Somebody sent me an e-mail yesterday saying that my blog was going to get boring if all I wrote about was sitting around the RV doing nothing. What can I say? Yesterday was a repeat of the day before. We got up, we checked e-mail and our favorite blogs, I fiddled around a little bit with the manuscript I’m working on, Terry set up her loom and began experimenting with it. Just another quiet day at home. And while it may seem boring to some readers, we’ve been enjoying the downtime.
I’m never sure what to do when I get an e-mail like that. If we are traveling in the Midwest, some people complain that the blog and the Gypsy Journal don’t have anything about the Southwest, or the Northwest, or wherever. And when we’re in those areas, we get complaints that we’re not writing about the Midwest or someplace else.
The blog reflects our day-to-day life and while the lives of fulltime RVers may have a lot more travel and adventure than other lifestyles offer, we also have days or even weeks when we don’t do a lot. Fulltiming is not a permanent vacation of sightseeing and driving across the country, even for retirees who don’t work or run a business on the road like we do. Nobody has the budget or the stamina for that. But I’ll try to come up with something new once in a while to keep from boring everybody.
On another topic, a soon-to-be fulltimer wrote wanting to know what campground memberships we have, and what they should look into before they hit the road. At one time or another we have had just about every membership out there. These days we have Passport America, Thousand Trails Elite (which includes all Thousand Trails, NACO, Leisure Time Resorts, Outdoor World, and Mid-Atlantic Resorts), and Resort Parks International (RPI). I also belong to the Elks, Moose, and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and many of those lodges and posts welcome members traveling in their RVs to spend the night.
We consider Passport America to be the best value in camping anywhere. They have something like 1,700 affiliated campgrounds where members can stay for half price, and the yearly dues are less than $50. Most members recoup their membership dues on their first trip.
A campground membership in an organization like Thousand Trails can be a very good investment, or a complete waste of money. It all depends on if you use it enough to make it worth the cost of membership. Our membership dues are about $550 per year, which gives us 50 nights of “free” camping, and after that we pay $5 per night. Last year we spent over six weeks at the Orlando Thousand Trails Preserve, with full hookups and 50 amp electric, and it only cost us $5 per night. For Florida in the wintertime, that’s basically free.
As of last night, we have spent 40 nights in the system since our membership year began, which was April 1. And we have 65 more nights reserved through early January. If my calculator is correct, that is $825 for 105 nights of camping, which comes out to $7.85 per night. And every one of those nights has been in a full hookup RV site. If you’re thinking about a Thousand Trails membership, look at the used market; there are a lot of memberships out there for free or almost free that the owners no longer want. Also, look at the new Zone memberships; if you limit your traveling to just one part of the country they can be a great deal.
Thought For The Day – You can’t always control who walks into your life, but you can control which window you throw them out of.