Homesteading

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8 years 8 months ago #8934 by rvgrammy1953
Replied by rvgrammy1953 on topic Re: Homesteading
Homesteading, when talking in this content, is someone who occupies a space/site at a military campground for more than what the governing Regulation states,i.e.14,30,60,90,etc. days, with no intent of moving on, making it his or her "home base". Basically, turning a recreation area into a "Trailer park".....The military use to have trailer parks, but tore them out to make more on-post/base housing....maybe this "old idea" should come back.....

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8 years 8 months ago #8935 by Martin64
Replied by Martin64 on topic Re: Homesteading
Trust me brother...I know the pay difference between AD and civilian pay and benefits. After retirement and going back to work for the feds the 1st thing they did was cut my leave accrual rate to that of a new employee while others who served but didn't retire accrue at a higher rate. $20 an hour doesn't go very far these days either...a heck of alot less than $10 an hour did in the early 90's.

I just don't see active duty on BAH in rv resorts trying to full-time it as a growing concern. These folks have familes, gear, furniture, a couple vehicles and just aren't thinking about living in a duffle bag on wheels. Even some of the most elaborate 5th wheels with a few pop-outs and 30'+ is just not going to make momma happy with a couple kids and a puppy. A home is just not suppose to have tires underneath it or a set of propane bottle on the front for most folks.

I totally get what you're saying, I just don't think what he's doing is a firing squad offense.

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8 years 8 months ago #8936 by karylkoch
Replied by karylkoch on topic Re: Homesteading

monkey44 wrote: Second point, beyond putting cash in pocket.

When AD and Retired begin using MCG's for HOUSING, the MCG becomes a trailer park instead of recreation - and ultimately the traveling veterans cannot get a site even for a few days because others are using it for housing and stay months and months at a time ... and once it becomes 'housing' it will fill up with individuals "saving money" instead of finding regular housing.

At that point, our recreational camping benefit will disappear. It's already a hassle to get sites in the south even for a few days during winter in most of the MCG - in Florida for example. Of course, each of these "full MCGs" will allow us to "camp" in a parking lot for half-price, and then claim it's meeting the obligation it's designed for,

Our benefits we all earned should be shared, and not used to increase cash payouts to anyone on active duty. But, just so we know - any family where AD is in a war zone, then by all means - let's give up our sites.

But traditional military careers have changed significantly, and our "half pension pay" as you mentioned is quite a bit lower than AD's today ... AD today, if you count everything (housing, clothing, food, medical, day-care), compares to a civilian job in many cases. And civilians do not get subsidized housing ... civilians may get house-rent, but it's paid to the landlord and the employee does not get to "keep the extra" if he/she puts the family in a campground.

Housing allowance is to cover the cost of local housing - period. It is not designed to compensate a stateside AD as a pay-raise while he/she lives in a recreation area site - because, regardless of whether or not one has earned the right to stay at MCGs, over-staying is directly taking a spot that another AD or Retired has earned in the same manner.

We appreciate as much as anyone the sacrifice we've all made defending our freedom and our country (both AD today and Retired in the past) - but we need to share these benefits equally, just as we shared the risk, or the benefits will continue to erode and we'll lose this one too.


I could not agree more, well said!!!!

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8 years 8 months ago #8938 by TheBigRedTruck
Replied by TheBigRedTruck on topic Re: Homesteading
I think Its funny any one with a DOD ID can stay at the campground at Fort Meade. Pulse anyone can get base housing. We have DOD civilian contractors.

With more and more retires selling there homes and buying RV's with no real home base there just going campground to campground. There not campers, there just resident. Most never even come out of there RV!!!

At Meade the campground has to be the biggest money maker for the MWR!!! They don't clean the fire pits or even clean or check the sites after someone pulls out. They clam they cant have a camp host unless they are a paid employed.

Can someone tell me why every thing In the store cost more then It would off post, haaail Its cheaper to go off post to get propane, what gives????

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8 years 8 months ago #8939 by monkey44
Replied by monkey44 on topic Re: Homesteading
Meade is a thorn in everyone's side, I think, along with Mayport and MacDill during winter months. Ever tried to get a few days at either one of them. Plenty sites available during summer tho'

Retires selling homes and traveling, using DIFFERENT MCGs is not and should not be an issue. Anyone that does that, has earned it. It's staying in one spot all year or same six months every year to the exclusion of others is what should never occur.

And BigRedTruck - if I'm not mistaken, you implied above that you declined base housing because you'd have to give up BHA?? And, it appears the base housing is not up to your standards - or not large enough?? Not sure which.

But lots of civilians travel more than an hour to work every day, so they can afford a better home for their families.

You can't have both - extra money in your pocket, or a nicer home for your family. Just doesn't work that way in military, nor civilian work. SO, if you're gonna put this "extra" money in your pocket, then you have to travel to work, or pay the amount for better housing closer.

A fine reason - to use MCG while truly searching for a home, but to use MCG to save BHA money is not a good reason.

But, no matter what, if any AD takes an MCG site (to save part of BHA) you're depriving other individuals that earned the right to a campsite.

Recreational camping at MCGs all across this country is a great benefit, but if it continues to get abused -- by Command (Camping fees to pay for golf upgrades, for example), by camp managers, or by campers -- we will lose it and-or it will become either supplimental housing or too expensive to stay.

IF it becomes 'over-productive' due to DOD or BHA substitute, then MWR will see it as a "cash cow", and the rates will skyrocket even faster than the past few years ... even in our Negative COLA, rates still went UP not Down.

Nuff, said ...
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8 years 8 months ago #8947 by TheBigRedTruck
Replied by TheBigRedTruck on topic Re: Homesteading
To the, Monkey On My Back!!!!
If you really must know, we are waiting for a americans with disabilities home!!!!!!!

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8 years 8 months ago #8954 by monkey44
Replied by monkey44 on topic Re: Homesteading
Matt - I sent you a PM - please check PM logs.

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8 years 8 months ago #8955 by rvgrammy1953
Replied by rvgrammy1953 on topic Re: Homesteading
BigRed,

Now, you are the exception, not the rule....your's is a true reason to extend....

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8 years 8 months ago #8974 by monkey44
Replied by monkey44 on topic Re: Homesteading

TheBigRedTruck wrote: To the, Monkey On My Back!!!!
If you really must know, we are waiting for a americans with disabilities home!!!!!!!


Not on your back, or anyone else back that uses the benefits we earn properly. Sometimes, 'bending rules' is exceptable under conditions that might be allowed by the CO ... and waiting for ADA housing is probably an exception any time it happens.

But, am on the back of individuals that abuse the benefit and take more than a fair share of any beneift, whether it's extra money or extra time. That's never a proper way to share with our military brothers.

When the cost of an MCG rises to $50 a night, and MWR (or a sub-contractor) puts a 'dollar box' on the showers (like what has happened in some state and national parks), what kind of 'benefit' does that illustrate.
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8 years 7 months ago #9164 by RVcamper
Replied by RVcamper on topic Re: Homesteading
I have also seen the homesteading.

The closest BAH related wording on the issue of receiving BAH while staying in a MWR RV recreation facility is his on page 26-15.
DOD Financial Management Regulation

F.
Rental Quarters (Other Than Inadequate Quarters). A member and dependents who occupy the following facilities on a rental basis are entitled to BAH. (See “Definitions” for “rental charge.”)
1. Any housing facilities, including trailers, under the jurisdiction of the government other than government quarters constructed or designated for occupancy without charge. The member may sublease such quarters to a temporary subleasee with or without charge and neither the sublessor nor subleasee will lose their right to BAH.


IMHO, based on the above, receiving BAH while homesteading on a Government owned family recreation facility is not authorized.

Personally owned RVs/Trailers do not fall into this category.

One can see Homesteading at base Marinas as well. I've heard folks boasting that the Govt is paying for the sail boat they live on.

The Homesteading at base RV sites will only get worse the more folks realize they can pocket the difference in BAH.

Anyone who feels that strongly about it has this option and let those folks determine if it is actually FW&A.

Report Fraud, Waste & Abuse - DOD Hotline

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8 years 7 months ago #9166 by restlesswind
Replied by restlesswind on topic Re: Homesteading
The five days out consist of moving to the parking lot to dry camp.
Not too hard to do especialy in the case of a retired L/Col that now works
on base for DOD.Reading the rules of the Ft Meade FamCamp this is a no no
but that rule is not enforced.

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8 years 7 months ago #9170 by elisowski
Replied by elisowski on topic Re: Homesteading
FYI The Air Force is taking over all Army and Air Force military campgrounds, and although they have written a new AFI it has not been signed and is still on someones desk for the past 2 years. So there is no reg. For those of us who remember when we had trailer parks on posts and bases. the troops have found out that although there are no trailer parks, there are RV parks. We have stayed at military parks all along the east coast and south, and it is the same at all. Fort Biiss at over 100 spaces, most of which are occupied by Active Duty service members, most of which are attending the Sergeants Major Academy for 9 months, which is a PCS. TRY AND GET A SLOT THERE, Good luck.

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8 years 7 months ago #9173 by gsk1140
Replied by gsk1140 on topic Re: Homesteading
This is my first post and I found this topic very compelling. I have been an MWR 0188 Civilian Recreation Specialist since 1985 with a few breaks in the private sector. I have served my country as well, even having to wear BDU's in the Balkans managing programs and facilities and completing two West Pac Carrier deployments supporting both Operation "Enduring and Iraqi Freedom" deployments. I have never carrier a weapon, but I have been up front supporting those that have. There is no greater reward in my life than having a service member tell me "Thank You" for what I do. I have made a positive difference in the lives of military. It gives my life purpose and meaning, it has never been about the money to me. I have chosen to stay at the operational level GS-9 and below where I can provide the quality service necessary to give all authorized users the best service possible. With this said, I have one thing to say about homesteading being perpetuated at MWR campgrounds. The Speed of the leader is the speed of the gang. Dead Wood in the Federal service is not new, but contributes to and allows abuses to continue. You are all aware of the chain of command; you must use it, all the way to a congressional representative if necessary. (The last thing a CO wants is an investigation and probably will not go this far. Ft. Meade are you listening?) You do not have to settle for being patronized by a MWR employee that is either unwilling or unable to help you. Take it up the chain. You, we all deserve the best quality of service and must demand it. Without customers who pays for the park? Those abusing the benefit. Stand up for what is right! You would be surprised how many people are tired of being treated like yesterdays birdcage paper, I know I am and I demand better when necessary. If you receive poor service, do not accept it and walk away, ask to speak to a manager, then their manager all the way to the XO or CO if necessary. All should have to follow the rules, No one is better than anyone else, unless you believe in the current Class Warfare propaganda coming from The White House!
Thank you for your service. Remember Hold People Accountable, You've earned the right to be treated with respect!
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8 years 7 months ago #9174 by clovis2
Replied by clovis2 on topic Re: Homesteading
Agave Gulch at Davis Monthan in Tucson has a very fair system that makes homesteading virtually impossible. In the winter when the park is busy you stay in overflow until a space opens. You may stay in that fhu space for 21 days and then return to overflow if you want to stay longer. It doesn't matter if you are an E-1 or an O-10 the rules are the same. During the busy season there are 4 or 5 camp hosts who run the show for MWR. They rotate working in the office, know the rules and apply them fairly. This is one big reason Agave Gulch has won the best camp ground award for the past several years.

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8 years 7 months ago #9179 by HavenWorks
Replied by HavenWorks on topic Re: Homesteading
This is an area of great concern for many people in this very strange economy. We run a non profit and one of our models is creating safe places for Veterans, single adults with children, and perhaps others spoken about herein to park the RV's some have chosen to Home Stead here in the San Francisco Bay Area where very little remains of military bases due to closures. We are working on a pilot program with the Veteran's Administration to fund RV pad (infrastructure) with hookup in places accessible for those in the class above. We find here many vets have RV's but no place to safely park them. While many consider an RV a recreational tool, many of us here know better and see an increasing use of RV's toward fulltimer use.

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8 years 6 months ago #9181 by BSGarrison
Replied by BSGarrison on topic Re: Homesteading
I agree. I thought that Agave Gulch had a very fair system, one that ought to be the model for the rest of the FamCamps. The only reason we found out about the system at Agave Gulch is because we originally intended to camp at Ft. Huachuca but the host was holding the sites for "her friends who came back every year." We checked back often but simply could not get a space and ended up staying at Agave Gulch for our entire visit. Maybe this is why Agave Gulch wins "Best Of" year after year.

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8 years 6 months ago #9184 by wolfchic57
Replied by wolfchic57 on topic Re: Homesteading
I think homesteading in certain cases should be allowed. My boyfriend and I are fulltime RVer's and in most cases spend the winter at Southwinds Marina outside of Del Rio, Texas. During our visits, we have met a few of these "homesteaders". I have no complaints about these people as they are a steady source of income for the park as it is rarely full. If it weren't for these people, the park would have next to no income coming in. In the peak season "winter months" we seen the park get full maybe 3 or 4 times, otherwise the space that were open never filled up. So parks like this one needed the income from homesteaders. Now if the park was a park that was constantly busy then yes, enforce the limit rule. Give other campers a chance to enjoy the park, off season, that would be up to the campgrounds.

This last spring, Southwinds decided to enforce the 14 day limit, and now from one of the homesteader that I had met, states that Sounthwinds has now virturally become a ghost town. They have lost about $22,000.00 a year in revenue that the "homesteader" were paying. This last summer we were told that the place was empty as it was to hot to camp. Yes the homesteaders are benifical to some campgrounds.

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8 years 6 months ago #9186 by elisowski
Replied by elisowski on topic Re: Homesteading
Totally agree with the bringing in of revenue, but what about those of us who want to stay and just visit. Fort Sam Houston has a policy that if you want to stay longer then 30 days you have to submit a exception to policy and they work with most active duty who are waiting for housing, but do NOT allow homesteading. NO exceptions. and they take reservations. Try doing that at McDill where they hold spaces for the winter for their friends every year and if you are not part of the in crowd you will NOT get in.

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8 years 6 months ago #9187 by jazyn55
Replied by jazyn55 on topic Re: Homesteading
Reservations / 3 month Stay limit / Able to extend 48 hours before your stay is up 1 month at a time if there are sites avalable.

Keep some CG's with no rules. This way the Homesteaders will migrate there and they can have the Trailor Parks they want.

I have found Homesteaders view CG's as a entititlement not a privlage. They should go join the Occupy movment. Maybe us that travel should pay more so these Homsteaders can have free rent.

Rules are only as good as those that enforce them. Stay limits for Camp Hosts and work campers is a must. When they stay to long then the buddy system takes effect. Go to Mayport and see this.

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8 years 6 months ago #9189 by Frank and Alice
Replied by Frank and Alice on topic Re: Homesteading
Homesteading is increasingly becoming a problem. We have seen it in action at the Naval Weapons Station in Charleston, SC, an active duty and spouse with 8 children living in a 5th wheel and at Fort Bliss, TX, where most of the sites are occupied by active duty. These situations not only make it hard for folks who want to visit an area and stay for a while, but many of these sites look like, if you will pardon the expression, trailer trash. These folks need to get an apartment or house on or off base where they belong. The tax payers are being milked. Also, this past summer during the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM, we stayed at Kirtland AFB famcamp. While there are no reservations, the CO of the base carved out 20 spaces for SMART campers so they could stay for the Fiesta. The rest of us had to go back and forth from dry camp to make room for these folks. What a shame. I guess it is who you know!

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