Strolling Scones--"A House Is Not A Hotel" (mp3)
There exists a class of people who do not enjoy staying in a hotel or a motel. Or, at the risk of stereotyping, let me clarify that. There exists a class of people who are unwilling to shell out a hundred bucks or more for the place where one can sleep, shower, and watch TV, among other things. Yes, the issue is money. No matter where these people go in the world, they are determined not to spend the money on such accommodations, choosing instead to depend on family, acquaintances close or otherwise, and sleeping bags.
(Corollary #2: unless your hosts are fairly new to a city themselves, by the time you stay with them, they're tired of the basic, touristy things that you wanted to do in their city, and they will steer you elsewhere.)
At the same time, much as I have enjoyed my limited camping experiences for what they were--which was full immersion into primitive activities and food because there was nothing else around, I think going to a place like Charleston, South Carolina and camping makes about as much sense as sitting in an air-conditioned car at the beach. The pleasures of many places center more on walking the streets and seeing what opens up before you and talking to who you run into and hearing their stories and finding out what they like and dropping a little cash on it than on sitting around a campfire grilling an inexpensive meal and nodding to each other about how you've really kept it under budget. And you can be sure there ain't no locals out there camping with you.