RV park life, is it affordable for low income?

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^^^Correct me if I’m wrong but some did have problems with the metal frames rusting/breaking but for me being able to remove the fiberglass body to repair/rebuild the frame is minor compared to fixing water damage on a normal wooden framed camping trailer. Biggest problem I ever had with fiberglass was the weight of the door pulling out hinges after many years. I still think the Casita is one of the better trailers out there for a single person.
12K in credit card debt still
70K in student loans debt still

... 10+ years. Which I expect burnout will occur long before...maybe I'd be more optimistic

...a sizeable town 100,000-1,000,000 people...cheap and affordable...

...house of cards.. If I can't figure out my next move...

...im in panic mode....
Maybe during the summer I just pick up a 2nd part time job...

The more I seek answers[,] the more confused I become... if I fail completely[,] then I'm walking the streets at night...
I can see your 'panic mode' limiting your vision.
It happens to me, too.
That is my Lizard Brain, that ancient remnant of my pre-human existence, attempting to protect me by staying in the 'flight' section of the four potentials:
* Fight
* Flight
* Negotiate
* Capitulate.
Your uni experience (degree?) should be welcome at any campground or resort.
As a host, your spot is cheap or free.
Could this be your '2nd part time job'?
An aside:
I read your '2nd' as 'tuned', and that gave me quite the chuckle!
At your 'I could be more optimistic', I wondered about your current level of optimism.
Glancing through your objections, I get the impression your optimism is absent, so gaining some starting optimism would be a great first step for most folk.
And if you fail partially, you could walk the streets as a Professional Dog-Walker...
... solving two objections simultaneously!
By this point in The LM Fix For Everything, I get the impression I divide my decisions into bite-size choices:
* 'if I decide to do this, then that happens'
* 'if I decide to postpone deciding, then this happens'.
I honestly truly believe you are in an enviable position.
You can go any direction you choose.
In your November 2022 thread...
...you were feeling stagnation.
How are you doing today?
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I've seen the words "panic" and "burnout" mentioned here and I wanted to chime in to say: neither of these is inevitable. You can protect yourself from them. The scarier things are, the less you can afford to panic. You yourself seem of two minds about just how panic-worthy your situation is, so among other things I'd suggest that you nurture the side of you that believes you can work your way through this.

Burnout is not some condition that will inevitably descend on you if you have to do something unpleasant for a long time. You are not helpless against it. If burnout is a real concern for you, then I suggest you learn more about it and don't be shy about getting help for it. It's important to nip it in the bud as early as possible. I am not going to give you amateur advice but there is help out there.

Whether to take on more debt in order to pay off old debt -- and more risk when you are already feeling fragile -- is a big decision. I can't advise on the technical aspects but I know you need a clear head for it. Neither panic nor burnout are your friend in this situation, and you are stronger than them.
Responding to the consideration of using a Honda for towing or a Toyota. Do not buy a Honda for towing. Yes they are reliable but the rear suspension springs on the Hondas is not substantial enough for towing. They springs are not heavy duty. Honda does not even have a heavy duty option. Overtime he rear of the vehicle will begin to sag even if it is rated to tow the trailer you choose. Even people who frequently carry heavy loads in the rear of the vehicle experience a permanent sag. So unless you plan on retrofitting it with aftermarket heavy duty springs and at least a 1” lift spacer do not choose a Honda. Go with a Toyota instead. Both good vehicles but the Honda has that rear suspension issue that is going to cost extra to address to make it suitable.
^^^Correct me if I’m wrong but some did have problems with the metal frames rusting/breaking but for me being able to remove the fiberglass body to repair/rebuild the frame is minor compared to fixing water damage on a normal wooden framed camping trailer. Biggest problem I ever had with fiberglass was the weight of the door pulling out hinges after many years. I still think the Casita is one of the better trailers out there for a single person.
I have heard more about the frame breaking issue being related to the fiberglass Scamp trailer. But there is for great information the fiberglassrv forum that is dedicated to helping owners of molded fiberglass trailers make repairs. Frames can be reinforced at known failure areas. Those areas are indeed well known as are the ways to fix those issue.
12K in credit card debt still
70K in student loans debt still

With this level of debt the last thing you need is to buy an RV and get even deeper in debt.

There is an old saying: If you find yourself waist-deep in a hole, STOP DIGGING!

What course of study consumed most of that $70k? Whatever it was, can you make a living with it?

If not, maybe you should look into something that will actually produce an income in the near term. You mentioned Amarillo.

Amarillo has a well-respected truck driving school that is associated with Amarillo College. It is NOT a CDL-mill.

Cost for the course is around $6000 and they have dorms on campus, and assuming after 8 weeks and successful completion you might be able to hit the road full time for a few years, pay off your debts, gain life experience as well as see the country and get paid for it, and not even need a residence of your own.

With some OTR jobs you can live full time in your assigned unit and have almost zero housing expenses...or maybe the occasional night in a motel.

Today's experienced OTR company drivers can make between $40k and $120K a year...the first year you can expect to make at minimum around $30K after you have paid off your tuition, and from then on your income will only go up.

At any rate, we would like to see you stop floundering in this pool of despair and formulate a plan.

Good luck!
It is pretty funny to see only a 10 year life expectancy put on a trailer. My fiberglass trailer is 51 years old. There are other sister ships from the same factory still on the road. Go get a molded fiberglass trailer and stay away from those wood stick framed travel trailers that leak water like a sieve and start having rot and mold issues within 10 years.
Easier said than done unfortunately.
Ever since Covid jacked up all the rv prices, finding a good used fiberglass "egg" has been rather difficult and expensive.
The 10-15 year life of a regular not so well made tin trailer is probably reasonably accurate. Rot kills more rv's than just about everything else combined, me thinks.

I came off of a rough 18 months of working 60-80+ hours weeks in order to clear debts and get some emergency savings. Instead of a 60+ mile drive back home I slept in the cramped CUV and generally lived an uncomfortable life in order to get things back in order.

It takes a lot of sacrifice to get the financial ship righted when it's in danger of sinking. Not saying I had the OP's debt but hard choices have to be made. (I relocated to another state with a much lower cost of living to help with the finances, it just had to be done.)

Best of luck OP.
I've followed Bob W for ohh, 7-8 years now, off and on.
At first he was saying to just get out there... No need for savings, very low monthly income.
Later he changed and said you needed about $3K in savings and somewhere around/over $7-800 a month income. A lot more realistic advice.

At about 3:04 in the 6 year old video he said that people were afraid of unsafe things happening, or something to that effect. I agree that we should not be allowing worry to paralyze us, however there's a certain amount of realism that needs to be included.

Just this morning I saw a news clip where in Hot Springs AR a storm dropped 4" hailstones yesterday, going straight through windshields/back windows and leaving softball sized dents in the vehicles. The tv person said that many cars were totaled and it was pretty obvious that you couldn't drive the sedan that they had pictured.

Point being, if that was your vehicle which you were living in, you are likely now truly homeless as opposed to merely "unsheltered" or houseless.

Bad things do happen and without enough saved up (or a good credit score) to quickly replace your vehicle and needed items with something adequate, you aren't any better off than the person on the park bench/sidewalk.

A person doesn't need tens of thousands of $ saved up, but they do need a steady income, a budget, the willingness to stick to spending less and a plan to follow.

The OP's listed $82K in debts (the worst is the 12K in credit cards due to that high interest) is the first thing that needs to get addressed.

School loans can be minimum balance paid and dragged out, maybe some magic fairy will waive a wand and it will all go away. Unfortunately it usually is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

If it was easy then nobody would need to ask anyone else for advice...
The closest rv park to me (in N. Georgia) says this:


Daily Rate = $50 (Back in) $60 (Pull Thru)
Weekly Rate
= $300-$350 (Up to 2 people)
Monthly Rate
= $525-$650 (Up to 2 people) Plus Electricity. $200 Deposit. Maximum term is 6 months. Limited availability for monthly sites. We do not offer permanent sites.
We accept Cash and Credit Card.

DAILY/WEEKLY Rate Includes:

  • Aluminum picnic table
  • Full hookup. Unlimited electricity.
  • Unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi
MONTHLY Rate Includes:
  • Aluminum picnic table
  • Water and Sewage
  • High-speed Wi-Fi ($20 monthly)
  • Elec is metered and billed separately based on usage.
*Masters Week 2023 at Heritage starts on Tues March 28th, and ends on Mon April 10.

During Masters week, Heritage transforms as over a hundred Masters Patrons from across the country make the trip to Augusta, GA. We have an increase of Masters Patrons annually, and it's easy to see why--Heritage becomes a place of community and friendship during Masters Week. We often see outdoor grilling and BBQ'ing among several campers as people get together and talk about their experiences or day at the tournament. It's common to see permanent friendships formed here among campers.

We have 3 packages for Masters week: (We do not offer separate days outside of packages below)
Package A $400 Includes Sun, Mon, Tues (Depart Wed morning)
Package B $650 Includes Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun (Depart Mon morning)
Package C $1000 Includes arriving Sunday before Masters and departing 8 days later on Mon morning after Masters.
Women's Amateur Days $125 per day. Choose your days between Tuesday, March 28th 2023 through Saturday, April 1st 2023 (Depart Sun morning, April 2nd).

(end of copied portion)

So, you will be paying appx $650 plus electricity a month (unless you happen to be there during the Masters golfing week when you get to pay an additional $1K to avoid being kicked out).

Is it cheaper the rest of the year than an apartment, well yes but you are renting a "space" as opposed to having 4 walls/ceiling/floor electricity and plumbing. Oh and you may not be "acceptable" if you are in a van...
Here‘s another area park near the city of Atlanta. Note the costs, which again, rival those of a studio apartment in many urban areas as well as the statement at the bottom…


Regular site (2 or more months): $750.00/month plus electricity metered at your site (plus occupancy tax on 1st month only)

Regular site (1 Month): $1100.00 plus electricity metered at your site (plus occupancy tax)

Deluxe site (2 or more months): $850.00/month plus electricity metered at your site (plus occupancy tax on 1st month only)

Deluxe site (1 month): $1200.00 plus electricity metered at your site (plus occupancy tax)

All rates include: Full Hookup site with 50, 30, and 20 amps electrical, water, and sewer, dumpster, showers, and coin laundromat. LP Gas service is available for purchase.

Monthly rates also include: Paved level site, patio, site maintenance, and keyed postal box. Cable and Internet is available by purchasing a package through Comcast.

$100.00 Nonrefundable deposit required when reservation is made in advance. All sites are first come first serve. All sites are month-to-month with no lease available.

You can get cheap RV living by avoiding "Destinations", such as Atlanta, Augusta, Florida, etc.
I use the "no tents" criterion to find RV parks that are likely to accept my cargo van - just run it backwards. Call up an RV park and ask them if they accept tents. IME, if they accept tents they will also accept the vehicle that brings the tent.
Makes sense.

A guy down from me has an older schoolie, unsure what year but it‘s a sorta short one, maybe originally a 30 ish passenger. Certainly not a full size. Has a deck on the top, cargo rack on the back with an open frame gennie and a mni split. Probably comfortable to live out of.

He said he cant find parks here in the SE that will let him in, but then the flaking white paint and piled up items on the cargo rack aren't too becoming, so he stays in older industrial areas.

Schoolies are great for inside room, solar on the roof and rugged construction, but he needs to be out n the SW on government lands as opposed to here. He still works so can‘t just leave this area.

Might be a good idea to align your vehicle with your surroundings more.
I‘d guess he has enough costs in the conversion he could have purchased an older 90’s class C which if kept up, could be considered more acceptable to a park.

Oh and have you been around Atlanta lately? Not very much a tourist place, its really the Houston of the SE, urban sprawl and crime galore.
I avoid it at all costs, but like I heard years ago when I did fly some, “if you are going to hell you still have to go thru Atlanta”.
Another problem with most of parks like those that don’t allow tents is many may have a “10 year old rule” which means your RV must be less than 10 years old. Many years ago we got around that by buying a cheap small salvaged 3 year old camper trailer pulled by our well kept 30 year old motorhome. Mainly used it for cargo as it was stripped out inside.
“RV Parks” are not only more expensive, but more likely to have restrictions based on age of rig, whether it is a self made conversion, signs that say “we retain the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason”, etc.

Public campgrounds don’t have these kinds of restrictions, are also generally much less expensive, but for high season in touristy areas, when particularly state parks can get very spendy.
Agreed on public parks. Since I don‘t stay out in them much, I‘m not as aware of how crowded they are post-Covid. All I am sure about is how in certain areas, such as the Rockies/western slope in Colorado, my brother reports a 9-12 month wait to get a reservation. Course he has a 34’ 5th he has to shoehorn in, and also needs/looks for 50 amp service.

Now if you are in, say, West Texas or New Mexico then spots in the state and county parks are likely more available, at least that‘s what YT poster Rusty78609 reports. See his more recent video entitled “Full time rver? Home base vs rv parks” as an example. Tip, play it on 1.5 or 1.75 speed.

In the video he mentions that in his area of the southwest, he sees park fees averaging around $700 a month.
Your best bet is to become an employee at an RV park if you want to stay in those higher priced areas near large cities. But that would impact being retired.

Of course for me, there is now nothing in the way of attractions and no one person in a city that I am interested in enough to persuade me to live there full time. Visit occasionally sure. But live there, no way. I would miss the serenity of dispersed camping life.
Dispersed camping would certainly be my choice, but then I am fairly introverted.