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Old 06-02-2020, 02:07 PM   #1
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Update on fulltiming & current conditions

Hi All, I was a fulltimer back in 17 and honestly was not having a good go of it. Was not my first go round but by far was the most stressful as we had to plan ahead so much b/c every place was packed it got to be a drag. Fast forward and getting the itch again, but wondering what it's like out there? We are terrible planners and prefer to just drift in the wind, come and go as we feel, and not be so restricted by in advance reservations. Do i have a chance or is it still busy as 17 at all the c.g.'s, state parks etc?
Thanks for the input!
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:05 PM   #2
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Expect it to be much more difficult to find an open site. Expect it to be near to impossible to travel without reservations ...... except if you go where others don't go. Be able to function off grid. Be able to adjust your plans when the wind blows on your nose. But no, you are going to have to plan and you are not going to be able to just go where you want on a whim.

Now, a thought. When you were trying before (2017) there was a fellow who traveled from AZ to Virginia. He moved from place to place and stayed at a lot of small and inexpensive parks, private boonedocking sites, and some public lands. He stayed one night on a city street when there were no parks. Local LEO told him where to go. So while you were stressed out, he was happily traveling. Maybe that's a sign. You should certainly understand what it is you want to do and find a way to do it that makes you happy.

Some ideas that might help:

Have a home base that is centrally located and easy to access so you can decompress when the stress goes beyond your comfort level.

Stop at parks that have excess capacity. Gros Ventre in Grand Teton area, Mesa Verde NP dry camping, large KOAs (pricy, but often available). Some lake areas have big COE campgrounds, and the same is true for some state parks. Certainly a possibility for Passport America parks that are big, long in the tooth and off the prevailing routes.

Cultivate friends that have space on their farm or home. Investigate Boonedocker's welcome and Harvest Hosts. Look for those small signs that may or may not be available. Agree to work camp at an RV park. Check into joining Elks and similar clubs.

Consider having work done at businesses that will let you stay out back in the RV while you wait for the appointment and while they work on the rig.

Consider a security job at a construction site where you can park your rig.

Look for streets that are not regulated. Some You-Tube folks show this type of area. You may have to move after a few days, but you want to move when you feel the urge, so maybe not so bad.

Check into other venues. The Chicago marshaling yards for the McCormic Center is an example. Fair grounds often are lightly used.

Break one rule of your current inclination. Always have a plan for weekends. Be away from major metro areas where weekend warriors need space. Hollidays are doubly a problem. Be in a really remote place for Memorial day, Fourth of July, Labor Day & ......

But then, maybe you should just start slow. Sunday through Thursday and see if it's really for you now.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:10 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

You are joining a good group of folks here with good info to share. Read the various threads here and ask questions as they come up or add info if you can.

We usually reserve 2-3 weeks out unless a very high tourist area.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:55 AM   #4
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I have to disagree with PKI. We have been fulltiming for 9 years. We rarely make reservations and 99% of the time have no problem finding a campground. We don't camp at Walmart or truck stops or boondock.

We traveled from Arizona to NC then to NY in April and May of this year. No reservations and no problem finding nice campgrounds. Once we have an idea of how far we want to travel that day, usually around 1:00, I will get on my phone aps and call a campground ahead to see if they have a spot for us. Sometimes we reserve at that time, sometimes not. State Parks have been closed and are now starting to open up, but I do find it hard to get into them.

Hope this helps you.
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:39 PM   #5
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I have to disagree with PKI. We have been fulltiming for 9 years. We rarely make reservations and 99% of the time have no problem finding a campground. We don't camp at Walmart or truck stops or boondock.
Glad to hear that from your recent trip cross country. That's the way we traveled, also.
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:28 PM   #6
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Glad to hear that from your recent trip cross country. That's the way we traveled, also.


X2 on the sentiment. We usually stop at WalMart, Cabellas, Casino, etc. when we are on the move and stop at an RV Park when we need to dump/fill/do laundry. Weíve been at this since 2015 (we volunteer and work some here and there - parked for 3 to 4 months at a time).
We have never made a reservation more than 1/2 a day out and weíve never had trouble finding a spot.
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Old 06-03-2020, 03:47 PM   #7
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I started following Two Gypsies advice last fall and it was the best trip yet. No stress or rushing to make the next reservation destination. We just got out the Woodalls around 1 or 2 oíclock and it was never more that three phone calls to find a spot. Even in Florida in mid February, two phone calls got us 3 days camped next to the beach. Leaving for 3 months soon. No reservations, no set destinations. Just gonna go.
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:08 AM   #8
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I recently traveled from Florida to Seattle on May 1st. I also generally began looking for where I was going to stop for the evening around 3 PM. Iíd call ahead and make my reservation. There was only one place that was full but a just as nice place down the road a little bit had plenty of room. As I never knew exactly how far I was going to travel in a day this was a great way to do it. I did the trip in 7 days. Never a problem.
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Old 06-04-2020, 02:38 PM   #9
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I recently traveled from Florida to Seattle . . . I did the trip in 7 days.
By my reckoning that's a 3,300 mile trip @ 470 miles per day. No thanks.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:01 PM   #10
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I am full time and donít have a base to go rest at. Nightly and weekly stays are available most of the time but I try to get monthly stays as the camp ground fees are discounted and less than daily or weekly fees. It is getting harder and harder to get monthly reservations the last few years as more and more people are RVing, especially now with the stay in place orders and State and National and some private parks closed. Some wonít even let you camp if you have out of State liscense plates. I also donít like having to pay for an annual State Park pass in addition to the camping fee if I stay longer than a few days, I usually stay the 14 day maximum, so I avoid State Parks. I am not camping I am living in my RV. I do have the America the Beautiful Lifetime Pass for National Parks. Wish there was a similar pass for State Parks in multiple States.
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Old 06-05-2020, 08:07 AM   #11
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I am full time and donít have a base to go rest at. Nightly and weekly stays are available most of the time but I try to get monthly stays as the camp ground fees are discounted and less than daily or weekly fees. It is getting harder and harder to get monthly reservations the last few years as more and more people are RVing, especially now with the stay in place orders and State and National and some private parks closed. Some wonít even let you camp if you have out of State liscense plates. I also donít like having to pay for an annual State Park pass in addition to the camping fee if I stay longer than a few days, I usually stay the 14 day maximum, so I avoid State Parks. I am not camping I am living in my RV. I do have the America the Beautiful Lifetime Pass for National Parks. Wish there was a similar pass for State Parks in multiple States.
TXTiger, what does the America the Beautiful pass get you. I looked into it and surely it doesn't cover the cost of camping at a COE park, does it? That would be incredible. We stay a fair amount at these parks.
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Old 06-05-2020, 09:57 AM   #12
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By my reckoning that's a 3,300 mile trip @ 470 miles per day. No thanks.
I did pick Ďem up and put it down but given the realities of Covid, Iím in at least 3 of the high risk groups, and the need to be home quickly for other reasons, I had to make tracks. Usually I stay around 250-300 miles per day. Everything to sightsee was closed. I was especially disappointed that Wall Drug was closed as I wanted to get a replacement bumper sticker for my new rig. Iíll be making the trip again next year and hopefully I can take my time.

Donít know why you made this comment. It sounds kinda judgmental.
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Old 06-05-2020, 12:23 PM   #13
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TXTiger, what does the America the Beautiful pass get you. I looked into it and surely it doesn't cover the cost of camping at a COE park, does it? That would be incredible. We stay a fair amount at these parks.
Just in case TXTiger doesn't return soon...... I believe he was talking of the Senior Pass. Here's the information of all the passes. It doesn't cover the total campsite fee... but half. Most of the time it doesn't cover the hook ups... just a basic campsite. Some claim concessionier parks don't honor it but we've always gotten the 1/2 discount in national forests, national parks, COE, etc.

https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm
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Old 06-05-2020, 12:33 PM   #14
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Donít know why you made this comment. It sounds kinda judgmental.
Actually, it is a complete lack of understanding with respect to what that time period represented. The way you traveled was the only prudent way to make your trip. The maximum number of miles with the minimum number of stops put the fewest people at risk. Thank you for helping us all. Pat
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