by Pamela K.
15 years ago was a lifetime ago after the attacks of 9-11-01. Many Federal, State and Local leaders along with all levels of Law Enforcement have totally revised their thinking about the Wanderlust Community in general.
You are correct that the Campground Owners Associations have had a huge push for herding RVers into more generalized for-fee campgrounds. However, they had much assistance from the Federal, State and Local leaders based in part out of the needs/fears to gather personal info about WHO campers are and WHAT their intentions are. Sad but true enough.
The FIX is the for-fee campground solution to their problems. They can ask for and require your name, drivers lic info, DOB, address, make and model of the vech you are driving and the list of info goes on and on. Many boondockers would reel at such an in-depth personal info request. Federal, State and Local leaders know this and have passed laws to limit the actions and movements of the so-called Stealth Camping community.
Is it right? On many levels it IS NOT. Is it legal? Mostly of the time, within the newly created law restrictions. Do WE like it? NOT AT ALL. But it does serve a very real and often overlooked purpose for monitoring the movements of groups of people, especially of those who are of like-minds.
The Wanderlust Community has, post 9-11-01, been largely the same as before but it continues to change as the economy weakens. Of late, the last few years or so, the community has become more of a smaller microcosm of society in general...along with all the associated lists of thinking and crimes related in the social mix.
Of course the Safety In Numbers thinking is often a myth. One that takes root in well planned herd thinking which many leaders have well embraced. Sadly, it is that very thinking that has put the most and most extreme limits on OUR beloved Wanderlust travels. It seeks to dramatically restrict OUR NEEDS for personal freedom and personal privacy to enjoy the nature and wilds we so love.
We, all of us, can only hope that the powers-that-be govern themselves with some level of sense and moderation! Otherwise, we will continue to see less and less open-options other than the in-your-pocket camping options that are currently taken a strong hold.
Don't get me wrong here, I am NOT anti government at all. I am a former Police 911 Dispatcher. I have seen, from the inside, how this works and why certain precautions are needed at all levels. Just saying that overdoing it is quite another thing altogether. It is the overdoing of things that always seems to take hold and have the longest lasting effects on limiting the movements of peoples in groups.
Sadly, RVers, especially Boondockers, have been included in the newest social revamping mix.