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Old 05-22-2020, 03:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2020
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Veteran on a budget:

I am trying to decide the best method to live on the road and just discovered the camp ground system on the military bases. I should qualify to use them but am worried about the actual practice vrs regulation on how it works. I have read some camp grounds are a pain and do not follow regulations while others do.

How is your experience in Military campgrounds and the prices? How easy is it to get on/off base as a disabled veteran with an ID card. How are the locations.

Ideally I want to survive on less than $1250 a month and budgeting for campgrounds tend to make this unreasonable. Normal cheap campgrounds annoy me, but if the military ones are nice I may decide that route is best and increase my budget to $2000.

I also could not find any good information about fees for the parks. The one in Vegas for example has $24-27 listed as the price per night but no weekly/monthly rate. If I get a $25 night for 30 days that would be $750. Does that include the electricity for the extreme heat AC usage. I will be in Vegas for most of June every year.

Current budget:
Insurance: $220
Gas: $260 (estimate on 20k miles a year driven)
Food: $400
Phone/Internet: $120
Misc: $250
Total Budget: $1250
With Campgrounds: $750
Total new Budget: $2000

If I planned to live this way what am I missing in my budget. I would sell my house and use equity to buy the truck and trailer. My hobbies are not listed in the budget.

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Old 05-22-2020, 04:01 PM   #2
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No weekly rate here at Hill AFB Utah because "Maximum length of stay in April-October is 14 consecutive days except for those traveling on PCS orders. Long term stays are allowed October 15th-April 1st." I rather think most fam camps are this way, as they are not intended for long term stays, like a trailer park, but for people PCSing in, or traveling thru and visiting the area.

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Old 05-22-2020, 04:12 PM   #3
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I'm retired and gave us on Fam Camps a long time ago with a couple of exceptions.
Reservations are either not available or 12 months out.

With your budget I would consider purchasing a 2nd hand thousand Trails membership and plan on some boondocking. You don't have to buy new to have a good rig. We started out with a used 24' TT and used it for 10 years. Had new and back now to used DP which is phenomenal.

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Old 05-22-2020, 04:43 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies TonyMac and rrtribble.

Originally Posted by TonyMac View Post
I rather think most fam camps are this way, as they are not intended for long term stays, like a trailer park
This is a big reason I do not like most parks I have checked out. It seems like a trailer park and not the nice ones. I am not stuck up but when I think of RV living I think of being out in nature and not on a concrete slab surrounded by big metal boxes.

The parks in general are expensive which make it worse.

I can increase my budget but the more I do the less I have for fun/exploring and trying out all what the local area has to offer. My idea of RV living is not to sit at a RV Park and not be able to afford all the great things in the area.

The more I think about it the more I think I am just going to have to do a solar/generator type Van conversion or a Hybrid conversion. I can think mostly boondock in nature and explore from there. My total budget is $50k getting everything set up but I wanted my monthly budget as low as possible.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:18 PM   #5
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Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 35
I retire in 5 months. I've been living in my RV to get used to living in it fulltime. My budget is a little bit less than yours. I won't travel any where like you. My fuel cost would be way to much with my motorhome. I plan on traveling to area's where the weather is around 70. I'll stay summer's in PNW and stay winters in Arizona. I found a park in Arizona for $250 a month with full hooks ups plus electricity. I won't spend my fuel budget and my campground budget. Then I can use the saved money for summer. Get your National Park Access pass now. That will save you 50% at National Parks and Federal Recreation campgrounds. Also get a Escapee's membership. You can stay at there parks really cheap.

I'll stay military campgrounds once in while, but most times will be at State and National parks/Federal Recreation campgrounds.

Traveling everyday is not my type of retirement. I'll travel to get where I want and stay and enjoy the area and move on to the next area.

Good luck in your travels!

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Old 05-22-2020, 07:23 PM   #6
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It's just like flying Space-A: you better have a backup plan.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tfryman View Post
It's just like flying Space-A: you better have a backup plan.
I was Air Trans in USAF and rarely flew Space A, My leave was precious.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:51 PM   #8
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1250 a month for full time is not a lot. You are talking park fees, electricity, food, entertainment, and all other incidentals. That's a tough budget to libe full time on.
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:55 PM   #9
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Military Campgrounds

mb444220 you can obtain a lot of information at http://www.militarycampgrounds.us/

Many bases have specific requirements, so it is best to contact the installation first before you plan.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:32 AM   #10
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I'm retired and never used a Fam Camp. Too much of a hassle, and many are too far off the beaten path.

Good luck.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:30 AM   #11
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I'm with 06smokey on this.
We just picked up a TT after about a 7yrs with no traveling.
We are planning on summers at hom or possibly a trip or two to the PNW, then our winters in AZ.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:10 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the responses.

With the changes in who are allowed to use them, I think there popularity will increase. I can see it changing for the better but I could also see it getting much worse. Covid 19 hit before many got to see if the camps got swamped but a ton of people got access recently and they are bound to be busy.

My budget is pretty low but I have budgeted for things not mentioned above. The things above is my necessities and not my fun budget. I wanted to budgeted low so I had more money for actual exploring and fun activities.

I will admit I am also a Poker Player and will be spending a good portion of time in casinos while I travel. Traveling to all the special tournaments I can find the entire year is a dream of mine and I may get lucky and actually do good.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:28 PM   #13
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I can't help on the fam camp side of things, but there are things you can do to minimize your campground expenses, one of the cheaper things is Pass Port America, which gives 50% discount at campgrounds, though there are often limitations, and relatively few campgrounds accepts the discount cards, returning to Louisiana from Flagstaff in October I was able to get rates of between $15-$18 per night for single night stays on 3 locations along the way, one was a reasonably nice newly remodeled campground (some construction still going on), one was a real dump that I will never stay at again and the 3rd was a fairly nice no frills campground with a nice club house, and laundry room that appeared to be 2-3 years old.

I am not a Thousand Trails member, though I would consider buying a second hand membership if I were to ever go full time, just be aware it seems like no two thousand trails memberships are the same, as back in the day they offered all sorts of terms to get people to buy in, striking through line items on the limitations, and penciling in changes, as well as offering a wide range of tiers of memberships. Some are nationwide, some are regional only, some have no requirement to be out of system for X days and allow going park to park, ...
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:48 PM   #14
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Have you considered becoming a campground host? I knew a few and they liked it. Not sure if FamCamps use them.

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