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You may have heard some RV or van lifers refer to someone else as a “glamper”, but what does that mean, and can the meaning be contextual or is it clear-cut?

If you are a new member of the RVing hobby it can be a task on its own to learn the lingo and understand what everyone is talking about. Terms like “glamping” and “rig” being thrown into the conversation can leave you feeling confused.

”Glampers'' and “glamping” are terms used within the RV and travel community to describe a kind of camper that prefers luxurious locations and comfortable amenities over “roughing it”. Glamp is a compound of the words “glamorous” and “camping/camper”.

While the terms glamping and glampers generally refer to traveling with a lot of luxury, they can also mean someone who exclusively travels to glamorous RV resorts. Glampers typically travel in larger sized RV’s and prefer more relaxing park activities over strenuous outdoor ones.

While the definition of “glamper” is simple, it is also used in more nuanced ways. Some use the term to describe themselves, while others label glampers in a more derogatory manner. Some campers think that hauling as much technology and comfort as possible outdoors defects the point of camping to begin with.



What is Glamping

All glampers are campers, but not every camper is a glamper. Glamping is all about comfort.

The way that manifests varies between campers, but common similarities include: investing in a fully loaded RV rig, a preference for leisurely paced camp activities, and staying at more established, less rural campsites.

Glamping was traditionally a term used to describe a regular camper who over-packed amenities for a camping trip. Today, the term has evolved to have more nuanced meanings and has spread between all forms of camping from RVing to mountain climbing.

How is Glamping Different From Camping

You may hear outdoors purists say “Glampers miss the point of camping” or “glamping isn’t real camping”. In truth, a glamper is as much of an RV traveler and camper as anyone else. The difference is style, preference, and priority.

Campers usually are focused on outdoor activities or destinations. Sleeping outisde is a means to an end and allows the camper to see unique sites and fish, hunt, or hike locations they could never reach on a day trip from home.

Glampers are usually seeking beautiful locations, fresh air, and relaxation without sacrificing modern amenities. In a lot of ways anyone with a shower and an air conditioner in their RV is technically already glamping according to some definitions, although the term is usually applied more to campers who bring along the espresso machine or massage chair. Boondocking in an RV in one example of the gray line between camp and glamp.

Are There Campsites Made For Glampers

Glampers are in luck! Many campsites throughout the United States cater to families seeking a premium experience. Most established RV sites with hookups and paved parking areas are already leaning into the preference of glamping.

Campsites on rural land maintained by the Bureau of Land Management are more suited to campers looking for a more traditional experience.

RV campsites cater to everyone, but in many ways the availability of water, electricity, a camp store, or maintained amenities like lakes and golf courses all fall into the definition of glamping. Some RV parks operate with the goal of miniking a stay in nature, but most operate more similarly to a hotel or condo than a rural camp.

Is Glamping Looked Down on by Campers

Although most modern RV goers probably do fall within the basic definition of being glampers, few would openly admit to being one. Glamping has developed a sort of negative connotation to mean someone that does not appreciate nature or have regards to their actions within it.

Many “Van Lifers” and other nomadic types of travelers travel and camp with a minimalist approach. Because of this, “glamper” is used as somewhat of an insult meant to refer to someone camping “incorrectly”.

In reality, almost every modern camper has evolved into what would have been described as a glamper in the past. With the explosion of accessibility the newer culture of RV offers, glamping is becoming the standard.

Most campers choose an RV specifically because they want to move their comfortable home to new and exciting locations. In the past RVs were used more recreationally for the occasional outing. Nowadays, most people invest more heavily into their RV and live in it for longer periods of time.

Can You Go Glamping Without An RV

Glamping actually originated outside of the RV community and has since been adopted into all forms of camping to either describe something luxurious or possibly something overly designed.

All RV camping is technically glamping. Think about it. RV goers invest a lot of time and money into a mobile house just so they can go camp in the woods. Sure, you can go camping without your house for a lot cheaper, but why not bring it? In many ways RVing is the ultimate and final form of glamping.

Traditionally, camping has carried with it an aesthetic of simple living or “roughing it” in the outdoors. A glamper was anyone who went camping with more than a basic tent, pocket knife, and a campfire. Today, even a single day trip might not be complete without more supplies than that.

What Are The Best Camping Activities for Glampers

For many glampers their lifestyle allows them to spend much more time outdoors than the average weekend survivalist who wants to sleep under the stars once a month.

Glampers can travel around the entire country enjoying beautiful views, learning history and natural facts, fishing, enjoying guided tours, and simply being outdoors and enjoying the calmness and serenity that nature provides.

Many RV resorts and sometimes entire state and national parks cater towards glampers. Truthfully, in today’s travel culture the lines between different kinds of campers have become quite blurred and most people are traveling and camping in completely new ways that don’t necessarily fit into traditional descriptions.