Ultimate Urban Boondocking - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-13-2006, 08:17 PM   #1
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Once I had an Airstream Arogsy 20ft. motorhome. Nice unit for two people but our kids had a habit of getting bigger and bigger. I put it up for sale and had several instant positive responses. One elderly couple drove about 50 miles to look at it. They had one just like it with about 250,000 miles on it and mine had 50,000. They didn't buy it because it didn't have a 454 inch engine because they often tow a boat. During the conversation they went out about 4 to 6 months at a time. I felt that had to be real close for lenght of time, and said "Do you folks get tired of staying in campgrounds all the time"? With this they perked up and said we never stay at a campground. We never cook, don't have to empty black water tanks, have security around, food is almost always available, medical is near, clean bathrooms, some of which have showers and it is free.

Well this got me going. Here is what the did. EVERY TOWN HAS A HOSPITAL. Stop in the afternoon, park, security checks and they say we have a friend in the hospital, or Doctor said they need to be near a Hospital due to heart condition or what ever. Go in use bathroom (carry large bag with clean undies) in case a shower is available, often have them available for guests visiting patients. Go to dinner and eat at cafeteria ordering extra meal to go (lunch tomorrow). Go to sleep. Next morning, go in for an early meal which is quite cheap, bathroom stop and the hit the road. Next hospital etc. etc. They have stayed at several hundred places around the US. During the day McDonalds and gas stations cover the necessary potty stops.

Now they did have a generator for the microwave for lunch. Telephones are everywhere in a hospital and a long distance card took care of checking in on business, family and friends.

This fellow was a CEO of a very large modular home manufacturing and sales orginazation. Go figure!! Going CHEAP must be a calling.

Chow
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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I guess even RV folks can be sleazy and unethical, but this one takes the cake!

It isn't as if our health care system doesn't have burdens enough without these crummy freeloaders leeching onto it.
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:01 PM   #3
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Well, it is sort of funny!!!! I guess the security in those hospital parking lots are pretty good, too- so the old folks would feel secure!!

I mean-if you have to stay the night in a big city, it'd be hard to find somewhere!!
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:03 PM   #4
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That's pretty low for a guy with money.

However, I had a pal who was paying his own way through college. He knew every trick in the book to save money and make ends meet. He told me many years ago about the hospital trick. Of course he didn't freeload to the extent the mobile home exec did. What Tom would do is stop in the parking lots of hospitals on long trips and on his hiking trips so that he would be able to sleep in a safe place without having to pay for a hotel room or campground.

Once, on the way back from a backpacking trip we took in the Great Smoky Mountains, he suggested that we stop in a hospital parking lot to spend the night. We did that and slept in my van in sleeping bags. Safe and very cheap (you can't beat free).

But I would not do that with my Casita. I didn't buy my fiberglass trailer to drive it into urban areas when there are thousands of great parks and national forests where I can go camping.
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:31 PM   #5
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Our hospital has a parking area for patient & family use. Electric and water furnished no charge. A shutle bus comes by and gives you a lift to the front door. Saves me 120 miles round trip to the house. I've had to use it several times and it is a nice service furnished by the hospital. I'd hate to see it abused. MikeB
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Going CHEAP must be a calling.
Actually, frugality is a hallmark of people who amass a high net worth. So is buying quality; it's cheaper in the long run. They were driving an Airstream, weren't they? They just followed a different drummer.
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:57 PM   #7
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Frugality is when you are careful or economical in using your own resources. Fraud is when you use the resources of others under false pretences. I guess I can't see anything funny about someone fraudulently using hospital resources.
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:07 PM   #8
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Actually, frugality is a hallmark of people who amass a high net worth...
Sure, dishonesty, selfishness, and lack of moral standards are common attributes of people who accumulate a lot of money. I respect those who accumulate their wealth by earning it, not taking what is not intended for them. I'm with Mike - the people who really need the facilities will lose in the end if the facilities are abused.

Merriam-Webster defines frugal as
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characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources
but this is just using someone else's resources.

By the way, in the Edmonton area, you won't find a free parking spot at any hospital, so the scam would not work.

This is an interesting story, and amusing in the way that stupid criminal stories are amusing - not to be enouraged. I think it's important to distinguish between these people taking advantage of a service intended for others, and the Wal-Mart "camping" method of honestly using a service offered as part of a business arrangement. Both are parking lots with facilities, but the similarity ends there.

I'll get off my soapbox now...
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:15 PM   #9
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By the way, in the Edmonton area, you won't find a free parking spot at any hospital, so the scam would not work.
Hmmm. There are no free parking lots here in San Diego, either. Land is so expensive here that most hospitals have parking garages, and an Airstream Motorhome wouldn't fit.
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Old 04-14-2006, 05:09 AM   #10
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Our hospital has a parking area for patient & family use. Electric and water furnished no charge. A shutle bus comes by and gives you a lift to the front door. Saves me 120 miles round trip to the house. I've had to use it several times and it is a nice service furnished by the hospital. I'd hate to see it abused. MikeB
I had the displeasure of using this convenience myself years ago. It was a blessing. The idea of using it incorrectly for self gain, very poor judgment on their part and forsure there was nothing nice/interesting to look at.
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Old 04-14-2006, 08:37 AM   #11
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I have an idea the guy was putting you on. They probably do it occasionally, but on a continued basis for several months at a time? I doubt it.

On the other hand, I would expect most of us use our FGRVs as much for 'touring' as 'camping'. During a 2 - 3 week winter jaunt, we might only 'camp' in a pay campground 4 or 5 days. The other times we tend to be creative. Especially in the cities, there are usually no known places where one could pay to camp in a traditional sense.

This fellow is just a step or two ahead of me in creativity. If he was actually a CEO he obviously paid more taxes to support hospitals and the like than I. His 454 uses more fuel than my 6.2 L diesel, so he provides more fuel tax for the roads that I also drive on. He isn't crowding the prisons, on welfare, eating my food or taking a shower when and where I want. He probably doesn't drink heavily, do drugs, listen to loud music, have big dogs, cuss scare little children or submit to the urge to write crazy stuff on bathroom walls. In fact, I might find I really like the guy, if I had a chance to get to know him.
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:25 AM   #12
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What I see, here in San Diego, are people who are one step up from being homeless, living on the street in 20 foot Class-C motorhomes. The local newspaper wrote a story about it last year. Many are working poor, going to jobs, but cannot afford the astronomical housing costs. They just park at the curb on any public street. Homeowners have been complaining about them, but with our nearly bankrupt city government, the police have higher priorities for their scarce resources. I had some strangers "camping" in front of my house for a week, a bout 2 years ago.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:34 AM   #13
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Fred -- About 15 - 20 years ago we stayed in a hotel on business near the bay (don't remember exactly where but I faintly remember Rosecrans St.) There was a lot of paved parking along the beach and a statue with a traffic circle.

Anyway, in the winter the place was loaded with 'art busses', most with New Mexico licenses. They would park all day and into the night, but obey the NO PARKING from 2AM to 5AM or thereabouts. Then promptly at 5AM they would all roll back in to the best beach-parking camping spots in the area.

One of them gave me a tour of his bus. It was very interesting and beautifully decked out in an "artsy- craftsy" sort of way. It even had a porch with a rocking chair at the back and a ladder leading to a deck with rails on top. The occupants seemed to be several 25 - 30 somes and more than several kids. The kids were well behaved and being home schooled, it seemed in subject areas much more advanced than you would expect for their ages.

Overall everything looked to be controlled and in order, but just a bit different. They had been spending the last several winters there. Cheap living indeed. But these folks were definitely not 'poor folk' or 'down-and-outers'. They were young, educated, friendly living a free lifestyle that I have thought about many times since.

I'm sure they are gone now. The hotel owners would have been presuring the city fathers to work overtime to come up with some ordinance to move these free spirits on.

We have done this sort of thing on a limited basis for a day or two a few times with our Scamp. The last time was a year ago in the Malibu, Ca area while visiting relatives in the area. We would spend the evening with them, park in front of their house for the night, then before the crack of dawn we would be off to the beach.
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Old 04-17-2006, 11:51 AM   #14
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I once met a comic book artist who was basically living out of his van. He would drive around and find a good place to park for a few days and do that. Would bathe in public bathhouses. As far as I'm concerned, it was a horrible lifestyle and he eventually gave it up and returned to his home base in the Midwest after travelling all over the country living in his van.
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