We were already in Texas when the pandemic hit the point of social distancing and sheltering in place. Fortunately we made it out of Louisiana before Texas closed the border to travelers from that neighboring state. We were able to extend our stay in our present campground, bringing the length of stay to 33 days from our normal of 14-21. So, we're safe and sound until the first of May.
There are over one million full-time RV'ers and a great percentage of us live only in our RV, with no sticks-and-bricks house or land to call our home base. This makes the closing statewide of all campgrounds a real concern, as Iowa, Maine and other clueless states have done. They either see RV camping as strictly recreational or a source for contaminated out-of-state visitors. Congrats to Alabama, Delaware and other states that have designated private RV parks as essential businesses so they can stay open.
The truth is that RV's are made for quarantines. They are self-contained, and with proper hook-ups, people can remain isolated in them for long periods of time, and are less likely than the general population in concentrated cities of being infected. Regardless of whether they are coming from out-of-state, full-timers are considered safe travelers, especially since social distancing rules have been in effect.
What could we do if the majority of states were to close all public and private campgrounds? RV's in the states that have closed were made to leave their parks. With no regular home to go, where would they go if no other campgrounds were open? I can only imagine what parking lots and vacant lots would look like, let alone what would happen to their waste tanks. It could be quite unsanitary. States need to wake up and consider full-timers as equal citizens in this open country and make allowances. Closing parks does not reduce risk from spreading infection, it increases the risk of unsanitary conditions on a widespread scale.
There's a private toll on us full-timers, though. Without friends and family nearby, life on the road can be lonely during the best of times. We strive to combat these feelings by meeting up with fellow RV'ers, participating in RV resort activities, trying local cuisine and enjoying the nightlife that changes so vividly from town to town. These have all been taken away with non-essential businesses closed and social distancing in place. Activities, restaurants and sports bars have all been closed and although Skype or Zoom gatherings happen, they are often lacking in the one-on-one interaction that is so satisfying.
One of the reasons we booked our stay in the Corpus Christie and Brownsville areas was so that we could explore and I could take photos throughout Padre Island. When we showed up during a drive a couple of weeks ago (after spring break was over) all beach access was barricaded. Now, I understand, the road to the beaches has been closed.
Lack of groceries is another huge issue for full-time RV'ers. We don't have the storage space for stockpiling TP and paper towels. We don't have room in the freezer to stock up on meat or in the refrigerator for perishables. If we can't find something in the store, it's a problem that's not easily solved. We just don't have the reserves.
Nadyne and I are fortunate to have been best friends before we married and there hasn't been much strain to our relationship. But that's not true for everyone. Most RV's have between 150 and 400 square feet of living space. Normally the outdoors provides enough extra expanse so that cramped quarters isn't an issue. But force everyone indoors... well, it might not be pretty.
So far, the pandemic seems to be nearing its peak and hopefully we will be allowed to travel to our next destination in Arizona when April ends.
If you have specific issues I didn't discuss here, by all means please add your comment below.
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