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Old 10-13-2008, 02:27 PM   #1
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Why so few RVs in Hawaii?

Hi Folks,

We just returned from a trip to Hawaii, and we were surprised that we didn't see many RVs there. We traveled all around Kauai and half of Oahu in both cities and rural areas, but we only saw a handful of camper vans. We saw no travel trailers, Class C RVs, nor Class A motor homes during our 1-week visit. Nor did we notice any signs for RV campgrounds.

Any thoughts on why there are seemingly so few RVs in Hawaii? I would have thought that travel trailers or other RVs would be more popular in a state so rich with natural beauty and year round camping weather.

Anyway, we were just curious about it and wondered if anyone on this forum might know or want to speculate.

Thanks.

BocoTim
Boulder, CO
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:32 PM   #2
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No bridge to California! The islands might not be RV friendly. Getting a big MH or TT over there might be cost prohibitive. Once you got there where would you go, if there were no RV parks. Your only option might be private propery
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:34 PM   #3
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I guess the islands are so small, where are you going to go? We visited Maui about 5 years ago and one the residents told us "car theft is not a problem here--they can't get away!"
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:47 PM   #4
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Hi. I've guided a lot of camping & lodge eco-trips on Kauai, Maui and Big Island. Camping can be had at any number of beach county parks (each island is a county) and a very few inland locations. Conditions are fair IMO and there are jewels to be had. But it can be too spartan for people expecting to receive a piece of paradise for their airline dollar -- a little run down, public safety issues (no lifeguards, fairly high theft risk, police only after the fact, sometimes thin cell phone coverage), roaches, cold showers and probable bohemian neighbors; ie, hippies or the mentally ill living as cheaply as possible. Reservation systems are either antiquated, local-serving or nonexistent. There is so much small private lodging available that no private campgrounds have been needed. Interisland ferry service comes and goes; it tends to be expensive if available at all and most have gone out of operation for running in the red. So each island exists in isolation and this just isn't a market RVAmerica or other RV rentals would step into.

We have had a few members with Airstreams over there. Hard to say whether they'll pipe in here. It's hard to Airstream heartily when your destination can be no more than a couple hours drive away. That's almost a day trip sans camper, eh?
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bocotim View Post
Hi Folks,

We just returned from a trip to Hawaii, and we were surprised that we didn't see many RVs there. We traveled all around Kauai and half of Oahu in both cities and rural areas, but we only saw a handful of camper vans. We saw no travel trailers, Class C RVs, nor Class A motor homes during our 1-week visit. Nor did we notice any signs for RV campgrounds.

Any thoughts on why there are seemingly so few RVs in Hawaii? I would have thought that travel trailers or other RVs would be more popular in a state so rich with natural beauty and year round camping weather.

Anyway, we were just curious about it and wondered if anyone on this forum might know or want to speculate.

Thanks.

BocoTim
Boulder, CO

Aloha.

Last I was informed, there are 3 Airstreams on Oahu.

I have never seen them, but I am sure they are hidden someplace.

RVing is great when your in the lower 48, but at least on Oahu, many of the roads are some what narrow. Plus, I don't think it's wise to try to navigate the roads and sight see at the same time.

For the guys, there are way too many beautiful Hawaiian hula girls around.

For the gals, there are way to many nice looking, muscular, shirtless young Hawaiian guys around.

Bottom line, at least for me, enjoy the sights and scenery, the true Hawaiians, and forget RVing until you get back home.

Besides, if your going to enjoy the Mai Tai's, stay with the cabs.

I can't think of one good reason for me to fly 2500 plus miles and want to go RVing. Everything Hawaii has to offer, you bet.

The true Hawaiin natives are our cousins.

If you doubt that, ask them.

Mahalo.

Andy
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:59 PM   #6
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I lived in Hawaii for 4 years and often just would sleep outside with no cover with that great weather who needs a RV.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:12 PM   #7
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I have to agree with the folks that say the main reason for so few RVs in Hawaii is that the islands are relatively small. According to information from the US Department of Transportation, Hawaii has just 345 miles of highway, and that is distributed across more than one island. That is only .2% of what is available for travel on the US Mainland, which is 160,672 miles. With so few roads/highways in Hawaii, RVing is probably impractical compared to US Mainland travel.

Tim
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:13 PM   #8
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When I was there in 1989, our tour group spotted on Avion trailer. It looked as if it was being used for a field office for a construction company, not for recreational purposes.
On another note, our box lunch pic-nic was interrupted by homeless people, insisting they have a free meal too. Our tour director and bus driver prompty intervened and sent them on their way.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I lived in Hawaii for 4 years and often just would sleep outside with no cover with that great weather who needs a RV.
Granted, Hawaii does have interstate highways, called H1, H2 and H3, but they don't connect to the others in the continental US.

But I heard via a rumor, that one of our presidential candidates, "IF ELECTED", will build a bridge from California to Oahu, so that all the interstate highways will inter connect. Additionally it was said, that flying to Hawaii allows passengers to view the ocean, but rather poorly, and the inter state bridge would give people a much better closer view of the Pacific ocean, and all at no taxpayer expense.

HA!!! HA!!!

The real problem seems to be not the bridge, but Motel 6 feels they would have to pay the room maids way too much money, to staff the enroute motels.

Then the gasoline stations threw in their 2 cents and said they refuse to install gas stations that were more than 12 miles from the ground. They were told, that was no problem, since the ground is only about 6 or 7 miles away, from where the stations would be, downward.

Andy
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:38 PM   #10
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Question about Airstream durability in Hawaii

I have a piece of property on Kauai and am thinking about purchasing a trailer to put on the property. I would probably put a shed roof over it and have a covered deck. Can anyone tell me how an Airstream would do in a high humidity envirnment 150 yards from the beach?
Thanks Very much
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:21 PM   #11
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While Hawaii can be a 'friendly' place, especially if you bring lots of $'s to support the locals - it's not very 'trailer friendly', and those add'l baggage charges to check in your AS can break the bank!
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:58 PM   #12
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Oahu is also kind of small. Never forget our first stay there for a conference. We decided to stay an extra couple of days, rented a car, figuring to stay on the other end of the island for a night. Two hours later, we'd circumnavigated the whole island, winding up back at the same hotel we'd stayed at earlier. Duh.

When we moved there a couple of years later, the island just seemed to get smaller (albeit even more crowded with traffic). The longer you stay, the smaller it gets, or so it seemed. Maybe it was just a touch of island fever.


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Old 12-26-2011, 04:37 PM   #13
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The lack of RVs has to do with their strict environmental laws. They do not want to have to make room in their landfills for another broken-down/rotted SOB.

My dealership recently sold a unit to one of the stars of Hawaii Five-O. They were telling me about the angst - reams of paperwork and black tape to export an Airstream into the great state of Hawaii. The only reason Hawaii allowed an AS in was because of its record for durability. The celebrity customer who purchased it also intends to remove it from the island when the series ends. (It's being used as a mobile dressing room). I suspect this was also one of the reasons they let the trailer in.

The cost to ship it to Hawaii was $9,000. The dealership sent a technician as there are no techs there.

BTW, if the star of Hawaii Five-O is reading this, welcome to the forums. This is a good place for help! Hope you are enjoying your trailer in paradise.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:54 PM   #14
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Ricberry: one of my neighbors here on the wet side of the Big Island had an Airstream on his property as a vacation rental for years. I don't know why one would not hold up as well here as in any other humid climate like the Southeast, especially if you had a roof over it. Shipping is possible but really expensive. RV's are offered for sale here once in awhile, check Craigslist. I have not seen any Airstreams here, ours is in Tennessee for now.
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