Sign of the times: Fulltiming out of necessity - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-24-2008, 09:04 PM   #1
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I came across this article from the Associated Press a few days back and thought it may be of interest. Seems more and more people are turning to living in RV's and automobiles as a alternative to being flat-out homeless. It's raising concerns with communities who have to face a growing population on transients living on the streets, and having to accomodate those who are trying to deal with tough economic times.

All of this may be something for those who are considering fulltiming to take in mind as they may see more and more communities not putting out the welcome mat for fear of a flood of the "downwardly mobile".

Here is the link to the full article.

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Old 06-24-2008, 10:51 PM   #2
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We are all just a mortgage or rent payment away from being homeless. Of all the "luxuries" I own, the trailer will be the last thing to give up in financial crisis, just for this reason. If all else fails, I will have my own roof over my head that will be hard to take away. Living on a city street in it is not my plan, however.. but.. never say never. You don't know what is just around the corner.

I see this in my area, on forest service land frequently. Folks stay and move on to the other side of the mountain after 14 days in the many dispersed free areas. One often wonders about their financial resources.. you have to have a little extra to maintain and move the rig. There certainly are no jobs up here, for the most part.

I did just this myself in Oregon, long ago, during financial bad times, in my VW camper van. Oddly, I did not consider myself completely homeless as I was living in a shelter I paid for and provided for myself. I just didn't have a permanent address. I functioned day to day normally. I was legal, clean and fed and did not "live" among bad types..

Outside of the influx of RVs coming into folks driveways here so they can save on storage fees, there is one Toyota Chinook with it's top popped that has recently shown up at a house down the road. I wondered if they were living in it, or if it was just vistors on vacation etc.

Right now, even tho I don't like the giant motorhome in the street down the way, I have a little tolerance for it now as I am aware that folks will loose their RVs if they can't afford to store them. The motorhome has a for sale sign on it as well.. so they are making an effort to get it off the street for now. (I have NO problem with folks keeping them in their driveways along with their cars, as that is how mine is stored as well)

It's a sticky wicket.. but one I think will be happening more frequently. I'd rather have someone in their own space than under a tree in a park.


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Old 06-24-2008, 11:03 PM   #3
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I will add, however.. the article is somewhat misleading.

The woman has been living in that RV for 5 years, and is not a product of recent poor economic times. She is on disability for mental illness.

It may have been better to interview a recent home loss subject if they were trying to put the point across about the state of things currently.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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Right now, even tho I don't like the giant motorhome in the street down the way, [b]I have a little tolerance for it now as I am aware that folks will loose their RVs if they can't afford to store them.
There are 3 Class "C" 22' 1970's motorhomes on my block parked at the curb. They are complying with the new regulations for moving since San Diego instituted twice a week street sweeping, replacing a twice a month schedule. The side effect of the upgraded sweeping schedule is that vehicles are no longer abandoned in one spot for a month or more, as the sweeping moves have been vigorously enforced...
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:09 PM   #5
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I will add, however.. the article is somewhat misleading.

The woman has been living in that RV for 5 years, and is not a product of recent poor economic times. She is on disability for mental illness.

It may have been better to interview a recent home loss subject if they were trying to put the point across about the state of things currently.
Good point Gina, I didn't see that but you are absolutely right..

Living here near Myrtle Beach, a tourist area, we have our share of homeless and runaways, but I haven't heard much around here like what the article describes, although I do see a influx RV's overnighting in the Wal-Marts and shopping mall parking lots, with the occasional threadbare one in the mix.

While the Real Estate market here has stagnated, there's still growth going on, probably a lot of building that had been planned during better times. There are foreclosures, but obviously not as much as out in California.

But I find it very interesting that in a way, history is repeating with a growing transient poor enduring tough financial times...a kind of "Grapes of Wrath" effect. I just hope that there's not a trend with communities throwing out the baby with the bathwater, in trying to avoid having to accomodate a pool of poor transient squatters, they restrict those who are not in dire straights but would rather enjoy a fulltiming lifestyle by choice.

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Old 06-25-2008, 03:34 PM   #6
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Haven't read the article, but I am on a yahoo list for people who choose to live in their van/truck/whatever. It's been interesting to say the least to learn about this lifestyle. One thing that struck me is their insistence that not having a permanent address is not equal to being homeless.

Many of these folks 'fulltime' because they choose to. They like the freedom and they don't see why they should be tied down. Sounds a lot like the discussion of fulltiming going on here, yes?

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Old 06-26-2008, 01:33 PM   #7
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Haven't read the article, but I am on a yahoo list for people who choose to live in their van/truck/whatever. It's been interesting to say the least to learn about this lifestyle. One thing that struck me is their insistence that not having a permanent address is not equal to being homeless.

Many of these folks 'fulltime' because they choose to. They like the freedom and they don't see why they should be tied down. Sounds a lot like the discussion of fulltiming going on here, yes?
It is definitely a growing subculture. More so for many reasons. I expect a lot of aging baby boomers are at that stage where with kids grown & gone, they have made enough to be independently comfortable, and are still healthy & young enough to enjoy a great adventure. They can make a fulltime mobile lifestyle a really great experience.

I myself will have to hold off a few more years before I can "vagabond", although if I could hit the road today, I wouldn't hesitate.
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:01 PM   #8
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Personally as a realtor in California, I'm considering renting out my house, buying a 13' Scamp and spending the next year or so traveling around the country until the market picks back up. Its something I've always wanted to do, and what better time to have the "excuse" to do it?? Its a matter of turning lemons into lemonade.

Maybe in the process, people will realize they can live in smaller spaces quite comfortably and not be a slave to their mortgage payments. (Now, my biggest challenge- what should I buy, a Scamp or a Casita??)
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Old 06-30-2008, 12:50 PM   #9
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Personally as a realtor in California, I'm considering renting out my house, buying a 13' Scamp and spending the next year or so traveling around the country until the market picks back up. Its something I've always wanted to do, and what better time to have the "excuse" to do it?? Its a matter of turning lemons into lemonade.

Maybe in the process, people will realize they can live in smaller spaces quite comfortably and not be a slave to their mortgage payments. (Now, my biggest challenge- what should I buy, a Scamp or a Casita??)
Paul, my preference is naturally a Scamp, but Casitas are VERY nice. But to fulltime in one, whatever you get, get one with a shower/toilet.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:02 PM   #10
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Ah yes, fulltiming as a matter of choice.

When i retired early in July 2005 Melanie and I did not know where we wanted to live (we had an apartment in NYC). So we bought a Casita and traveled for 14 months. Then due to my father's illness we settled in Philadelphia for 18 months, but never intended to stay.

Now my parents are in a senior citizen home closer to the rest of my family and since May 1st we have been fulltiming again.

We are not homeless. Our home is where we park it ( http://escapees.com/ ). Due to the cost of gas we decided to stay in upstate NY for the summer (with trips to Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, New Jersey, Toronto, etc).

We intend to travel some this fall and end up
1. working/camping in Death Valley
2. Campground host in NC or Texas
3. staying in Pecan Park Campground in San Marcos where we spent the winter of 2005/2006

BTW a 17 ft Casita is small for two.


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Old 07-04-2008, 09:03 PM   #11
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Paul, I'm thinking that if you're thinking about full-timing it, get a 17'! It's nice to be able to leave the bed down all the time, but still have a table and seat to sit at (I have a SDX). Scamp or Casita, probably doesn't matter, though I'm partial to my Casita!

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Personally as a realtor in California, I'm considering renting out my house, buying a 13' Scamp and spending the next year or so traveling around the country until the market picks back up. Its something I've always wanted to do, and what better time to have the "excuse" to do it?? Its a matter of turning lemons into lemonade.

Maybe in the process, people will realize they can live in smaller spaces quite comfortably and not be a slave to their mortgage payments. (Now, my biggest challenge- what should I buy, a Scamp or a Casita??)
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:09 AM   #12
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One thing that struck me is their insistence that not having a permanent address is not equal to being homeless.

Many of these folks 'fulltime' because they choose to. They like the freedom and they don't see why they should be tied down.
Exactly!

I have been intentionally "homeless" for a bit over two years now, and so many people have a hard time understanding the concept of intentionally NOT having a home base. And if they can grasp the concept of RV full-timing, it is only as something retirees do as an extended vacation. Not something someone who is far from retirement would do intentionally, and while still working.

It is always nice to run across people who actually "get it"...

*grin*

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Old 07-08-2008, 04:58 PM   #13
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Another news piece, this time as a video. Just follow this link...to see how Santa Barbara CA is reacting to growing numbers of homeless who are inadvertantly "fulltiming".
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:41 PM   #14
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my new move to fulltiming should come pretty easy (after 31 years 'camping out' in my coast-to-coast semi-trucks) ... but, I had to get cornered before I made it happen ... lost everything I owned in the 2008 Humboldt fires, so I traded the 42mpg Civic in on a new Ford van, and (after visiting the factory), ordered my new Casita 17' FD, which I am scheduled to pick up mid-October ... I hope their 'finish' dates are reliable, as I'm wearing a hole in my friends' sofas , need to get rollin' ...
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