The Vote of RV Culture: What it means to future elections

A year ago, my wife and I were at the pool store getting items to open our pool when she convinced me to stop by an RV store to look at RVs, which she secretly hoped to persuade me to buy.  I reported on how many Trump supporters I met at the RV store both in front and behind the sales counter and I learned really quick that due to Covid, election fraud, and a general hatred of liberalism, the RV market was my kind of place.  The people buying them, the campgrounds all over the country, and even the roadside pull-offs where RVs parked together to catch a break were like Trump political rallies everywhere there were RVs.  Now, 10,000 miles later, I can report that I understand the RV culture well, really well.  I have since been to most states in the country and have learned a lot about the Trump voter and the anger behind the movement that transcends President Trump himself.  On one of our very first trips just before the election of 2020 in Ashville, North Carolina, I was a little shocked to see Trump flags on many of the RVs parked at the KOA there and wondered if they might offend others at the campground.  The answer was that very few RVers supported anybody but President Trump.  If there were Biden supporters, they were a very quiet bunch because I would see the same behavior over the next year in nearly every state.  If there were 80 million people who voted for Joe Biden as they say he had in the last election, those votes did not come from Americans.  They came from made-up cheated ballots of dead people, Chinese infiltration, and scandalous schemes of passing out the free crack to voters down and out who didn’t even know there was an election going on. 

Yet I just returned from a massive multistate trip out west from Deadwood to Vernal, Utah, and all kinds of places in between before cutting back across Denver, Kansas City, then back to Cincinnati.  Gas prices were escalating by the day due to Joe Biden’s incompetency or deliberate malice.  And I have seen more RVs on the road than I ever have in my life.  Reporting from the road, I have yet to see a single supporter of Joe Biden anywhere, yet along the nation’s highways, there are many Trump signs, including one just outside of St. Louis saying in big letters, TRUMP WON.  At the start of 2020, after the depressing election theft we saw, after the January 6th debacle where Mike Pence failed to kick the election back to the states and the trouble that ensued due to hurt feelings, and the constant reminder that a Civil War could break out at any moment, my wife and I took to the road to sort things out. I can say after all those mentioned miles; I get what’s going on.  All too well.  I see it clearly, and it all started when we bought our RV with many thousands of other Trump supporters who were preparing for a cold winter in America that would last an entire election cycle.  And this war wasn’t with guns or even protests.  It was with people taking to the road to get away from government in their own little hotel rooms that were out of touch from the infrastructure of the travel industry which government so greatly influenced intrusively. 

As we took these big trips across the nation, gas prices have steadily increased as the Biden administration did its intentional damage.  Those who don’t know RVs get about 6 miles per gallon, where a super-efficient SUV like what we drive gets about 11 miles per gallon.  I had a guy in Texas nearly faint as he pulled up next to me at the gas pump to report he was getting 5 miles per gallon.  I told him that I had the wind to our back at that moment, and I was being pushed along a bit at 70 miles per hour, and we were getting 15 MPG.  With gas prices out West in Utah and Idaho currently at $3.35 and traveling 5,400 miles on just this last trip, you can do the math.  It’s expensive to travel by RV.  Add to that the campgrounds cost about a third of what a local hotel room would cost and the cost between flying and using lodging with rental cars is about the same as driving an RV everywhere.  However, with the RV, you can get to specific places that you can’t get to with airplanes, like the National Parks, and you can take your room with you.  We had the same bedroom in Idaho as we do in our driveway, and there is the sense of always having your home with you that you get with a profoundly satisfying RV.  

Now for our clan, the cost of a trip like that was about $500 per day.  It was worth every penny because the experiences were so unusual.  But what did shock me is that we were nowhere near alone.  I had thought that with the gas prices, fewer people would be with us on the road.  Instead, there were crowds of people in RVs everywhere we went.  Whether it was the World’s Largest Truck Stop in Iowa or Wall Drug in South Dakota, there were RVs around and people willing to spend the high costs of driving them despite the gas prices.  I thought of government manipulators like Cass Sunstein. They have shown that the government says it can change behavior among human beings in the same way that mice are led through a maze in pursuit of cheese, with financial incentives that steered the mind where the government wanted people to go through rules, regulations, and cost.  But after what I saw, I don’t think people would stop using RVs even with gas prices up over $5 per gallon.  The experience of taking an RV on a trip wasn’t about the cost for most people; it was purely about freedom, which is why we had bought ours last year with the Covid lockdowns at the height of their power.   The government had let down so many people that the trust was gone forever, and gone too was the travel infrastructure which had changed politically over the last few years into something nobody seems to have foreseen.

Personally, buying an RV was one of the smartest things my wife and I have ever done.  We didn’t plan when we bought it to take it all over the United States within a year of the purchase—but having it has inspired us to take those long, less apparent trips to places that aren’t so easy to get to by air travel.  The independence from the grid of travel that RVs provide is more than worth the cost.  But more than anything is the sense that we can function away from government regulation as much as possible. In contrast, a hotel room and air travel are just too heavily regulated.  If costs are similar, and by the time you go through the TSA lines, you could drive to most places in America, then the independence of the RV makes them very attractive to the type of people who voted for Trump.  People who value free will and a lack of government oversight.  This, to me, says a lot about what Americans are about, which is not picked up in any poll or survey.  The political left doesn’t understand what is about to happen to them.  That much is clear. 

Rich Hoffman

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