So far so good

Discussion in 'Full Timing' started by dvfreelancer, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. dvfreelancer

    dvfreelancer Member

    Hard to believe I first showed up here in January wondering about living full time on the road and here we are, already at our first work camping gig almost a month.

    So far we like it. It's a lot more fun when we're not traveling every day. The fiver is harder to pack up and move every day. When you can settle in one place for months at a time, it's a lot less stressful.

    We started our work camping adventures in the Florida State Park system. FHU for 20 hours at one of the parks. The only downside is that they don't have broadband or cable. But I'm getting experience maintaining an 80 site campground and putting the first "win" in my work camping references, that's what counts.

    I'm going to be ready to graduate to a commercial campground this season. The only minor handicap we have is my wife is disabled and can't really do a whole lot.

    On the plus side we lived in some really beautiful places. Looking back at the pictures...gorgeous places. Fun places. One resort had a band that played on the weekends. It's a hoot.

    So far noise at campgrounds hasn't been an issue. A couple fans hide a multitude of annoyances. We have a four seasons fiver and the extra insulation makes a big difference.

    On the financial side, provided you're not making payments on your truck or camper, you can live a lot cheaper on the road than in any house. And the bonus is you don't have dance on anyone's string. When had a house it was the mortgage company, the insurance company, the utilities. Just a non-stop ding-o-rama on the checkbook. Now we make one payment for space, utilities (though sometimes electric is metered) and it's convenient. We don't miss the house and associated expenses much at all.

    So, yeah, so far we like it a lot. Need to find a camp host position in FL for the season (the farther south the better), so if you know any place looking, just let me know.

    Oh, and I finally learned to back the camper up by myself.
  2. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: So far so good

    All that I can say is "GOOD FOR YOU GUYS". :cool: :cool: :cool:
  3. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: So far so good

    Definitely a success story to talk about.

    Perhaps your wife could bring something to the RV to work on if she had the need/desire to do that. Maybe she could write some articles to be published or short stories?
  4. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: So far so good

    Good to hear that things are going well, but I'm not sure if you are working for pay, or looking for a volunteer position with a site only for some park, wildlife refuge, or other public agency? We have been living on the road, most of the time as resident volunteers at such agencies and we love it. We don't normally accept paid positions or positions with any kind of commercial organization, as we prefer to remain volunteers. But either way. it is a great life for those of us who adapt to fulltime RVing.
  5. dvfreelancer

    dvfreelancer Member

    Re: So far so good

    Right now we're volunteering, but I'd actually prefer to work for a commercial outfit. The money is better and they have broadband. I didn't really realize how big of a handicap not having broadband was until we took this job. It cut my productivity in a big way. After this gig no wifi, no workie.

    And I'm still planning on shooting the documentary on full time RV living. We had a bit of a financial setback that pushed back the start of production, but I'm thinking I can get rolling this fall. I have a venue that already said they're interested and am shopping for sponsors. That process is slowed guessed it...needing to run to the library for internet access.

    So far we like RV living a lot. Hard to believe a couple years ago people were buying houses so big some of them had a chapel. A chapel...seems like such an extravagant waste now. We're perfectly happy in our 345 square feet. About the size of the in-home chapel at the McMansion.
  6. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: So far so good

    Glad it is working out for you. I don't think I could give up the old homestead, what with Boss Lady's disabilities and all, plus I would miss my garage and workshop and motorcycle. Keep us posted on the documentary. Sounds like something I would like to go see :) :) :)
  7. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: So far so good


    I would assume that by "broadband" you are meaning some form of internet access? I suspect that you will soon discover, as most fulltimers do, that depending upon some free wifi hot-spot for internet is very unreliable and difficult. Because wifi is so susceptible to outside issues, very few RV parks have it reliable at high speeds all of the time. Things as simple as leaves on trees can effect signal quality and strength. If you are looking for wifi as your main criteria, there are numerous volunteer positions that do supply it. From what you say I am thinking that you are mixing barter with volunteer? Real volunteer positions are for public agencies, parks and non-profit/charities, while working for site only at a commercial business is actually a barter arrangement.

    The reason for defining it is that there are so many like ourselves who spend a great deal of time in volunteer positions where we put in far more hours than it would require to pay for an RV site, in a location where we only receive a site, and perhaps a few other amenities. While that type of work-camping may not interest you, if you wish to do a video that actually covers the subject and that is accurate, you do need to consider some dealing with the subject.
  8. dvfreelancer

    dvfreelancer Member

    Re: So far so good

    Exactly why I come to forums like this one looking for feedback. I have to work some type of outside job while working on the documentary, so volunteering more than 20 hours a week is difficult. So, yeah, some kind of barter + $ for extra hours or I have to find a part-time job outside the park. We ran into some unexpected expenses (vet bills) and that cut into my production budget.

    The good news is we found a park we can book a space for the winter that we can afford and it attracts a lot of full timers, so there will be plenty of people to interview. This is really a big topic. The challenge will be narrowing the focus. And as I learn more the artistic direction slews around quite a lot. That's not unusual. A project usually goes this way and that before settling down with a theme and a direction. My film buddies keep encouraging me to document our experience, my interest is documenting the considerations of the lifestyle for people thinking about making the change.

    The wifi is pretty good here and if I get a job here I'll be able to make it better. But mobile internet is still one of the ongoing challenges to the RV lifestyle. Satellite and mobile broadband have bandwidth caps and most of them come with contracts. If you're going to be at a commercial park long enough, you can sometimes get FIOS or DSL. WiMAX is starting to pop up here and there but isn't widely available yet.

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