As of the 26th of April, 2017 we will have been fulltime RVing for 5 years, which has really flew by. The kids have grown, we have added to the family, and for the most part have loved our mobile lifestyle.
We have met so many good people in our travels and seen some really great places along the way, but one thing that sort of bums us out is finding RV parks that hassle us about having 9 people in our party with 7 of them being kids.
Nothing is worse than when they ask how many kids you have and I say 7. That is usually when they ask if I'm kidding and when I say I'm not, their looks change and many times they say that we can not stay in their park or we have to pay an extra $10, $20, or $30 extra a night. That starts to add up in a very short time.
There has been many times when we have left a park because they wanted too much since we were over the 2 or 4 person limit. I do not remember how many times on the phone the manager or person on the line will tell me that they do not wish for us to stay at their park, especially in Florida upon learning how big a family we are.
I understand that the extra people can use a little more water and sewer, but I do not feel they are that much more of a cost on the RV park, especially if you are paying a monthly fee with metered electric costing extra.
I'm sure there are plenty of RV park owners who would argue me on this and say that it does cost more. Like I said, I could see us using more water which usually makes your sewer cost a little more, but the electric is pretty much what it is regardless of the number of people in the coach. I guess maybe another laptop or TV may use a little more electricity, but how much more?
Our 2011 Fleetwood Discovery 40G which has 3 air conditioners uses on average $150.00 a month for electricity when being charged $0.11 a kilowatt. It may be a little cheaper if it were just Misty and me, but I doubt it. The air would be set at the same temperature, we would use the electric oven the same, and in the winter the heat pump would run the same amount of time.
Am I wrong? Is my view one sided or what am I missing? Do any of you RV park owners have data to disprove me? I understand you have to make money, but lets be fair. I can also understand maybe charging a few dollars more a night if we are paying by the day since electricity is included in that price, but not for a monthly rate when the electric is metered.
But paying extra is not really the issue and in may cases I do not mind paying an extra $100.00 a month for the extra people, especially in a nicer RV park with lots of amenities.
What I have an issue with is that many RV parks do not want that many kids or say their policy is only 6 or 8 people per site. Like we are a bother or are like a plague. I know that if the kids are not well behaved, then it could be a problem, but we are very strict with our kids and they are very well behaved.
That is not just their father saying this either, too many times we are told by others how well behaved and respectful our kids are, so we know it is true. Many times we have had individuals apologize for what they thought of us when first seeing all the kids for the first time.
The Bible say, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5 ESV
It is bad enough that when you rent a hotel room they have a limit stating it is a fire hazard to have more than 4 or 5 per room, but who has the right to tell me how many people I can have in my RV that I paid my hard earned money for and own? This is why we bought a 40 footer diesel pusher to accommodate us all.
I know there are camping clubs like Coast to Coast and Thousand Trails that may help with your cost and allowing you to have a big family, but I have even heard rumors that some of the parks who belong to these camping clubs complain when a big family rolls in. If this is not true then please comment and let me know.
We also stay at military RV parks whenever possible because they usually do not care or ask how many kids you have and are a little cheaper than civilian RV parks, but while staying at Fort Stuart in Georgia they charged me extra for the kids. I was able to negotiate a litter cheaper price for the kids, but did not like it that we were charged extra. They did not even have full hookups in the park so we had to use a dump station for the black and gray tanks, but the cost was the same as a park that had full hook up.
It is getting to the point that I do not want to say how many kids we have and keep them in the RV at all times so the neighbors do not see all of them. We have to sneak out after dark so as not to raise suspicion and so that our numbers can not be counted. It is like living in a submarine while being plummeted with death charges, us not making a sound so that they can not hear us and get a lock on our location or numbers.
When walking the dog I'll make them wear the same set of clothes so that anyone watching will think it is the same two kids every time. We make them wear a hat so that the girls look like the boys. If the blinds for the front window are up, only two kids at a time can stand near them or look out so that they can not be counted and once again they need to rotate their clothes and headgear so it always looks like the same two kids.
Sometimes if there is a really nosy person in the park keeping an eye out for us, I will have two of the kids go to the van and then have them change their clothes and bring the clothes they wore back into the RV for two other kids to put on and then have them walk to the van and so on.
Well it's not really all that bad and I may be exaggerating some, but at times it feels that way. There are lots of RV parks that do not care how many kids we have and we pay the normal monthly rate which sometimes even includes electricity. We always revisit those parks when traveling back through their areas.
Now I do not want any of you RV park owners to take this personal and I do not hold any grudges. I have met so many great park owners of who some have charged us extra for the kids and that is fine. I know you have your reasons and think you are only doing what you have to do to make a living. It is just frustrating when trying to get a spot at a new RV park where we have not stayed at yet and do not know anyone and they do not know us.
So far we have visited 25 states and pretty much know where to stay in all of them, but with the other 24, we have apprehension when it comes to finding new parks to stay at.
Being members of Fulltime Families is a blessing since they have a really good listing of family and kid friendly RV parks that helps some, but it is limited and does not cover every place in America.
So that is my rant for this blog and just one of the minor problems for us living a fulltime RVing life.
We are looking for some land, preferably in Texas, to have a home base where we can winter and stay for free, but we will always be on the road most of the year seeing all there is to see in America and visiting friends we have met and will meet while living our mobile lifestyle.
So if anyone knows of any land in Texas that's at least an acre in size, then please let us know about it. We would love it to be near Coppell, Denton, or Frisco, Texas, but will consider any we are told about. Something that already has utilities and no RV restrictions would be great.
Oh, and for those in the family who had a bet on how long we would last as a fulltime RV family, I think the longest time given was 5 years by one of our aunts, which we will be past in a month, so I'm not sure if anyone will win the bet.
We are so blessed to be able to live this way and thank God for all He has done for us.
God Bless and safe travels!
Don, Misty, and Kids.......