The cost of 'Free Camping'
We call ourselves FREECAMPERS on Youtube and on our website for a reason. We do not appreciate spending money in a crowded campsite when we can enjoy the great outdoors with hardly another camper in sight and, we haven't paid our hard earned money for the privilege.
While not all free campsites are ideal; some are badly trashed and unkempt, or there could be unsavory characters living close by, but most campsites are well maintained by local authorities or Wildlife Management rangers. Currently, we are staying in a delightful corner of a huge lake in Texas. We get water views from both sides of our camper and the sunsets and sunrises can be observed from either window.
We feel truly blessed to be in a position to spend so much of our time in these great locations, but, the truth is, without our large water holding tanks and ample solar power, we would not have been able to do anywhere near as much camping as we would have done up to now.
That's the reason for this blog. It must be pointed out that just because we want to spend as little money as possible while on the road, in reality the initial cost of putting our trailer together in order to achieve our goals was horrendous.
The initial decision to put together our own trailer turned into an expensive project based mostly on the fact that we needed the trailer to be lightweight, so we had to go with the Aluminum option, which added at least $7000.00 to the cost of the basic trailer. Then we had the trailer manufactured to our specifications, which included adding three windows and a camping door. We also wanted to add extra height so that my other half, who is six foot 4 inches could stand upright.
Once the trailer was delivered, we then set about spending vast amounts of cash on the solar and battery (lithium) systems and we had extra large water holding tanks installed to give us the benefit of not having to use a local black water dump facility in a campground too often.
At the end of the day, our very basic camper cost close to what we might have paid for a factory-built toy hauler rig that would not have had anywhere near the useful features we have in our comfortable setup.
So, next time you see us on the road, don't presume we are living in a cargo trailer that has no useful features to it, think of our setup as a Freecamper unit that will take us anywhere we choose to go.
Travels 'out West'
We've enjoyed a great winter out West in mostly desert like barren environments. Some readers may be turned off by the previous sentence, but, until they have experienced this type of long term vacation, they should not make judgments on the folk that have been doing their annual pilgrimage to these areas for many years.
In fact, we have come across a number of snowbirds that have been to the exact same location with no thought about travelling anywhere out of the range that they have been in for years. I am beginning to think that this could be a way for us to do our future trips, now that we have found our possibly best winter destinations. The appeal of making an annual pilgrimage to the same camping area every year is that we get to see the same people we have camped with in previous years, and we know the best hiking trails to explore and the best shopping/restaurants that the area has to offer.
But then again, what about the appeal of visiting new places, meeting new people, and exploring new sites. Somehow, I think this option appeals to me more, just because I was born with itchy feet and have always loved exploring new, out of the way locations.
What I am learning is that the benefits of living our snowbird/nomadic lifestyle is that we can choose to do both. And in fact, we have learned that we can easily explore both sides of the continent, enjoying all the benefits of the south, whether it is the hot humidity of Florida, or the cool, dry temps in Arizona, the world is our oyster and we intend to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself.
Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque
Being avid snow-birders who consistently drive to different southern locations for the winter, when we had to make a decision for our next winter destination, we unanimously decided we wanted to kick off the season with our first trip to the annual balloon fiesta held in Albuquerque. After going online to check out the approximate cost of the trip, we became a little disheartened at the tremendous cost of a stay for the full 10 days of the event. However, while pondering our options, I came across a link to an invitation to put ourselves forward as volunteers
Hi there, I am Sue. the author of this Blog, and my husband Dieter, is very much my side-kick when it comes to our travels. Since 2010, we have taken a few RV trips across America, and in doing so, we have figured out what locations suit us best and also what type of camping vehicle we like to do our travels in. This blog is meant to let people read about some of our favorite places we have been to and also, we will discuss places we want to visit in the future. We will put forward our ideas on why we chose to convert our cargo trailer into a basic off-grid home for six months of the year.