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Nomad Hiker

Scheduling stops

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Hey Escapees!

Well, it has been a while since I've been on here much.  We started our F/T adventure on 4/25/17.  So far things are going pretty good!   We are both still alive, well, and happily married.  Any obstacles, we have overcome without much stress - no point, right?  We had scheduled several stops in advance prior to taking off, and some for up to 3 weeks in one place because we didn't want to always be moving.  Now, we are looking at revamping how we plan and your input, as always, is valuable.  Up until now our route was somewhat dictated in seeing family in 3 different states, needing to attend a retirement party in another, going back to see the kids again for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Which is the midwest and not a great place to be in winter.  After that, we head south and west.  We have been considering picking a state and only moving around in that state until we see all we want to see.  We have already figured out that we have to look more closely at activities, specifically the hiking and biking, and how much will be available to us AND how far those activities are from our campsite.  So, any input on options will be greatly appreciated.  Also, how often do you get back to see family???  The area family is in and surrounding areas, really doesn't hold much to do, yet we love seeing them.

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We generally like to base camp for a week at a time and will visit/do anything within an hour drive. We go out early and see how the day transpires as to how long we stay out.

We see family every couple of years, hard though since the cgs are lacking where they live. Just quick stops of 3-4 days. We have one daughter in Phoenix so we winter there, another in Houston that we visit for a few days(she is single and very active with many things going on, plus she travels a lot).

 

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We're not full time yet but that post gives me anxiety.  Seems to me, and what do I know, that you're over thinking things a bit much.  Maybe just drift a little until the right balance strikes you.

Consider visiting the family early and celebrate the holidays with them in October, for example.  We've always had issues with family demanding everything happen on Christmas Day, usually also demanding we do all the travel and make all the sacrifices.  With our kids, we celebrate when were together because that's all that matters.  Forcing it to happen on a particular date when everyone is spread out is tough.  Then you guys could spend Christmas in the desert or we always thought San Diego would be a nice place to spend the holiday.

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2 hours ago, Dan & Jen Nevada said:

Forcing it to happen on a particular date when everyone is spread out is tough.  Then you guys could spend Christmas in the desert or we always thought San Diego would be a nice place to spend the holiday.

LOL!  I'm sorry.  We went full-time FROM San Diego area!!!! Lived in Carlsbad, CA 35 mi north of SD for 6 years.  Had Christmas on alternate dates or via mail a lot!  I guess that is why this year we want to be there up front and in person.  Don't let it give you anxiety...it doesn't even give me anxiety!  That is the first lesson...no anxiety, if you can help it.  We have just learned that we go to one state and don't really have time to see all there is to see and think...well "when we come back"  .  So that is why we are thinking maybe staying in one state a while and do all we care to do might be the answer.  Then move on.   It is all trial and error for us at this point.  If it were just the grown kids, that would be one thing, but those grandkids that tug at the heartstrings.  I wish you all the best.  Hopefully, you will enjoy yourselves as much as we have!  Oh, and you are correct, that area is nice, but stay around Carlsbad.  If you are not over 35 feet you can stay right on the beach.  Go to O'sullivan's in CB for happy hour and Old California Mining Company on Saturday for $6 killer margaritas!  Take care and Happy trails!  If you need anymore info about that area, get in touch...I'll fill you in!

 

 

Edited by Nomad Hiker

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16 hours ago, SWharton said:

We generally like to base camp for a week at a time and will visit/do anything within an hour drive. We go out early and see how the day transpires as to how long we stay out.

 

Thanks, I'm not sure we want to move weekly.  Maybe if it were in the same state that would be ok, but wasn't sure that is what you were referencing.  I get the kid that is "too busy".  Unfortunately, our kids don't live south...both in midwest.  Winter, cold, snow!  Maybe, I can become your kid in Phoenix's long lost aunt! :)  Then there are the grands!  Gotta see them more often than every couple years!  I'm considering to fly in one time for just a few hugs! :)

 

 

Edited by Nomad Hiker

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There are a lot of approaches and none are wrong if the people in the RV enjoy them so I will share our approach. We found that after a little time on the road, we felt a need to feel some sense of accomplishment as well as seeing new places and having new experiences. We particularly enjoy history and the outdoors, so we took up the RV volunteer lifestyle where we typically help in a public facility 2 or 3 days a week and tour the other days. We would choose an area that we had not been to then look for a park or wildlife refuge in that area where they wanted help with things we enjoy doing. Once we found a match we would typically stay in that location for from 1 to 4 months and we would travel to everything to be seen for 100 miles in every direction, sometimes farther. This way we saved a lot of money since our RV sites and utilities were supplied, we got to experience many things that one could never do as a passing visitor, and we learned many new things. I suggest you visit the link provided if you are at all interested in the lifestyle. Since 2000 we have completed 35 different tours as resident volunteers in 23 different states. We have stayed on 9 different national wildlife refuges, 5 different national parks, 5 state parks, 4 state historic sites, even 1 grass airfield basing antique aircraft pilots! In fact, we have had such a grand experience that even though health has forced us to return to part-time, we continue to do this when things line up with a summer stay at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in ND in the summer of 2018!

Once we have spent an extended stay in an area, we do not return but move on to new territory and new experiences. There are so many exciting new places and experiences out there that we can never visit them all, even if we live another 30 years on the road. 

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Throw a dart at a map - wait, that won't work with a smart phone! I'm glad we traveled during paper map days. We were on the road 13 years. Our travels were determined by various things. weather was the biggest. We were VCR - volunteer club reps for SKP so the next rally site was the direction we headed. Later we did some work on the road and the next campground that needed a new site map was the direction. Then we looked at what was along the way to stop and see without too much of a detour.

We visited a lot of presidential museums and state capitols, that gave us some direction which we again, added sights along the way. One year we did a lot of the Lewis and Clark trail and one year, visited all the places Laura Ingall Wilders wrote about in her Little house books.

Family got visited when they were living in an area near our travels. And for holidays, fellow RVers became our family, especially at SKP parks!

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In our 1 week stays whether we move to a different state or not is irrelevant. We move to check out another area for a week, sometimes we stay longer but minimum is a week.

If your kids live more northern I would not visit in the winter. Yes it is nice to visit for the holidays but when we visit our relatives in northern NJ we do it in the spring/fall, make sure we are there for a weekend or 2 so everyone can get together...........

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11 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

There are a lot of approaches and none are wrong if the people in the RV enjoy them so I will share our approach. . Once we found a match we would typically stay in that location for from 1 to 4 months and we would travel to everything to be seen for 100 miles in every direction, sometimes farther. This way we saved a lot of money... stay at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in ND in the summer of 2018!

Once we have spent an extended stay in an area, we do not return but move on to new territory and new experiences. There are so many exciting new places and experiences out there that we can never visit them all, even if we live another 30 years on the road. 

I agree, and I guess some of it will be trial and error and I've always said, there isn't much written in stone.  We have discussed work-camping for sure.  We just didn't know when we were wanting to incorporate that in our life-style.  We do like the idea of eventually immersing ourselves in the culture and daily life of an area for a short period of time.  I will check out the link and I know about the other options I think for work camping.  Thanks. 

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11 hours ago, davida said:

Family got visited when they were living in an area near our travels. And for holidays, fellow RVers became our family, especially at SKP parks!

Thanks.

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4 hours ago, SWharton said:

If your kids live more northern I would not visit in the winter. Yes it is nice to visit for the holidays but when we visit our relatives in northern NJ we do it in the spring/fall, make sure we are there for a weekend or 2 so everyone can get together...........

Ya, I know...it is going to stink being in Midwest for a week.  We did go in Spring and stayed 3 weeks at campsite in area of each kid, KS and IA.  We decided that was a week too long for one and fine for the other as one area we used to live in and have friends there too.  Unfortunately, it's a little hard for them to all get together in one place due to work and kids activities.  We certainly won't go there every winter.  Maybe we will have to start a "Christmas in July" tradition.  I'm sure the little kids would love that! :)

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We don't have grandkids but we know people who have kids come to them one at a time for a week or so. Very special times for everyone involved. I suspect kids will remember those times more than when grandparents stopped by their own homes.

As to extended family, we were among those who visited when we were headed in their direction. We stayed in a campground near my mother and brothers in Phoenix but actually only spent a few hours at each visit with them. We spent several days more than we expected to do living in my Dad's driveway but never got far enough east to visit him again. We stayed even longer and more often "back home" visiting friends as well as Dave's family but we NEVER went to Minnesota for Christmas! Our daughter is an over the road truck driver so we would meet up somewhere that worked for her--usually in Arizona as she liked the excuse to go south for part of the winter but extended family were thrilled the time she brought her truck to Minnesota and they got to tour it.

I guess my point is that everyone's needs are different and you will find the best way for your family.

Linda Sand

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Sorry for coming so late to this topic. I only get time to review these sites about once a month or so.

I have two thoughts to offer. As for spending time in a place, I have found that I need at least two weeks to exhaust a location. Even a month in a state is not enough. I tend to move about every two to three weeks. I have also fallen in love with spots and extended my stay by a couple of weeks. I travel rather slowly.

As for seeing the family at holidays. I leave my rig wherever it is and fly to the family for a few days.

Thom

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We're full-timers. All three of our children are married and two of them have children. The one who doesn't (yet) lives near her brother. The two are in one State while the third is several States away. We also work part-time for our church group, Laborers For Christ, and volunteer with Habitat For Humanity's Care-A-Vanners. We also want to visit all 50 State capitals. We're looking at establishing some sort of "home" base at some point. Right now the Escapees Co-op in Hondo, TX sounds like a good fit for us, but we're still looking.

We have a DP, so we need to drive it for 50 miles or so at least once a month. We don't want to spend all of our time driving, so we tend to keep travel days to 200-250 miles or so, and then generally try to stay for at least a few days. Our children understand that we aren't going to be in snow country much during the winter, so we try to arrange being "up north" maybe every other Christmas. We do a lot of FaceTime visiting with children and grandchildren.

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2 hours ago, NKA said:

As for seeing the family at holidays. I leave my rig wherever it is and fly to the family for a few days.

Thom

Late is ok!  This is kinda the thought process we are having!  fly in!  

 

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On 9/7/2017 at 6:11 PM, sandsys said:

We don't have grandkids but we know people who have kids come to them one at a time for a week or so.

That is exactly what we did. And now that some are past the age of 20 they still talk of those visits. It has been a great way to spend time with them. 

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2 hours ago, kb0zke said:

 

We don't want to spend all of our time driving, so we tend to keep travel days to 200-250 miles or so, and then generally try to stay for at least a few days. Our children understand that we aren't going to be in snow country much during the winter, so we try to arrange being "up north" maybe every other Christmas. We do a lot of FaceTime visiting with children and grandchildren.

Ya, we try and keep our travel days about the same.  We like to get into camp early and get set up.  We started out staying 2-3 weeks in places, but found that if there was not enough to keep us occupied that we wished we hadn't stayed so long.  Now we are doing a better job exploring the area via internet prior to picking an area to stay.  As far as Christmas...we are talking about starting a "Christmas in July" tradition for every other year!  

 

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Kirk's thoughts were spot on. There's no answer because everybody is in a different place in their life. Like for me, I have kids and grandkids,  but they are not in my life, so that doesn't enter my equation. I am such a free spirited type anyway, I will just chase sunshine and just land where I land. I don't have any problems with the Walmart and Cabela's tour. I DO plan to have a home base somewhere, most likely New Mexico, but I may not do that for a while after I hit the road. New mexico will be there whenever I mosey south and west. There have been some great suggestions as far as routes and such, like one who mentioned a southbound route along the Mississippi where I can watch boats go through locks, which I love for some reason. Stuff like holidays though, I don't even celebrate them. Haven't had a "Christmas" in 15  years, because I don't have any family here and very few friends. Not everybody is like me though, evidenced by how many comments mention kids and grandkids. 

It also depends what you mean by a "stop". A destination where there is stuff to do, a specific city where there are people to see, or a stop as in "I need to stop for a night and sleep"? So it is a very "one size does not fit all" kind of thing.

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Truly we are all different.   To me an RV provides the opportunity to travel.  I rarely spend more than a week in one location.   Three days is about average.   I spent 2 weeks in Yellowstone but those days were spent in 4 different campgrounds. 

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On 9/7/2017 at 8:30 AM, Nomad Hiker said:

 Maybe we will have to start a "Christmas in July" tradition.  I'm sure the little kids would love that! :)

This is a good call, and maybe decide somewhere fun and split a house large enough to house everyone.  I think you'll find that a week a year in a dedicated, off-site, location (i.e. a beach house) is worth a month of visiting while working/school, etc.  Just my $0.02.  Plus your wife (if she is anything like mine) will enjoy being able to take a bath instead of a shower  :-)

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I tend to stay in warm places and then fly out to visit kids for Christmas.  Actually, so as not to interfere with their family holiday, I arrange to arrive the day after the holiday.  The cost of an airline ticket is partially made up for with the savings of not having to drive long distances for a visit. 

This year, I am having an early Christmas with one family in California, then flying out to visit the other family and leaving my RV at the Las Vegas Airport.  The thing is, you don't have to have Christmas exactly on Christmas.  Ditto for other holidays.  One thing most people do not know is that nearly all airports provide oversized vehicle parking in their economy lots.  And most charge only the car rate, although if you are towing a car, they will probably charge you for two vehicles.  I have left my motorhome at Orlando airport, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas, all for $9 per night.  Onsite parking is safe, usually well-lit, and paved.  I left my refrigerator running on propane and even in Salt Lake City when it got up to 100 degrees, my stuff was still cold or frozen after 6 days. 

The other thing I have done to spend time with grandkids is to meet one family during part of their summer vacation, which this year was Grand Canyon and Zion. They stayed in a hotel, and I stayed nearby in my RV.  The other family has a trailer, so sometimes I visit their house and sometimes we meet someplace for a week or two.  One year it was a few days at Disneyland and another it was Oregon. 

Edited by Solo18

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Our goal is to volunteer in each of the lower 48 states for a month or longer, with 18 states checked off in the last 5 years. This goal keeps us moving forward to new adventures instead of doing repeats ( we can always do repeats when older/later). There are so many things to get involved with almost limitless, such as birding, special events, camp hosting, building, and even farming. As far as family visits, we spend a month up North in son's back yard with FHU's to do check ups and any heavy maintenance needed, then off again.

Greg

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