One of the more interesting facets of full timing is the exposure to all that real estate, all the people and a million different stories in the RV world.
One of the more interesting is the phenomena that Thousand Trails (owned by Equity Lifestyle Properties) and their sister company Encore Properties has sparked. They offer many different levels of membership that entitle members to camp at their properties with different restrictions. One on the most basic, the Zone Camping Pass (offered by Thousand Trails), allows members to stay in various properties for two weeks and then leave for a week before returning. First 30 days per year are free and $3.00 per night after that. The annual dues are about $550 per year.
So basically you can spend 2 weeks in a campground, leave for a week and come back in for two more weeks. That means you can live 3 weeks per month for $63, all utilities included (except propane, phone and Internet). You just need to move and stay at another park for your “week out” and come back in.
So for hundreds of people and families, central Florida has become a nomad’s cycle of constant (but limited) travel between a few RV parks. It is a very self-supportive group with their own page on Facebook where they share used items, knowledge, daily activities, hints, tips, and tricks. To quote Hillary, “It Takes a Village”. Only this village has wheels. I’m sure every family does so for different reasons, but I suspect that a lot of this is driven by economic necessity.
I assume all the children are home schooled. But before you look down your nose at that, it seems to me that many of our most famous and influential leaders were home schooled (without the benefit of the Internet I might add) and lived in rather cramped conditions as children. It didn’t seem to harm them. Maybe on the other hand it gave them a sense of family and view of the world that allowed them to excel as adults. AND don’t forget most RV parks have playgrounds, pools, activity centers and various forms of recreation. All within a few hundred feet. Not a bad life for child or adult. And not a bad way to spend a winter.
AFTER THOUGHT: Corporations get a lot of heat for being greedy. It may not be part of their “mission statement”, but take a second to credit ELS, TT and Encore for what they are doing to help a lot of people live a better life. (Including me).