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Old 08-26-2012, 06:30 AM   #1
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Newbie in Need of Advice

Hi, I'm a 22 year old young woman. Before resorting to asking for help on here, I did spend weeks trying to find the answers myself. No luck.

I live in Washington, always have, but I want out. I hate winter weather.

I work at Whole Foods. So where ever I move thats where I will work.

I've spent years researching places to live that have warmer weather. And most recently I've been trying to find decent RV parks near a Whole Foods in other states, but so far I have not found a [B]decent[B] one.

Its been my dream to live in a small rv or trailer for the past 5 years. It never felt like a possibility until now. Reasons for wanting this kind of life

1. cheap, i LOVE to save
2. I have very little in the way of belongings, i hate "stuff", I hate moving, I never ever want to own furniture!
3. freedom
4. I get to live alone! and not at the cost of $1000 a month. Right now I pay $620 for a place I share with two people.

I spent considerable amounts of time growing up on RV trips with my parents. For months we would travel around California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah.

The sunny destinations for my permanent home (meaning 10 year stay)
1. Chandler, AZ
2. San Diego

I'm open to any suggestions of other locations. And then I will see if there is a Whole Foods in the area. I've also looked at Florida, and North Carolina.

I'm leaning towards Arizona because its cheap. And someday when I have a larger income CA would be my home.

I've spent the last week looking at RV parks in the phoenix area.
What I find most frustrating is that A LOT of the parks are 55+. I'm not your typical young adult, I look 12, but I have the personality of a 60 year old.
I've always had friends who were 20+ years older than I because I can't relate to my peers.

And then there are the other RV parks in Phoenix for all ages, usually cheaper, and apparently loud, smelly, no security, and rude office staff.

Can anyone suggest a place I can call home for 10 years? I need someplace safe, somewhat quiet, and in Phoenix.

Since I've never experienced real full time RV living I have no idea what I'm getting myself into. The only things about this lifestyle that make me nervous are 1. how hot will it get in that RV in Phoenix? 2. Maintenance, I am not a mechanic. My dad is gifted at fixing things, but its a challenge for me. And my parents will not be around to help. They will be traveling the country in their RV.

Also, this is unrelated to this particular forum, but what travel trailer would you suggest for an environment like Phoenix? I'm willing to pay a lot for durability, low maintenance etc. Thats whats important to me. Nothing fancy, just durability. Works as it should. With few problems. I've done research, and it looks like Airstream would be the best.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this and respond!

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Old 08-26-2012, 03:07 PM   #2
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Desert Shadows in North Phoenix is pretty nice. However I'd caution you about how hot it gets in Phoenix in the summer especially in a RV. You'd better try it before you make a decision you regret. Good Luck

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Old 08-26-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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Well your message intrigued me. I have lived in both those areas - Az and Ca and think there are other choices to consider - Az way to hot for FT and Ca too$.
I would look into Okla and Tx and even the NW corner of Ark.lower cost exp Ok and several nice RV parks in OKC and whole foods there too. Several good areas of Tx from Dallas to Austin altho Austin a bit expensive today. The Fayetteville area of Ar is great. Just some other ideas to consider. Good luck
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:50 PM   #4
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We live in Palm Desert, Ca. (Paradise October thru May) We have the same weather as the Phoenix area, just a little less humidity. And I cannot image trying to live in an RV here in the summer. (ours gets us out of here that time of year) The electricity required to keep it cool would be enormous. We have lots of RV parks here and they are EMPTY by mid May. If you have to park the RV somewhere permanently, I recommend staying out of the heat.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:55 PM   #5
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You'll roast in an RV in Phoenix in the summer. RV air conditioners are able to keep up with the heat up to about 100 degrees outside temperature. Phoenix gets well over 110 degrees for many summer days. Also, if you are staying long term in an RV facility, you are going to be paying the electricity on top of the space rental fee -- there goes cheap, especially in a place like Phoenix in the summer.

Why not winter in a place like Phoenix and summer in a place like Santa Fe?

Also, consider you are going to have to have a tow vehicle able to safely pull whatever trailer you get.

I suggest you do a realistic budget that takes into account vehicle costs (purchase, registration, maintenance, operating costs) RV site rental plus utilities and all the other costs associated with living a frugal lifestyle. I suspect you'll be shocked by how expensive living in an RV really is.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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Sounds like you have given this a lot of thought. Good for you! Glad you found this forum, and if you have any questions just ask. There is a lot of knowledge contained in our members.

Good Luck, Be Safe and Above All, Don't Forget To Have Fun
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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Thanks! I will look at the areas you mention. So far in the way of RV parks go I've looked at Florida, Georgia, California (all parts) and Arizona. The reason why I suddenly became immensely interested in this lifestyle was because

1. I realized that I enjoy living in a small space with few things
2. I hate moving. And this eliminates that. when you move you basically walk right out of one trailer/rv into another. done. its not that simple i know, but for someone like me who doesnt own much stuff and doesn't want to it would be pretty easy.
3. I want to live alone for the same price I pay now to live with two people.

Also, as soon as I find a place to settle down I would be interested in buying cheap homes and renting them out. As another source of income, an investment.

I was afraid the heat might kill me, I will look elsewhere, for some place cooler.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #8
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i also wanted to add that I have been looking for a cheap warmer place to live for 1.5 years. I was looking for cheap apartments. Oklahoma City was a place I seriously considered. but the idea of cockroaches, and tornadoes scared me away.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:33 PM   #9
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Not in your spots, but the there a RV parks close to the Birmingham AL Wholefoods. On the south side, it's a nice area.

We've been there twice now.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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There is a Whole Food store that's pretty new in Mandarin which is a nicer area of Jacksonville, FL. The store is on San Jose Blvd which is the same as State Road 13. About 10 miles South of the store is Pacetti's RV also on S.R. 13. Well shaded sites on Trout Creek, a tributary of the St. Johns River. Check it out using a combination of Google Earth and Google maps, etc. Might just be your spot.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:44 PM   #11
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

We recently stopped full time travel and bought a place on the west side of Phoenix (Litchfield Park). We love the area but I'm sitting in Quebec City, Canada as I type this... and that's for good reason.

The advice you've gotten is great. Our grandsons are in the Phx area and we spent far too much time there in our coach during the summer visiting them. There is just not much you can do to keep an RV cool there if it's sitting in the summer sun. It really is a killer and needs to be taken seriously.

Best of luck in whatever you decide.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

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Old 08-26-2012, 08:07 PM   #12
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GAL 123

You might want to join this forum The RV Forum

Alot of the members on this forum are from AZ. and I'm sure they can and will answer your questionns.

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Old 08-26-2012, 08:22 PM   #13
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I'm not sure many "RV" parks allow long stays like your talking about. Maybe some do. Check into residentail parks of some kind. Also for full timing living you want a high quality full time coach like and Excel. Good luck.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:28 PM   #14
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As a native of Phoenix I'd say the advise you have received concerning the summer heat is accurate. Nobody likes to be a burned cookie in an oven and that's Phoenix living in the summer. Not mentioned is the winter can also be quite cold. It isn't uncommon for temps to drop into the 20's or teens.

I left Phoenix at age 31 for California. The climate was awesome if you like 1 1/2 seasons yearly. As I grew up in Phoenix we always thought California was some Utopia. For the last 31 years I lived there and would say it was like living in a pressure cooker or pot of boiling water. No such thing as relaxed living, everybody seems to be in a hurry.

Now I'm retired and looking for that place that's not too hot and not too cold. Haven't found it yet but am happy to say we love Whole Foods.

When choosing a campground we read feedback at rvparkreviews.com. A common complaint by folks in the RV community relates to "the number of full time residents" in some places. In addition, consider that the reason you want to live in an RV Park is for the lower cost. Others too have made that choice and not all of them agree with your philosophy of not wanting "stuff". That can result in an RV Park looking like a dump.

Once area we have visited and liked was Ashville, NC. Lots of young folks going to school. The cost of living didn't seem too bad and it is located near the Smoky Mtns to likely not as hot/humid as other areas in the South.

At your age, the grass seems greener anywhere besides where you are. I'd suggest before jumping into a dream with both feet you invest some time in your job and life. Achieve a level of success to gain the experience and confidence you'll need for your dreams. On the other hand, in your youth there's not much to lose so go for it and do your best. Advise is cheap and it's easy for anybody to tell you how to live your life, we have no consequence for your mistakes.

Consider as best as you can the consequences of any choice you can make, then chose and do the best you can. Good luck.

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