Originally posted 12/28/20
You may be aware that we are on the waiting list at an Escapees Co-Op in Texas. But, why winter in one place?
You may have read my article, My Top 9 Trepidations of Full-Time RVing, in which I describe several anxieties upon moving to and setting up in an RV park. Some of these are the availability and status of full hookup sites, cell and Internet access, parking and setup difficulties, weather on the road, satellite reception, road hazards, pet friendliness, and others. Consider the fact that we change campgrounds approximately every two weeks, so I experience these emotions more than two dozen times a year.
But, it's more than these apprehensions. Driving takes a toll, especially as we get older, and fuel is a big expense when you are constantly on the move. The cold of winter leaves little of the country available for visiting in anything other than frigid climates. The usual RV snowbird regions, i.e. Florida, Texas, Arizona and Southern California, are rife with more large rigs than small, leaving space, convenience, solitude and privacy all wanting.
Even with RVillage, a virtual RV community with over 350,000 members nationwide, telling us which other members are camping in a specific park we arrive to, RVers in a park are strangers. RVers are people, meaning that they include all types of personalities, social acumen and political persuasions, and not everyone is open to meeting newcomers.
I guess I'm saying that we miss friends and social circles in which to gather to share moments, stories and laughs. A two-week stay in an RV resort may afford us an acquaintance or two, but the process of our getting to know each other typically starts from scratch each time. Sure, there are stories from the RV lifestyle all RVers can relate to, such as many of the anecdotes I share in my book, "RV Life Happens," but there are only so many black tank tales or RV park complaints you can tell. By spending four of five months in one community, we can begin building some longer-term relationships.
One quick mention: We have made several valuable personal connections in RVillage and on the road, and some will become lifelong friendships. We don't diminish this possibility and always leave ourselves open to making new friends wherever we go.
Then there is the convenience of staying in a place long enough to see doctors and dentists, and to get RV repairs or maintenance performed. Although we have been returning to Denver each year for a couple of weeks to get medical and dental treatment, two weeks isn't always long enough. Last year I had to forgo one appointment when they couldn't make space within our travel window in Colorado. RV upgrades and repairs can be especially difficult around the country when parts and materials can take longer to arrive than we are camping in an area.
One of the reasons we decided not to spend considerable time in any one park when we started this adventure is that we both had many, many items on our go-to-visit lists and we were anxious to experience them all and cross them off. We have circumnavigated the country three times in three years and are about to embark on another grand circle, this time checking Yellowstone and Nova Scotia off our destinations lists. We have camped in 32 states and driven in 42, with more in our upcoming itinerary.
Now that we have seen so much of the country, we can afford to take time to relax in a single community for the winter. The Escapees Co-Ops make this affordable but some have waiting lists with hundreds of names on them. The sites have space and hookups for an RV of nearly any size and for one or more sheds or casitas. Fortunately, in our Texas choice, we started at #42 on the waiting list and, since were are now only #15, we will probably get a property either this winter or next. At that point we can make plans to move our stored stuff from Denver to the new site and move in when most convenient.
Lastly, it would have been nice this year during the pandemic to have had a permanent spot to hunker down in rather than having to worry about whether any or all of the RV parks we had booked would decline our reservations when we arrived. During national emergencies, we'd rather have a home base to go to.
So, why Texas? Several reasons:
All told, we have many reasons for being stationary in the winter, but that doesn't mean we plan to give up traveling the country. We'll still have eight months a year to continue our adventures.
Author, poet, photographer, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, sportsman,