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Old 09-17-2012, 11:53 AM   #1
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A trip gone long

Friday, August 10th my daughter and I in our Georgetown, and two of my friends and their families in their RV’s where leaving for a trip together. We where going to go to Lake Shasta for a week, then down to LA for another week. However with the temperatures in Lake Shasta reaching above 110 and fires in the area we decided to skip that.

So we spent a weekend at a friend’s house who has lots of land. Parked in his field. Sat around the fire pit for the weekend.. Sunday morning south and a night at Seven Feather RV Park in southern Oregon. By the way I highly recommend that place if you’re going up or down I5, great place to stop and rest. South again to the KOA in Sacramento. It’s a little off the beaten path but it’s nice too.

Then to Valencia Travel Village just north of LA. We stayed here for most of a week and went to Universal Studios and down to Hollywood. Then down to Anaheim RV Resort, which is only a mile from Disneyland.

My friends planned to stay just less then a week. But my daughter and I had booked a full two weeks here. We where enjoying ourselves, seeing the sights and spending lots of time at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. When one day fairly late in our stay we went to ride The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. But it was closed. The sign read, “Haunted Mansion is closed today and will reopen September 14th (about three weeks away) for Haunted Mansion Holiday” My daughter was very sad and asked me, “Dad, can we stay until it opens again?”

My initial thought was to tell her no. But as a parent I’ve trained myself that just because a child has an out-of-this-world idea doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. So I thought about it and thought about it some more. This year I’m home schooling my daughter. And I had been working almost full time this whole trip. I’d only taken two days off so far. My job allows me to work from anywhere I have a cell phone and an Internet connection. The cats (our only pets) where on board. So why couldn’t we stay?

I talked to the people at the RV park and could get a great rate changing our stay from two weeks to five weeks. I got out the spreadsheet and the budget and crunched the numbers. If we where careful we wouldn’t have money trouble.

So here we are 38 days later. It’s Monday morning and I’m sitting in my RV at the Anaheim Resort RV park. We’ve had a great time! This weekend we saw The Haunted Mansion Holiday and boy was it worth waiting for. Really neat! We’re scheduled to leave here on Saturday and the only question now is where do we go? It makes no sense to go north and back home since we have an RV spot booked at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta October 11th – 15th. Between here and there is Las Vegas, Hoover Dam and Williams, AZ where the Grand Canyon Railway is. Onward and hope the money holds out!

2008 Georgetown SE 350DS BunkHouse
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
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Time spent RV with your daughter will never be forgotten.
I have stayed in Williams AZ at the Railroad RV Campground a few times and the railroad ride to the Grand Canyon is fun especially for kids that have never been on a train. Just get tickets for coach both ways and not the extra expense on Parlor Car or Obervation Car. You have a nice slow ride and enjoy the change of the scenery. They have a package deal for the train ride and a bus tour of a few Grand Canyon observation area then a lunch then back on the train. take a backpack with frozen bottles of water and use them as they thaw.

If you plan on heading back to Washington I'd suggest go up to Salt Lake City and then to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone if you have time and money. Stay in West Yellowstone Grizzly RV Campground which is just outside the west entrance.

From the you head back to Washington easy

2012 Georgetown XL - 378TS 60,000 miles
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #3
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FANTASTIC you get to spend the time with your daughter. Neither of you will ever forget it.

Kudo's to you for being a good parent.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:13 PM   #4
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What a great dad-Kudo's to you. A time you will always remember
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:28 AM   #5
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UPDATE: We're still on the road. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta was great. I recommend it if you've never done it. They have many fields of HUGE RV parking areas. Rally style parking, it was a lot of fun.

We went to Williams, AZ and rode the Grand Canyon Railway. That was a lot of fun, easy and stress free way to see the Grand Canyon. Plus the town of Williams is beautiful. It's a Route 66 town with lots of neon everywhere, plenty of great places to eat and shop. The Grand Canyon Railway RV park is really nice and right next to main street.

Right now we're in Mauldin, SC where my ex-wife (and my daughter's mother) lives. We parked in front of their house for a few days until the Code Enforcement Officer (With a gun and a badge) came to tell us that parking an RV on the street in this city is against the law. Thankfully he was a great guy and helped us get a permit for "Temporary Non-Occupancy Residency" to park on the side yard behind their house (as required by the permit) for two weeks. So we backed the RV into the yard, put a bunch of plywood and cribbing under the jacks and settled in.

That's about when the HOA showed up. Said that they're talking to their Lawyers about sewing the city for issuing a permit against their convenents. And that I had to remove the RV "at once!" After talking to them for a while they agreed to bring it up at their meeting and get back to us. They haven't been back so far. Apparently they're getting daily calls from others in the neighborhood. One person said, "I feel like I'm living in an <N-Word> trailer park!"

You've heard of Southern Hospitality? Well don't look for it in this neighborhood of South Carolina. On the plus side SC law forbids towing of vehicles from private property without the OK of the property owner. SC law also provides no support for HOA's leveling fines against their members. All they can do is write me a ticket and if that happens I'll just pay it and leave. We're only here a few more days anyway so we'll see what happens.

Next stop, hopefully Florida, and then maybe we'll start heading back west again. I can't wait to update the map on my signature.
2008 Georgetown SE 350DS BunkHouse
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
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Wow - that's exactly what my dream is for our family. My wife and I both have jobs that are like yours - doable anywhere with internet and cell coverage.

Thanks for posting - this is something we can strive for and say "hey, somebody else did it, so can we!"
--2009 Sunseeker 2860DS (Class C)
- one Hotwife, and two boys under 2(with one on the way!)
2013 - 53 days
2012 - 26 days

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Old 11-02-2012, 12:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RoadTrip View Post
Wow - that's exactly what my dream is for our family. My wife and I both have jobs that are like yours - doable anywhere with internet and cell coverage.
You should do it, I think you'd really enjoy it. If you have a georgetown I would recommend putting in an whole house inverter and a satellite dish of some kind on top (I like the domes) I would have been much less happy if it hadn't been for those two things. Upgraded batteries are a plus too.

I wish I had some form of transportation. Even a moped on the back would be enough. A towed car would be better. At one point I took a 10 mile bike ride in 95 degree heat to buy cat food. And I've spent quite a bit of money having places like Safeway (Vons) deliver groceries, but much less money then a rental car would have cost.

I've also learned that it pays to stay in one place longer. Since I don't have a schedule I can be flexible with toward the best deal a place will give me. The RV Park in Anaheim charged me $750 for two weeks ($53/day), but when I changed my stay to five weeks I only owed an additional $350 ($31/day). Mostly places have reduced weekly rates. But generally any AAA or GoodSam type of discounts don't count against longer rates.

I've also learned the joy of Flying J truck stops. Go to one (Or a Pilot Truck Stop, same company) and get a free RV guide. Most of the Flying J's have dedicated RV parking (which you can park overnight at), dump sites, Potable water to fill your tank and RV fuel lanes. They also say in their guide, "You're welcome to park overnight in any available truck or RV spot." So some nights I just pulled into one of the big truck spots behind the place. They're all pretty nice and well lit and you're surrounded all night by others in their trucks and RV's so it seems pretty safe to me.

If you get the Pilot/Flying J RV membership card (free) you get $0.03/gal off fuel and dump charges are $5 instead of $10. Plus gas is the same price cash or credit. Really great setup when going cross country and putting lots of miles on. My typical travel day looks like this. Work in the morning, as soon as work is done start driving, drive to a Flying J, park for the night and relax, next morning get up and work until I'm done and drive off again. I make sure to fill up with gas and spend some money in every truck stop I stay at.

2008 Georgetown SE 350DS BunkHouse
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