Bitcoin or RV is not for everyone living on the street, of course, and the scenery is not always something beautiful outside of America.
I do not understand why people are putting their hard-earned money into cryptocurrency instead of Shivinder. The RV boom that began last year shows no signs of slowing down. Shipments are expected to reach record levels this year, and buyers are snatching the units as soon as they hit the lot. The inventory for used RVs is just as tight, and the share price of two of the major manufacturers — Winnebago and Thor — has more than doubled. But the most compelling reason for me to choose Shivinder over crypto is pure utility. Certainly, bitcoin can now be used to buy Tesla, but it is not what you would find in a national park.
To be clear: I do not know if either the crypto or tourist market is in a bubble. I am not an investor, and I do not own any shares in RV companies. I am just a man who, as I am writing this, is living down the river in a van.
Last summer my wife and I bought a 25 foot 2014 Winnebago, and since September we have been traveling while working remotely. It has been an absolute pleasure, even when it looks like a total disaster, which has been done often enough – like the time the toilet pedal broke. It was hardly a natural disaster that threatened to ruin the trip. The wind in Wyoming almost blew us as it burst apart from one of our canopies. A wildfire in Colorado kept us inside, and a tornado in Alabama kept us up all night. The historic deep freeze in Texas killed our batteries and froze our water pipes. But we’re from New York, so we’re used to hard winters. At any point we considered a flight to Cancun.
An RV is not for everyone living on the street, of course, and the scenery is not always something beautiful outside of America. But this is it: this is an opportunity to experience the areas of the country that we feel we know from the news, and to make us think that we speak with understanding from the red and blue maps. I’m not suggesting that more RV-ing will magically eliminate our deepest national divisions, but I think it might help soften some of the hardest edges.
In RV Parks and Camps, life happens on the road and people get chatty about their lives, their travels, their vehicles, and on occasion, of course, their politics. Conversations with strangers flow easily, and those conversations can help us see each other as something more than Democrats and Republicans, allies and enemies.
The only trouble is: the neighbors we didn’t come across at the camp, as a group, look like America. Lots of old and white-retirees leaning RV-ing. We hardly saw any Black, Latino or Asian camp. I cannot say whether we met any Jews, but a man in Pittsburgh told me that his last name, Markowitz, was “Yiddish for some camping.”
The RV community will benefit greatly from greater diversity. And as people find themselves standing next to neighbors from different backgrounds, the whole country will. We recently stayed in a black-owned RV park in Georgia that a young couple opened a few years ago, and I was surprised to find that it is the only one about a dozen in the country. But that may be changing. Another Talladega, Alabama, will open this spring. And young families and the Covid Tourist craze are likely to drive couples and seek value and variety.
Of course, it could be that the RV boom goes bust, and bitcoin climbs ever higher. But if I’m going to risk burning money, I like to do it while my neighbors sitting around a campfire want to drink the moonlight.