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aztex

How Often Do You Move?

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Hi,

I sometimes imagine full timing as being on the road full time; never the same place day to day. That would probably be hard to maintain. 

I'm really so new at this having stumbled around for 6 months lats year learning some of the ropes. I feel more firmly committed and prepared now.

An ideal situation I could imagine is to have a few 2-3+ month stays lined up each year and explore in between.

So far that has proven difficult! Seems like you'd have to spend a lot of time checking out places before settling on a few and then being able to vacancy wise...

With Covid I opted to move to a friends RV park they manage. They assured me "it's great" but every time I speak with them they complain about one tenant...which is the one they planted me next to! And I concur wit their complaints! So this was a big expensive boondoggle where I expected to be for 3-4 months with local trips into a 3 week stay; on edge almost constantly. Other issues too numerous to mention...

So I'm opting for the road instead of planted misery..... A couple short terms lined up but mostly floating and that seems to put a damper on attitudes sometimes.

Any advice or consoling words....

:D

Thanks!

 

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If staying in one place makes ppl happy, good for them.  There is no way in heck I could do it.  2 weeks in one place drives me nuts.  1 week and I have seen most everything I wanted to in that area.  I'm not a full timer, just a future snow birder (delayed because of the virus) but I could not imagine being in one place that long.  We had planned our moves out for last year and looked at this coming winters, hard to find somewhat warm places in winter it appears, but is doable (alot of dispersed camping).  We are planning a 2-3 month stay around Seattle one winter to spend more time with our grand-daughter but I'm willing to bet staying that long drives me nuttier than a loon.

I have a SnB I won't be selling, kinda like the winters here until we hit a month of minus zero temps with wicked wind-chill temps.  Summers.... why would I leave, I love gardening and small scale farming.  About the only reason I would spend more than a few days in one place would be the fishing.... yea, that pretty much drives what I do.  Ice fishing here is awesome, but I'm getting off track.

Good luck with your choice.

Edited by NDBirdman

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This is going to vary widely depending on the person answering.  For us, we plan volunteer "gigs" that are the basis for our moves and stays.  Usually a single gig in the summer that lasts 4 - 6 months, and then one or two shorter gigs for the winter that can be 2 or 3 months each.  Often our summer trips are way up north somewhere, or way up high (elevation), while our winters are spent in Texas or Florida (only once). 

We use the transits do do our exploring, often taking 4 - 6 weeks to move from Texas to Maine (for instance), making a point to take different routes and visit different areas each time. While "on the road" we spend 2 - 4 nights in each location, depending on attractions in the area. Sometimes we will extend to a week if the area is really interesting to us. 

Our volunteering is generally in National Wildlife Refuges, National Fish Hatcheries, or State Parks. We prefer to be off the beaten path and away from "typical" campgrounds where crowded sites and neighbors can impact your enjoyment. 

But this is very much a "to each their own" lifestyle and hopefully you can find a pace and locations that suit you.  You'll learn as you go and it sounds like you've already found a situation that you don't care for. The great thing is that you can move on and try something different. 

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First, never commit long term to a park unless you stay one night first.

We generally move every week. From our central location we go North, South, East, West and dedicate a day to each. We then have extra days if needed to explore. Add in rest days, shopping, laundry and your week is filled up.

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As stated, everyone is different .  It just depends on YOU!

We volunteered for public parks but not constantly and only if they'd agree to 6-8 weeks and never had an issue doing that.  Volunteering gives you a purpose and gives you a chance to explore areas in your off time.  We gave lighthouse tours, ranch sat in Oregon on 10,000 acres, cleaned up the shoreline of Lake Powell via a houseboat, fed the fish at a hatchery, gave moonlike hikes at a gorgeous mountain state park, helped with a kids' program in a state park, set up a computer program for the rangers, did some light outside maintenance such as painting site posts, and sometimes campground hosted.  We loved it!  There are so many opportunities out there to keep busy and it gives you satisfaction in helping out our public parks.  Plus, we got a free campsite.

When not volunteering we stayed on public lands.... some free  boondocking like BLM or forest service open lands; some nat'l forest campgrounds, BLM campgrounds, national parks, state parks, county and city parks.  We didn't make reservations so no commitment to staying longer than we wanted.

It's just us, but we could never go to a RV park and sit there for months. We also stayed clear of medium to big cities.  But others don't seem to mind.

We liked nature, geocaching and 4-wheeling with our Jeep so did a lot of backcountry exploring and hiking.  We also had a large group of Escapee Boomer friends and hooked up with them as we traveled.  We all were in constant  touch and if we were within 200 mi of them we thought nothing of visiting for a  for a few days to a week especially if they found a terrific boondocking place.  We'd come in from all directions. We all had the same interests so it was fun.  We all were boondockers so a gathering place was easy and free to find.

We kept a paper atlas of the states and if you could see it just about every single road in the state is highlighted as to where we've been.  We explored the states thoroughly and found some gems of places.

I also have a 300+ page document on the computer of places we've stayed.  So, yes, we moved around a lot in our 16 years of full-timing and we can honestly say we've seen the country, including Canada, Yukon and Alaska.

 

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Our answer would have to be, "It depends." Unless we're near family - especially grandkids - we like to keep moving. Exceptions to this have been a summer on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington where, in three months, we only stayed in two parks. Twice we have spent two to three months wintering in my hometown in southern NM... not a bad place to winter and I have family there. We often spend a month or more at a military FamCamp in Maryland near grandkids during the summer (we're doing three months here this summer). Finally, the shut-downs with the pandemic changed everything for us this year and we had to hunker down for three months where we were in Georgia - not our favorite location, but a park we know and have experience with since we have to go there annually for our medical and dental appointments. Other than the above, we average 7,500 - 10,000 miles a year on the rig. Our five-year average including the long stays listed above is seven nights per stay. Of Course, there are a lot of one- and two-night stays in there when we're on the move.

Rob

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The first year we moved every day or two. The second year we sometimes stayed a week. The third year we stayed all summer in one park near friends and family. The next year Dave was off the road because he liked being near friends and family all summer but I went solo snowbirding because I'm not fond of Minnesota winters. But I learned I hated being away from Dave all winter so, after trying that for at least part of three winters, I gave up traveling. I was surprised to discover Minnesota winters aren't so bad if you never go outside. It's a good thing we have a nature preserve right out our windows, though, so I'm not looking at concrete all day. :)

Linda

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4 hours ago, SWharton said:

We generally move every week. From our central location we go North, South, East, West and dedicate a day to each. We then have extra days if needed to explore. Add in rest days, shopping, laundry and your week is filled up.

We are not full time but often 5-6 months away from were we grew up and do most of medical visits.

When we arrive at a campground we always have a list of things to do but ask the locales about well know attraction and often it is of little cost . Some of best highlights were not known to us until spend a few days.

Clay

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Used to move frequently.  Got tired of that, so now we stay put for the season.  Getting to a seasonal location means moving at least weekly.  I like it.

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8 hours ago, aztex said:

An ideal situation I could imagine is to have a few 2-3+ month stays lined up each year and explore in between.

That is the lifestyle which we found suited us best in our 12 years on the road fulltime. We began doing volunteer for site positions to lower our cost of travel because we began before we qualified for SS or access to our 401k/IRA funds. After 5 years on the road we began to get SS and so tried the life without the volunteer stops, and quickly discovered that we had a need for the purpose of life and the social contacts that come with most volunteer locations. Since we typically worked only 3 days each week we would travel the areas around our volunteer locations for 100 miles or so in all directions while there and then move on to a new location, seldom returning to a location that we had previously volunteered. You are welcome to read more about our experiences on our website. While I have not kept it up well since we returned to part-time, we have now completed more than 30 different stays as volunteers, with 3 of those taking place after we returned to part-time..

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One of many great things about this lifestyle is that you can do what suits you.  Early on, most people start off in "vacation mode" - moving often.  Then, they either burn out and call it quits or they slow down a bit.  

We have, basically, two different travel styles.

When we are in "travel mode" we tend to 10-11 day stays.  That doesn't mean every stay is one or the other.  If we are in Thousand Trails we can stay up to 3 weeks so our stops might be a little longer.  If we are in an expensive area and paying rack rate we may shorten the stay.  

Our other style is "winter mode."  We spent several years volunteering at a state park near our family.  These days we are in a commercial campground paying monthly rates, still near our family but also working at an interim position for a few months.  

With the virus situation, our "winter mode" stay has stretched into the summer, but we plan on returning to the road and "travel mode" in a month or so.

Edited by GR "Scott" Cundiff

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Everyone is indeed different in their desires and needs.  For the wife and the dog an I, we move every 3 or 4 weeks.  We tap out the area, ride the motorcycle rides, see the sights and sites to see, then head out.   

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Thanks all!

I guess the trick is visiting or having visited many places and finding one that suit you. 

That could be a long process!

My luck has not been the best so far.....but still a beginner!

 

Thanks!

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43 minutes ago, aztex said:

Thanks all!

I guess the trick is visiting or having visited many places and finding one that suit you. 

That could be a long process!

My luck has not been the best so far.....but still a beginner!

 

Thanks!

What are your interests?  What kinds of parks do you like?  What activities/hobbies do you like?  That should help in finding places suitable to you.

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On 6/20/2020 at 7:30 PM, Kirk W said:

After 5 years on the road we began to get SS and so tried the life without the volunteer stops, and quickly discovered that we had a need for the purpose of life and the social contacts that come with most volunteer locations.

One problem that we're having this year is the absence of the volunteer activities that we usually filled our winters with.  We were volunteers at a free health clinic in Corpus Christi staffed by retired and/or volunteer doctors and nurses.  It has all but closed because most of the "staff" are in the high risk age group.  As a result we're at our winter location without nearly as much to do with our time.

Edited by docj

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46 minutes ago, docj said:

As a result we're at our winter location without nearly as much to do with our time.

And like so many of us, winter is gone but you are not.  🙃

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20 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

What are your interests?  What kinds of parks do you like?  What activities/hobbies do you like?  That should help in finding places suitable to you.

I'm still working so more about nice quiet and safe... and not too expensive!

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4 hours ago, aztex said:

I'm still working so more about nice quiet and safe... and not too expensive!

I'd recommended sticking to small towns along the secondary highways.  Their parks would be quieter than along the interstates.  Choose one without a pool unless you really want one.  Pools draw noise and kids.

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We've been full time for a bit over two years.  For the first few months we were in our home area winding down the business but living in the RV.  September 2018 we went on the road.  Initially we traveled every few days.  That quickly became a lot of work and we resolved the change in 2019. 

We wintered in Florida and went north traveling in the spring.  We spent six weeks getting to Wisconsin and then a month there.  We spend five weeks in Michigan traveling one day from Wisconsin by ferry.  From there we traveled east to New York over a period of a couple of weeks and then spent ten days there.  Off to Maryland to visit the grandchildren and children for two weeks.  Then south to Florida, slowly, arriving at the end of October.

We usually do not travel more than 300 miles/six hours of travel per day.  We usually travel a day and stay a week or more. 

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