Living full-time in an RV can be exciting, getting to travel across this great nation of ours, seeing all sorts of sights and meeting all kinds of great people.
If you’re a “full-timer” as those of us in this group like to call ourselves, there are things to consider when going full-time like;
- Where will our “home” be? Where will we go back to (occassionally) ?
- What do we do about getting our mail? (Next post will cover this)
- What state are we going to be domiciled in for medical insurance?
- What happens if one of us needs recuperation time after a surgery?
- What happens when this life on the road just gets too hard for us?
- What happens to us when we can’t travel anymore?????
This is the question we’re going to talk about in this post.
Some full-time RV’ers might go “back home” and maybe live in their RV for some time at their children’s property, that is, if they are fortunate enough;
- 1) to have children,
- 2) that have property large enough to accommodate the RV, and
- 3) that have the electric, water, and sewer hookups for the RV.
Other full-timers may have the resources available to buy a home or rent an apartment to allow them to move out of the RV (either temporarily or permanently) so they can get the help they need for daily living.
BUT … If you are an Escapee RV Club member you have another option.
The club founders, Kay and Joe Peterson saw the need for another option for full-time RV’ers. Joe and Kay were full-time RV’ers themselves and started the club in 1978. As I understand it, Joe was an electrician and they, along with their 5 children traveled the country following Joe’s work while Kay ran the household and raised the children.
Here’s 3 links to just some of Kay’s many books she wrote while on the road. Kathy and I had the honor of attending a convention where Kay (at 94) spoke and she was truly a remarkable woman and a wonderful story-teller. You really should give yourself a treat and read at least one of her books.
I apologize … I digress. Now back to the point of this post.
So Kay and Joe, being full-timers themselves must’ve pondered this same question .. “What happens when we just can’t travel full-time anymore?”
And as a result, and with the help of many club members and volunteers, the C.A.R.E. Center was born adjacent to Rainbow’s End RV Park and the Escapees National Headquarters office in Livingston, Texas.
Let me tell you about it and what a cool concept it is. I’m told there’s nothing else like it in the country.
The C.A.R.E. (Continued Assistance for Retired Escapees) Center is yes, a building. But it’s so much more than just a building.
When an Escapee RV Club member finds the need to get off the road, whether because of the need to recuperate from an illness or medical procedure, or maybe they just need a little help to live comfortably, they can move their RV to CARE.
When full-time RV’ers decide to come off the road, they really don’t want to move into an apartment or an assisted living facility – instead (just like anyone else) they want to stay in their own home. And remember, this travel trailer or motor home IS their own home and very often has been for many years. They’ve seen the sights, made hundreds of new friends and even now want to live in an area where they can still be around like-minded people.
CARE provides their residents with a site that will accommodate the size of their rig, they provide 3 home cooked meals each day along with weekly laundry service and lots of activities in the CARE Center building.
This is not an assisted living facility, but rather a program that assists those who can still live independently. Residents walk from their rig to the dining hall for meals and to the activity room for; church services, jam sessions, use of the computer WiFi, exercise equipment, and lots more.
There are CARE volunteers who typically (but not always) live in the park and help the residents with some of their chores like; swapping out propane tanks, repairing sewer hoses, sweeping off their deck, or any number of what we feel are small jobs but might be difficult for the CARE resident.
In addition, CARE provides FREE transportation to wherever a resident might want to go (within 30 miles). That might be a doctor appointment, a trip to the local grocery, beauty shop, attorney or bank.
So you’re thinking “Wow, this really seems like a great concept – I wonder what they charge?”
C.A.R.E. is a not-for-profit 501c3 tax exempt corporation. They have a small (but professional) staff and the Volunteer Coordinator (Crystal) does a fantastic job recruiting and utilizing volunteers so their abilities and talents are best utilized. As a result, the CARE Center fees (at the time of this writing) are $1000 per month for a single person and $500 additional for a spouse or partner. The only additional costs to the resident are; electricity, cable or wifi, propane gas (for heat or cooking). Water, sewer, and trash removal is included in the rent.
There is no contract, all they ask is the monthly fee up front. If the resident, for any reason, decides that it’s just not for them, they put the key in the ignition the next month and move on down the road.
All in all, CARE is a wonderful “other option” for those full-time RV’ers that have come to the point of needing a little extra help.
AND, it allows those that have come to love the lifestyle now stay with that lifestyle and live among other like-minded wanderers.
You know what they say … “Not all who wander are lost”
Safe travels to you until we meet again ….