Marking Your RV Territory


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I know they are lousy photographs, but looking across a campground at night is likely to show you a bunch of illuminated squares on the ground.
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Here’s another set of string lights, surrounding not only the trailer but also the entire pad on the site.

On some level all mammals are ‘animals’ – humans included.  Right?  So it shouldn’t be surprising if we manifest some ‘animalistic’ traits.  Right?

How about marking your territory?  Last night I happened to be awake in the middle of the night and I was struck by the number of RV’s (in this case trailers mostly) that make a ritual of marking their territory.

Peggy loves to watch people setting up their campsite.  I like to notice them too, I just don’t notice the activity while it’s going on, I tend to notice it after they’re all done.  But a lot of campers have a ritual they go through every time they set up; and that ritual has nothing to do with setting up the RV (trailer or motorhome) — it’s all about putting out their ‘stuff.’

If you’re old enough you’ll remember the classic monologue by George Carlin about “stuff.”:  ( my apologies for the profanity — if some other comedian had done something similar without the swearing I’d have used their sound bite )


We all have our ‘stuff’ and it’s interesting the way we choose to display it.  signs.

  • signs.
  • banners
  • BBQ grills
  • chairs
  • outdoor games
  • bikes, scooters, motor-sicles
  • boundary markers (lights)
  • allusions to our personality (Elvis wheel covers)

This is not something I’ve been consciously noticing for months and years;  I guess I’ve been aware that it goes on, but for some reason it struck me last night.  Thinking back to our time in S. Texas I can’t honestly say that Fulltimers are any more or less likely to ‘set out their stuff.’  But I will say that it’s particularly noticeable among part-timers; those folks who have not yet gone through the ritual of downsizing their ‘stuff.’

2015070908571802For us, we’re not so much into displays.  We do have our sign. That was something we gave in to while in South Texas.  2015070908570301Other than that, if we are parked at a site with concrete or grass alongside the coach all that you may see outside are two chairs.  If it’s a gravel site you may see one of those Walmart/Camping World outdoor rugs AND our two chairs.   That’s about it.  Oh, and then there are the tennis balls.  We do put tennis balls underneath the windshield wiper arms to keep the wipers off the glass.

If an event like shad flies occur — you might see an extension cord outside too — and it may remain as long as the occurrence lasts — gotta have easy access to power to blow off those critters!  And mostly I’m just too lazy to stow it again every night and drag it out again every morning at the risk of letting a dozen shad flies in who are going to do nothing more than die in the storage bay and have to be cleaned up some other day.  Yuckie!

And so it is, we’re sophisticated beings, but we’re all just upright animals, and we all have our biological urges.  We’re just animals at heart.  There is no right way to RV — some people display more than others — just like some mating rituals are more colorful than others — but the behavior is still the same.

What do you display when you arrive at a new campsite?  Do you have lots of stuff that you put out every time?  Or are you minimalists?  Does the length of time you intend staying determine what, or how much, you display?  Do you have a ritual?

Come on…. life’s too short to take ourselves too seriously, too much of the time.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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16 Comments

  1. We had solar lights, but they tuckered out and we haven’t replaced them. We also have a “Wine a Bit…You’ll Feel Better” garden flag, but that also hasn’t made it out yet this summer. Other than that, two zero-gravity recliners, a little round table, a small plant stand and a geranium….the last two because we are stationary for this summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have been pondering portable plants. For a while we had a Rosemary, a Mint, and hmmmm…. I forgot what the other one was… anyway, after dragging it around a few months we left them in S. Texas when we departed. The IDEA of having plants INSIDE the coach was nice but the practicality of giving them the right light and water wasn’t as functional as we thought it might be. But we always had plants inside the house — so we were trying to duplicate what we did there and — it didn’t work for us.
      I think some of the setting up is to attempt to recreate a person’s sense of home — but the longer we RV the more ‘just being outside’ has become our home.

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  2. Ok, we are part timers who do not put out a lot a stuff. As soon as the slides are out the two gravity chairs get set up facing the best view. If we have a dirt or gravel site we may put out our mat but only if we are going to be there more than one night. Oh, and the grill of course.

    It’s a different story when we take the RV to a Georgia Bulldog away game. You have to show your colors so when we get set up for an away game our Georgia signs and flags go up immediately! Go Dawgs!

    No offense to anyone that puts out their lights to mark their space but why do people leave them on all night? My brother used to tent camp and he likes to go out at night to see the stars. When we first got our fifth wheel the first thing he said was “you’re not one of those people that put out lights and leave them on all night are you?” Just saying.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love it! Yup — you have to show your colors. 🙂
      I too have never understood the whole idea behind leaving one’s lights on all night — other than (perhaps) just forgetting to turn them off, but that sounds just too lazy.
      One thing for sure, RV’ing is a great way to develop more tolerance for diversity. While we often find that the population in campgrounds is skewed towards white middle class, you also find ALL SORTS of folks out there doing ALL SORTS of things that you might never even think of.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We’ve already “theorized” ourselves why part-time RV travelers bring along more stuff most of the time. Our vacations are likely more focused on actually “being on vacation” while at camp than most full-timers. We know some RVers that can only take theirs out two or three times a year, due to work schedules. We fall somewhere in the middle, I guess, depending on who else is with us. We put out our big rug most of the time because it helps with the dogs. We also take our little grill along, since we always enjoy cooking out. Bicycles or motorcycle or car, depending on what we want/need for that trip. On special trips, we have some light strings, but we never, ever leave them on all night, only while we are outside with friends. I love stargazing too much to leave them on, and that is proper etiquette at the dark sky parks we usually tend to visit the most. Just wish more people observed dark sky, too.

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    1. LOL — I have been trying to remember whether we have ever put out string lights because I know we have one string in the basement that I steadfastly refuse to allow Peggy to put out. But then I remembered when we were on the Forest, and secluded away in that boneyard all by ourselves that we DID put out a string of lights — and we left them on day and night — but that there were also no lights of any kind in the boneyard except a sodium vapor light way at the other end — and we wanted sometime to be able to SEE where we were walking. But that was the exception rather than the rule.

      I’m sure that the ‘being on vacation’ thing is a huge part of it, but I also think that as humans we do need a certain about of control over our environment and chairs and rugs and stuff like that is the way some people approximate the feeling of control when they are not in their cocoon at home.

      Funny, I like the flavor of grilling but I hate the process of cleaning the grill. Hence, no grill for us.

      I have been thinking that we should get bikes — the problem is that I doubt Peggy would ever truly enjoy biking. So, I guess am stuck with walking as lovely as it may be. There are times I’d like to feel the wind in my face. But such is life. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I put out a door mat to help keep crud outside. If we were camping with a group we put out chairs. But, otherwise the doormat was pretty much it. Probably because I’m not really an outdoors person. I do like people watching but I can do that through my windows. Sure got tired of having to buy a new door mat because I drove away and left them so often.

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    1. Linda, I love that!

      We left a few mats behind at the beginning; now we seem to have developed a routine and we haven’t left a mat behind in some time.

      Peg’s a great window-people-watcher too. I’ve got my radar going all the time. I see more than she does. Often without trying.

      I’m not all that much of an outdoor person either. We spend a good deal of time in our coach, happily so.

      > >

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  5. I’ve only lived in a RV for a short time…I was working and it was a dumb idea…I can do the minimal thing but maintence and fuel end up making the experience very stressful…I had a tarp for shade…I was gone for a week and my spot was isolated…my awning walked off…park owners never saw a thing…thus the tarp and a couple folding chairs…a source of music…lights attract bugs; stars don’t

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    1. Jdawg, I hear your pain. But all I can say is that it’s not always like that, but that leaving for a week is always problematic. Yesterday I was driving past an apple orchard that has been in place since 1937. Suddenly this year they are having to fence their property around — because people have begun stopping along the highway and stealing their fruit. It’s not about RV’ing. It’s about changes in the national ethic that say it’s OK to steal from others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, the difference between when you were a kid and nowadays is VOLUME, I’m sure. Part of the reason that some people are turned off about camping now is that so many people are trying to do it, and so many with no experience or woods-‘smarts’ so they get themselves into trouble and others with them. Just one weekend ago here at this campground a young boy drowned because his parents weren’t paying attention… You don’t leave a 9 year old on his own in a river.
        Sure, kids have been munching on the neighbors apples for centuries. And I suppose this country has it’s history of cattle rustlers coming along and stealing someone else’s cows, but I doubt that in your youth people would come with bushels and boxes to steal the neighbors apples, and then try to sell them in the same market where you try to sell your own apples. It’s a strange world.

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