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Old 12-23-2016, 05:54 PM   #1
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Overcrowded - Full Timers Growing

So, my wife and I are anxiously awaiting our opportunity to retire after long working careers, buy an Airstream and go exploring for the rest of our lives. We are less than 2 years away and are giddy with excitement. Lately, however we've been reading a lot about how difficult/challenging it is becoming to find RV sites and how sites are packing people in like sardines and charging more because of a jump in full time RVers. Have you veterans seen/felt this as well? What are your thoughts on this subject?
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:29 PM   #2
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I don't think that's the case, overall, but highly popular areas in season may find you with the sardine effect.

Public campgrounds tend to have more spacious sites.

Don't be discouraged...if it's your dream, go for it.


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Old 12-23-2016, 06:58 PM   #3
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I think there is a marked increase over the 50 years we have been traveling and camping. More in the last 10 years or so, in all types of rigs. And of course as full-timers they stay awhile, we do as half-timers. At our last destination, many big motorhomes, less fifth wheels and travel trailers, five or six Airstreams (we're seeing more of these).

It is not as easy to get good sites, you almost certainly need to make reservations at the popular destinations.

Good planning and you will do well.
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:07 PM   #4
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My wife and I decided to purchase our own RV lot which will be our "home base". So even if it gets crowded, we will always have a place to park.
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:22 PM   #5
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So, my wife and I are anxiously awaiting our opportunity to retire after long working careers, buy an Airstream and go exploring for the rest of our lives. We are less than 2 years away and are giddy with excitement. Lately, however we've been reading a lot about how difficult/challenging it is becoming to find RV sites and how sites are packing people in like sardines and charging more because of a jump in full time RVers. Have you veterans seen/felt this as well? What are your thoughts on this subject?
We full-timed for three and a half years (just moved into a new house). Popular destinations for winter definitely require reservations (e.g. Arizona near Phoenix and Tucson), San Diego, Florida, etc. and it's best to reserve as soon as allowed (especially for state/national parks). There are alternatives in more out of the way places which may be a BLM campsite for example or an Escapees park. Locales that are on the fringe of snowbirds preferred destinations are often easier to find sites - an example being the Florida panhandle in winter. Cool weather but warmer than Michigan in winter. Our summers were spent in Newfoundland and northern British Columbia and Yukon where it was usually easy to find a good campsite.
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:56 AM   #6
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On a related note, there are a number of ways to buy raw, or even partially developed lots around the country for less than $1000 each. I've purchase 15 or so and think of them as islands of reprieve. They also appreciate in value so it's a real investment with practical dividends. Taxes are often less than $25/yr. Just make sure there is a usable road to the property. Also helps if property already has an address.
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Old 12-24-2016, 12:02 PM   #7
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Overcrowded

We are joyously in our fourth year of full timing in a 27 Classic Airstream. Come to the Southwest and explore the Nat. Parks. There are BLMs everywhere with no charge and lots of space. We spend winters in the Baja living on beaches. Heading there now.... Get good batteries and solar and hit the road! Best wishes.
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Old 12-24-2016, 12:16 PM   #8
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We retired a couple of years ago, planning our 3rd trip down south to AZ. Each year has become more difficult due to the fast growing travelers but with alot of patience and planning you can still enjoy all the wonderful places to visit here in the US. Like everyone else has said, take plenty of time to plan out your trip in advance. Having an Airstream really makes it worth while!
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Old 12-24-2016, 03:28 PM   #9
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Can you give us some more information about lots you bought. Interested in bay area east to tahoe or north. Any links?
Thanks
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:11 PM   #10
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Lately, however we've been reading a lot about how difficult/challenging it is becoming to find RV sites and how sites are packing people in like sardines and charging more because of a jump in full time RVers.
Congestion of all types is growing. Camping, road traffic, flights, registering for events, it's everywhere. You just need to plan ahead to stay in front of the crowd.
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Old 12-24-2016, 06:22 PM   #11
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We are not full-timers but travel often & for prolonged times. We have found many RV parks are crowded not due to retirees living the good life but due to migrant workers forced to travel to find work whenever/wherever.
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:48 PM   #12
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...Lately, however we've been reading a lot about how difficult/challenging it is becoming to find RV sites and how sites are packing people in like sardines and charging more because of a jump in full time RVers. Have you veterans seen/felt this as well? What are your thoughts on this subject?
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The economic melt down, with job losses, home foreclosures etc. starting probably in 2008 saw people buying larger 5th wheel trailers and moving them into RV parks, KOA and Good Sam as well as others, and living in them for six or more moths at a time. It uses up available space for those RVers staying only a few days or a week, and it changes the culture of the park. Diesel motors starting at 5:30 am for folks going to work, etc.

Good Campground managers separate the two groups so we don't annoy each other and both can be happy, but it does reduce the available number of high turnover spots.

Call and ask questions, explain your preferences, and book in advance. Good luck. +d
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:50 PM   #13
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I've noticed a huge increase in RV's compared to tent camping. Used to be 80% tents, now it seems the percentages are reversed. Of course I'm part of that problem.
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Old 12-25-2016, 02:41 AM   #14
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Can you give us some more information about lots you bought. Interested in bay area east to tahoe or north. Any links?
Thanks
Muffinsam
Am not sure what to post, but I have a 1 acre treed lot in the Alturas, CA area. Two adjacent 2-acre lots near Seligman in Northern AZ, a 2.5 acre developed lot (w cottage) in the Adirondacks, 2 half acre lots south of Devils Lake in ND, a house in Orange County, CA. Ive bought and sold other lots near Joshua Tree NP, Southern CO, Big Bear CA and am looking for lots in WA, TX, FL and Canada. I usually buy lots very cheaply in eBay. My basic rule is they have to be in a usable road (dirt/gravel OK).
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Old 12-25-2016, 02:55 AM   #15
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Am not sure what to post, but I have a 1 acre treed lot in the Alturas, CA area. Two adjacent 2-acre lots near Seligman in Northern AZ, a 2.5 acre developed lot (w cottage) in the Adirondacks, 2 half acre lots south of Devils Lake in ND, a house in Orange County, CA. Ive bought and sold other lots near Joshua Tree NP, Southern CO, Big Bear CA and am looking for lots in WA, TX, FL and Canada. I usually buy lots very cheaply in eBay. My basic rule is they have to be in a usable road (dirt/gravel OK).

What about connections to sewer, water, electricity? This has been the biggest show stopper for me.
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Old 12-25-2016, 05:53 AM   #16
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Yes as others have stated campgrounds are crowded, mainly in season. For instance the FL state parks often book up 11 months in advance, which is the earliest one can make a reservation. We do not full time, but do travel 3 months in the late summer/fall and 3 in the winter and so far have not had a problem either making a reservation or finding a campsite.

I think what's happened over the years is as baby boomers retire (10,000 a day) even in 1/2% of that number try an RV that's 500 a day adding to the ranks. Then in some areas of the country as previously noted people are living in 5th wheels and TT more and more, especially in areas where drilling for natural gas and oil have picked up the pace. Our area of Western PA for a while had farmers turning some of their land into makeshift campgrounds to accommodate the drillers.

As Maggie stated, if its a dream don't give it up, do it.

Enjoy

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Old 12-25-2016, 10:16 AM   #17
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I was worried about crowding as well after seeing all the RVs on the dealers lots and on the road, but what we've found to date has been more to what Maggie said. We haven't experienced overcrowded conditions because, being retired, we've purposely traveled to areas during off season or shoulder seasons. We apply that same principle to non-AS travel as well, whether it's domestic or international travel. One of the really good benefits of retirement. Hope you get out and enjoy!

PS. I've got a lakefront 1+acre lot for sale in FL if you prefer to have your own, but it's abit more than 1K...
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Old 12-25-2016, 10:37 AM   #18
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We considered going the multi-acre lot route. But getting water, electricity, sewage, etc. to it was a concern. Also, being all our lonesome didn't seem attractive to me. We opted for the RV resort route.
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