaller motorhomes. But it is an advantage that they have.
motorhome pro #5 – more storage space
Now the next point is there’s generally more storage space in motorhomes as opposed to towables.
Now I know that’s not always the truth. But it is especially when you get up into the bigger motor homes.
The diesel pushers especially. oh my goodness, you’ve got storage space! And that’s really nice to have.
motorhome pro #6 – campsite maneuvering
And then the next point is that you can more easily maneuver motorhomes in my opinion into campsites, than you can with towables.
Now that doesn’t mean the towables aren’t easy to do. But again, think about it, you only have one vehicle to get into the campsite.
So it’s pretty much like backing in a car or truck. It’s just bigger as opposed to having two vehicles that you’ve got to maneuver into a campsite instead.
So for some people, they find that backing-in procedure to be really valuable to them. So we’ll give that advantage to motorhomes!
motorhomes vs towables – towable pros
All right now, we’ve been talking about all the advantages for motorhomes. But there’s tons of the advantages for towables too.
towable pro #1 – usually less expensive
And one of the things that people really like about towables is that, number one, they are generally less for the cost of the entire rig.
And you know, that’s kind of interesting. Because a lot of people think that motorhomes are less expensive.
But pretty much, if you look at the length of almost any rig. And you check into the cost of a motorhome, or buying a motorhome for that length.
Or instead doing the tow vehicle with a towable, usually you’re going to find that the towable rig all together will be less expensive.
So that’s a big point! And it’s especially a big point for newer RVers who want to get started in RVing and like to keep their costs down.
towable pro #2 – may not need a tow vehicle
Now the next point is that in some cases with towables you don’t even need to buy another vehicle to tow it with.
If you get a small enough travel trailer. In fact, many little small travel trailers can be pulled with SUVs or even minivans, things along that line.
So you may very well have a vehicle that you already own that can tow a smaller travel trailer.
And if you do, you’re all set to go. You don’t have to make that extra expense in that case. So that’s an advantage!
towable pro #3 – easy to repair tow vehicles
The next advantage is that there are more places to repair the engine and the components of the tow vehicle then there is for motorhomes.
My point is this, if it’s a towed vehicle, it’s probably going to be some kind of regular passenger truck or something along that line.
Or some sort of SUV or minivan. And all of these can be repaired almost anywhere.
You can find mechanics to work on them very easily. Motorhomes though, are not as easy.
And especially when you get up into those diesel pushers. Things get tough because the bigger the rig the more difficult it is to find places that they can fit into be repaired.
And even mechanics that can work on them too, so in general there’s more places to repair the engine, and so on. On the the components of a tow vehicle.
towable pro #4 – costs less to repair tow vehicles
Now the next point is closely related and that is that they’re usually less to repair. Let me tell you, when you have a diesel pusher motorhome, almost everything you have done to it is going to be expensive.
The parts are more expensive. The labor is more expensive and so on.
So when you have a towable, and you’re towing it with a tow vehicle, that passenger vehicle again has so many places that it can be worked on.
The competition is out there, and you can usually repair them a lot for a lot less money than motorhomes.
towable pro #5 – better safety features
The next point is that while you are going down the highway, there’s better safety features in towables.
You know, when it’s a passenger vehicle, they are are pretty much forced to have the very best safety features in them.
And so, all of your passengers, and you, and everybody in that vehicle, has good safety features.
Unfortunately, motorhomes are very often not quite up to that standard.
Some are better than others. But some are really not very safe, especially for your passengers, if you have kids and so on. So it can be a consideration between the two.
towable pro #6 – keep tow vehicle when changing RVs
And finally, if you decide to make a change in the RV part of your rig, if you have a towable, all you’ve got to do is just change out the RV.
You don’t have to change the tow vehicle most of the time. And if that’s the case, all the maintenance you been doing on that tow vehicle, all the effort and the money you spent on it over the years, well you still get the rewards from it.
But in a motorhome, when you make a change, you change everything. And all the work you’ve done on the engine, and your suspension, and everything else on that chassis, well it’s going to go right along with it in the sale.
So that is a little bit of an advantage for towables as well.
motorhomes vs towables – overview
So as you can see there are some advantages either way. But let me make this point- it does not matter which one you choose as far as RVing is concerned.
You may have certain preferences though. You know, what I recommend is as we are going over the list here, determine what are the things that are most important to you.
What’s most valuable in your opinion, your priorities. And that will lead you toward either a motorhome or a towable.
But just understand that you’re not going to make such a big mistake that you can’t recover from it.
Both of those kinds of RVs will take you anywhere you want to go in your RV adventures. And allow you to have great fun and enjoy your time there.
motorhomes vs towables – conclusion
So what I’ve covered today hopefully will be beneficial for you. It will help you in trying to make the decision between the two.
But either way, you’re going to be able to get out there and go RVing and have fun RV camping.
Well that’s it for now. Have safe and happy travels my friends and thanks for listening to my first podcast.