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Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1081

  • skyking8
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With the sharp increase in fuel prices, it's getting expensive to stay on the road for longer trips. So I was thinking about how to cut down some expense. My idea was to increase my daily trip mileage. If I travel one-third more distance per day, then I subsequently reduce the number of campground stays by one-third.

Assuming one campground visit after a 300 mile day, if I drive an extra 100 miles (300 vs 400) I can eliminate one campground stay every third time I do that. If the cost of a CG is $25, I will have saved enough to fill the motor home tank when I have done that ten times. Altho, I am not continually moving, I do put about 15K on the rig in a year and that's about six fill ups. Significant.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1082

  • monkey44
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If you're on a monthly budget, then you need to subtract the cost of fuel for that extra hundred miles. There was a point in time years ago when I would drive extra miles in a day to save on a one-night fee. Now, it seems that you can stay a night for less than it costs to drive a hundred miles ...

Even in my truck at 10 MPG on the road, a hundred miles is $30 ... and many of the MCG's are $15 - $20. So a night is less than 100 miles. In addition, if staying in NP CG's the Access pass allows an overnight fee of anywhere from $7-$12 ... so that's less a night too, than a hundred miles in fuel.

So, in general, in order to spend less per month on driving and CG fees, it makes more sense to stay in one place more nights if the fees are less for that extra hundred miles. Of course, when you travel a longer distance to see a different area, then shorter days and low fee CG's save money over a one-month timeframe.

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1085

  • larryf
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Interesting concept that Skyking8 stated. But as a fulltime Rv'er, I'm not sure I agree. There's still (usually) 365 days in a year. Regardless of how far you travel, you need to spend the night somewhere. The number of nights in a year is one of the few constants. To me, traveling a further distance will only INCREASE your fuel expenses and has no relation to the nightly fee.

In my thinking, there's two expenses we can control that will affect the bottom line:
1) Fuel - drive less and save on fuel costs.
2) Camp fees - dry camp (free or low $), boondock (free), stay in one place longer and take advantage of weekly/monthly rates while also saving on no fuel costs.

I used to have a 2x2x2 rule, which is now a 2x2x3 rule:
Don't drive more than 200 miles in one shot. What's the hurry and save on fuel.
Arrive by 2:00pm - easier to find places to stay without a reservation, enjoy the afternoon, and I'm not setting up in the dark.
Stay at least 3 nights at that location. (3 nights of camping/RV park is cheaper than another 400 miles).

Since we can't live off my GI pension, we still work seasonal jobs about 6 months out of the year. We're currently working for the Forest Service in the Sierra National Forest. This GREATLY helps reduce expenses. Our monthly expenses for May was only $782!!! If interested, our actual monthly expenses for the past 3 years are available on my personal website.

I do put about 15K on the rig in a year and that's about six fill ups.

Either your're getting FANTASTIC mileage, or you have a HUGE fuel tank! 15K is 37 fill ups for me!
Larry Farquhar, USAF (Ret)
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The Happy-Wanderers
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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1087

  • skyking8
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RE: "can't live off the GI pension". No kidding!! But then that's another topic.

Totally agree the extra 100 miles costs as much as a night's stay. But since I have to drive those miles anyway, I'm going to use the same amount of fuel for a given total trip distance. The only thing I can cut cost on is the number of campgrounds in a given driving period/distance.

The dry camping idea is a good one. I get in the habit of doing the full hookup thing without making that decision. Bad habit.

It does make sense to stay longer if the CG fee is significantly lower that the fuel cost per day. I have an access card, use state/federal parks, WalMart, do the discount card thing, etc. But then there is also an issue for us with that. The CGs that are in that category aren't necessarily in close vicinity to the places or events we took the trip for in the first place. Then I end up spending more money driving the tow vehicle getting to them.

We've twice been volunteer CG hosts, which really does cut down on monthly expenses. Neither of them worked out well, tho. The park staff forgets the meaning of volunteer and they like to control days off way too strictly. The next time we're going to get paid for the trouble.

Larry, if you have some pleasant experiences with those seasonal jobs, I'd be interested in learning about them. Email me at the web address listed. I promise not to compete for them.

No, monkey, I get the same crappy mileage that everyone else does. I just made a swag at what I thought I might be able to save if I skipped a campground every three days.

I had an idea that I thought was worth pursuing to really reduce costs. It's kind of a no cost time-share. If a select group of RV'ers had the space for a second pad on their property, then they could share it with someone else who had the same. I have two pads on my property. One for me that we live on in the rig, and one for quests. So far, I've only been able to convince one of my friends to do that. Perhaps I need more friends. ;)

Rick

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1088

  • monkey44
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Rick -- I was thinking more full-timers too, when I said what I said, because then the "night-cost" is thirty nights a month regardless of how far you travel between them. And in that case, the 100 miles extra is not relevant -- unless for those extra miles you also include an "on-the-road" stop, for example in a rest stop or a boon-docker instead of a CG.

But if someone is generally at home when not camping, the entire $$$ picture changes. Or if on a "vacation" or "on leave" then the more miles you travel, the more days at the sites where you're heading ...

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1089

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[code:1]I have two pads on my property. One for me that we live on in the rig, and one for quests.
So far, I've only been able to convince one of my friends to do that. Perhaps I need more friends. [/code:1]

Invite us and send us an address - we'll be there for as long you'll let us stay! ;D Just kidding (mostly) ;) But we do enjoy staying with friends that have the 2nd RV hook-up. It's a great way to help with the expenses, but it's also fun to be with friends.

As far as seasonal jobs (workamping) - this is our third season and 4th seasonal job. Three have been good, but not fantastic. However, we would go back to any of the three. Just expect to make minimum wage and ready to work. When we take a job, we both want 40hrs a week and a free RV site (FHU). Since many seasonal workers are a bit more elderly than us, they don't want to work much. We've never had problems finding seasonal work. I'm managing this year and still have an open position for a maintenance person, includes FHU site.
Larry Farquhar, USAF (Ret)
Owner/Operator of this website.
The Happy-Wanderers
Casino Camper Website

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1093

  • franknsandy
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I have to spots (not pads) at my home in southern VA, however we are usually only there 3-4 months a year (July to October) and half of that time not actually at our place. I put in the second spot for when friends or family stop by but it only has 30 Amps and we share a sewer. I am out in the country, but it works well for us.
Any member of this group is welcome to stop by and spend the night or few with us any time we are there. Feel free to contact me through our normal email if you will be passing by on I-95 at the VA - NC line area in July - Oct, as we are only a couple miles away.
Frank

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1095

  • monkey44
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I make that run several times a year -- from the Cape to Florida ... so might just take you up on that and park on your "spot" for a night on the way... althought I usually make it in December and then back again for the summer here on the Cape ... I sometimes make it other times of the year too.

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1098

  • skyking8
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now we're getting somewhere on this share a pad idea.

Larry> I'm a webmaster. Any advise on how to set up a website listing for those who would like to participate?

I'll take suggestions from anyone on this idea, but at this point mainly interested in only military associated participants.

sky

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1101

  • franknsandy
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monkey,
I don't have a concrete pad, I said two SPOTS. At the present this is grass behind my shop. There is plenty of room, we just have to share a sewer (I supply the connection for dumping via the "sewer solution" not a 3' sewer line. Gray water goes straigt to septic. More info about the "sewer solution" if needed. I have 100 amps comming to the shop, and I tap off for me a 30 and 20 amp service to give me 50 amps to run both a/c's, there is another 30 amp service that is shared with my elect dryer, so if we have a guest, I don't use the dryer. This is NOT a CG or RV park, just my home being made available to me to live full time in the RV, and when we are home to be able to facilitate a guest with some hospitality. You and any other active or retired military are welcome "IF WE ARE HOME" that is why I attached our email address. We are usually home between July and October, if we are not in the Hampton / Norfolk area staying with the kids. I am going to post a couple of pictures, nothing great, just to give you all a peek.
Hope to see ya around.
Frank

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1102

  • monkey44
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QUOTE: "This is NOT a CG or RV park, just my home being made available to me to live full time in the RV..."

Yeah -- that's what I thought when you said it ... your home with connections to accomodate a guest ...

Careful where you put those directions Frank -- might get a "full-time homesteader" while you're away ... >:(

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1105

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Got a homesteader, my renter, takes real good care of the place. Will provide directions when needed, when we are home. Looking forward to seeing any military visitors.
Frank
Why the frown??

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1106

  • monkey44
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Sorry -- is this better ?? ;D ;D ;D

Look forward to shaking your hand on one of my trips --

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1111

  • fiatspider79
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We spent the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year selling Christmas Trees in central, coastal California. We worked 16-18 hours per day for $60 per day each, a full hook up on site, completion bonus and small commission. It was hard work but we survived and added to the checkbook enough to spend some time in San Diego and then go meet Larry in the desert. We'd recommend it but since we won't be back on the left coast this winter we will not do it again. If anyone is interested in it be careful--in fact, if you are interested, email us and we will send you the information on Hopper Bros and tell you how to contact them. Some of the other operators operate differently and you could loose money in the process.

During the week of Labor Day we work for O'Riley Raceway Park near Indianapolis during the MAC Tools Nationals of the NHRA. Again we work hard for pretty good money and overtime but camping is boondocking. Bev sells tickets and I take them. The best part of the week is the other workampers and the day after travel safely breakfast is a feast of food and friendship. Anyone who would be interested in joining us is welcome to contact us.

Two winters ago we did grunt work at a rural nudist camp. 20 hours per week for a full hook up and access to the Jaccusi. We enjoyed clearing brush and painting during the off-season. No pay.

Now we are at Fort Pulaski National Monument near Savannah working as VIPs (Volunteers In Parks). Four days on, three off for a full hook up. As I am a Civil War nut this is a perfect place for us and we will probably be here over next winter.

Workamping is a great way for fulltimers to suplement their limited income and do some things they like to do. Try it, find something that fits your interests and give it a shot.

Glenn

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1120

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We just started extended-timing last Sep. We quickly came to the same conclusion as Larry's 2.2.3 rule. The only thing I would do is make it a 2.2.7 rule in order to get the weekly rates when possible. Frequent moves and fuel are what kills our budget. The 2nd most budget killer is food, so we rarely eat out -- the cost/benefit ratio isn't very good. However, we do eat real well at home (I like ribeye steak). When we are out sightseeing during the day, we usually pack a lunch rather than spend $6 on a hamburger.

If anyone wants to boondock in central Idaho, let me know. I have 36 acres of pasture land that can accomodate 50 or 60 rigs.

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1161

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[code:1]I have two pads on my property. One for me that we live on in the rig, and one for quests.
So far, I've only been able to convince one of my friends to do that. Perhaps I need more friends. [/code:1]

Invite us and send us an address - we'll be there for as long you'll let us stay! ;D Just kidding (mostly) ;) But we do enjoy staying with friends that have the 2nd RV hook-up. It's a great way to help with the expenses, but it's also fun to be with friends.

As far as seasonal jobs (workamping) - this is our third season and 4th seasonal job. Three have been good, but not fantastic. However, we would go back to any of the three. Just expect to make minimum wage and ready to work. When we take a job, we both want 40hrs a week and a free RV site (FHU). Since many seasonal workers are a bit more elderly than us, they don't want to work much. We've never had problems finding seasonal work. I'm managing this year and still have an open position for a maintenance person, includes FHU site.

Larry I'm a good maintenace person and full timer, How long that offer will be available?

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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 1 month ago #1163

  • larryf
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nomads,

Actually, we've expanded the open positions. We're looking for two couples (preferred) to work 40 hrs/week each. These positions will probably be open until filled, or until mid July. Compensation includes free site and all hours paid at $7.50 hourly wage.

Current positions open include:
1) Maintenance
2) Camp Host
3) Camp Host
4) Relief Camp Host & Minor Maintenance

This is at various Forest Service campgrounds around Huntington Lake in the Sierra NF, California. If interested, send me a private email for more details and application process info.
Larry Farquhar, USAF (Ret)
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The Happy-Wanderers
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Re: Saving on expenses 14 years 3 weeks ago #1257

  • twokuhns
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We are pretty new to the RVing. Our second year. Our interest is more into seeing the country and traveling for a month or two a year right now. We boondock two nights or three before checking into a campground to refill & empty & shower. I think the extra 100 miles of driving could be a little dangerous if you become tired. Walmarts, Crackerbarrels (our favorite), Lowe's, Home Depots and Kmarts very often will let you stay. We've had no problems with this routine so far.

We mostly are gone early enough not to interfere with their parking, and by the time we stop and see things, stop to eat etc., its usually 8 or 9 before we arrive at their parking lots.

Just our thoughts. ;D

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