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Old 04-12-2016, 12:12 PM   #1
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Our observations... any other perspectives?

After fulltiming for 3+ years in a 40' 5th wheel we are seeing a pattern across the country. This isn't a complaint, more thinking out loud in effort to understand things. We travel all over the country visiting most of the states. Because of our size we can't get to every RV Park or get onto all the individual sites therein. Right off we are restricted where we can park. What we see at a lot of private parks and BLM land is local folks parking a rig on a site longterm and we think using the place as a get away 2nd home. It seems like a great way to have a vacation place. We think it would beat owning a place outright by far. When we are able to get a parking spot, we often never see any people at these campsites. We stayed at a nice state park one time where all the larger sites where we would fit and be comfortable were "Reserved". Not a person or camper ever showed up. We parked in a spot the we didn't really fit. Luckily we had a family reunion going on in the adjacent site and there was approximately 1,000 children in attendance. We were able to enjoy 2 days of footballs and soccer balls suddenly bouncing off of our rig. That family seemed really nice and appeared to be having a blast... just at the expense of everyone around them. A single campsite lot is a bit small for 6,000 adults and children, but that's just our opinion.

So what to do? We always find a place somewhere, never have we found ourselves nowhere, except for the time we visited Nothing, Arizona. I do believe nowhere was the county adjacent to the town of Nothing. No matter where we go, there we are.

It almost seems that it's a situation if you can't beat it, just join on in. For fleeting moments this seems like it wouldn't be all bad, but then we think a bit more and decide it would all be too predictable and repetitive to maintain a decent level of excitement. For us it is exhilarating not knowing what is around the next corner. Even getting surprised by some unexpected situations in an unfamiliar area has it's own level of entertainment value. So far we just love the idea, and the actual doing, of traveling far and wide across our magnificient country. For now we can't imagine restricting ourselves to one or two nearby places...

Until this year, and this current trip from Arizona to the Eastern Shore of Virginia we haven't made any advance reservations at campsites. Rather we just call once we get into the desired area and ride until someone says they have a spot for us. We roll in and decide if we can get in and on or not. We have not yet rolled right back out, but we have departed the next day, once or twice, in search of a more desireable parking situation. We have ended up in some fantastic places and some real dumps. The great thing about all of the places is that the people already there are mostly friendly and always fascinating.

For us, we are not all that into the campground life anyway. We prefer parking at family or friends homes or rented lots. We are happy to pay our family & friends hundreds when we stay and like to join in on the chores and projects around the places. We especially like upgrading electric hook ups and installing nice water hydrants. We buy all the materials and do all the work ourselves. These situations give us a little more space than your average campground. Being thrifty it can disturb our sensibilities to pay approaching $1,500/month for a small parking spot that barely, or even does not fit, our trailer and truck, and then paying for electricity on top of that. Sometimes it is worth it, depending on circumstances. Now don't get us wrong, we understand that campground owners are not making a fortune. We know there are many expenses to running an RV Park; taxes, insurance, road & site maintenance, equipment and facility maintenance, employee payroll are probably some of the big expenses. Plus these operators have to make their most of their money in a limited season. Families mostly quit traveling when school is in session. It is also common sense why permanent residents (whether they are there or not) is a great deal for RV Parks. Probably better if they aren't there for the park, less maintenance and operation expenses in that case we would think. We do stay in RV Parks and do appreciate the efforts the owners make to provide spots to weary travelers like us.

I think I should go try out our new kayak now. No matter how you do it, as long as you're having fun, you are doing it correctly in our opinion. Have fun!
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:19 PM   #2
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No matter how you do it, as long as you're having fun, you are doing it correctly in our opinion.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:32 PM   #3
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What's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander.
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:30 PM   #4
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I'm of a similar opinion, a lot of parks are starting to fill with permanent residents. We stayed at a nice park in Chattanooga, about 1/2 were permanent and the other transients and the kept them pretty much separate. Doesn't really bother me.

I know that sometimes circumstances dictate why people do this. I took a new job up in Northern Michigan and decided it would be better if I just took the motorhome. I stayed in a small campground starting in late March, ~ 1 foot of snow still on the ground and we got another 2 foot of snow in April. It didn't melt off all the shaded spots until mid May. My wife came up in July and we stayed there until September. My wife became good friends with the older couple running the place, which was good since I was traveling a lot. She still stays in touch with them.

We travel about the same way as you, not making reservations until we get somewhere. Sometimes this hurts us. While visiting my folks in Florida near Jupiter we couldn't find a vacancy close, ended up down the coast in a not so nice part of West Palm Beach. While we trying to park our Class C one of the neighbors came out of his trailer to help. He was a full timer and his trailer windows were all boarded up. When we asked why he said the crime was so bad it was his only option. He also said that if we had any problems to blow our horn and he'd come running, he kept a shotgun at the door. YIKES. We ended up leaving in the early AM and returning while still light.

Again, we don't always know the circumstances of what drive people to do this but you have to assume the best.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:17 PM   #5
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We agree with you Jim J. we don't know other people's circumstances until we get to know them and find out. We don't see much difference between the permanent residents and the transient visitors. We are all just people with different circumstances and choices. The permanent residents may know a little more about the park and the surrounding area than the visitors but that's about the only difference we see. Everybody has a story and it is a privilege to learn about someone else's story. We are very grateful to have been able to choose this life. We thoroughly enjoy it, but know that it's not for everybody.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:32 PM   #6
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We agree with you Jim J. we don't know other people's circumstances until we get to know them and find out. We don't see much difference between the permanent residents and the transient visitors. We are all just people with different circumstances and choices. The permanent residents may know a little more about the park and the surrounding area than the visitors but that's about the only difference we see. Everybody has a story and it is a privilege to learn about someone else's story. We are very grateful to have been able to choose this life. We thoroughly enjoy it, but know that it's not for everybody.
Excellent attitudes and one I like to share, though sometimes I can have too much of other people's circumstances.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:50 PM   #7
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Very interesting. I a new to RVing. This is my second season and there is much I want to see. My career kept me on the road a lot, yet never had time to stop and see anything. So, I plan to travel for a few seasons, but also must kept my retirement budget in mind. I am way overspending now, but am looking for a place for a seasonal spot, at some point to keep costs down. I have a MH with no toad, so I prefer a place that I can get to a few stores and restaurants on foot. The advantage I see here is that for a set fee I can go and come as I please all season and don't have to worry about not being able to get a spot at any given time. I can also take one major trip that year (in addition) or save for future trips. Of course, the nicer places cost as much as traveling, although I am considering a lower cost place where the people are nice. Many options and possibilities out here.

The other nice thing about seasonal camping is it gives one a chance to build ongoing friendships with folks that show up every year.
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Old 04-13-2016, 03:49 AM   #8
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Great post and what a great attitude. It was a joy to read. Have safe, trouble free travels.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:35 AM   #9
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Excellent attitudes and one I like to share, though sometimes I can have too much of other people's circumstances.
LOL Ziegeuner! Truth be told, we also have hidden from the neighbor that can't stop talking a time or two... run away!
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:32 AM   #10
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LOL Ziegeuner! Truth be told, we also have hidden from the neighbor that can't stop talking a time or two... run away!

We stayed a month in a Biloxi, MS RV park where a full time resident came over to talk about nothing every time we set foot outside.

We call him the stalker.
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:02 PM   #11
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LOL Ziegeuner! Truth be told, we also have hidden from the neighbor that can't stop talking a time or two... run away!
I think we have all had that neighbor at one time or another.
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:25 PM   #12
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I think I should go try out our new kayak now. No matter how you do it, as long as you're having fun, you are doing it correctly in our opinion. Have fun!
LOL well there certainly is no right or wrong when it comes to RVing, i pretty much would not even think about not planning my stops and calling for reservations at a park even if it was for one night, the internet is a beautiful thing when used correctly. LOL Call it anal retentive engineer/pilot, but i just ain't built that way. You can always call the state point of contact and ask about the state parks or BLM and they will have a good idea if there is opening even if you can't reserve those places.

Now lets talk about this family with 6000 kids, I am pretty sure if that is the case it is not a family but an alien invasion and in that case spot integrity is out the window and start looking for the independence day speech or Will Smith and his cigars.

I like the read tho chocks
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Old 04-14-2016, 06:25 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=Dennis Dean;3021091
Now lets talk about this family with 6000 kids, I am pretty sure if that is the case it is not a family but an alien invasion and in that case spot integrity is out the window and start looking for the independence day speech or Will Smith and his cigars.
[/QUOTE]

Now that you mention it Dennis, I do think we saw Will Smith amongst that family reunion of 6,000!
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