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Howdy,

Well 5 months in and I'm starting to grow a little road weary. Part of it is the money! To cut costs I'm taking full advantage on a Thousand Trails membership I was given free when buying new RV.

But as "cheap" as it is the 2 weeks in and one week out and having to constantly be planning where next is not as fun as it was.

Seems every time I get some direction the destination is plagued with poor to extreme weather.

Been looking for a reasonable month long stay but currently in So Cal and quite expensive....

 

Maybe I'll cheer up soon but it's just not as relaxing as I thought it could be over all.

 

Any advice when having doubts...

 

Thanks,


Az Tex!

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If boredom is part of the problem, consider doing a little RV volunteer service which will also supply you with a free RV site and utilities. We loved the volunteer lifestyle and got to do many things that would never have happened in any other way. Take a look at Volunteer . Gov or any of the state park websites and check out the wide range of places that you could go and things to do. 

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Another name for full-timing is Chasing 70. If it isn't 70 degrees where you are, go somewhere else where it is.

We generally put fixed dates on the calendar and then figure out how and when to get from one place to another. A couple of times that has involved some pretty fast cross-country moves. Most of the time, though, we take our time. We stretch our money by volunteering at places that provide a FHU site in exchange for some work. We do campground hosting several months each year and we also do Habitat For Humanity RV Care-A-Vanner builds. We spent 10 weeks in Hobbs, NM earlier this year working on houses. Check out: http://www.habitat.org/cd/rv/schedule.aspx

Our original plan, five years ago, was to work (for pay) four months, volunteer four months, and be on our own four months each year. We've never yet had a year that hit that exactly. Some years the work has been more than four months, and some it has been no months. Some years we've volunteered more than four months and some less. The mix is pretty much dictated by what positions we can get. Sometimes family things change plans.

Earlier this year we became leaseholders at The Ranch, one of the Escapees co-ops. We pay an annual maintenance fee and our electricity when we're there. Yes, we had to pay a lease fee, but we get almost all of what we paid back when we turn the lot back in, so our costs are pretty minimal and we have a storage shed in which to keep things we won't need until the next time we're there.

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19 minutes ago, kb0zke said:

Another name for full-timing is Chasing 70. If it isn't 70 degrees where you are, go somewhere else where it is.

We generally put fixed dates on the calendar and then figure out how and when to get from one place to another. A couple of times that has involved some pretty fast cross-country moves. Most of the time, though, we take our time. We stretch our money by volunteering at places that provide a FHU site in exchange for some work. We do campground hosting several months each year and we also do Habitat For Humanity RV Care-A-Vanner builds. We spent 10 weeks in Hobbs, NM earlier this year working on houses. Check out: http://www.habitat.org/cd/rv/schedule.aspx

Our original plan, five years ago, was to work (for pay) four months, volunteer four months, and be on our own four months each year. We've never yet had a year that hit that exactly. Some years the work has been more than four months, and some it has been no months. Some years we've volunteered more than four months and some less. The mix is pretty much dictated by what positions we can get. Sometimes family things change plans.

Earlier this year we became leaseholders at The Ranch, one of the Escapees co-ops. We pay an annual maintenance fee and our electricity when we're there. Yes, we had to pay a lease fee, but we get almost all of what we paid back when we turn the lot back in, so our costs are pretty minimal and we have a storage shed in which to keep things we won't need until the next time we're there.

Thanks!

Funny! I have been on the chase for 70° and while it looked promising here in Idyllwild CA it'll be back in the 40's for a day or so and 50's the rest of my stay... if I stay...

Well I work. I'm a jeweler and do OK. Production down a little but little more in th bank each week after expenses. But i can't take time to volunteer; it's full time work and I have to fill 10-20 orders a week on top of making that many new pieces.

I checked some of the SKP Co-Ops but they seemed to have rather long wait lists. The few I considered anyway.... I need to look closer at some of those..

 

Thanks! You too Kirk!

 

Az Tex

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4 hours ago, aztex said:

Well I work. I'm a jeweler and do OK. Production down a little but little more in th bank each week after expenses. But i can't take time to volunteer; it's full time work and I have to fill 10-20 orders a week on top of making that many new pieces.

Yeah trying to work full time while moving every week or two would exhaust me.

Parks in CA tend to be expensive but if you're willing to move to Texas there are some less expensive monthly rates at parks there. I would certainly choose moving less often in your situation. TT discount camping is not a good deal if it causes too much stress--sometimes a bargain really isn't.

Linda

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Escapee parks are very reasonably priced, especially the monthly rates. If you want to stay in CA there is one in Aquanga CA called Jojoba Hills. You can rent buy the day, week or month.

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What we did is to buy an RV lot, two lots side by side, in the UP of MI were we spend the summer, May thru September, then back to SE Texas for a month or so and then on to FL. It is very much like going for 70 degrees. As for cost for the two lots, property taxes and POA fees come to about $60 per month and because it is a co-op we are board members and have activities and people to do things with. It is a small RV park, 55 lots, on lake Huron. Maybe we lucked out but we have some very nice people who are lot owners mostly they are from MI, OH, IN and WI. We are from SE Texas. If we can't find a reasonable RV spot near Ft. Myers, FL, during the Winter, we park it at my sisters house in Ft. Myers. 

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2 hours ago, SWharton said:

Escapee parks are very reasonably priced, especially the monthly rates. If you want to stay in CA there is one in Aquanga CA called Jojoba Hills. You can rent buy the day, week or month.

Hi,

 

I spoke with the people from Jojoba at Escapade. I got a contact number but can't find it. They said almost impossible to get a space even for a week unless I call THAT number!

Dang it! I had all my Escapade stuff.....somewhere... ;/

 

Az Tex

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1 hour ago, whj469 said:

What we did is to buy an RV lot, two lots side by side, in the UP of MI were we spend the summer, May thru September, then back to SE Texas for a month or so and then on to FL. It is very much like going for 70 degrees. As for cost for the two lots, property taxes and POA fees come to about $60 per month and because it is a co-op we are board members and have activities and people to do things with. It is a small RV park, 55 lots, on lake Huron. Maybe we lucked out but we have some very nice people who are lot owners mostly they are from MI, OH, IN and WI. We are from SE Texas. If we can't find a reasonable RV spot near Ft. Myers, FL, during the Winter, we park it at my sisters house in Ft. Myers. 

How does one find out about such opportunities?

I've been snookered on a couple in CA. One in particular looked spectacular and one set of reviews very good. Beautiful lake and trails with sweet new rigs lined up on spacious lots lake side...Spoke to a friend as I was heading out here and he said pretty well run down and lots of drug activity it seemed.

Sure enough... RV stacked like cord wood about maybe 8 feet from each other! Pretty well run down... $300 a week...

Another I ended up staying at dry camping was equally run down and scary (for FHU) despite glowing reviews... cheap enough to take the sting out of it...

So actually these events are weighing on me as much as anything as I feel I can't get an honest review without endless research and some first hand reviews....

 

I'm even at the point I'd pay the $1000+ for a nice place I could stretch out at and gather my wits....

 

BTW 1000 Trails in Idyllwild is pretty danged nice! True camp ground in the woods with lots of trees and trails. Very much on the side of a mountain and I'd not consider much more than my 22 footer al though there are are some larger rigs in easier access spaces. First come first serve so you can't choose before hand.. I got lucky finally I guess! :D

 

Az Tex

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Our winter Campground in Phoenix has lots for rent on an annual basis. Happy Trails in Surprise, AZ sells lots. Rentana in RVG I think sells or rents lots long term. Fairly easy to find, just need to do some research.

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Since you're an Escapee why not try one of the Escapee parks for a reasonable price?

The Benson, AZ one - Saguaro - has a $65/week special. Try it for a week and see if you'd like to stay there monthly for about $340/month +electric.  Benson is about 40 mi. east of Tucson and home of a big gem show in Feb., I believe.  It might be of a help for your jewelry-making.

Escapees has many other parks - both co-op and Rainbow parks.  Check out the website:

https://www.escapees.com/benefits/rv-parking/skp-co-op-parks/

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Hi Tex! Just a few ideas: 

  • Monthly stays at private parks are cheaper than daily/weekly rates (usually roughly half) and let you slow down the pace a bit. We try to do monthlies as much as possible. 
  • Researching DOES take up a lot of time. I'm very thorough because we absolutely must have solid cell signal and a really big site, and I don't want to get stuck in a site we don't like for a month.  What resources are you using?  I start with Google and rvparkreviews.com to both find parks and check ratings. There are others, too -- Campendium, campgroundviews.com, and freecampsites.net are useful. There are also some Facebook groups dedicated to park reviews - https://www.facebook.com/groups/WheredYouStayRV/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/rvparkrecommendations maintain files on lots of parks that you can search. Unfortunately it just takes time, but once you get more comfortable using search tools and finding a method that works for you, it'll get a bit easier.  Don't trust the park websites - look for images on Google and GoogleEarth. 
  • Explore other states. As someone else already stated, you can get a nice site in parks in TX for $400/mo. Unfortunately, we've found that AZ is expensive and pretty booked up in the winter. NM or NV might be better. The farther you get from major tourist attractions or big cities, the cheaper things will be (generally). 
  • The basic TT membership does save you money but is difficult to manage when you have to work as you do AND only get 2 weeks in at a time, AND can only book so many weeks ahead. There are upgraded memberships you can buy (NOT @ retail price from TT, but through resellers) that will allow you to stay longer, not have to move outside of the system, and make reservations further in advance. 
  • I echo the Escapees parks. We stayed at North Ranch in Congress for 6 weeks (in winter) and it was very pleasant. That also puts you only an hour from Phoenix area for shows/sales. 
  • Besides TT and Escapees, other $$-saving memberships include PassportAmerica (10%-50% off nightly rates) and Good Sams, usually 10% off the nightly rate. 
  • If you're reasonably self-contained, take a shot at boondocking (camping without hookups). There's loads of state and federal land out west, some with basic services like toilets and waste disposal.  Freecampsites.net and Campendium are the best resources I've found for finding those. 
  • Burnout is real. Hang in there! Or, if it's not right for you, take some time off the road to regroup. There's no right or wrong way to live.  :) 

-Andrea

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Sorry for the lack of information, I had to buy those two RV lots in the UP of MI, $13,000 for one and $5,000 for the other, and now it is about $60 per month for real estate taxes and POA fees combined. You also have to know that you would like it there and also it would help if you liked the other lot owners. Maybe we were lucky. I bought the first RV lot about four years before I retired, they financed it and I paid it off in two years. I had not been to the UP in over 40 years but you can see it on Google Earth. The population in Cedarville, MI had on changed much in those 40 years and I remembered how nice it was. After two summers we were able to buy the lot next to us. Escapees RV parks are also an alternative. Some have lease lots and some you can buy from owners. You can also try to get a part time job at an RV park  that included lot rental. Good Luck

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