Sunday, July 11, 2021

Our Campground Memberships & Cost - Little Diamond RV Campground, Newport, WA - July 11, 2021

 Here is a post about our clubs/memberships, and what we pay, and how often we use them.

Amount paid per year.

Thousand Trails .... $640.00 ... Annual fee. Three weeks in a park, can go park to park. Free

Trails Collection .... $315.00 .. Over 100 sites, mainly East & West coast, especially Florida and Arizona. Must have a Thousand Trails membership. Free ( a handfull are $20/nt)

Resort Parks International (RPI) ....$160.00 ... Over 150 campgrounds all over US. $10.00 per night 1 or 2 weeks max. Must have Thousand Trails membership.

Elks .... $103.50 (varies per state)... Located all over US. Price ranges from Free (boondocking) to $35.00 (some higher).

 Harvest Hosts ....$79.00... Located all over. Free. Usually boondocking for 1 night. Should purchace something ($20.00 ?)while there, ie wine tasting, a brew, dinner, a gift, ect.

Escapees .... $47.75 ..Has discounts at many campgrounds. We don't use much. We belong to some of their BoFs (clubs).

Passport America ... $44.00 ...Half price camping, conditions do apply. 

Good Sam ... Have a lifetime membership (bought in 2011). We don't use much. Have been to several Jamborees.

Total per year for all this .... $1,388.95

Our breakdown so far in 2021. Nights used.

Thousand Trails - 82

Trails Collection - 50

Elks - 5

Boondocking - 23

Moochdocking - 3

Casino - 1

Yuma home base - 37

And we have only spent $200.00 this year so far for camping (not counting the above memberships).

That is $1.41 per night   (192 days)

OK, heck .. lets count the memberships too.

Now it comes out to $8.28 per night!!  Lot of year left. The numbers will just keep going down.

The memberships are only worth it if you use them.

The Fergs out .......

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Deep In The Woods - Little Diamond RV Campground, Newport, WA - July 10, 2021

 After 3 days in Crescent Bar, doing nothing special, except laundry and swimming, we just hung out and enjoyed our 2 air conditioners in the Eastern Washington heat. July 8th, we headed eastward closer to our California wildfire job departure point (Spokane International Airport). They say it is gonna be a bad year for fires, but nothing really poppin yet. Standing by.

The trip was 193 miles, mostly on Interstate 90. I filled up on diesel in Newport, WA at the Safeway fuel station after we arrived. Fuel was $ 3.37 per gallon. Can't wait till prices start falling again. But we did get 13.9 miles per gallon at one point on this trip.

We arrived at Little Diamond RV Campground a little after noon. This is a Thousand Trails park, and a KOA park too. When choosing a site, we have to make sure we are in the Thousand Trails member area. It is a little different. I really believe the KOA sites are a little bigger and nicer. But all the sites are surrounded by lots of evergreen trees. We chose site # 71. 

Nice secluded site in the shade of the forest. It was 30 amp & water. It was getting pretty warm out, around 92 degrees. After getting all setup, I decided to turn on one of our air conditioners for awhile. Just before I turned it on, I checked the voltage on our Southwire Surge Protector (50 Amp, PN 34951). It was reading a really disappointing 108 volts. Well, what the heck, I'll give it a shot. After all, the surge protector is suppose to turn off power if it drops too low and prevent any damage to our RV electronics. I know we were close. Well, the AC ran fine ... for about 10 minutes. Then the safe guards kicked the power off. OK, no AC today. We ended up spending the rest of the day sitting outside as the temp inside was around 89 degrees. Yes, folks...all RVs need a surge protector/EMS.

The next morning, we drove around the park and scoped out a better site. We found a nice location, #88, and I used an app on my phone to see if I could pick up the Dish Network satellites. And plugged in our surge protector to check power. Good voltage, 123 volts, yay! So we packed up and made the move to the new site. You know, whether you move a tenth of a mile, or a couple of hundred miles, it is about the same amount of work. But we got ourselves another nice site, deep in the woods.

The Fergs out .......

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Stats, Stats, Stats - Crescent Bar RV Campground, Quincy, WA - July 7, 2021

 Because of the California fires going on right now, we decided to leave Leavenworth Thousand Trails and head closer to our 'Fly Out' point in Spokane, WA We expect to get called out anytime. And the fact that the cell /internet service there was pretty spotty.

July 5th, and 78 miles later, we checked into Crescent Bar RV Park, a Thousand Trails campground we have stayed at many times. We are just going to spend a few days here and then head closer to Spokane. It is pretty warm and sunny here. 50 Amp FHU site is great cuz we are using both air conditioners here.

As we got parked, I took pictures of our campsite and updated our web page at I have been doing this for the last 8 years. I have pictures of every place we have camped since we hit the road. I update the 'Where We Have Been' section of our web site. And the section 'Where Are We'. I also update the entry 'Statistics & Budget' too. This got me to thinking about the whole 'statistics' numbers since we hit the road. 

So here we go....

The first RV we bought with the intention to hit the road full time, was a 2008 Cameo 32 ft Fifth Wheel. This was back in May of 2011. I hadn't quite retired from the phone company yet. But we were really into the planning phase. From the time we bought the Cameo fifth wheel, we have set up our campsite 411 times, in 8 different RVs, in 25 different states. Travelling in, or pulling our RV over 55,000 miles.

Here is a breakdown of the last 8 years.

The Cameo fifth wheel, we got in May of 2011, had it for 1 year, 6 months. In it we camped 23 times. 

Next, we got a bigger unit, a 2009 Bighorn fifth wheel. We got this one in October of 2012. We had this one for 3 years, 6 months. We sold our house in July 2012 and we were now full timers. In the Bighorn, we camped 120 times. There were some issues with the RV frame, so it was time to try out a Class A.

Then we got a Class A March 2015, A 2008 Fleetwood Southwind. We had this one 3 years, 1 month and camped 164 times.

Then we bought a home base in Yuma, AZ. We decided to downsize a bit and traded the Southwind March 2018, for a newer, smaller Class A motorhome, a 2018 Thor Hurricane. Bad decision. Had many problems with it. Took 5 1/2 months to figure how to un-load it, but finally found a buyer. We did camp 25 times in it.

We stumbled onto a great deal, so in October 2018, we picked up another fifth wheel, a 2004 Arctic Fox (and Silverado). We had this one 1 year 3 1/2 months, and camped 33 times in it. Then we got a hankering to try something we have never had before.

November 2019, after selling out 5'er & truck, we picked up a 2001 Fleetwood Tioga Class C. After camping in it 9 times over a 8 1/2 month period, we sold it. After installing our batteries, inverter, and solar panels on each RV up to this point, we let it all go together with this one. Even though the rig ran great, it was pretty old, and I was able to turn a profit selling it.

Yes, it was a lapse in thinking, August 2020 we bought a 2010 Dutchman Sport travel trailer, and Nissan Titan to pull it. We only camped 13 times, but definitely enough to re-think our RV choices. It was during the 3 1/2 months we had the travel trailer, we came up with the plan to sell our house in Yuma, AZ, and get a full time RV  and hit the road again.

It was December 2020 we picked up the 2016 Crusader fifth wheel. We had already bought a 2015 Silverado with the full timing plan heading forward. Installed more solar, inverter, and batteries for our new house on wheels. The house sold in February 2021. 

Since the sale of our house, and we were back into the full time RV lifestyle, we have camped 25 times in ONE RV in the last 7 months. Houseless, but not homeless.

So...when we had our house in Yuma, AZ for 4 years, our 'part time' RVing consisted of camping 89 times in ... wait for it... 6 different RVs.

Now for some yearly numbers. Since we actually hit the road in our Bighorn fifth wheel in September 2013, our years on the road are from Sept to Sept.

Year 1 2013-2014 Full Time

9,252 miles

19 states visited

69 campsites

$ 7.16 Ave cost per night (because of all of our memberships/clubs)

Year 2 2014-2015 Full Time

8,830 miles

14 states visited

71 campsites

$5.96 Ave cost per night

Year 3 2014-2015 Full Time

7,802 miles

10 states visited

48 campsites

$3.44 Ave cost per night

Year 4 2016-2017 Full Time

8,610 miles

8 states visited

62 campsites

$4.18 Ave cost per night

Year 5 2017-2018 3 months Full Time, 9 months Part Time

6,647 miles

7 states visited

40 campsites

$4.93 Ave cost per night (not counting at the house)

Year 6 2018-2019 Part Time

5,884 miles

6 states visited

33 campsites

$1.40 Ave cost per night

Year 7 2019-2020 Part Time

935 miles (Covid!!!)

2 states

12 campsites

$0.34 Ave cost per night

Year 8 2020-2021 5 months Part Time, 6 months, so far, Full Time

7,074 miles

5 states visited

38 campsites

$1.16 Ave cost per night

There you have it. I guess I am just a numbers kinda guy. We keep track of everything. 

The cost per night amount is what we paid out to camp there. We didn't count the various campground memberships and club costs. In the past years, we have had memberships in the following : Thousand Trails (& Trails Collection), Escapees, Good Sam, Harvest Hosts, FMCA, RPI, Elks, & Passport America. And we still have all but FMCA.   

Smelling the roses....

The Fergs out .......

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Happy 4th of July - Leavenworth RV Campground, Leavenworth, WA - July 4, 2021

 June 27th, we left Thunderbird Thousand Trails and made the 77 mile trip over Stevens Pass. Stopping on the top to smell the roses ( and a potty stop).

My repair job looks pretty good. Definitely good enough for me.

We checked into the Leavenworth Thousand Trails. Squeezed into site 61. This is a 50 Amp site and it was going to be hot for the next few days. Record setting heat. I had a heck of a time getting in the site. While moving back and forth a million times, the two campers right across from me left, and I was able to pull into their site and get my 5th wheel into our site where it needed to be.

The 50 Amp came in handy and we made it through the heat wave with no problems.

Since we sold our property in Yuma, we have became South Dakota residents. We went to Rapid City last November and got our driver's licenses. I have been getting our truck and 5th wheel registered in SD using Americas Mailbox to do all the footwork. And I just received the registration and license plates for our truck. Our RV should not be too far behind. And yes, registering our vehicles in SD is a lot cheaper than Arizona.

One day, we made the trip into Wenatchee (our hometown), to visit with Carol & Bruce. We had a good lunch and had time to catch up. These wonderful friends of ours from church, let us house sit for them while they were doing some travelling. Then we took off from there on our full time RV Life. This was in 2014. 

We are really expecting to be called out for some California Wildfire work any time. Donna and I re-packed our fire bags, and since the two RV spots across from us were still un-occupied, we decided to move the rig before the park fills up for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

I dumped our tanks first with our macerator and blue boy.

Then we moved to another easy in/easy out site. If we get that phone call, we will be outta here a lot more easier. It is a nice 30 Amp & water space.

Here is a few shots of this park.

The entrance, check-in station, mini golf, and lodge.

They have a nice pool.

They have cabins and even tiny homes to rent.

Another family lodge.

Around the park.

I even found another Crusader.

There are quite a few sites without power.  But they are always upgrading the park.

Here is our neighbor. They have 4 kids with them. Can you tell? Having a ball!

Happy 4th of July to all!

The Fergs out .......