7 Bad Traits of Boomer RVers

Did you know that 3.4 million babies were born in 1946? This was a 20% increase from 1945. The rate continued to increase over the next two decades, peaking in 1961 at 4.3 million births.

More than 76 million babies were born in the Baby Boom era after World War II. When soldiers returned home, they were ready to settle down, get married, and have children.

So what do we know about these Baby Boomers and RV travel? Let’s look at the characteristics of this generation.

Who Are Baby Boomers? 

Sometimes referred to as “boomers,” this generation was born between 1946 and 1964 during the post-World War II baby boom. The explosion of new births after WWII became known as the Baby Boom. By 2030, one in five Americans will be over age 65, including most Baby Boomers.

A graphic showing the names of each generation and the range of years they were born in, starting with the Lost Generation and ending with Generation Alpha.
Cmglee, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How Baby Boomers Have Ruled the RV Industry 

RVs, and motorhomes, in particular, appeal to Baby Boomers because of the ease of travel. As Baby Boomers find themselves nearing or in retirement, more choose RV ownership.

For years, Baby Boomers, who have spent their savings or retirement on travel, have ruled the RV industry. Some have even sold it all to live full-time in their RV.

Campgrounds also reflect the Baby Boomer generation. They aren’t remote, hole-in-the-wall locations. They’ve developed their amenities and options to reflect the needs of the retired community. Laundry and Wi-Fi are almost guaranteed amenities — two necessities for long-term stays.

7 Bad Traits of Boomer RVers 

Baby Boomers bring their own set of bad traits to RV travel. Because of their generation and how they grew up, their expectations and actions are different from other generations like the millennials. Let’s take a closer look at seven of these negative characteristics.

A mature holds a drink in one hand an the motorhome door open in the other while standing on the beach next to the ocean.

1. Retiring to an RV Without an Exit Plan

Most Baby Boomers don’t plan to live in their RVs forever. However, many retire to an RV without having a plan for later.

How long will they travel? Where will they go once they no longer want to travel?

This lack of planning can lead to dangerous consequences, specifically with money. If Baby Boomers don’t set money aside for purchasing or renting a house down the road, they could run into financial problems. If they spend their entire retirement on travel, what will they live off when traveling stops?

Pearl and Bob discuss having an exit strategy to full-time RVing.

2. Failing to Use the Internet 

Some Baby Boomers have embraced the digital age. They’ve learned how to use technology to their advantage, perhaps connecting regularly with children and grandchildren who live across the country. But other Baby Boomers are failing to use the internet. 

Whether they like it or not, the internet is part of contemporary life. Their children and grandchildren are using technology daily, and if Baby Boomers fail to at least learn how to use a few apps, they’re missing out on those relationships.

They’re also missing out on how to check availability and make reservations from the road easily. They’re spending unnecessary money by not using fuel-saving apps. The internet is an RVer’s friend when traveling.

3. Never Fixing Up Their RVs 

Baby Boomers have been used to having the good things in life. They were born post-World War II, and most have enjoyed a time of progress, productivity, and prosperity during their adult lives. Having to renovate or fix up their RV is foreign to many Baby Boomers. 

It’s not that they don’t take care of what they have, but they’re used to having things fixed for them instead of doing the fixing themselves. When Baby Boomers move into an RV, even for a short time, they expect to be able to call someone to fix a problem. However, sometimes the RV owner has to take charge, especially if the problem is time-sensitive.

Two senior adults enjoy lunch at a small folding table in the grass outside of their travel trailer.

4. Complaining About Other Campers 

When other campers don’t act the way Baby Boomers expect campers to act, they complain about it. Baby Boomers like to travel with other Baby Boomers who share the same expectations and rules.

Drinking beer before 11 a.m. on Sunday isn’t acceptable. Playing music outdoors, even at a reasonable volume, isn’t courteous. Kids running around playing tag at their campsite shows a lack of parenting skills.

If other campers aren’t acting the same way as they are, Baby Boomers don’t like it.

5. Disrespecting Other Campers’ Solitude 

Many Baby Boomers like to talk. They like to strike up new conversations and meet new people. But some campers go camping to get away from people. They work with people all through the week and want to escape to a place of solitude.

Baby Boomers struggle to recognize those campers and respect their privacy. They walk to the neighboring campsite and introduce themselves.

But the conversation doesn’t end there. Then they go on to ask about where they’re from, where they’re going, what they do for a living, etc., without considering that their neighbors might not want to chit chat. 

6. Refusing to Ask for Help

Baby Boomers are used to getting things done. They worked for 30 years. Now that Baby Boomers are retiring and traveling, they still expect to get results on their own. Instead of asking the host to take them to their campsite, they’ll drive around in the dark, searching for a tiny number on a pedestal box. 

Baby boomer reads a book in the bunk of a camper van with his cat.

7. Not Using Social Media 

Baby Boomers who don’t use social media are missing out on connecting with their family and friends. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and other social media sites are helpful tools to connect and maintain a community.

Baby Boomers are notorious for bashing social media and identifying its flaws rather than embracing the positives. They don’t have to post daily or use hashtags to gain followers, but connecting with others is important. Social media provides an easy avenue by which to do this.

The Best Things About Boomer RVers 

Although Baby Boomers may have these seven bad traits, there are amazing things about this generation, too. They’ve worked hard all of their lives and have developed a strong work ethic and passion for life. Many Baby Boomers grew up in military households, so they’re independent, disciplined, and mature in their decision-making. 

They’re also a loyal generation. Many of them worked for the same company their entire lives and maintained relationships with people for decades. Our society has relied on the Baby Boomer generation for years, so even though they have some negative traits, they certainly possess positive traits.

What positive interactions have you had with boomers while on the road?

An older gentlemen in his bathrobe and flip flops sitting by the campfire out by the lake.

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