(Formally "Plan V: A Van Dwelling Blog", when I lived in a 1978 Dodge Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome van)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

September 2013 plans

On September 2nd, my rent is up at this RV park I am currently in. I am currently undecided about taking my utility trailer and scooter with me when I hit the road in October, or mid to late September at the earliest. Due to the way I want to travel, the trailer and scooter might end up costing me a lot more money than it will save in better fuel economy having the scooter as a daily driver.

With a trailer tagging along, I will need to be in an RV park due to parking issues in major cities. However, I cannot afford nightly RV park rates at $20-30 a pop while driving it daily. Even with membership in clubs such as Good Sam (10% discount) or Passport America (50% discount, strict rules that vary by place) it means I'm tied down more. For the cost of the RV park in a town I might not want to stay in very long, I could move on to another town.

My original plan was to jump from city to city (no more than 250-300 miles apart) and then pay for a monthly RV spot. The flaw in this is that it could potentially cost me $400-500/mo to do this ($80-100 in gas, plus $300-450 for RV park rent/

Monthly rates average it out to about $10-15 a night, depending on the location. However, then I am nailed down for a month, whether I like it or not. $300-400 for RV park monthly rent alone would buy a LOT of gas to keep on the move and stay out of RV parks. I wouldn't even need to spend that much on gas in a month unless I was going a great distance within a month.

At an estimated average of 10mpg (I think it gets about 12-13 hwy, 8 city) and $3.75/gal of gas, 100 gallons of gas (roughly 3 fill-ups) would let me cover roughly 1,000 miles in a month for only $375. I spent more than that this month on this RV park -- and I still had to put gas in the scooter!

On top of that, some cities, especially along the southern and central coast of California, have RV park rent that is way beyond my budget. Such places have RV park rent in the range of $800-$1,000 a month!

It's fairly easy to find places to park overnight without being hassled too much but of course it depends where you are. If I have a trailer hitched up, it's going to double, if not triple my chances of being hassled. It brings more attention to me and creates more risk of theft due to the cargo in the trailer. Besides that, it will hurt my already low mpg. Plus it takes twice as much space to park, assuming I can pull into double layer spaces such as in large store parking lots.

So as a trial run in September, I am going to store my trailer and scooter at my mom's house here locally and bum around this city I am familiar with, as if I am on the road by staying out of RV parks.

Although, I might go out to the lake campground nearby for a week if I get sick of keeping on the move. I plan to do that anyway when on the road. It'll give me a chance to get my feet wet and practice living off the grid for the most part and out of RV parks/campgrounds. Just staying around this area, I doubt I'll go through much more than 2 tanks of gas which comes out cheaper than any monthly RV park rate you can find.

Plus on the weekend of  the 7th, a friend and I will be going out of town camping one last time before I hit the road so that'll blow a days as well. We went camping last November and about froze to death in tents. This time, we'll be going in my van so we'll have more of the creature comforts. For me, it'll have them all since I'll have all my stuff with me (short of the trailer, scooter, etc) that I have in everyday life.

So for now, that's the plan for September.

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