Table of Contents Show
- What’s the Difference Between a Full-Timer and a Weekender?
- Are There More Full-Timers Or Weekenders?
- Things Full-Timers Do Better Than Weekenders
- Tell Us: What Do Weekenders Do Better Than Full-Timers?
Most Americans who enjoy camping do it on the weekends. Maybe they’ll take a week of vacation and head to the beach in their RV. However, most of them are not calling their RV “home.” If you were to sit in a chair and watch campers for a day at a campground, there are some distinctions that you would notice right away.
These distinctions help identify the full-timers from the weekenders. Sometimes it’s comical; other times, it’s annoying. Let’s look at seven specific things full-timers do better than weekenders. Perhaps these are things you’ve noticed, too!
What’s the Difference Between a Full-Timer and a Weekender?
A weekender is someone who camps only on the weekends, or maybe only a week at a time. Weekenders can range from folks who take their RV out every weekend to those who only pull it out once or twice a year.
If you travel seasonally or for several months or more at a time, you might consider yourself a full-timer because your RV is your home for extended periods. Even if you have a sticks-and-bricks house but travel extensively, you camp more than a weekender.
At the far end of the spectrum are those who have sold everything and live solely in their RV. RVing has a learning curve, and there are some things that full-timers do better than weekenders because of the additional experience.
Are There More Full-Timers Or Weekenders?
There are about 11 million American households that own an RV. However, there are over 40 million people who go camping each year. They may rent an RV from sites like RVShare or Outdoorsy. They may tent camp or rent on-site RVs at campgrounds.
Millions more weekenders spend their vacation days enjoying the outdoors than full-timers who spend most of their days living in their RV.
Pro Tip: Full-timers are usually better at knowing etiquette for overnight parking. To get in the know, here are the 10 Rudest Things You Can Do While Overnight RV Parking!
Things Full-Timers Do Better Than Weekenders
Weekenders are focused on having fun during their limited time in the outdoors. Full-timers aren’t as pressed for time because they live in their RVs. So there are apparent distinctions in how these two groups camp.
With the added experience of full-timers who travel, set up camp, tear down camp, and do it all over again, they’ve learned a few things. So let’s look at seven things full-timers do better than weekenders.
1. Honoring Quiet Hours
As mentioned above, weekenders are camping to party. They may want to play music, drink beer, roast marshmallows, tell jokes, and stay up all night around the campfire. Camping can be their escape from the real world.
Full-timers are often not in party mode. They tend to honor quiet hours and settle down earlier than weekenders because camping isn’t an escape from the real world; it is their real world.
2. Backing Into Sites
This skill comes with practice, and full-timers have significantly more experience than weekenders. When you’re only taking out your camper three or four times a year, it’s hard to get better at backing into sites.
When the camping trips are even more spread out, like a weekend in March and then another weekend in July and then one more in October, it’s hard to remember which way the steering wheel needs to turn and how wide your turning radius is. Full-timers do this week in and week out.
3. Setting Up Camp
This skill also comes with practice. Once full-timers get the rig in place, there’s a routine that many of them follow to ensure that everything gets done in the correct order. Usually, each person has a job, even the kids. When a weekender gets to a site, you may see the kids jump out of the truck and run around.
Maybe mom and dad look at each other, wondering who will do what. Full-timers get the wheels chocked and the stabilizers down. They get the rig level and push the slides out. Someone puts out the patio mat while someone else gets the camping chairs and picnic table covers. It’s like clockwork.
4. Maintaining Their RV
Part of the reason full-timers maintain their RVs better than weekenders is that they have to. The toll that an RV takes while traveling is brutal. Therefore, full-timers will have a maintenance checklist and routine they must follow. This is imperative to keeping their RV in top shape.
Weekenders might not even think about getting up on the roof more than once a year after getting it out of storage. They may walk around and check the seals after de-winterizing. But unless something breaks, weekenders probably won’t keep a close eye on a maintenance checklist. They’ll want to enjoy a camping weekend, not spend it tightening screws, checking lug nuts, and patching the underbelly.
Quick Tip: Here are 5 Annual RV Maintenance Tasks Every RVer Can Do!
5. Eating Food Other Than Hamburgers and Hotdogs
Because weekenders approach camping as an escape, they may not have a meal plan. They’re going to rely on campground restaurants or the traditional hamburgers and hot dogs. No one wants to work over an oven or spend hours cooking when they only have two days to enjoy camping. Plus, indoor cooking is hard to do in a camper when you haven’t figured out how to operate the oven correctly.
On the other hand, full-timers can’t eat just hamburgers and hot dogs every week. So they’ll do grilled chicken or maybe steak kabobs. They’ll enjoy local cuisine since that’s part of the travel lifestyle. When it’s necessary to cook inside, they’ve figured out how to work the oven to heat thoroughly without burning the food. More experience leads to more food options.
Keep in Mind: As full-time RVers, we’ve learned how to save money on a variety of things, including food. Here are our favorite ways To Save Money On Food When RVing.
6. Making New Friends
Although this isn’t true of all full-timers, many make new friends more quickly because they have to. Life on the road can be lonely if you don’t put yourself out there. So they’ll attend campground activities and events. They’ll intentionally look for another family or couple to befriend.
Weekenders sometimes go camping with friends, so they arrive with their cohort intact. They also don’t need to make friends for a weekend. They’re going back home on Sunday.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking to make friends on the road, we recommend checking out Nomad Near Me!
7. Camping Etiquette
Often this is where weekenders can rub full-timers the wrong way. There’s an unwritten set of rules to camping. If you’re new to camping, you have to learn on the fly. But sometimes weekenders focus on having a good time no matter what. They may trash their sites. Kids run wild without supervision.
Campers traipse through other campers’ sites. Dogs run loose, poop on other campsites, and no one picks it up. Full-timers tend to honor the camping code better than weekenders because it’s their way of life.
Tell Us: What Do Weekenders Do Better Than Full-Timers?
While there are some things that full-timers do better than weekenders, there are also some things that weekenders do better than full-timers. They bring joy to camping and excitement to the weekend that full-timers can lose over time. What have you noticed? What are some things full-timers can learn from weekenders?