Originally Posted by lookingup
...I realized I have no idea what 'seasonal camping' means? Does it involve only 3 or 4 months, or does it reference annual stay/fee?
Tends to mean one of two things. Either it is a "Snowbird" or "Winter Texan" park meaning that you are there for several months (usually a private park) or in the case of a public park, it closes during the winter. "Snowbird" parks tend to not be skoolie friendly. If it says "resort" or "age restricted" (either age of RV or age of person) you most likely won't be allowed in.
How often are there problems parking a skoolie for a season or a year? Does it help to have an Escapee or Passport America membership? I have noticed some mention of problems at some RV parks while reading thru the forum. We would need to stay in NY state for an extended period of time and I noticed fees around $550 a month! I'm trying to estimate a monthly budget for once we hit the road. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated!
The "long term" parking is where you will get turned away more often than an over night. We haven't gotten into our BlueBird yet. But we do fulltime in a vintage 1977 Class C. We haven't been turned down yet in it. But I have been turned, sight unseen, when we had our Apache pop-up that we fulltimed in for about 1-1/2 years. To this day I refuse to stay at Ships or Best's Holiday Trav-l Park in Chattanooga TN. And I will not recommend them to anyone. Shipps is somewhat akin to KOA (Keep On Adding) in that by the time they finished adding in all the fees for a long term camper, we could have stayed at the nicest hotel in Chattanooga at the time. And then they refused us because our popup was too old.
We have lived in several parks since we started fulltiming in 2006. We have stayed in public parks (off season and kept a low profile), private parks and an "RV and Mobile Home Park" while in TX. Our "rent" tends to stay under $400 including all utilities. We look for cheaper parks with the "permanent residents" as they tend to be campgrounds that cater to the working people who are in RVs. We pull a food cart and work it on the street. We need a campground that is "working class" friendly. If you look at http://www.rvparkreviews.com
you will see reviews that comment on the "permanent residents" or the "workers" who live in " run-down trailers". I actually look for those parks. We are in a 30 yo RV PLUS we work. We are the people that the snooty RVers don't want to be parked near. The mobile home park that we stayed at for over 6 months in Corpus Christi one winter was found in the local telephone book under "Mobile Home Parks". We just needed to be able to plug into a 50 amp panel box. It wasn't a problem plugging our 30 amp RV into the box with an "adapter". For the mobile home park, we were on metered electric (apparently most of TX snowbird parks are on metered electric) and we did have to get the local Time Warner to hook up our cable and the internet. This may be what you end up doing up North. I've only camped once north of the Mason -Dixon and that was when we pulled the pop-up to Niagara Falls for a convention in the summertime. That was in a conventional campground.
Normally we stay in conventional campgrounds. We are setting the bus up for 30 amp because that has worked well for us in the Class C. 50 amp tends to cost more and public parks tend to have 20 and 30 amp electric. We pay month-to-month. So far our rent has not exceeded $375 (in GA) and that was full hookups but no cable (we bought a Dish few years back...now they have a monthly no contract thing for RVers). Current NM campground is costing us $350 and includes full hook-up site with cable/HBO and wi-fi. Next campground (also NM) will be slightly more ($375) and include same as here.
We run our LP on a homemade "extend-a-stay" so that we don't need our permanent mount LP tank filled because we bypass it and use 20 # BBQ grill tanks. We have spent two winters in the Southern Appalachian Mountains in the Class C (Franklin, NC and Johnson City, TN). Insulated/heated tanks and insulated/heated water hose (make your own) is a must. We ran thru one 20# tank every 10 days or so. Our RV furnace seems to be very good on LP use. You will probably want to pick up a 100lb tank and make an "extend-a-stay" if you are using LP to heat with as NY is much colder than wherever we are. Many of the fifth wheels here in NM use skirts on them (heavy vinyl with snaps).
Escapees parks WILL allow a skoolie in. This is what Angie Carr has told me. I don't know about the affiliated parks but the Escapees parks will. She told me this via a PM when I had posted something about the attitude of the RVer's against skoolies. You do not need to be a member in order to stay in an Escapee park (as a member, you do to get the cheap rate and to use their mail fowarding service which is one of the best). You do not need to be a member to post on the Escapee forums either. DON'T buy a membership in anything right now. Get traveling first. Most discounts are only good for one night anyway (not monthly). We have found that the discount clubs like Passport America, Happy Camper tend to be not where we are. Although we did stay in a Passport America campground while in GA. But it was monthly so the discount didn't apply. Right now, we are paying under $12 per night because we are on the monthly rate. If we were here only for one night, we would be wally-docking up at the Wal-Mart parking lot. Traveling, we spend two or three nights in a parking lot (we prefer Sam's Clubs lots) and one night in a public campground so that we can dump and refill water tank. For us a discount club really doesn't pay off. Escapees is NOT a camping discount club.