Posts Tagged ‘RV lifestyle’

Our Fifth Wheel on old truss bridge in Arizona

Our Fifth Wheel on old truss bridge in Arizona

Bottom-of-the-barrel gas prices are also helping drive interest in the RV lifestyle, experts say. Tourists can pack up the family and make a long summer drive for cheaper than flying, especially when airlines with locked-in fuel costs haven’t yet passed along fuel savings to passengers.

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camp hosts “Good mornin’,” Dave Gray calls in a Louisiana drawl to a couple walking towards Flathead Lake.

Gray works at Big Arm State Park, operated by the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Department, as a camp host.

Big Arm State Park has 41 campsites and three yurts, two large and one small.

The perfect person to be a camp host, Gray likes people and the recreational vehicle lifestyle. He visits with any campers out walking, answers questions, gives directions if asked, sells firewood and ice and makes change for the showers.

He and wife Judy are from Haughton, La.

“We love the RV lifestyle,” Dave Gary said. “We love to travel and were blessed to be able to retire fairly early.”

Dave is a former firefighter, and Judy is a registered nurse.

The couple has been camp hosting for four years, but this is their first year in Montana.

Dave is a former firefighter, and Judy is a registered nurse.

The couple has been camp hosting for four years, but this is their first year in Montana.

Judy has a brother in Arlee who has lived here for 22 years.

“It’s fun getting to know him again,” Judy said, and she and Dave wanted to get to know his family.

“It’s hot back home, and it’s cool here,” Dave said, citing another reason for coming to Montana.

The FWPD has a computerized central reservation system, Dave said. He prints each day’s campsite reservations and then makes rounds of the park to see if any campers came in late at night. Then they prepare the park for the day. A volunteer, Judy and another volunteer clean bathrooms while Dave checks reservations, puts reserved tags on campsites and cleans campsites as people leave.

“We handle cancellations, custodial work and light maintenance,” Dave said.

Mowing and watering the grass, keeping the bathrooms, pit house and bath house stocked and clean, picking up trash around the park and cleaning and prepping the campsites keeps the camp hosts busy. For larger jobs, FWP has a maintenance guy on call.

There are four camp hosts at Big Arm State Park, two on duty at any given time. The Grays and one other camp host work three days on and four days off, while the other crew works four days on and three days off.

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Seeley familyThree years ago, Todd Seeley was literally working a stressful job as a coal miner in Colorado. Before that, he was in a demanding job as a heavy equipment mechanic working for Caterpillar. Both of which meant he didn’t see his family much.

They wanted better control of their lives and a life change, which revolved around travel, so they could show their son America on a very personal journey.

“Our pastor knew we were exploring the idea of jumping into the RV lifestyle and he suggested we talk to another couple at church whom he knew ran a business from their RV every winter,” he explained. “By the end of the conversation, they sold us their business — and their motorhome.”

“The family we bought it from had spent several winters traveling around and building window shades for RV owners,” Renee explained. “They were not full-time RVers, but they had been for quite a while. The couple built shades to supplement their retirement income.”

God’s hand was clearly at work, they explained. “We thought it would take six months or even a year for everything to go through and make the deal, but everything happened within a few months,” she added.

Their home in Colorado had been on the market for months, but they still didn’t have any offers. Yet, over a four-hour period one afternoon, they got the house leased and bought the business and the coach. And the guy who wanted their home, also wanted just about every piece of furniture in it as well.

“All we had to do was clean out the closets,” Renee said.

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