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An open letter to the Millennials at Google

Greetings dear Millennials hard at work at the world’s largest corporation without a telephone — Google.

I know you are super busy managing all your technology and dreaming up new ways to reinvent the world, but I thought I’d drop this note to alert you to a problem with your Google Maps application. Many of us who enjoy the RV lifestyle turn to Google Maps to find everything from RV dealers to campgrounds to tourist attractions.

I also know you guys probably don’t get out much, opting to enjoy your virtual reality to the splendor of the great outdoors like millions of RV owners do every day. But, this is an important lesson and I’m hoping it will sink in. So, please concentrate.

These are recreation vehicles, sometimes called motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels or the all-encompassing term “RV.” These 400-square-foot vehicles usually have one bedroom, a tiny kitchen, living area and bathroom. The key distinction is that they can be easily driven or towed to a new location within seconds.

These are RVs


On the other hand, these are called manufactured homes, or sometimes referred to as “mobile homes,” although there is nothing mobile about these three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes featuring full kitchens, living rooms that are secured in one place and sometimes mounted to permanent foundations. Moving them is a pain in the neck.



I know this is challenging. But, if you study those two pictures for a few minutes you might notice some differences that make it relatively easy to distinguish a manufactured home from a recreation vehicle.  But, let me complicate the issue even more.

This is a campground, or sometimes called an RV park or an RV resort. It is where people drive their RVs for a weekend or week of adventure, coming back into the RV each night to sleep and enjoy some discussion around an open fire while toasting delicious treats called s’mores. They are designed to serve families who live in RVs for relatively short periods of time before they move to a different location.



On the other hand, this is a manufactured home community. It features street upon street of homes ranging from 800 square feet up to 1,500 square feet. They have yards, paved driveways and are designed to serve people who live in them full-time, year-round without moving.  As a general rule, people move a home into one of these communities and leave them there forever. Moving them requires removing it from a foundation and sometimes even the use of special escort vehicles.

This is a MANUFACTURED HOME community. (Image borrowed from Vesey Capital)
This is a MANUFACTURED HOME community. (Image borrowed from Vesey Capital)


So, the question is, why does Google Maps insist on calling manufactured home communities “campgrounds” and “RV parks?” When people search for campgrounds, they are looking for temporary locations to park a recreation vehicle for a night or two or a week or two. They are generally not looking to set up permanent residences. They want to have a campfire and sit under their awnings enjoying an adult beverage while their children play.

Knowing you don’t get far from Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., here is an example of your absolutely goofy classifications of manufactured housing communities as “campgrounds.”

Perhaps you could ask the Google bus driver to take you on a tour of those highlighted “campgrounds.”  Stop in the office and ask if they’ll accommodate a few travel trailers and allow them to hook up to 30-amp power water and sewer for the weekend. Ask if you can see the camp store, and see if they sell marshmallows, hotdogs, soft drinks and parts for recreation vehicles.

When they stop laughing, then, perhaps, you’ll get a clue and change the way campgrounds are displayed in Google maps.

Thanks for listening.


Editor, Let’s RV

About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is the editor of Let's RV and the editor of RV Daily Report. A Wisconsin native and father of three grown daughters, he is now based out of Arizona and travels the country in his Winnebago Adventurer motorhome interviewing industry professionals and interesting RVers alike. He can be reached at

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