Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to become a Full Time RVer

     I have been thinking lately about some of the accounts that I have read about the eagerness with which some people say that they adopted the full timer life style.  Sometimes I hear a different story in between the lines.  I personally did not elect to be a full timer, it kind of picked me.
First Full Time RV

     I was living in Southern California and got a job in the bay area.  I still had kids but was divorced.   I wanted to be in the lives of my children so I kept my house in Southern California and put my RV in a mobile home park in Bay Area.  Older Mobile Home Parks had difficulty getting new mobile homes to move into the parks so they let RV move in.  I would go back and forth spending weekends in LA and working in SF.  This worked okay for a time and then my ex moved herself and my daughter to Massachusetts an now there was no reason to stay in LA.  I got rid of the house and stayed in the Bay Area all the time.  I continued to live in the RV.  During this time I made friends with some of the residents in the park.  My neighbor behind me was a handyman.  I was always fixing things so Jim and I became friends.
     In California if you let any travel trailer remain in a mobile home park more than a certain number of days then the travel trailer become like a mobile home and is subject to all of the protections of a mobile home.  In other words rent control.  The solution that the parks come up with is to make the travel trailers move ever so often.  The travel trailers were required to remain outside the gates for a number of days and then allow right back into the same spot they vacated.
   This normally is a pain but is doable.  My journey to a full timer started on one of the occasions that Jim was required to move out of the park.  Jim had emphysema and over the time that I lived in the mobile home park he got worse.  It got to the point that he was on oxygen all of the time.   In the dead of winter he was required to move out of the park.  Since he had gotten worse he had not been able to work and money was tight for him.  He could not afford to stay in a hotel but did not want to leave all his worldly goods alone in his trailer outside the gates anyway.  So he parked behind the park next to the park fence.  At that time of the year the overnight temperatures reach down into the low 30's and high 28's.
    The problem was that Jim had no electricity which he needed for his oxygen generation machine and heat.  I snaked a long electrical cord across two spaces and out the fence so that he could run his oxygen machine.  The reaction that I got from the park was totally unexpected.  They first removed the cord while I was away.  I retrieve it and reconnected it.  Then the management came to me demanding that I remove the cord.  I refused and they threatened to evict me.  I remained fast and refused to remove the cord.  I pay the electric bill and I can give it away if I want to.  The electrical cord stayed but Jim ended up in the hospital for two weeks.  I cannot say for certain but I believe that it was because he was without heat and oxygen for the time that the management had removed the cord. 

     This started the war with the park.  They attempted to evict me and I fought them in court.  I eventually ended the litigation by agreeing to move in exchange for one year’s free rent.  I thought that I had got a good deal until it came time to move.  It seems that the attorney for the mobile home park represented all the other parks for miles around.  I was black balled.  The only thing that I could do is park on the street.  I wasn't sure that I was going to stay in the bay area so I didn't want to get an apartment.  So I stayed on the streets.  It took a while but I found safe places to park and developed a routine of moving around not staying in one place too long.  I ended up living in the bay area another four years staying on the streets.  This is how I came to be a Full timer.