Are We Really “The Nicest People”?

Photo by Helena Lopes on

You hear it all the time: “RVers are the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.” Is it true? Why do you think that perception persists?

Friends in the Facebook Group “Camping Out With God” offered a few suggestions. After noting that RVers, on the whole, are quick to offer help to fellow campers in need and are always willing to offer advice, food, and a listening ear, FB contributors said that the reason for the extraordinary “niceness” of our tribe could be because:

  • Most of us have no particular place to go and no particular time to get there, so we’ll take time for others (I recently saw emblazoned across the rear of a fifth wheeler the words, “Well, Yes, Actually I Do Have All Day”)
  • For many, the normal pressures of life have been loosened up–no timeclock, no assignment deadlines, no kids to raise, no lawns to mow, etc.; so we are in “permanent relax mode.” Relaxed folks are nice folks.
  • Being travelers and campers, we have common interests and shared experiences; so we just enjoy one another’s company

To these good thoughts, I’d like to add a few random musings of my own:

  • While a lot of the normal pressures have been relaxed, there is a whole new set of pressures in RVing that we never had to face in our former lives (deciding where we’re going to live every few weeks and finding a way to get there, emptying black tanks, rationing water, sweeping sand out of the living room ten times a day, sitting for hours on the interstate, having to re-route around floods and fires, etc.); so we quickly learn to “go with the flow” and roll with the punches. This makes us more tolerant than perhaps we were when emergencies were rare events and not regular occurrences. Such forbearance and tolerance are vital in personal relationships.
  • Being out on our own, far from family and friends, makes us–like Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire–dependent on “the kindness of strangers.” Knowing that we may be the ones needing help the next time, we resolve to do what we can for others in their time of need.
  • We shouldn’t ignore the fact that the people making this claim are usually RVers themselves, so it’s an observation that indirectly makes the one making it look good too. (That’s not to say that our tribe isn’t extraordinarily nice; but we are probably a bit biased, and the assertion may be a little self-serving.)
  • Because we believe this characterization to be true, we are motivated to live up to our own reputation. We don’t want to be the exception to the rule.
  • The kindness shown to us by others motivates us to “go and do likewise.” That might have been the motivation of those who showed kindness to us
  • Because of our unique and fragile situation, we learn to lean heavily on God for help. This gives us strength, empathy, and the ability to help others.
  • For many of us, camping has reintroduced us to the natural world. Regular interactions with God’s creation in nature is good for the soul and makes us better people
  • But let’s be honest, our interaction with one another is by necessity transitory and limited–as much as we would like it to be otherwise. Maybe we are just not around one another long enough for you to see my bad side (I have at least one) and me to see yours. After all, everyone is born a sinner. None is righteous, no not one! Not even RVers.

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4.32)

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6.10)

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Blogging takes time. You would think that a retired couple on permanent vacation would have plenty of that, but it seems like day-to-day tasks keep us too busy to add much to this site. If you would like to see more (videos, devotions, pictures, camping news, itineraries, and conversations with friends) please join our Facebook Group: Camping Out With God. You’ll find us here:

We look forward to seeing you there! Invite your RVing friends to join us too!

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Calling All COWGod Friends!

See you soon!

Sandy and Jim are looking forward to seeing all of their Camping Out With God friends Saturday the 13th at 7 PM (that’s tomorrow)! Join us on our Facebook Group page and let us hear about your latest adventures, trials, tests, prayer requests, and praise reports. We’re building a caring community for Christian RVers (and others). You’re a BIG part of that, so don’t forget to show up. Here’s the link for our Gathering Place:

He Pitched His Tent among Us!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. . .and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1.1-3, 14)

The prologue of the Gospel of John is one of the most sublime and mind bending statements in all of world literature. In it, we are told that the eternal Son of God, Jesus–the Logos, the Reason for the universe–became one of us and that He “pitched His tent” with ours.

You see, when John said that Jesus “dwelt among us,” he used the same word that is used in the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint) to speak of the tabernacle, or the “tent of meeting” in which God’s Presence dwelt as Israel trekked through the desert wilderness.

In that day, Israel was a nomadic nation with no earthly home. They dwelt in tents and went wherever God led them. God lived among them in the Glory of His tent, the tabernacle. They were “camping out with God”!

When Jesus came, He entered into an itinerant ministry, continually going from place to place to spread the Good News. His disciples followed Him wherever He went. While foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, Jesus had no place to lay His head (Matthew 8.20). As they followed Him, sleeping under the stars, the twelve were “camping out with God”!

Eventually, the tabernacle was replaced by Solomon’s temple; for a tent is not meant to be a permanent dwelling place. Likewise, when Jesus came the first time, He did not mean to stay. He had come to “give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10.45); so He referred to His coming as a “visitation,” not a permanent change of address (Luke 19.44). He “pitched His tent” among us.

Today, we dwell in tents. Whether we live in a pup tent, a canvas topped camper, a million dollar motorhome, a palace, or a prison cell, we are only here for a moment; and then our “tents” will fall to the ground. If we are God’s children by faith in God’s Son, then we have a more permanent dwelling, a “house” made by God, eternal in the Heavens (2 Corinthians 5.1). The wonder of it all is that, while we are in these tents, Jesus is pleased to “pitch His tent” with us. What a joy it is to be “camping out with God” until we move into our eternal home!

What do you do to stay constantly aware of God’s Presence with you in this world of tents?

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