Jump to content

Going Full Time with Concerns


Recommended Posts

Hello all!

I have a 39' fifth wheel. I am giving up my CT condo in November and plan on heading west. My concern is how far do I make reservations at a private campground? I would prefer to stay put for a month or more at a time to start, being a newbie. I am curious about boondocking but would prefer to stay at full hookup sites to start. Not having a place to stay would be concerning. I would like to stay in Quartzite for a month then stay in the CA-AZ-NM area. I know Escapees has campgrounds.(I'm staying in their Knoxville campground in March). Any help would be great. I will try to get out to Wyoming this July!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums! With the covid situation in flux at this time, you may need to stay flexible. In the past we have only made advance reservation when we wanted to stop in a specific park or when we were planning an extended stay. Because we like to be very flexible in out travel distances each day, we travel with our campground guide that the ready and sometime around noon or shortly after, then we select a park and use the cell phone to call ahead. By doing that we have always been able to locate a site in the areas where we choose to stop. Of course if you go into a tourist hotspot in a busy season, then reservations will probably be needed and the same is true for holiday weekends. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your plan to use Full Hook FHU sites for the start is good. Get used to RVing and work the many bugs out of your system before trying Boondocking. Boondock has a whole extra skill set on top of RV camping.

You should be able to get a good discount on 30 day stays over the daily rate.

Reservations: If you plan to stay in major national parks or right outside of one then you need a reservation and one made long in advance. Just stopping for a few days we find almost never needs a reservation away from big parks. But staying for a month may be different since you will not want to be moving around inside the park. The longest we stayed in on private park was two week w/o reservations and then had to leave since they had people coming in with reserved spots.

You may also find getting spots on Friday and Saturday can be harder since the locals are out for the weekend.

 

You will want to use this site frequently: Campsite Reviews

That is the major reference most of us use to pick out camping spots. Interested in a certain city, use the to explore what is available in the area. I rarely will stop at a place with less than 4 stars. And when you do stop somewhere, leave a review on that site for everyone else.

Edited by agesilaus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

CA has 2 Escapes camp grounds, AZ has 4 and NM has 2. Saguaro in AZ, where I am, is only allowing monthly stays, no overnights or weekly due to Covid and does not take reservations. The Co-Op in NM I believe is only allowing existing lease holders to come in. It used to be that reservations were not essential but in today’s world it is more necessary. If you are staying somewhere monthly it may be good to make a reservation 2 weeks ahead of time for your next stop. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since you are talking about starting next fall,  all bets are off because no one knows where we will be with the pandemic by that point and how many people will be out, etc.    First, there is a difference between Escapee owned parks and Escapee Co-Op parks.   Escapees owns parks in Deming, NM (Dream Cathcher)  and Congress, AZ (North Ranch).  There are 2 Co-OP parks in California, 3 in Arizona, and 1 in New Mexico.  They have their own rules, only relationship to Escapees is that you have to be a member to own a lot or stay there.  

I have found that calling ahead is always advisable for Co-Op parks - and when you are talking about winter months in the Cal-Az-NM corridor, you need to firm those up come September.  Remember, that members of those Co-Op usually put their lots for rent in the summer (especially if they are in the south where no one goes in the summer) because they occupy those sites in the winter.   Put the Excapee owned park in Congress, AZ on your list for 1-2 weeks to explore that area of the desert.  

Jan-March are hard to find 1 month stays anywhere in the desert areas.  That's when Snowbird descent and while parks will often have a week or two, it is harder to find longer stays near population areas.  Especially in Feb-March in the Phoenix area because of Spring Training!    Given that you are just starting out, try to book a lot of 1-2 week stays all over California and Arizona for Jan-March starting in September.   New Mexico can get really cold and may have snow because they are so high.  Even Las Cruces can get cold.  

We spent the first few years of full-timing bouncing around in the winter, using membership parks as much as possible. But we knew before we full-timed that they were a good fit for the kind of traveling we wanted to do because my parens had been members of C2C for years.   Things have changed since then, so for anyone starting out, you are going to need to start getting reservations for longer stays in September at the latest.  Actually for a lot of areas like Phoenix area, Palm Springs, Tucson, California coasts, monthly stays tend to be reserved a year out by those already here.   But there will be late cancellations - just learn to be flexible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where exactly do you want to go and what sort of thing do you like to do. There are all sorts of RV communities, some like hanging around in towns, socializing and dining, some like riding UTVs, some like hiking and staying away from towns. Some like RV resorts with planned activities some like boondocking.

Your choices will really make a big difference. Give it some thought.

As for winter snowbirding, there are several major areas in the US. All more or less south of I-10. Florida, Texas Rio Grand Valley (RGV) and the desert west mostly southern Arizona and south east Cali.

Florida dsouth of I-4 is very expensive and booked up a year or more in advance. The RGV seems to me to be a middle zone, not so expensive and maybe not booked solid but we haven't been there yet. The Desert combines resorts in Tucson and such and the real desert rats out around Quartzite where you can stay for six months for $200.

And lastly Canadians make up a good chunk of all of these areas.

Edited by agesilaus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, agesilaus said:

Your plan to use Full Hook FHU sites for the start is good. Get used to RVing and work the many bugs out of your system before trying Boondocking. Boondock has a whole extra skill set on top of RV camping.

Once you have those FHU bugs worked out, unplug/disconnect everything and do your first "boondocking" right there. That way you can hookup easily when you run out of something you thought you had covered whether it be electricity, fresh water, or a dump that needs doing. That's the safest way to find out what YOUR capacities are.

Linda Sand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, agesilaus said:

Florida dsouth of I-4 is very expensive and booked up a year or more in advance.

That is true for some areas south of I-4, but not all.  The Central Highlands ridge south of Winter Haven along US-27 has some fairly reasonable CG's.  That probably won't help the OP, however, because that is not in the west.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is C2C? I'm in Florida now at my sisters. The rig is stored. I'm heading out March 1 to Tybee Island for 10 days then off to Chattanooga for 10 days then going to the Escapees campground in Knoxville for 2-3 weeks. After that I'm putting the rig in Dorset VT for the summer. In November I'm giving up my condo and will probably go to Florida for a couple of months-stay at my sisters again and set up my Domicile there. Then off to Arizona and beyond! I haven't been out west too many times so I don't know where to start. I have 2 motorcycles I'm bringing with me. I would like to try some off roading-maybe rent a side by side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Ranch is the Escapees co-op in New Mexico. It is located between Artesia and Carlsbad. They don't take reservations, but you can call ahead to see if anything is available.

Rules are changing in many area of the country, so some advance planning is necessary. Plan a route that is a reasonable distance for each travel day, then start working the phones to see what is available and what restrictions are in place. We generally plan for around 200 miles per day on travel days. Sometimes we need to travel for a few days in a row. Other times we like to spend a couple of days between drives.

Depending on your tanks and water usage, you don't necessarily need FHU every time you stop. If you are staying for a month, then yes. If just an overnight, probably not. With only minimal water conservation the two of us can go 5-7 days between fill/dump times, so we often don't look for FHU on travel days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RV Cable Grip

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...