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Open Roads Forum  >  Snowbirds

 > costs to snowbird

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old guy

Oregon (pronounced Or e gun)

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Posted: 02/22/12 08:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am working my way to snow birding, I mean my DW is working her way, I retired in 97. But I have been told to start planning to start snow birding in about two years in Arizona. In fact she told me I quote,"If we are going to go to Arizona in two years for the winter, we need a TT with a slide out. Now, I am not one to drag my feet when she says jump, so I am on the internet every day researching the art of snow birding. And buying a TT with a slide, might have gone over board on that one, I ordered a TT with three slides, So I will be bugging you all who snow bird to release all your secrets and some what personal likes and dislikes. For one thing, and I know this has a lot of variables, how much does it cost to spend a month down there. I know this is one of the variables since staying in a CG or boon docking are in the equation. I have talked to one guy who tells me it costs about as much to live down there in a CG as it does up here and pay water and heating etc. AND where can I fly my RC planes. I guess this is enough for one day, I will be back later. thanks

Finally Fulltiming

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Posted: 02/22/12 08:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Relatively impossible to answer your question "how much does it cost?".

Boondocking is free - check CG's in the areas you're interested in for rates.

How long are you going to stay? Longer stays are cheaper/month.

Eating in is cheap. Going out is expensive.

Gasoline is expensive. How far will you travel? Gonna stay put or travel around sightseeing? How much will gas be in 2014?

Sightseeing can be expensive or cheap, depending on whether you enjoy nature trails or casinos.

Like living anywhere, main expenses are housing, food, entertainment. With RV'ing, gas can be another major expense.

And too many options in each category for someone else to provide answers. You could spend the next 2 years researching CG rates but they'll likely be higher in 2014.

I'd suggest you don't worry so much about the cost - instead focus on finding areas where the activities you & your spouse enjoy are available. Then enjoy them.

* This post was edited 02/22/12 08:48pm by Finally Fulltiming *

Ka Ron

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Posted: 02/22/12 09:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What it costs you to stay home is what it will cost to be a snowbird, plus $600 for fuel each way.
So whatever your monthly expenses are at home x number of months down south plus the cost to get there.


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The Texan

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Posted: 02/22/12 10:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quartzsite AZ has the best RC flying field and club by far, of any in AZ. Also, it can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you wish to make it. However, the weather can, at times, be very challenging. We are going to try Yuma in a couple of years, but we know going in, it is an agriculture area with corresponding dust and pesticides.


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Fizz

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Posted: 02/23/12 05:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For us the most expensive part it getting there and driving back. It means paying daily fees at campgrounds. We treat it as a vacation - road trip. We sight see more, eat out, pay entrance fees etc.
Once were at our destination and have payed for 4-5 months our expenses drop dramatically. We are no longer on 'vacation' but at our winter home.

fchammer1

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Posted: 02/23/12 06:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Had you asked about the TT before ordering one, I would have recommended not buying any RV that limits the amount of sitting space under your awning -- especially if you enjoy being outside. Now, if you spend a lot of time inside and want that extra space, then you made the right decision. And there are many places in the southwest (esp. the RGV) where you simply can't use the awning because of the winds. (Yes, I know many do. I've seen the heavy tie-downs running all around. I've also seen them ripped out!)

WyoTraveler

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Posted: 02/23/12 06:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you will enjoy full timing. I would think there would be lots of places to fly your RCs in AZ in the desert. We full timed for 4 years and enjoyed the experience.

I had too many hobbies and too much equipment. Although you will have lots of place to fly RCs, having room to work on them or making repairs may be a different matter. I have 3 welders, 3 roll away tool boxes , bench saw, radial arm saw, full compliment of electric and air tools and commercial air compressor. My wife also has her many hobbies. There was no way we could travel with all that stuff. In addition we had a combo hobby of wine and beer making. After 4 years we re-evaluated and realized it wasn't for us. However, I did enjoy that 4 years and it was a great experience.


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Supercharged

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Posted: 02/23/12 07:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

old guy wrote:

I am working my way to snow birding, I mean my DW is working her way, I retired in 97. But I have been told to start planning to start snow birding in about two years in Arizona. In fact she told me I quote,"If we are going to go to Arizona in two years for the winter, we need a TT with a slide out. Now, I am not one to drag my feet when she says jump, so I am on the internet every day researching the art of snow birding. And buying a TT with a slide, might have gone over board on that one, I ordered a TT with three slides, So I will be bugging you all who snow bird to release all your secrets and some what personal likes and dislikes. For one thing, and I know this has a lot of variables, how much does it cost to spend a month down there. I know this is one of the variables since staying in a CG or boon docking are in the equation. I have talked to one guy who tells me it costs about as much to live down there in a CG as it does up here and pay water and heating etc. AND where can I fly my RC planes. I guess this is enough for one day, I will be back later. thanks
People who can't aford the travel should not travel, it is not for everybody who wants to. When I wan young I wanted a tall blond who look super, I ended up with just the supercharger. We can't have everything in life because we think we need it.


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John&Joey

Some Location

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Posted: 02/23/12 08:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The first few winters it will cost more, and you'll get less for your money then the following winters to come. There is without a doubt a learning curve once you start. Trick is not to base everything on that first winter out. Use it as more of a way to get your feet wet and to figure out what works FOR YOU.

The other thing is for some of us the trip to and back is as much, if not more, enjoyable then sitting tight for the winter. If you're enjoying that part heading south, don't rush it to get to your destination. There is a real tendency to want to push that first season and to start the snowbird ball rolling. Yes, this will cost much more money then sitting tight, but will be worth it in the long run if you enjoy traveling.

If you're over 62 look into the golden age passport. It allows 50% off camping at federal parks. Some of the COE parks will be the nicest that you will come accross and we find spending a week at them to be very enjoyable on our migration south/north. Gives you plenty of time to explore an area.

If you can, try not to book long term anywhere. Sometimes it works out great, other times not so good. Keep your options open even though it may cost more money that first season. It's all part of that beginning learning curve.

And yes, it will cost more then just the fuel to get there and back. You'll meet people and go out to dinner, see new stuff that you want to take back, go to events that are new, have break downs that you'll have to farm out, etc.... Good news is it won't cost an arm and a leg like short vacations would.

Bottom line is that first season expect to pay more then you thought, but chaulk it up to "The cost of doing business." It'll get better with each year when you start to figure out what works for you.

rvcruiser

Toronto, Canada

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Posted: 02/23/12 08:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

John&Joey wrote:

The first few winters it will cost more, and you'll get less for your money then the following winters to come. There is without a doubt a learning curve once you start. Trick is not to base everything on that first winter out. Use it as more of a way to get your feet wet and to figure out what works FOR YOU.

The other thing is for some of us the trip to and back is as much, if not more, enjoyable then sitting tight for the winter. If you're enjoying that part heading south, don't rush it to get to your destination. There is a real tendency to want to push that first season and to start the snowbird ball rolling. Yes, this will cost much more money then sitting tight, but will be worth it in the long run if you enjoy traveling.

If you're over 62 look into the golden age passport. It allows 50% off camping at federal parks. Some of the COE parks will be the nicest that you will come accross and we find spending a week at them to be very enjoyable on our migration south/north. Gives you plenty of time to explore an area.

If you can, try not to book long term anywhere. Sometimes it works out great, other times not so good. Keep your options open even though it may cost more money that first season. It's all part of that beginning learning curve.

And yes, it will cost more then just the fuel to get there and back. You'll meet people and go out to dinner, see new stuff that you want to take back, go to events that are new, have break downs that you'll have to farm out, etc.... Good news is it won't cost an arm and a leg like short vacations would.

Bottom line is that first season expect to pay more then you thought, but chaulk it up to "The cost of doing business." It'll get better with each year when you start to figure out what works for you.


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