Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Common Characters

By now I have been living the RV lifestyle for 9 years.  In that time I have lived in 6 RV parks and each park has some common characters. 

In my first park I learned there is always someone with a story to tell.  In this park I found a neighbor who had written about the characters in the park and self published a book series.  I bought one of the books and when I was able to read it, the book gave me a good laugh.  It is this park I find myself having missed the most in the last 9 years.  If I knew then what I know now...  There will always be someone in the park who is a writer. 

RV Parks always have some smart people.  Sometimes they are disguised, so best to treat it as a treasure hunt.  One RV Park where I lived had about 9 residents with graduate degrees and a couple with a PhD. 

Most of the parks where I have lived have had one character who cooks "groceries" and then shares the goods with those he considers friends that live nearby.  This always involves him cooking outside using fire and wood.  It reminds me of a different time in our history, but still very applicable. 

RV parks and beer go hand-in-hand.  Often times the beer of choice is Natural Light or Coors Light.  One of my current neighbors firmly believes Natural Light gets it's name from the FACT that it is made of all natural ingredients, so it's organic.  It is common to find more than one individual who enjoys their daily case of beer.  They make fun of me, which I deserve, because I enjoy dark beer or things they cannot pronounce, like Leinenkugel. 

When I bought the RV the age demographic that was most frequently buying RV's were those in my generation.  I now see why.  Many of them are buying the RV to live in while they do contract work in another part of the state or the country.  My experience with contractors is they are just passing through.  They do not see this as a community, but a place where they are just passing through.  RV parks rely on these residents, because they come into the area to do work, often construction and bring their own trailer, transportation and their friends.  They keep the park occupied, often at capacity.   

RV parks seem to also have a number of people with mental illness.  This really is not different than any other community.  Those with a significant mental illness are marginalized and often treated as subservient.  What I have witnessed more than once with this population living in an RV park is that they are again and again taken advantage of.  In the RV Park, those with a mental illness seem to have more needs.  I am currently in an RV Park with several who would otherwise be homeless.  Several of them have come to the live in the RV Park off of the streets.  We are not near any resources for those who do not have transportation.  We are not walking distance from a grocery store, unless you consider the Convenience Store a place to regularly get groceries.  I hope this is because we as a culture have come to see that those with mental illness can live in community and not be hospitalized, as they can live in a community.   

RV parks are seldom in the urban communities, but often in rural areas or the outskirts of town.  They generally do not draw a lot of revenue for the city and it has been my experience the land is bought by developers who capitalize on the land. This leaves RV Park residents who do not have transportation struggling to find public transportation.  One RV Park with more than a mile from the public transit, which in Texas is very unreliable.  In my current location the public transit is rather non-existent.  For those from marginalized populations this really seems to further promote their difficult situation. 

There are not a lot of single women who live in RV Parks.  I have a lot of theories as to why.  One, it makes for a hard pick up line.