Where do full timers go?

Discussion in 'Full Timing' started by jackie1133, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. jackie1133

    jackie1133 New Member

    Mostly I want to know where full timers go in the winter to hang out for a few months? You don't all go to AZ do you? I'm guessing CA is very expensive to spend a few months. Any specifics would be helpful too, like monthly park rental fees & whats included. Just getting started here gathering info to see if I can really do this full time.
    Thank you!!!!! :)
     
  2. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    I like Arizona and parts of California. We are in Florida right now, which is my least favorite place to stay, but what the heck the point of full-timing is moving around and spreading the wealth. Southern Texas (San Antonio) is a good place to winter or in what they call the Valley (Mission Valley). It's down by Brownsville Texas. Be advised to learn to speak Spanish there. The announcements in Wal-Mart are in Spanish. New Mexico has some charming places to stay, but is on the colder side. It sometimes snows in parts of Arizona and most of New Mexico.

    It is really getting expensive to RV full-time now. Besides fuel getting out of sight, the cost of staying overnight is sky rocketing. For instance where we are staying now in the Panhandle of Florida it is costing $465/month plus electricity and tax, $40-$55/night plus tax for the privilege of sleeping in your own bed. If you go father south to the St Petersburg area it is even more. A month there can run around $900. There are cheaper places to stay, but it's hard to find really decent ones. We are going to meet our son and his family at the Disney World area and it will cost $65/night at a KOA. Last summer we went to Maine and it was running $1000/month to stay there. Some of the Bar Harbor RV Resorts were charging up to $80/$90/night. You can find less expensive places, but they sure aren't close to popular vacation places.

    Passport America membership( 50% off) will sometimes help defray the costs.

    Hope the info helps.
     
  3. aussie Keith

    aussie Keith New Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    We spent some time in Brownsville last winter (Breeze Lake) and had a great time with the Snowbirds who are there for up to six months enjoying the weather. Very "social" atmosphere with lots of arranged activities. $345 per month for our MH + electricity. Cheaper rates for the long-termers who pay for the full six months up front.
     
  4. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    Glad to hear they still have reasonable rates. They are getting harder and harder to find.

    When we started out RVing we stayed in State Parks, Forest Service, BLM and Corps of Engineer's Campgrounds. Great camping at reasonable rates. The only problem is that most of them are 20 to 40 miles from any decent shopping and at today's price of fuel, commuting for groceries and whatever can also be expensive.
     
  5. utmtman

    utmtman Senior Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    This is our first year fulltiming and we are staying in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Good rates, nice people, large town with lots to do, and there is always Mardi Gras.
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    We have wintered in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. There are ways to avoid the high cost of RV sites. We are presently about 25 miles from Apache Junction, AZ and we have a beautiful, full hook-up site, 30 & 50A and they even connect us up to a 240 gallon propane tank that they pay the bill on! In addition, there is a building furnished with showers, two washers & two dryers and a lounge for our use. We are "live on" volunteers for Boyce Thompson Arboretum and for one of the prettiest RV sites that we have seen anywhere in Arizona, we help out here two or three days each week.

    We have been doing volunteer for site positions for eight years now and we love it. We get to do things that no visitor would ever get to experience. It is a great life and it is very inexpensive. RV's here are about 100' to 150' apart.
     
  7. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    Hey Kirk, you take care of Lawrence and Diane now. They are "newbies" at full timing, but great friends of mine.
     
  8. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    Hey Kirk, isn't it expensive to commute to Apache Junction/Mesa/Phoenix. I still think that the high cost of fuel and RV Park rates make it more expensive than in the past. Either the fuel or the RV Park rate or both make it expensive. When we started out 13 years ago it cost us $1.00/gal diesel and we averaged about $10 to $15.00/night to camp. It is costing us $3.40/gal diesel and at least $30 to $35/night to camp. That's averaging monthly/weekly/PA/Good Sam rates. $30/night equates to $900/month. Maybe we move around too much, but that's what the call of the "Road" does to us. Every time we move 200 miles it costs $70 in fuel.

    I not trying to discourage anyone from RVing full-time, but they need to know they should plan well. Workamping is one way to cut costs. We hosted at the Campground in Capitol Reef Nat'l Park for 3 mos and it was fun. Free hookups. However, once was enough for us. :laugh:
     
  9. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    While I am not a full-timer, I've been reading lots of forums with input from many full-timers. Most of the snowbirders and/or full-timers gravitate to Rio Grande Valley, TX, as well as Quartzite, AZ and of course Florida for the winters.

    Most recommend membership to Passport America (50% discount with restrictions) as well as Escapees, GoodSam (minimal discount) so one can have their road service. Many have nationwide memberships to camping organizations, and utilize them whenever possible (such as Thousand Trails). Other's workkamp in exchange for their site. There are numerous discount camping clubs which can help defray nightly expenses. Many campgrounds also have a better rate when one does an extended stay.
     
  10. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    There is no one place that RV folks winter. In Arizona there are lost of us in Quartzsite, Mesa/Apache Junction, Tuscon, Yuma, Benson, and two or three other places. In Texas there is the Rio Grand Valley, the Rockport/Fulton area, Corpus Christi, and up around Galveston. There are a large group over near Mobile, AL. Florida has bunches of RV folks from Pensacola, to Miami and back up the coast to Jacksonville. Souther California has many more from Salton Sea, to Palm Springs, to San Diego and even up toward central CA. There there is a fair number around Deming, NM and more over near Big Bend. Biloxi, MS has some and so too New Orleans. It all just depends upon what you are looking for. Just about any place that is reasonably warm in winter has a significant number of us.

    DL.

    Not sure what you mean about the cost of our commute? Why would we want to do that? We do most of our shopping in Apache Junction, which is 25 miles away. Mesa is 5 to 10 miles more. So far, the only time that we have been in Phoenix was when we passed through on our way here. I don't really know of any reason that we would go there. Gas costs less here than it did in California, last month by about $0.20/gallon.

    And as "live on volunteers" we don't worry about the cost of the RV sites since we don't pay for them except when in route between stops. In the past six months we have probably paid for a site no more than 20 nights, if that. At this location we have six RV sites here in a beautiful setting, each site has full hook-ups with 30A/50A power, propane supplied and a laundry room/shower room & lounge building in the center of the resident area. We don't pay for it so I suppose we just might be able to supply our own gasoline to run around and see everything while we are here.

    It is true that the cost of many things have risen over the past eight years that we have been doing this, but not nearly as much as some imply. Fuel costs are controllable since it just means adjusting the amount of miles driven and how long you stop in one place. We first did this to save money when we started but since Pam now has a pension too, we considered not doing it but we much prefer the RV sites at places such as this to the cramped, tiny RV sites in the commercial parks and we have experiences that you could never have any other way. We love this life and plan to keep on as long as we can. There is no way that we will live long enough to visit all of the interesting places that there are to volunteer.
     
  11. jackie1133

    jackie1133 New Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    Thank you evrybody so much!! This is all very helpful. I'm not too keen on the desert so hoping to find some place warm, yet prefer green & ocean for the winter. Love the idea of doing volunteer work for camp site, plus the opportunity to meet lots of nice people. What kind of work do you do? How many hours a day? Also, I'm a female traveling alone & have noticed most people posting here are couples. I'm sure its safe to travel alone, but maybe not as much fun. Thanks again for all the great info! :)
     
  12. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Where do full timers go?

    Hey jackie1133, check out www.workamper.com.

    I guess my problem is that my recreation after arriving at an RV Park is exploring the area in all directions for at least 150 miles. That takes lots of fuel and time. Sitting still in one place is not my idea of what it's all about. JUST MY OPINION. :laugh: ;) I RETIRED 13 years ago at the old age of 51, so working is not in the cards. Been there done that. ;)
     

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