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Post Info TOPIC: Help these clueless Canadians!


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Help these clueless Canadians!


Hi everyone - it has been awhile! In the last 16 months since finding this site, we have completely changed our worldview, sold our home, bought a new 5th wheel and truck, and are now preparing for life on the road by this fall. We can hardly contain ourselves! 

However, while we have RV'd for over 25 years together, and closer to 45 years for my husband starting from his childhood, full-time life on the road will still be a huge change for us. The biggest, most immediate challenge is figuring out just where to spend six months in the U.S. We spend hours and hours, evening after evening, researching RV parks from the east to west coast and back again. Where to begin? How to sort the good from the not-so-good? 

Here are our realities: we cannot spend more than $500/month on a campsite; we hope to limit gas expenses by walking and biking so would like to be within reasonable distance of grocery stores and recreational opportunities; we are not looking for high-end entertainment - frankly, just setting out across the USA will be amazing for us in itself; we hope to settle down for a month at a time over the course of the winter, with a few weeks of driving time on each end. 

Any advice you can offer on any of the following is greatly appreciated:

1. Do we need to book far ahead of time? We cannot even figure out where to start weeding through the thousands of campgrounds available, so the idea of booking at five or six different sites and committing to those choices, good or bad, freaks us out :) Is it really that busy everywhere, that if we do not book ahead of time, we could find ourselves with nowhere to camp?

 

2. Do we need to look only at Florida, Arizona, Texas and California to be comfortably warm? Being from Canada, even daytime highs of 57 - 65 are manageable, at least for a month or two. Are other states warm enough for winter camping? We would like to avoid below-freezing temps at night if possible. 

3. We have just learned about camping on government land - BLM camping? Does anyone do this and can speak to it?

I know I have a million more questions, but this is a start. Thanks to all who can provide some guidance!



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Nicole and Robin Lay

Visit our blog: just-layzing-around.tumblr.com

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Add New Mexico, Alabama and Louisiana to your list of possible states. You are going to have a wonderful adventure. 



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2015 Winnebago TT 2101DS & Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts of WindyNation solar - parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for USC & historical flags. 14 year Army vet. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state & county campgrounds



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Good rule of thumb is I-10 or below from Nov 15th to Feb 15, then start moving north. It isn't just the temps, but also the rain. RVs get REAL small in days on end of rain. Lots of great places to stay like city, county parks, fairgrounds, etc. Download Allstays Camp RV app for your smart phone. Also, if on West Voast would recommend joining Escapees as there are quite a few co-ops that have VERY reasonable rates.

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Barb & Dave O'Keeffe
2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net/Site/Welcome.html
SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



RV-Dreams Family Member

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In my opinion you are correct CA, AZ, TX or FL for Dec & Jan. Too cold elsewhere. At $500 you will be limited to AZ, South TX or inland FL. There are exceptions, but generally CA or south coastal FL will be above $500. Lots use BLM but you need to be comfortable without services...not my cup of tea. In Feb-Apr (or Oct-Nov) you might enjoy further north( Mississipi, Alabama, Tenn etc.

For one suggested park try Leaf Verde in Buckeye (west Phoenix) AZ. Under $500, walking distance to stores, nice weather,hiking & biking, park activities.



-- Edited by igotjam on Saturday 7th of January 2017 10:07:33 PM

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RVParkReviews.com is a good resource for checking out user's impressions of various parks.



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Dutch

34' 2001 GBM Landau Class A

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RV-Dreams Community Member

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All the above is great information. I would add www.campendium.com/ for reviews also. Army Corp of Engineers camps are good and less expensive in most areas, but not as available. Also Nation Forests Campgrounds with senior discount would meet your $500 limit (length of RV may be an issue in some camps). Finally there are rules, but you can camp for free in most National Forests outside of a campground. It's best to check with a US Forest Ranger Station or office for the local rules and locations.

Dry camping or "boondocking" I think is fun. Very remote, but you need to be self contained with Water, Waste tanks and Solar power (generator). Again check with BLM or Forest Service office for locations and rules (usually 14 days then move).

Sounds like you are on a great adventure!

Gary


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Gary Wood

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Also you might consider doing some volunteer work. We work with Volunteer Mobile Missionaries. (vmmonline.org) They have projects all over the U.S. Currently my wife and I and 3 other couples are working a project just east of Tucson Arizona. We are provided a RV site with hookups at no charge, stay for 3 weeks working 4 days a week. We are off Friday, Saturday, & Sunday so we have plenty of time to see the sights. All of us are retired, all skill levels welcome. Great fun developing new friendships, seeing the country and serving the Lord. Work a couple of projects a year. We found it very rewarding and it keeps our expenses in line with our budget.

Gene & Colleen

 



-- Edited by Genecolleen on Sunday 8th of January 2017 06:34:04 PM



-- Edited by Genecolleen on Sunday 8th of January 2017 06:34:36 PM

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Great tips, everyone. Barb, we really like the idea of I-10 and south - gave us a starting point for working out a route. The leaf verde campground looks terrific - thanks Robert! A fellow Canadian too, I see :)

We have used RVparkreviews and find it helpful - but there's something about a recommendation from you folks on this site that means a lot to us. Nothing like experienced, first-hand experience!

A couple points in relation to other suggestions above: we will be 50 and 46, so the senior discounts don't apply just yet, but we sure hope to be on the road still when they do! And because we are Canadians, we have learned we have to be very careful about volunteering, especially if there's any kind of financial or other remuneration. The American government does not like to see Canadians working without Visas and we have been told by our parents' friends who winter in Arizona that you can be kicked out of the States for 10 years. Scary!

We have worked out a likely route, starting in the Parker/Lake Havasu area, then to Phoenix, over to Texas (a resort called Alsatian), and finishing in Louisiana at a place called Abbeville. Does anyone have a good recommendation for Parker and Phoenix, following our criteria above? And has anyone stayed at Alsatian or Abbeville and have any feedback on those resorts?

Thanks again for all your words of advice!

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Nicole and Robin Lay

Visit our blog: just-layzing-around.tumblr.com

 



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I'm currently staying at the Alsatian RV Resort. It's very nice and well run. Clean as a pin. Good on site restaurant (make reservations). Nice pool (heated) and outdoor patio area. Excellent 18 hole golf course. Definately a top end RV resort! Pricey but worth it.



-- Edited by RonC on Sunday 15th of January 2017 08:15:41 PM

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

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Oh - how awesome that you're actually there! We see the lowest rate is $490/month according to their website. Accurate? Would the lots at that price be okay for a 40' fifth wheel? We are really excited at the thought of paying $300 for the month to have unlimited golf. Any catch there? This is the place that would be our 'splurge' for the winter.

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Nicole and Robin Lay

Visit our blog: just-layzing-around.tumblr.com

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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All the $490 per month sites are full for the winter, we pay $610 monthly, plus electricity. All the sites can accommodate a 40 ft 5th wheel ... we are 41 ft. We aren't paying a monthly fee for golf as I only play once or twice a week at the weekday rate, but I'm sure there is no catch (not sure if that $300 would include a cart), so I can't offer help there. I can tell you the course is in good shape considering it is winter, greens are also in good shape. The place gets a lot of play. I belonged to an upscale country club before we made the decision to go full time and this course is pretty close in condition. Sand traps are being repaired as several were washed out due to heavy rains, other than that it's pretty good.

When you get here, let us know!



-- Edited by RonC on Wednesday 11th of January 2017 09:37:54 PM

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 K-Z Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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Look at Apache Junction for parks on east side of Phoenix. We're in Mesa, but most parks would be higher than your budget for 1month stay. Check out Maricopa County parks, one in Mesa is called Usury Park. 2 week limit, $25/night, water & electric with onsite dump.



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Barb & Dave O'Keeffe
2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net/Site/Welcome.html
SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks for the feedback on Alsatian, Ron. It is definitely securing a place on our shortlist. Don't hold your breath waiting for us, though . . . It will be next February - as in February 2018 before we arrive! Starting out next November over by Lake Havasu somewhere and making our way east over five months' time.

Appreciate the info on Phoenix, Barb - we'll check out those locations and see what we can find. My husbands' parents are in Mesa, and their park is also more than our monthly budget. Nice place with lots of amenities - Mesa Spirit RV resort.

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Nicole and Robin Lay

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We stayed at Mesa Spirit for 5 years. Left 4 yrs ago when they wouldn't enforce leash rules, etc. Park was sold to Encore since then, did notice that they seem to have more open spots now. If your parents are in Mesa, then Apache Junction isn't that far and we have friends who spend a few months in parks in Mesa at under $400/month + electric.

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Barb & Dave O'Keeffe
2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)
Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net/Site/Welcome.html
SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Would you recall any of those park names in Mesa, Barb? We are also going to put my father-in-law on the hunt :)

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Nicole and Robin Lay

Visit our blog: just-layzing-around.tumblr.com

 

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