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cheojackson

Where are the full-time families?

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In October, our family decided as a unit to move into an RV full-time. Some of our friends, and most of our extended family thought that we were crazy to try to live in such a tiny space with the five of us (Me, Anya my partner in crime, Zoe - precocious 10 year old daughter, Muffins Crystal Ruby Princess the Chiweenie dog, and Miss Kitty von Whiskers a rescued gray tabby.) Reading posts on here, and other RV forums, I see that we are not alone amongst the traveling family set, and are one of the smaller versions!

 

When we started, everyone was super excited. "Oh the places you'll go!" by Dr Seuss kept cycling through my head. I couldn't wait to see awesome sights, meet awesome people, and eat awesome food. Unfortunately, the ties to our old life have prevented us from doing much more than the Dallas, Houston, Austin triangle; meeting cool people, and one cranky old bitty; and eating a LOT of McDonald's, for the free WiFi.

 

HELP!

 

I'm quickly losing the buy-in from my 10yr old, because she desperately misses her friends, and we haven't found many road kids for her to play with. Where are y'all hiding?

 

We got lucky at a park in Bay City for Thanksgiving Week, because the manager had four kids that were on vacation, and bored with the RV scene. I've also noticed that the state parks seemed to have a few kids on the weekends, but I would imagine that as the weather gets colder that will be less likely. Is there a secret families only destination that I didn't get the memo for? Are we just not as cool as I thought we were by jumping into this thing with both feet?

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I do not know what your budget is, or where you have been staying, but are you looking for family oriented parks? There is a great one we frequent south of Fort Worth called the Rustic Creek RV park. It is a Jellystone park. (http://www.rusticcreekranch.com/index.htm). It is a great family oriented park and is often filled to capacity on the weekends with plenty of kids running around. We take our grandsons there and they love it. They also have some long-term sites. They have many kid-type activities.

We are not full-timers, but, on vacation, we have stayed at Jellystone parks in various places around the country and always like them.

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I see a few possibilities that contribute to the family discontent. What happened to the plan to go to new places and to see new things? Thus far you really have not experienced much of the RV lifestyle other than RV parks and highways. How can any of you be excited to see new things and to have new experiences if you keep traveling over the same very small area? I'd start by going somewhere that your daughter has never been, even if in Texas. It is no wonder that she is missing friends if she is not experiencing anything new to replace her time with friends. I'd suspect that you are not that much happier than she is. Most people go fulltime for the ability to travel to places that they have never been and few would enjoy the life if they only traveled the routes that you are. I think that you need to look back at the plans you made before you moved into the RV, and start to follow them! There really isn't much that I can think of to make living in a rut more pleasant, as I believe that the answer is to break out of that rut and follow your dreams!

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In my travels and experience, state and federal parks are primarily visited by weekend/vacation families as they rarely if ever allow longer term stays and generally do not have weekly or monthly rates. Rvillage has a Fulltime Family Group that currently lists 277 members. You have to join the website to see any information. In theory, the Group Map will show you the location of other group members, but it is dependent on the members to update their locations.

 

A considerable number of the fulltime families we have met while traveling have at least one of the parents working fulltime. Their locations are often based on where the work is not attractions in the area. They may only move as necessary to follow the work. If you use websites like RV Park

Reviews to locate places to see, you may notice comments such as "lots of long term" or "lots of folks leaving early every morning for work". Some of these long term/working folks will have their families with them.

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We started fulltiming at age 45 immediately after fully retiring from the AF with no follow on career planned. In 7 years we met only three couples that were even close to our age and fulltiming like us. And only one younger! And we started when we were 45 and 43 respectively. We never did encounter any fulltiming families. Just the ones on weekends and holidays. So most of our peers and friends were 20 years our seniors as most waited until 62-65 to retire and hit the road. Unfortunately our closest friends 20 year older friends from then have mostly passed on and we've been off the road since December 2003! We just a nice 5th wheel for weekending that is just right for us two and our two pups. We just lived in it on our property for three months until we could move into our new house.

 

2 Gypsies,

Great website. Now I know where to refer folks when they ask too. Thanks.

 

Edited for serious typos.

Edited by RV

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Thanks, all, for the help. I think you are all right in your various different suggestions, even if they won't necessarily work for us. I checked out Jellystone, and that looks like a REALLY fun time, if on the expensive side. I'm active on RVillage, and have reached out to a few of the family groups on there. Fulltimefamilies.com also looks like an awesome resource, for the more traditionally minded -- which I guess I should have mentioned we aren't.

 

But I do thank you all for taking the time to comment, it's nice to just feel like I'm being heard, and that there are awesome folks out there that are interested in helping. It tends to restore one's faith in humanity. :D

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But I do thank you all for taking the time to comment, it's nice to just feel like I'm being heard, and that there are awesome folks out there that are interested in helping. It tends to restore one's faith in humanity.

It does sometimes help just to have someone to listen. There is always an adjustment period for anyone who chooses to go fulltime so you are not alone, not the first to experience this, and you'll not be the last. I think that I'd make my daughter the first priority of effort so find ways to help her be happy. And being the concerned parent that you clearly are, any positive results for her will help to lift your spirits as well. :)

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Well, this probably doesn't help you much, but we found the most kids at the military FamCamps. One in particular was at Ft. Mead. There were a lot of kids there living in RVs - so many so that the campground actually had trick-or-treat between RVs for all the kids.

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Hi, we "3/4 time" in our camper. We have a house in Colorado that we live in for about 4 months in the summer then rent it out and we are on the road traveling and living in our 27' camper the rest of the year. Currently we are in Carpinteria, CA. We have a 10 year old and 18 month old Son's. Our 10 year old had grown up bouncing around so he's pretty flexible and LOVES to travel so we are pretty lucky so far. He does miss his friends in Colorado once in a while but he's generally having fun with us.

He does however get "bored". Who can blame him, he's stuck with us 24/7 and we are working out of our camper, home schooling him and trying to keep his little brother occupied. What we do is look for local activities. Right now he is finishing up a 3 day kids surf camp. He goes to it from 9AM till 3PM. He met a few friends there and is having a blast. Bonus, he's in bed by 8PM exhausted ever night! We are also road cyclists and found a local junior team. Next week they start rides and we plan to get him involved. We are in this area for 2 weeks and he'll do this. Next we move to San Diego for a month. He loves music so we are going to get him a lesson once a week at the school of rock there.

The point is check the papers where your staying, google kids activities, look for the local YMCA or rec center. Lot's out there.......... Good luck

Randy

www.pedaladventures.com

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