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RV Park over 3/4 occupied by work campers


lappir

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Tried to get a summer reservation in the midwest and have been told that most of the parks are already full with either full time residents or work campers. At least the ones that I could use for my job. Anyone else find that concerning? I think it's worse than trying to get a spot in the Winter in Florida.

 

Rod

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Everywhere we have been in the last year has been that way. In the Oklahoma area most of the parks were filled with oil pipeline welders / workers, here in New Orleans its contractors working on all the refineries. Northern Alabama seemed to have people just down on their luck and were trying to make living in their RV's after forclosure on their homes.

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If by "work camper", you mean folks that are camped in a park, but working elsewhere in the area, rather than those working at the park in exchange for their site, isn't that the same thing you're looking to do? I think it probably speaks well for the economy that there is that much work available in a given area. If it keeps up, I expect we'll start seeing new parks and expansions of existing parks to fill the gap.

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Agree with Dutch_12078. Had to kind of chuckle at your post that you find it "concerning" that others are doing the same thing you are. Only problem was they got there first. :)

Now that you mention it, it is sort of funny. Guess I need to make that part of my negotiations on the job. Provide me with the type of housing that I desire.

 

Rod.

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I'm wondering just what part of the "mid-west" you are speaking of? We spend time in KS fairly often and have not found it difficult to get RV sites without advance reservations. In 2014 we traveled from TX to KS, to IN, to IA, to MN and then to SD, all without reservations. In the fall we came back through in route home to TX for the winter. Are you saying that we won't be able to find places to stop this year when we head up through that area in route to VT for Escapade? Perhaps I need to do some investigation..... :huh:

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"Now that you mention it, it is sort of funny. Guess I need to make that part of my negotiations on the job. Provide me with the type of housing that I desire"....


Happened to us in Tacoma....wife took a contract there, then we scrambled to find an RV park close by (ever look for hen's teeth?)...ended up 50 miles away, made for a horrible commute, but we sure enjoyed or stay 10 paces from the water in Union, WA.



Hope you find a suitable spot


Gemstone

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I'm wondering just what part of the "mid-west" you are speaking of? We spend time in KS fairly often and have not found it difficult to get RV sites without advance reservations. In 2014 we traveled from TX to KS, to IN, to IA, to MN and then to SD, all without reservations. In the fall we came back through in route home to TX for the winter. Are you saying that we won't be able to find places to stop this year when we head up through that area in route to VT for Escapade? Perhaps I need to do some investigation..... :huh:

Not sure about people who travel through, I am looking for a spot to spend a few months while I work in the area. I also need to be within a certain number of minutes to be able to stay home when I am "on call". I couldn't do a 50 mile commute especially if it was 100 miles a day.

 

Rod

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I'm wondering just what part of the "mid-west" you are speaking of? We spend time in KS fairly often and have not found it difficult to get RV sites without advance reservations. In 2014 we traveled from TX to KS, to IN, to IA, to MN and then to SD, all without reservations. In the fall we came back through in route home to TX for the winter. Are you saying that we won't be able to find places to stop this year when we head up through that area in route to VT for Escapade? Perhaps I need to do some investigation..... :huh:

It really all changes year to year location by location depending on where the big projects are and how many campgrounds are available in the area. For example last August, we were the only ones in a fairly large campground not far from Hutchinson, KS.

 

In August 2012, the campground in Smith Center, KS was almost full of construction workers. We got the only open spot. In October 2014, the commercial RV Parks in Eureka and Yates Center, KS were full of workers for a pipeline construction project. The nearby Toronto State Park campground was empty except for us and the camp host because they would not allow long term stays. In October 2015, the park we stay at in Great Bend was the fullest it has been in the 10 years we have stopped there. Management was debating whether to put some of the sites they had already winterized back on line as other group of workers was tentatively scheduled to arrive.

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Got a little more information today. Still looking for a place to park for a few months this summer in Polk County Iowa. Did a Craigslist search for horse farms and boarding. Have had success in South Florida over the winter with a small ranch needing some extra hay money. Talked with a man today who reports county regulations prohibiting the use of an RV on private property. He even reported a friend trying to use one as he remodeled his home and had issues with the county government. I wonder how long this has been going on? It could be the reason I have been unable to secure a spot in a "mobile home" community either. According to some photos on "Google Earth" the parks are not full to capacity. Anyone else come across this? I'm on a waiting list for one park but they don't have much hope for my plight. Another park won't know until after April 15th and I need to be able to start work on May 9th. There are probably enough county parks that I could move from one to the other every 14 days but who wants to do that? Not me. Any suggestions?

 

Rod

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Rod, Griff's is a great park but always hard to get into long term. Carol will do her best to work with you but many of their sites are used by the seasonal workers from Prairie Meadows Racetrack. The first year we stayed there, she was able to get us in for one month when one of her regulars decided to take a vacation. The next year she managed to squeeze us in when she had a cancellation by a long term resident.

 

Adventureland RV Park in Altoona caters to seasonal workers for and visitors to the Adventureand Amusement park. There's a park west of Des Moines (near Waukee I think) called Timberline that you might check with and also Cutty's on the west side that might have an opening. The State Fairgrounds is an option but I don't think they have monthly rates ($28 per night I think) and the sites are not the best. If you're lucky you might find a pretty good one with full hookups but you'd have to find an alternative during the State Fair in August. I'm not sure if there's a limit on length of stay. Yellowbanks is a nice county park east of Pleasant Hill but I'm not sure if they have very many sites with full hookups. Same with Thomas Mitchell Park out near Altoona. I'm also not sure on length of stay limits for those parks.

 

Three years ago we stayed a couple of months in a mobile home park called Grand Homes on the northeast side of Des Moines. They put us in a spot that was not paved but covered in river rock and the sewer connection was about a foot off the ground so it didn't have much drop. At the time we were in a 31.5' 5th wheel and I don't think anything much larger would have easily fit into that site. If you want to check them out, the main phone # is 515-277-6600. I will warn you that they weren't too happy with us when we ended up leaving earlier than we had originally thought and they charged us more than they originally quoted because they felt cheated. We didn't argue. The deal was that we needed a place to stay that was near our home since we had decided to get it ready to put on the market. It took us a couple of months to get it ready to sell and then the first person that looked at it made us an offer that we accepted. We didn't expect our house to sell that quickly and almost simultaneously Carol from Griff's called and said she had the one month opening so we jumped at the chance since Griff's is much, much nicer than the mobile home park. It all worked out well in the end. The mobile home park served our needs just fine at the time and it was well kept, with nice neighbors, and safe.

 

At any rate, best of luck with your search.

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Rod, I just noticed that you have a Rans recumbent in your signature line. There's a great system of bicycle trails in and around Des Moines and one of the newest sections (the Gay Lea Wilson trail) picks up very near the Grand Homes Mobile Home Park (you can get there safely on side streets). That trail then connects to the Chickaqua trail that runs NE of Des Moines for about 40 miles. There's an entrance to the Chickaqua trail from within Griff's RV park too and now that I think of it there's another mobile home park in Berwick, Ia (just NE of Des Moines) called Sunnybrook Mobile Home Park, (Ph. (515) 265-5429) that sits right next to the Chickaqua trail too. I don't know if they would rent a site to an RV but it's worth checking. Last fall when we rode past there I saw a couple of empty spots. Might be worth a shot.

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Rod, I just noticed that you have a Rans recumbent in your signature line. There's a great system of bicycle trails in and around Des Moines and one of the newest sections (the Gay Lea Wilson trail) picks up very near the Grand Homes Mobile Home Park (you can get there safely on side streets). That trail then connects to the Chickaqua trail that runs NE of Des Moines for about 40 miles. There's an entrance to the Chickaqua trail from within Griff's RV park too and now that I think of it there's another mobile home park in Berwick, Ia (just NE of Des Moines) called Sunnybrook Mobile Home Park, (Ph. (515) 265-5429) that sits right next to the Chickaqua trail too. I don't know if they would rent a site to an RV but it's worth checking. Last fall when we rode past there I saw a couple of empty spots. Might be worth a shot.

 

 

Rod, Griff's is a great park but always hard to get into long term. Carol will do her best to work with you but many of their sites are used by the seasonal workers from Prairie Meadows Racetrack. The first year we stayed there, she was able to get us in for one month when one of her regulars decided to take a vacation. The next year she managed to squeeze us in when she had a cancellation by a long term resident.

 

Adventureland RV Park in Altoona caters to seasonal workers for and visitors to the Adventureand Amusement park. There's a park west of Des Moines (near Waukee I think) called Timberline that you might check with and also Cutty's on the west side that might have an opening. The State Fairgrounds is an option but I don't think they have monthly rates ($28 per night I think) and the sites are not the best. If you're lucky you might find a pretty good one with full hookups but you'd have to find an alternative during the State Fair in August. I'm not sure if there's a limit on length of stay. Yellowbanks is a nice county park east of Pleasant Hill but I'm not sure if they have very many sites with full hookups. Same with Thomas Mitchell Park out near Altoona. I'm also not sure on length of stay limits for those parks.

 

Three years ago we stayed a couple of months in a mobile home park called Grand Homes on the northeast side of Des Moines. They put us in a spot that was not paved but covered in river rock and the sewer connection was about a foot off the ground so it didn't have much drop. At the time we were in a 31.5' 5th wheel and I don't think anything much larger would have easily fit into that site. If you want to check them out, the main phone # is 515-277-6600. I will warn you that they weren't too happy with us when we ended up leaving earlier than we had originally thought and they charged us more than they originally quoted because they felt cheated. We didn't argue. The deal was that we needed a place to stay that was near our home since we had decided to get it ready to put on the market. It took us a couple of months to get it ready to sell and then the first person that looked at it made us an offer that we accepted. We didn't expect our house to sell that quickly and almost simultaneously Carol from Griff's called and said she had the one month opening so we jumped at the chance since Griff's is much, much nicer than the mobile home park. It all worked out well in the end. The mobile home park served our needs just fine at the time and it was well kept, with nice neighbors, and safe.

 

At any rate, best of luck with your search.

Thanks for your info. Will check into some of it. Have family in the area looking for some places for me. One seems to think the KOA west of town is best. Just notified about Timberline last night. Hope to call sometime today. I don't ride the Rans as much as I should. Hopefully one of these days I will.

 

Thanks again,

 

Rod

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I didn't know there was a KOA out near Adel. I'd check that out before Timberline. We only stayed at Timberline once and that was a number of years ago but we weren't that impressed. Ok for an overnight but not great long term and probably less big rig friendly. Plus their long term rates seem pretty expensive for the type of place it is. I think the Adel park might be a little closer to Des Moines too (depending on what side of town you'll be working on).

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I didn't know there was a KOA out near Adel. I'd check that out before Timberline. We only stayed at Timberline once and that was a number of years ago but we weren't that impressed. Ok for an overnight but not great long term and probably less big rig friendly. Plus their long term rates seem pretty expensive for the type of place it is. I think the Adel park might be a little closer to Des Moines too (depending on what side of town you'll be working on).

Thanks for the heads up. I did call them yesterday and was less than impressed with their phone skills. Basically sent me to their "website" to make a reservation and then they would call me back to confirm and arrange payments. They have a very high monthly rate plus electric an extra dollar a day for my car and many other added charges if anyone comes to visit me while I am staying there. The reviews on their site were also not that good.

 

Talked to Ruth at the State Fair Campground yesterday. If any of you have stayed at the campground during non State Fair times you have most likely talked to or met her. I was there several years ago for the Gold Wing Rally in Des Moines. It's an OK campground but not really meant for a full time rig like mine. I had my 45ft Weekend Warrior and took up two spots with the truck attached or right in front and that was in the water/electric only spot. The website only shows $28 per day and Ruth is going to get back to me on what the Fairboard thinks is a reasonable monthly rate. (if they will do it). Other issue is I would have to move out from July 22 to August 22 for the Iowa State Fair prep and cleanup.

 

The KOA is looking better, If they have a spot. According to my cousin who has stayed there before it's the best and his "Boys would love to know someone who was living there."

 

The search continues until I find a place and have a reservation.

 

Rod

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