Full-time RVing- What’s it like?

We moved to Milton in 2003. Before we became house parents in Live Oak and Tallahassee, we lived and worked in Milton, Florida.

We went full time RVing and Workcamping in April 2018

Since that time we worked 5 months in Virginia, a short time at a site in Florida, 3 months in Savannah, spent a month in North Carolina with our oldest son and his family and now we’re back workcamping at a campground in Milton. Our younger son and his family live here in Milton.

We get a lot of questions about full-time RVing. I thought I’d answer a few of them in this post

The most frequent question is “Where do you put all your stuff?” If you think about it, most of us don’t need all the stuff we have. I can definitely say the closets and the basement ( the compartments beneath the RV) are not big enough. Before we took off, we had several garage sales and sold things on facebook and craigslist. And, we have a storage unit in Milton. Most everything we have in storage is stuff we need to keep. We have tubs full of photo albums, memories,Christmas traditional items, some household items, clothes we change out seasonaly and a few things we could probably get rid of but I want to keep.

We keep rearranging things in the RV thinking to better utilize the space. We’ll eventually get it, or we’ll find more we can do without.

Our R V has a set up bunkbeds. I moved the top mattress to the bottom bunk and put my computer, a file cabinet and my printer on the top and use it like a stand up desk. On the bottom bunk we have a couple baskets that we use for temporary storage for different things. This has been a great use of that space.

Our bedroom closets are small, but we’ve found, especially when we’re workcamping, since they usually supply us with shirts to wear, we tend to wear a lot of the same things over and over. We’ve been able to weed out some more clothes and donate or store them. It’s easier to not buy new clothes when we know there’s no place to store them. As far as laundry goes, we have a dirty clothes basket in the hall between the bedroom and bathroom. Most campgrounds have a laundramat on site and a housekeeping washer and dryer. Workcampers usually either get a laundry allowance or free use of the housekeeping washer and dryer.

Food storage is also limited. We do have several kitchen cabinets and drawers and we put some canned and boxed goods in a tub in the basement of the RV and it works out pretty well.

Some RVs have full size refrigerators and freezers. Ours does not. Here’s a picture of our fridge. We were making frequent trips to the grocery store. We’ve slowed down on our grocery trips to the grocery store since we purchased a new 100 quart cooler that is supposed to keep ice 8-10 days. So far it’s working. Since we’ve only had it a few days I’ll let you know later how it works out and I’ll give you more information on it in case you want to get one. That pretty much covered the storage questions we get.

Another question we’re asked is “How can you live in something that size all the time?” We don’t live in the camper, we live out of the camper. I admit there are days we spend most of time inside either because of heavy rain, very high or very low temps. We have lawn furniture outside and usually enough to do around the campground or in the area that we don’t need to just stay in the camper.

We’ve always looked for dog boarding places wherever we are so we can visit people or explore the area without having to get back to take care of him and resenting him for cutting into our time away.

Rarely have we found a place that Sarge didn’t like. He’s almost 11 years old so he’s not as active as he used to be so he’s ok napping in a kennel or in the R V for longer periods of time.

And, the last question for today. “What’s workcamping and what do you do?” Workcamping means you camp at different RV resorts, campgrounds, state or national parks and work while you’re there. They’re all different. We base where we go by what we want to do in the area, what’s the weather usually like during the time we may be there?, is it a paid position or vounteer work?, what is the work exchange for the site? – which means how many hours do you need to work to cover the site . What are the paid hours? Are there laundry benefits? And, what if any, are the other benefits?

I know there’s other questions about how we get our mail, do our banking etc. Since this post has already become a little lengthly I’ll address those things in another post.

See you later – Enjoy today!

Here watch this.
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Workcamping and Savannah

On this rainy day in Savannah, I’m sitting here at the table in the motorhome looking out the front window watching people tear down getting ready to pull out while Dave is changing out some of our lights. We’re replacing the overhead lights with LED lights. 

CreekFire RV resort is less than a mile off I-95, it seems most of the campers here only stay 1-2 days. Since part of Dave’s job here is to escort campers to their site, he gets to talk to some of the people that come here.

A couple across from us just pulled out. They’re full timers, driving a motorhome and pulling a car, similar to us. They’re a young couple that work from the motorhome. He does some kind of consulting work and she writes a blog. They told Dave they’ve completely redone the inside of their motorhome. I would have liked to meet them and get to know them a little, but they’re gone already.

The couple next to us, who are not workcampers,are here for a couple months. They’re also full-timers but are from here in Savannah. She has to have surgery and wanted her doctor here to take care of it. As soon as she’s cleared by the doc, they’re back on the road again.

We just met a woman from Ohio who is a traveling nurse. She travels by herself with her small dog and is here for a few months.

I’m watching another couple load up their golf cart. I think they’re going further south for the winter.

Dave met another couple from Ohio. They planned to travel with their friends also from Ohio. When the Ohio weather report called for a major cold front moving in the couple Dave met called their friends and suggested that they needed to go now. Since the friends said they couldn’t go yet, the couple Dave met told them I’ll see you there and took off. Their friends arrived two days later.

Another couple we’ve met here are workcampers too. Well, at least he is. They’re also full-timers. They have a son here and another one out west somewhere. We’ve only seen her once. CreekFire requires couples to work 32 hours a week in exchange for a full hookup campsite. So he’s working all the hours. (Anything over the 32 hours is paid.) They don’t seem to do anything or go anywhere when he’s not working, I asked him if they’ve toured Savannah and he said they only go to visit their son and his family whenever they aren’t working. If his son is working, he said, they just stay here.

Such a shame. There’s so much to see here. So, let me tell you about one of them, The Pirate’s House Restaurant. The structure of the Pirate’s House building now is actually several buildings put together. Inside the buildings is the oldest house in Georgia. Built in 1733, it’s a white little 2 room house with a fireplace between the rooms and a sleeping room above them. Over time this little house evolved and more buildings were added. It’s been restaurants, serving no alcohol, a ladies tea room, restaurants serving alcohol and bars. Now all the buildings are under one roof with a gift shop and dining throughout the several rooms. The location of The Pirate’s House is just off River Street. As the port became busier, privateers started arriving hoping to make their fortune. Following them, the pirates came in. This area became a very scary part of town. The owners of The Pirate’s House at that time decided the restaurant absolutely needed to serve alcohol to all these sailors coming in off the ships. The placemats at the restaurant tell the history of The Pirate’s House on one side of the placemat and on the other side, it tells about the house being haunted and Robert Louis Stevenson getting his inspiration for the book Treasure Island.

Remember, the tunnel I talked about earlier so that sailors and merchants could get up to the city? Well, the tunnel also came up into the Pirate’s House. This made it a quick route to the alcohol.

Many, many, pirates sailed into this area. And, many, many, drunk young men sailed out of this area unaware they were going to be part of the Pirate’s ship’s crew. When the captain was in need of crew members, he headed to the Pirate’s House found a few local young men, got them drunk, carried them out of the tunnel and when they woke up, they were at sea. They could either stay or swim back. Many of these men were never seen again.

Again, I have to add my disclaimer about doing your own research. This information came from the placemats, the tour we took at the Pirate’s House and some Savannah tour books. Our tour guide, dressed as a pirate, was also a history teacher, so most of our information came from him and from the guidebooks.

Here’s a few pictures and one more bit of random information. Whenever your walking on the sidewalk in the Savannah squares and the sidewalk changes to slate, that means you’re in front of a historical building.

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We’re here now. Where’s the…?

We arrived in Savannah at the new work camping site. As you may already know, our 10-year-old Weimaraner travels with us. Since we don’t want to miss out on exploring the area, one of the first things we do is look for a dog boarding place. This is helpful to have so we can enjoy the new location, use daycare if we’re going to have a long day or if we want to go away for a few days.

There are several places we actually start looking for and in no particular order. But, the first two things we needed to do was get the laundry done and get some groceries.

The laundry was easy since there’s a laundromat on site. Google searches are great when you can just say “grocery stores near me” or “dog boarding near me”. I kind of like Food Lion grocery stores and there happened to be two nearby. We also got a list of dog boarding places to check out by doing the google search for boarding places near me. Let me tell you, most of them look a lot better in the pictures! I think we spent 2 hours driving around looking at kennels. We found one that seemed ok. We checked it out by taking Sarge there for a few hours of “doggy daycare” while we checked out a little of Savannah. Sarge played outside the entire time we were gone, got a little muddy, they cleaned him up, dried him off and everybody was happy. So, that’s the one we’re going to stay with.

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We’ve Arrived at the Creekfire RV Resort

 This is the site we left in Florida on New Year’s Day. We gave ourselves 2 days to make the 8-hour drive to Savannah so we didn’t arrive grumpily and at night. It didn’t take us too long to tear down, get loaded up and leave Florida. We were trying to beat the rain. We arrived in Florida in mid-October and I think it rained almost every day! The day we left the ground was soaked and big puddles everywhere.

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R V Teardown

We’re three days from tearing down and moving on to the next work camping site at Creekfire R V resort in Savannah.

Our 10 week stay here in Milton has been good. We got to spend time with family and friends and be back at our home church. We’re going to miss them all very much.

Tearing down an R V takes a little time but we’re getting the process down to where it doesn’t take us too long now and to where we only forget one or two things we should have done before we pull out.

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What’s the best R V for me?

What’s the best R V for me?

There are many types of Recreational Vehicles to choose from so how do you know what is the best for you.

I looked at several R V websites, R V forums, R V group sites, dealers and from personal experience, I combined some information and suggestions to help you make a decision on the R V you want to buy.  Don’t forget there’s also tent camping for those who like a little more nature.

Remember, whatever you buy you have to learn how to drive  it or tow it. So make sure you’re going to be comfortable with it or are sure you’re going to be able to get comfortable with it. You’ll be backing it in sometimes, too, so you’ll need to learn how to do that.

Here’s some questions to ask yourself.  We’ll review a little more about  these later.

  • Why do you want an R V?
  • Do you plan on going on short trips or longer trips?
  • Do you plan on staying in R V parks or go boondocking?
  • Do you want to haul motorcycles, bicycles, ormaybe ATVs?
  • How many will be traveling with you?
  • Taking any pets with you?
  • Will you fit in it?

This questions are important to help you choose the right one.  First, why do you want an R V?  Do you want it just to park it at a lakeside park you are very fond of that has utility hookups and you’re planning on leaving it there?  That helps you decide if you need to be concerned about getting a gas or diesel model, how much power you need, how much storage, and maybe even how large a model you want.

If you’re planning on taking it on longer trips you may want a model with a lot of storage.   Basement storage (the compartments under the motorhome carriage) would be important in this case.  We have several storage compartments. The doors on ours open up from the top. I would much rather have the doors that open to the side. Some of them hit me in the head when I’m trying to get stuff out.

If you’re boondocking, camping in remote locations with no utilities, your motorhome size is a concern. The larger motorhomes require more space and more level ground which may not be available if you’re camping in remote areas.  And, you have to carry everything with you. You will need to have the largest water tank, gray water, and black water tank you can get.  Your water tank holds your water coming into the motorhome and is your drinking, toilet flushing and washing water. Gray water is the waste water from that and Black water is the sewage water.  To find how long you can go on full tanks, it’s a good idea to do a couple practice runs.  You’ll know when you run out of water and many of the campers have warning signals when the waste tanks get full. That will tell you how many days you can go before you have to find a dump station. The fuller your tanks are, the heavier your camper and the more possibility of additional swaying.

Are you planning on taking motorcycles or an ATV with you? Or do you want a party deck?  If so, then you may want to consider a toy hauler. These have a storage area, with ramps, and can convert to a little  outside deck.

How many passengers will go with you and how tall are they? Will you fit in the shower?  How about on the bed?  Most RVs come with what is called a “short queen”.  It’s the width of a queen bed but shorter. Most of the 5th Wheels have a king size bed. I’m not sure if it’s short or not.  Do you have enough beds for all your passengers?  If you go with a small camper or Class B RV it may be one where you have to assemble the bed each night. Such as pulling out the couch or lowering the table to make the bed.  Are you ok with that or would you rather have a permanent bed or bedroom?

If you’re going to be traveling cross-country or long distance, you may want a larger unit. If you want to pull it, you’d be looking at a 5th wheel, travel trailer or 5th wheel toy hauler. If you want to drive it, then you’d probably want to look at a Class C or Class A.  Class As come with either a diesel or gas engine.  Class A diesel pushers have the engine in the back.  They have better mileage and last a little longer than gas engines, but they require more oil and repairs are more expensive. And it’s harder to find someone to work on them, especially, if you break down somewhere on a trip.  Class A gas engines are less expensive, don’t last as long, and get slightly less mileage than the diesel.  Since diesel engines are in the back, the cab is a little quieter when you drive and there is no “hump” between the driver and passenger seats.  Gas engines, since they’re in the front, have that hump between the two seats and the cab is a little noisier.  

Another consideration in the choice of a vehicle is A/C when driving. In most of the units, the A/C doesn’t cool the cab area well enough when you’re driving.  Sometimes you’ll need the “house” A/C running.   With most units this is possible. But, usually, a small fan works fine. 

If you like to cook and like a big kitchen most of the 5thwheels have a big kitchen area with bigger refrigerators and pantries.

There are so many things to consider, right along with the price. I hope this has helped you get started. I would suggest going to R V / Camper shows, possibly even renting one to try it out before you buy.  Rentals are usually  Class C motorhomes.  Don’t rule out a used one either. Just check it out really well and ask for maintenance records. Many times people are just looking to move up to a larger motorhome and there isn’t anything wrong with the one they have or they discovered they’re not using enough to keep it.

Whatever you buy, remember you have to learn to drive it or tow it, fill and empty the tanks and hook up the utilities.

I’ll talk about towing a vehicle in another blog.

I’ve added some pictures below.  I hope you found this information helpful.  You can subscribe to future blogs below. 

#toyhauler #ClassC #ClassA, #choosetherightRV

TRAVEL TRAILER
TOY HAULER
TOY HAULER WITH DECK
CLASS A -DIESEL PUSHER
CLASS A -GAS
5TH WHEEL
CLASS C
CLASS B

Going to Next Work Site Soon

R V Life

We’re 12 days from Christmas and  I’m sitting here in a fairly remote campground beside my lit Christmas tree. Since we’re in Milton, where we have a storage unit, we were able to pull out the box on top that had our small Christmas tree and the other box nearby had a few strings of lights.  I didn’t want to dig around and find ornaments to hang on the tree and then have to put them back after Christmas before we leave so our tree just has lights and I love it.  We set it between the passenger and driver’s seat which is in our living room.  I love it.  I also found a battery operated string of flashing led lights that we put on the inside windshield of the motorhome.  It looks great.  We are the only decorated motor home in the campground. Of course, there’ s only 2 other campers here, not counting the 2 hosts.  But I love it!

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Name Change

I decided to change my blog name after reading other blogs and looking at other blog names. It seemed to me that mine was a little challenging to find or cumbersome to type in searches. Since we are living full-time in the R V now, I have a tendency to write about things related to living and traveling full-time in an R V so I thought a name change would be appropriate. Also, we get a lot of questions about what it’s like living in an R V and where we’re living now. So this name seemed to fit a little better.

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A Day in the Life of a Work Camper

A Day in the Life of a Workamper …. Not working

I think I mentioned in my last post that the camp job we came back to Milton to work in did not work out for us.  The job was miles apart from what we agreed upon and we couldn’t come to an agreement so we pulled out. My understanding is that this doesn’t happen very often. I’m counting on that being true or it takes the joy out of work camping. In the meantime, we’re staying at another campground in Milton Florida. We decided to stay around here as long as we can but it turns out this location is completely booked from December until April. We’re staying through November but will be moving after that. Right now I have another location booked for December only. .One of our sons, our grandson, and daughter in law are here as well as some good friends and a church we like very well. We were counting on spending time with them. So far, It doesn’t seem like there’s another work camping position in this area, so we’re looking outside of work camping for something part time here until we move on to the next work camping location.  We should have that determined by January or February.

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