Thursday, December 28, 2017

We’re camping tonight...

road with RVs parked on each side
...on the ol' (or new, or middle-aged or...) campground. 

That’s our lifestyle now as FT RVers…the ever-changing address, view, etc… Here’s how we currently choose where to stay (at least for now)

To find a campsite, first we’ll figure out where to stop. We seem to be settling into a 2-3-hour drive day and 2-night minimum stay pattern for most travel between major destinations (like getting to Galveston from Texarkana) Once we’ve picked a town, we’ll see what Passport America and Harvest Hosts has to offer. If nothing is available, then we’ll grab we check Allstays and cross reference what we find there other sources such as RV Park reviews and the Good Sam book.

For the most part, we’re staying at a lot of Passport America campgrounds…we’ve had pretty good luck with them so far. Member campgrounds offer sites at typically 50% off. Ones we’ve been to have ranged from pretty new to pretty old, but have all been pretty decent or even better. Usually restrictions apply, like valid only Mon-Thur, no holidays, 1 night only, etc… But as I said, we’ve been pretty lucky and it’s been great to have full hookups all along the way.

For our long stay in Galveston, we went to a park we saw reviewed on YouTube by “RV Texas Y’All”. See. There’s more than one way to find an RV Park. Always be flexible! We’ll have a review on our experience at Jamaica Beach RV later. (Spoiler alert: We like it!)

We also joined Harvest Hosts. You get a “free” night at farms, wineries, museums, etc. The concept is you purchase something from the Harvest Host in exchange for the free campsite.

And yes, we plan on camping at State and National Parks too. Right now, we’re still getting the hang of it all. It’s a learning curve out there folks, and we’re tackling it one bite at a time.

We haven’t done a lot of blacktop surfing (a.k.a. Wally Docking). That’s where some stores (such as Walmart, Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel, etc) may (or may not) let you stay overnight for “free” …. obviously, the thought is you would do some shopping and/or eat a meal there. Those are strictly one night only where you just pull in and get permission to stay before you settle in for the night. Some cities prohibit it, and some stores have been burned by the abuse of it, so always ask first! Oh, and know that there are no hookups for RV’s. You are typically just camped in the business parking lot. We have used Walmart a couple of times before we launched full time, and it worked for a short night’s sleep.

And, of course. There are truck stops. Again, an ask and confirm before you “just do it”. Many truck stops are OK with it, but some have such limited parking even for trucks, well, we’d rather let the truckers have that space. 

But since we're pretty new to this Full-Time RV thing, we know how we find our sites will morph and change. Will it be more blacktop surfing? More Harvest Hosts? Only the Lord knows for sure AS We Go about our nation! 

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