I don’t often rant but I’ll make an exception today.
I follow a couple RV’ing websites. There might not be any ‘wrong’ way to RV but sometimes I like to know what other people are doing with their RV lives.
This morning I checked one of those sites to see yet another day filled with complaints that Internet on the road is going to cost more and that fewer and fewer automakers are offering new cars that can be flat towed behind an RV.
It made me wonder whether some people are discovering for the first time in their lives what it’s really like being in a minority? When what you want isn’t what the majority wants it’s going to be inconvenient, and harder to find, and it’s going to cost you more. And that’s just the way life works. Get used to it!
There’s a company called Millenicom that purchased bulk excess wireless internet capacity from Verizon and sold it to their customers for less than the rate Verizon was charging. Not all that surprisingly Verizon got smart and bought out Millenicom and now the great Internet Bargain that was…. is no more.
You can imagine the cries of outrage and the screams of wallets ripped open in the rape of consumers by Verizon! Yeah, yeah, yeah…. Does anyone think that a large company isn’t going to take notice when they are selling more and more and not making their profit margin? Selling excess capacity is fine — when you can’t use it yourself. But when your customers want that excess and you’ve already given it away you’re left with egg on your face — and you take action to correct that.
That is capitalism — pure and simple. Sell for a profit. As much profit as you can manage.
On the other hand there are those who have realized that car makers do not consider RV’ers as their primary sales market! A hue and cry have gone up as RV’ers are realizing that fewer 2015 automobiles with automatic transmissions are able to be flat towed. I’m shocked! How can that be? Why there’s a booming population of RV’ers out there who need flat towable cars and how dare the automakers stop making them? The fact that car makers sell a lot more cars to the rest of the population than they do to us must has slipped someone’s mind. And the fact that it’s more important to them to make transmissions cheaply, efficiently, and lightweight — than it is to make them flat towable — somehow doesn’t sink in.
Why am I saying these things? I don’t like being sarcastic. I don’t like being negative. The point I want to make this morning is that leaving the world of Bricks and Sticks puts you into a minority. I don’t care the color of your skin, or your religious leanings, or your sexual preferences…. if you’re going to live in a tin can you are going to be the exception rather than the rule. You’ll find that businesses don’t always know what to do with you, friends don’t get it, and family won’t understand basic realities of living on the road as opposed to touring or vacationing.
There is no Utopia! RV’ing has a lot of good features; there are also drawbacks. RV’ing is not a way to hide from your troubles. If you have problems you’ll bring your problems along with you. RV’ing can be less expensive than maintaining a HUGE home, but RV’ing isn’t cheap and if you make certain mistakes you can find RV’ing to be more expensive than the bricks & sticks life you once lead. And one unassailable fact will always remain true — if you want to be in the vanguard, if you want to be a trendsetter — it’s going to cost you!
Peg and I have no regrets about our mobility decision. We love what we’re doing; there are surprises and sometimes we have to change our plans because of money, but we’re having a ball. Every day we wake up and give thanks for the blessings that are ours.
But almost every day we have conversations with RV’ers and wannabe-RV’ers who never considered the costs of RV’ing. Oh, I’m not talking about the $$$$ it takes to buy an RV or the costs of staying in a campground overnight — though truth be told many are shocked at how quickly those numbers can add up; but the costs in how others would treat them (people and businesses), the costs of becoming part of a minority rather than a majority, the cost of suddenly finding that what you want is not what the rest of the world wants and you may be penalized for having unusual desires.
Realizing others don’t value mobility as much as you do can be a real sore thumb moment. Something goes wrong with your RV and you can’t find a dealer, or the dealer doesn’t work on those parts, or they are booked solid for the next month — and what do you do? It’s part of the lifestyle! Get used to it.
When we chose to go RV’ing we made the decision knowing that after a lifetime of marching to another drummer that going RV’ing wasn’t going to change that — we’re still marching to a different drummer and we’re fine with that. You just have to accept that there are somewhere around 9.6 Million RV’s on the road in the US. There are some 317 million people in the U.S. Clearly there are a LOT of people who aren’t into RV’s and they are the ones who form the majority, who set the standards, for whom designers design. If you are comfortable being part of the minority — then RV’ing may be for you. But if you need to march with the majority — maybe this isn’t the perfect solution for you.
So, there you have it. My periodic rant. Thanks for stopping by today. I promise I’ll be more positive tomorrow, and I’ll talk with you then. 🙂