Great Place to stay End of May thru End of Sept. Free Busses, Food Distribution, etc.

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Jul 10, 2022
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I live in the Truckee CA area, living within a National Forest not too far from the ski resorts. It's normally a VERY expensive area to stay here

A couple from our church stays from: the last wk in May until the last week of Sept for DIRT CHEAP.

All of where they go and what they do revolve around Highway 89 & Donner Pass Rd located just at the top of 89 (where the Truckee Rec Center is)

Why stay here for 4 months a year? You will live like Kings.

✦ Free LUSH busses for all which take you and Tourists around Truckee and the Tahoe area. The Bus schedule is set, pretty much every 30 min a new bus
✦ Weekly Free Food Distribution every Tuesday. Take the Free bus or drive up Drive up but you can take the bus there and pick up groceries.
✦ Grocery Outlet- Fantastically fresh, good food, much of it is healthy, for very inexpensive. The best one we've ever shopped at. (Donner Pass Rd)
✦ Safeway- 24/7. Arrive around 8pm at night Sun-Tue (their less busy times) and stay all night. Park as far away as possible and they'll ignore it since the
parking lot has plenty of spaces.(off Donner Pass Rd)
✦ Highway 89 which hits Donner pass Rd his has plenty of Campgrounds, most with huge bodies of water. Can stay at each for to 14 days a year. Alternate to stretch it out.
$22 a piece.
✦ Park at the Truckee Rec Center at Hwy 89/Donner Pass intersection when you take the bus from there. More than 2 days, you should probably park somewhere else.
✦ It's only about a 15 min drive on average form the campgrounds to the Rec Center.
✦Donner Pass Road hitting Hwy 89 is only about 2 miles long but has all you need.

Their schedule:

Tue: Morning until 1pm- at a local Campground (Prosser, Boca, Upper/ lower Little Truckee, Cottonwood, Creek Campground at Donner State Park, etc)
*2pm-3:30pm*- Attend Church Bible study
*4pm-5pm* Truckee Free Food distribution. Mostly healthy food from local grocery stores. This is an area big on health food which means normal food.
You'll receive 2-3 bags of food which usually contain meat, eggs, vegetables, some packaged items
*5pm-6pm*- Shop at Grocery Outlet off Donner Pass Rd. It's the best and cheapest Grocery Outlet we've ever shopped at. A ton of health food too.
6pm-6:30 Go tot New Moon Health Food store off Donner Pass. They buy 2 juices at the Fresh Juice Bar (kale, carrot, celery) at $7.50 each
They ALSO collect enough free Carrot greens from the produce section to sauté each night (about 1/3 a cup a piece). Grocery outlet is cheaper so
they shop there for the rest of their food. Again, all of this is within 1-2 miles.

Wed 9:30am. They park at the Truckee Rec Center and get on the Free Lush Town Bus.
9:45 at Starbucks
10am -back on the free bus to tour around Truckee/Tahoe area. It's BEAUTIFUL. Bus drives into the Ski resorts too.
12-12:30pm- Back at the Truckee Rec Center where they usually take the 1 mile trail walk in the woods behind it.
1:30pm. Leave Truckee to go back to the Campsight to stay the night

Thu. 9am-10:30am. Fish. Always stay at the Creek Campsite on Thursdays off Donner Pass State Park so close to the library
11:00-Noon. have lunch at the campground
Noon-2pm. Ride the bus to the local Library off Donner Pass Road (or drive, it's so close)
Go online, check out books. Back by 1:30pm. Spend the day & night mostly reading.

Fri. 9am-10:30am. Hike around Donner State Park. Use the $20 a year America the Beautiful pass to park in the day use area.
Noon-1:30pm. Ride the bus somewhere to go have lunch @ Village Pizzeria. Can dine for $25 for a Small Pizza & One large size Salad.
It's about 3 pieces of pizza and a good sized salad with a few soft drinks. Cost is about $25. Not too bad. Excellent Pizza!

Sat. It's very busy in Truckee so too crowded for them to go anywhere but I think they occasionally take the bus to the Downtown Truckee Farmers Market
in the morning. This is not off Donner pass but still, just a 15 min drive to park at the Rec Center and ride 10-2o min to downtown Truckee.
Generally they spend the rest of the day fishing or just hanging out at their campsite. Sometimes they play board games with other campers or other
Campers will hang out with them for the day, such as riding the bus to the Farmers Market together.

Sun. 10:30am-12:30. This is the pricey part, they do drive 20 min to church and back. They also park at the day use area of Donner State Park
for the day. Much of this day is spent reading, they love books. Fishing. Hiking. At 8pm, they go to the 24/7 Safeway just up the road off
Donner Pass to stay the night.
Mon. Up and off by 8am in the morning to ensure there is enough parking spaces. No one bothers them at Safeway. Usually shops at Grocery Outlet
right across the street then back to the Campground off highway 89 for the rest of the morning until

Tue. 9am. Leave campground and park at the day use area in Truckee. This is just 15 min away. Eat at Taco Bell for Lunch for under $10 each.
8pm- Back to Safeway to spend the night.

Campground Cost- $22/ 5 days a wk- $450 a month.
Grocery Outlet- The cheapest and best one we've ever shopped at. We've loyally shopped at 3-4 throughout our life.
Gas- $85-$100 per month $6 a gallon but most days you have a 30 min round trip commute before getting on the bus but you could just drive
5 min more and never get on the bus. So add $25 for that.

$575 a month total. Then whatever you pay for food which could be $5 or less per day, easily, shopping at Grocery Outlet.

Donner Pass Road, within 2 miles is- Library, Safeway, Grocery Outlet, health food store, gas station, Dairy Queen, Hair Salons, Restaurants, Banks,Health Food Store, utilities, schools, UPS store, Clothing stores, etc. Hitting the Donner Pass Rd is the intersection at the Truckee Rec Center where you can park
your car or park at Donner State Park using your America The Beautiful State Park pass. (their preference because they like to swim in Donner Lake)

Since this is a wealthy tourist area, they do not bother you as you park as long as you use common sense. There really isn't any homeless as they cannot live here year round due to the extreme snowy weather which is vital to the Local Ski Resorts. So there are very few homeless. As long as there are a ton of parking spots open, you are ok. Cops will not bother you to spend the night in the Safeway or McDonalds Parking lots, Savemart parking lots if you do it on a less busy night or go at 8pm- afterwards I know this couple pushes it to 2x a week, without issue. Trading off, you should easily get 3 days, probably more but I just cannot offhand recall safe places being a bit new here.

Cost- America The Beautiful Pass- $20 a year.
Campsite $22 a night. They usually stay 5 days a week but sometimes it's 4 days.
^^^Combine this with some seasonal work, online courses and volunteer opportunities and life is good year round if you winter in the warmer climates and just gets better as long as you can stay healthy.
^^^Combine this with some seasonal work, online courses and volunteer opportunities and life is good year round if you winter in the warmer climates and just gets better as long as you can stay healthy.
Absolutely. Great ideas you've provided
I forgot that couple volunteer at the Food bank most weeks. Darn I forgot she said that. They are always short on volunteers and have way too much food donated from the local grocers. Calif, by law, now forces all Grocery stores to donate their excess food. This couple also gives the usual couple 4 months off from cleaning the church bathrooms every Sunday.

The ski resorts here hire for p/t help. Offer free skiing passes+ equipment for just working weekends but it is restricted to certain days & hours. A full season pass with a few guest passes is provided if you work full time for the season. I hear there is about a 8 week break in between if you wanted to stay and work the Summer Season too. I am confident they would love to provide a free spot for boon docking. You could maybe join the gym here for
Seasonal work in remote areas if you work long enough or get hired to a career seasonal position qualifies you to receive unemployment insurance benefits during your time off or furlough.
Yes, I've heard that is possible here in California. Honestly, there really isn't but a few seasonal positions in our town and the poorest Seniors on SS, well they take those jobs and return every year to the position. It gets them by all year.

A few younger people work from June-Mid Aug who have kids so don't want to work all year.

Truckee has the ski resorts so hire seasonally but they are openin the Summer so with the month wait required by EDD, there really is no qualifying for unemployment benefits. The company would've offered you a summer position too and if you refuse, you wouldn't qualify for Unemployment benefits. Honestly the companies, even if they didn't offer you a summer job, would probably say they did to prevent you from qualifying for benefits. It costs them when more people are on Unemployment.
We own an older Coronado RV but we need to care for our adult son who is ill for another 6 months to a year. He has schizophrenia but is doing well now finally on the right meds. He will be okay but we cannot be gone longer than a weekend. Well probably a few weeks or more but I don't want to do that. He needs his daily organic fruit and vegetable juice

Bulldog if you want to try a seasonal position there is a town called Emigrant Gap CA. A really nice Thousand Trails Campground is located there.. Closest town is Truckee about 30 min away. It's one of the better Thousand Trails and always closes up due to heavy snow. I really wanted to stay there half the year since my husband works in Soda Springs just up the way 20 min for half the year, mostly in good weather due to his business.

They hire for seasonal staff each year. Wildfires closed them down early last year, I believe they were only open for 1 month. IT was intolerable to stay there but the manager was still able to stay inside the house on the premises I heard. I assume it has filtered A/C or he'd be gone too. A free camp sight is included with the job. I've not met anyone who has worked there so this is just from memory when I saw a job on Indeed. I called to inquire. It only pays minimum wage and there are no real benefits to speak of (except what is required by law, I guess health insurance which probably sucks, Thousand Trails is not the best employer). The lake out there is BEAUTIFUL. It's within like 7-10 min of rivers located on Highway 20. Great cycling down Highway 20 too. One perk is it doesn't get too hot due to the high elevation. Jobs advertised were for positions like: Security, Clerk? at the Store so you sell groceries, fishing licenses, etc and do crafts with the kids in between customers.
No guard card or experience needed for security. Just toot around the campground in some motorized vehicle, help out as needed, clean bathrooms, stop fights I suppose, etc.
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Thanks! I’m trying to quit working since l’ll be 72 years old this year. Lol!!! I’ll probably drive a shuttle in the park this year. We are winding down but may travel that way when my wife finishes up her career seasonal job with the National Park Service in a couple of years.
Thanks! I’m trying to quit working since l’ll be 72 years old this year. Lol!!! I’ll probably drive a shuttle in the park this year. We are winding down but may travel that way when my wife finishes up her career seasonal job with the National Park Service in a couple of years.
Driving a shuttle sounds relaxing. What is your wife doing for the Park Service, if it's okay to ask? No need to reply if you don't want to
She is a Lead Fee Technician (supervisor at the entrance fee booth) Career Seasonal and will be eligible for a small retirement in a couple of years. We have both worked seasonally for the last 17 years while living in an RV worked for concessionaires, State of Utah and the National Park Service. We also occasionally do volunteer as well.