I’m becoming a Thousand Trails member.
At first I sort of resented being “forced” to do it. I found out the initiation would cost me double-rent at the worst possible time — after a December in which I didn’t make any money.
But then I really started warming up to it! Their starter packages are called “Zone Passes.” This means you get one region for one year, with no long-term contract. I did the math. Including the annual fee, daily fees, and “out-weeks” (every third week when you have to leave the system for 7 days), it all comes out to $300 per month, including utilities!
For me, that’s outstanding. I realize boondockers and retirees can do a little better than this, but I’m a working man that will be spending the better part of the next couple years in an expensive RV town (at least for folks with classic rigs). Yes, I’ll have the additional hassle of regular moving days, but considering the money I’ll save I’ll just look at it as earning wages. And it’ll be “kinda like” traveling…
In fact, I’m sort of excited to start bouncing around. I’ve already started a list of parks I want to try…
1. King’s Row : Definitely a “no-frills” park but they do have trees and I need to save money in January.
2. Arizona Charlie’s : Next to a casino and features private/modern restroom/shower facilities.
3. Main Street Station : Another casino and one block from Fremont Street!
4. Duck Creek : Far from The Strip but has a huge video library and should be fun exploring Henderson and Boulder City.
5. Hitchin’ Post : Stayed there years ago. Another remote park, this one in North Las Vegas. Best showers ever.
The membership is also providing me with much-needed financial relief as I start traveling with my trade show business again next fall. Now I can actually schedule events close to my campgrounds, fuel being my only additional cost. The SouthWest Zone includes:
1. One park in Las Vegas.
2. One park near Sedona.
3. Seven parks in Southern California.
4. Eight parks in the Bay Area and Sacramento.
This gives me several big cities to work with : San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento — just to name a few. It should be pretty easy to build a seasonal trade show/special event circuit out of all these venues.
I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I was on a “3-year plan” here in Las Vegas. But I’m becoming more and more clear I need a home base for a few years. Doctor’s appointments, veterinary appointments, storage/mail, new business address, temp work, contract work, establishing a local business, a strong supplemental income playing poker — Vegas needs to be home base.
The good news is I can start traveling again sooner rather than later! I can work around my travel schedule and, in 3 years, I can totally see myself traveling 6 months/staying in Vegas six months. Not a bad deal. I think that’s about how it’s going to be until Jeepers* passes on.
And you know what? There’s no down-side! I’ll be staying in different parks each month. Work will be different each month (whether it’s business, contract work, or playing poker). Every single month will be a new adventure!
I’m seeing the light.
Happy New Years Everyone!