What Happens When We Can’t Travel Anymore?

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.

You say “It looks like an RV park to me”.  Yes, it’s an RV park and again … so much more.

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.

Activity Room with seating for church service, comfortable seating for reading or computer work
Lots of seating can be moved to accommodate musical groups
CARE Center dining room where residents can get 3 great home cooked meals every day of the week

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.

CARE operates 5 different vehicles to transport residents wherever they need to go within 30 miles of home

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 ….

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

An Amazing Trip to Fort Morgan

An Amazing Trip to Fort Morgan

Staying at Summerdale, AL at the Escapee’s Rainbow Plantation RV Park.  This is a large park with lots of permanent residents that own their lots and have permanent homes on those lots.  There are also about 100 or so shaded RV lots for folks that might want to rent for a day, week, or longer.

They have a big clubhouse (we’re going for lasagna dinner tomorrow night) and a great looking pool, but they say it’s not quite up to temperature just yet.

Our site is nice and well shaded by a large Water Oak tree and the neighbors we’ve met are great.

Our site at Rainbow Plantation – Summerdale, AL

Today (Tuesday) we took a drive down to the beach, (we’ll go back tomorrow with chairs and towels) and then we drove on west to visit Fort Morgan.

Construction of the fort was started in 1819, took 15 years to complete, and is located on Mobile Point so as to be able to protect the shoreline from the north during the Civil War.

It’s interesting to note that the US government leased slaves from local slave owners to manufacture the over 30,000,000 (yes, thirty MILLION) bricks to build the fort.  I’m not going to go in to all the details of the construction and design, but I found it really fascinating to read all the placards located along the self-guided tour.

If you’d like to learn more, follow this link to the official site.

Here’s a few pictures I took with my Samsung S7 Smartphone.  I’m still amazed at the clarity and the resolution of these pix from a PHONE!

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We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Pooper Pumper Day

We’ve been here at the Champlain Valley Expo Center (fairgrounds) in Essex Junction, VT since last Thursday and although we’ve had electric and water hookups, we’ve not had the luxury of a sewer connection.  There are about 1000 RV’s here and the black water tanks on board only hold so much.

So the organizers have made arrangements for all these RV’s to be pumped out.  Depending on what day you arrived on site, determined what day the pumpers would be at your rig to pump.  We arrived Thursday so our pump day was the following Monday.

Now, on Sunday night just after Kathy finished up her shower, the gray water (sink/shower/kitchen) tank was now filled to capacity.  So no more showers or running sink water down the drain.

2016-07-25 11.39.56

So, the pumper came just in time, early Monday morning and in only just a few short minutes rolled his “bowl” over to the coach, pulled the drain valves, and pumped it all into his tank truck and then moved on to the rig next door.  There were/are multiple trucks here each day and I know these guys are pretty “pooped” by the end of the day.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Some pictures from the Escapade

The “show” is really a great learning experience disguised in fun.  Take a look at the photos below and read the captions and you’ll be able to get a better idea of what’s going on here in Vermont this week at the Champlain Valley Exposition Center

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We had the honor of meeting and listening to 89 year old Kay Peterson who, with her husband Joe back in 1979 co-founded the Escapees RV club with just 24 members.  She was delightful to listen to and she’s sharp as a tack.  By the way, Kathy and I joined last fall and we are member number 126874 (It’s grown a bit, eh?)

We’ve met a lot of folks here and learned not only in classes, but from our fellow RV’ers as well.  There is entertainment and hospitality events every night and LOTS of BIG BEAUTIFUL (and very expensive) motorhomes to walk through and dream about.

Mac The Fire Guy” taught us about fire safety, how to safely exit an RV in the event of fire, which smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to have in our coach along with the correct type of fire extinguisher to keep on board.  He emphasized the main goal is to exit safely, not to save the RV, (that’s why you have insurance)

Jim and George taught us all about tires, the importance of having your rig weighed on ALL FOUR CORNERS (so you know the weight on EACH tire) and how to determine the correct tire inflation pressure based on the load being carried.

This is only Monday night, right now Kathy is in the General Assembly Room listening (along with about 2000 others) to The Marlins musical group while I’m over in another part of the building using the free WiFi so I could upload these pictures.

We still have Tuesday and Wednesday to learn and have fun and then we’ll head out Thursday morning.

More later – So long for now,

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Sorry, No Photos …. yet

Well, we’re having a great time at the 56th Escapade, this time it’s in the Champlain Valley area of northern Vermont, just about 100 miles south of the Canadian border.

I’d like to share some photos with you of our stay, but the “free” WiFi here at the fairgrounds is virtually non-existent and I done want to use up all my “gigs” on my Verizon MiFi before my month is up.

So I’ll just have to upload them at some point when I’m able to connect to a real WiFi signal.

There’s just about 800 RV’ers here in all ages, shapes, and sizes and the rigs they drive or pull behind them are all ages, shapes, and sizes as well.  As we walk through the aisles on our way to the seminars and social events each day, Kathy and I often comment to each other “Wow – Look at that one over there!” sometimes because it’s just a plain beautiful RV (kind of like looking at a classic car or sharp motorcycle), or sometimes because they’ve got some goofy thing in the windshield or hanging from their patio awning.

Some have brought the kids with them, many have brought their dogs or cats along, but most are either couples or singles.  Some are still working (from their rigs) and most are full-time RV’ers having sold their sticks-n-bricks homes and hit the road looking to see the country.  While some are “newbies”, many have enjoyed this lifestyle for 10 or more years, traveling from state to state as they see fit when the mood strikes them to move on.

Attending the seminars, we’ve learned about subjects like; fire safety, tire safety, RV gadgets, supplemental braking systems (for the toad) and there are still 3-1/2 more days to come.2016-07-21 12.44.19

The Escapade is characterized as an educational experience disguised as fun.  Along with the seminars, there’s lots of social time, happy hours, music, dances and such along with a vendor fair displaying all the latest and greatest “must-haves” for RV’ers and a dealer from California brought in about 30 new coaches for everyone to tour through and dream about.  (Kathy made me leave our checkbook at home)

To find out more about the Escapee’s RV Club, follow this link

 

 

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

A Good Day For Travel

Well yesterday was hot and a little sticky, but we left Pecos, TX this am and a light storm rolled in to west Texas last night and our travel today to our new site at Deming, NM was a delight because it was mostly overcast and cool.  Those big glass windows on the front of a motor home can really transmit the heat!  In fact, yesterday afternoon, we not only had the dash a/c on, but we fired up the generator as we were traveling and turned on the roof air to get it down to a comfortable temp.  Wouldn’t have been that bad if we were headed east, but the late afternoon sun heading west was brutal.

This morning I-10 across west Texas showed us a lot more oil fields, miles and miles of open fields with ranches interspersed with grazing cattle.

2016-04-12 10.24.03
A View Out My Window While Driving

I had to take this picture of this distant “mountain” just to prove we were there.  There’s lots more of course, but I just took this picture because they say it’s best to keep two hands on the wheel, especially when it’s windy, which it often is in Oklahoma and Texas along these plains.

We checked into Dream Catcher’s RV Park and were warmly welcomed by the staff and volunteers.  Many of the parks we are staying in are owned by the Escapees club that we belong to.  The members are almost exclusively full-time RV’ers and it’s been great hearing their stories of how they made the switch from a “sticks ‘n bricks” home to living and working on the road.

We attended the social hour at the office/clubhouse and then went on back to our place and enjoyed a fresh cooked meal of tossed salad, cottage cheese, grilled pork loin, and brussel sprouts.2016-04-12 18.09.50

After supper we took a walk around the park to meet some of our neighbors and get a little exercise.

Here’s a panoramic view of the park.  Not a lot of trees unfortunately, we tend to like the state parks more for that reason, but staying in parks like this give us more a sense of community, since many if not all of the residents have a common interest.  2016-04-12 17.13.25.jpgWe met a nice couple tonight who had been full-timing for 15 years but just recently due to some health issues found a plot of land to park their RV on and live in most of the year, but still be able to “pull in the slides” and move on down the road whenever they want.

And some more pix of the surrounding mountains from our camp.

More tomorrow night when we get to Rover’s Roost RV Park outside of Casa Grande, AZ

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Water Pump’s Installed!

2016-04-07 16.38.07Well, although we got back to Freightliner of Oklahoma City (formerly known as Select Service) by about 4pm, they told us that Troy the mechanic was still working on it, having had considerable difficulty with rusted bolts and hardware.  He had to replace the belt tensioner as well as the water pump.  2016-04-07 20.52.05He’s now in the process of putting it all back together, will refill the coolant, pressure test, and then we can get on the road.

I have talked with Troy a few times over the last two days and I’m comfortable with his experience, knowledge, and professionalism.  In fact, all the folks at both the Tulsa and Oklahoma City Freightliner group (Premier Truck Group) owned by Roger Penske have been nothing but courteous and professional.  I’ve been impressed with all of them.

We sat in the waiting room, eyeing the vending machine wondering if some of the contents would end up being our dinner.  2016-04-07 17.16.22We watched the 5 o’clock news, the 6 o’clock news, the 7 o’clock news, The Big Bang Theory, and I don’t remember what else.

Troy finally finished up around 9pm, came in and gave us an update, and we settled up with them.  Normally Troy goes home at 4pm, and normally they close up and lock the gate a 7pm, allowing a few of the guys to get a little overtime occasionally while serving the needs of the over-the-road truckers.  This night they stayed even later in an effort to get us back on the road.

We headed about 45 miles south along I-35 back to where we had camped Tuesday night only to find a shiny “silver bullet” (Airstream) travel trailer parked in the only remaining spot that we had hoped to get.

So, as of this writing, we are sitting in our first WalMart parking lot “boondocking” as they call it.  We bunked for the night, I just got up (about 6am), turned on the coffee pot, the furnace, and the water heater.  Kathy will be up shortly, we’ll shower and then continue on down I-35 through Dallas and south to Livingston, TX where we plan on staying a day or two at the Escapees Rainbow’s End Park

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy
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