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Dog Folks

Naples, Fl. USA

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Posted: 02/15/14 07:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It has been a belief of mine for a long time that each generation has it “tougher” than the previous generations.

My parents were what I consider to be “middle class.” Mom had her own beauty shop. Dad was a union truck driver. They had two homes, both built by hand, by my father. The last one they built with cash, month by month, out of pocket. My mom always drove a Cadillac. My dad always had a newer car.

Now, my generation, both wife and I worked do that we could have more “toys.” She did not have to work to survive. Sometimes it was a struggle.

Now, the present generation. Both man and wife HAVE to work. Many couples cannot have one home, never mind two, or multiple cars. I see many young couples just struggling to “get by.”
It just seems each generation has less. We see a lot less young people in the campgrounds these days as when compared with 40 years ago.

Is it because they cannot afford to go camping? Are they working too much to take a weekend off?

Assuming you agree that there as less young folks camping; what do you think the reason is?

PLEASE, no politics. That will get the thread closed.


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BuckBarker

Treasure Coast Florida

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Posted: 02/15/14 07:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree that what we are witnessing is true in that it is mostly based upon financial reasons, but I believe that a LOT of the difficulties are brought on those same people that don't set long-term goals. They are a "right now" generation that think they must have a new, fancy car and don't even get me started on having the latest smart phone.
On the day my parents bought a new car, they started saving for the next one. They always paid cash for their cars and any home improvements. They didn't have a single credit card and had no use for one. They instilled their values upon me and I was able to retire at 44 and only picked up odd jobs when I wanted to and not when I needed to.

puttd

Reston VA

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Posted: 02/15/14 07:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Student loans. Kids were sold the idea of financing their education on student loans and colleges have increased their cost structure accordingly. If you come out of college with $50k in debt and $30k in income, life is going to be hard indeed. It also means that you can't strike out on your own and start your own business, because you have a big bill due every month.

The current economy is particularly hard on younger people because we have a tax on job formation. We have put a per person tax the bottom rung of the economic ladder. Very bad policy.

rjf7g

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Posted: 02/15/14 07:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What do you mean by "young people"? I am a seasonal camper and our campground is full of folks in their late 30's to 70's - there's a nice mix of ages and vocations. We have a lot of mechanics, teachers, nurses, carpenters, a few business owners, a few retirees, etc.

A lot of the overnight campers are younger people (20's to 40's) who are tent camping or camping in a starter pop-up or trailer or vintage RV they are bringing back to life. It's great to see a baby in the campground and we do that quite often.

My dad was a long haul union truck driver and my mom was a school cafeteria lady once my baby brother started school. She was a stay at home mom before that. We only had one car for a long time and mom had to leave the house late at night to pick dad up or take him to work a couple of times a month. A well off friend sold them a second car for well below book value because he worried about mom taking us kids out at night. They always live within their means and are happy with what they have...that's just who and what they are. They also got me started on camping because a week of tent camping was our family vacation every summer. I am blessed that they are in their 70's and come camping with me a few times a year.

It will be interesting to see how other folks respond to this thread. I don't know to what extent your observations are skewed by your choice of campgrounds and your travel patterns or if there is any hard data to support or refute them. But, this will be interesting.


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dverstra

West Michigan

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Posted: 02/15/14 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most campgrounds that I have been to have a good mix of young and older campers. Maybe it depends on the style of campground one goes to. Our state campgrounds have a lot of younger people tenting there. Most RV parks along highways have larger rigs which usually means an older camper? not sure


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beemerphile1

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Posted: 02/15/14 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I disagree about subsequent generations having it harder, each generation has it easier. We have more leisure time, higher wages, less work hours, and a lower cost of living as a percentage of income. Of course there are exceptions to the rule in certain areas of the country.

At one time our ancestors worked 18 hours per day merely to survive. Now we work 8 hours per day to live in comparative luxury.

Even welfare recipients live in nice apartments, have big screen tvs, and food in their belly, and that is from doing ZERO WORK. In most of the world if you don't work hard, you starve.

People today do not have to work two jobs if they have one job with a reasonable rate of pay. People think they need to have two income families because they don't control their spending. They want everything and they want it NOW!

I do agree that there may be less young people camping. I believe it is simply a change in lifestyles, not an economic issue. Younger people are wrapped up in technology and social media. This 2011 Toyota Vensa commercial really sums it up;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUGmcb3mhLM


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spike99

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Posted: 02/15/14 08:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMO and my limited understanding of our new generation, it really isn't about the money. If one wants something, they will find a way - whether they buy brand new or used. They find a way. Especially since camping can be low cost (if one buys used, buys small and does yearly monthly budgeting for fuel / CG site fees).

Today, I noticed kids (my kids as first hand experience), don't want nature, they don't want to perform physical exercise and they don't want to rough it (which some people call camping - LOL!). They would rather hang out at a mall, have their face stuck in FaceBook, have some music player stuck in their ears, they take more focus in learning shorter words when texting and they worry more about "how they look" compared to the real world (that's around them). To them, being within nature isn't their thing. They'd rather be in the city, on a bus route (when they feel like taking the bus) or being a short distance ride to their kids place. Family / camping is very low on their want list...

For me, I cannot wait to "sell it all" and move to a lake side cottage. The only reason we go TT camping (at seasonal site) today is because RVing is my "get away" from work. My wife calls it our "get away from chaos" place. When I retire (another 8 years away), it all gets sold - to buy our dream cottage.

Long mumblings short... It isn't about the money (or lack of money). It's more about what interests the new generation - compared against "roughing it".

Dog Folks

Naples, Fl. USA

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Posted: 02/15/14 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rjf7g: You make some good points. My observations are based upon campground hosting in state and federal campgrounds for 7 months per , for the past 7 years. That is what I am basing my observations upon.

Perhaps, seasonal campgrounds have a different demographic. I am not saying it is right or wrong, just different.

By young people, I mean 20-30, with a couple of kids.

jmtandem

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Posted: 02/15/14 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Assuming you agree that there as less young folks camping; what do you think the reason is?


Your observations might be accurate in Florida about less young folks getting into camping. But, I think in the west any observer would have seen the last ten or fifteen years a real interest in young folks camping especially with toys. Toyhaulers were for almost two decades the hottest selling RVs and most were purchased by young folks or at least parents that took their young kids camping.

Generations move on and I see plenty of young folks that grew up camping with their parents to fill that void. What we may be seeing across America is a lessening trend for snowbirders to spend time in the south in the winter as places like Quartzsite are experiencing less and less each year and many RV parks that were full are now less than full. But, that is not an indication of less young folks getting into RVing or camping, it is just that young people don't take the winter off to go south and when younger folks camp they bring toys, friends, and often boondock more than visit RV parks.

I doubt financial issues are any reason for more or less young folks camping. Camping can be as expensive or inexpensive as the folks want to make it. Nobody has to have a $400,000 diesel pusher to go camping. A tent will do for many. Financial and economic issues are all relative. Last numbers I saw there are 1.3 million Americans living in RVs full time. And today more and more are young folks living in an RV and working usually though the net to sustain the lifestyle. If anything there might be more young people in RVing than previous generations.

All one has to do is stand along side the freeway going east out of the Los Angeles basin on a Friday afternoon and count the almost incessant stream of one ton pickups towing massive 35-40 foot toyhaulers to the desert. Thirty years ago your generation did not do that. They meet their friends there, the kids ride quads and motorcycles, and the party is on. And inside that toyhauler is $15-20,000 worth of toys. Your generation did not do that. Priorities are different than your generation. Try to get a last minute reservation in almost any state or federal campsite along the Pacific coast in summer (especially weekends when young folks can go camping) and it becomes pretty obvious that camping is still an important element for so many young folks. And it costs what it costs and it fits the budget.

* This post was last edited 02/15/14 08:43am by jmtandem *   View edit history


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bigdogger

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Posted: 02/15/14 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Today's young people have it much better than any generation before. A Midwestern family (the "if it plays in Peoria" definition of the average American)of four almost assuredly has two cars, several televisions, cell phones, computers, ability to eat whatever they choose and live in a home with heat, air conditioning etc. It's a long way from the "a chicken in every pot" days.
Seasonal RV parks are not in the wheelhouse of most younger people. They are much more mobile. Travel to any destination RV park during the summer and there are kids and young families everywhere. They tend to be there for a day or two and then up and on to the next destination. They are doing 15 states on their 14 day vacation. When you work 48 weeks a year, there is no need to rent an RV site for 5 months of the year.

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