Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Free Camping At "Casino And Hotel Resorts"

One way to reduce cost's on the road is to stay at Casino parking lots. Most will let you stay one or two nights. I always ask for permission. I did have one say no. Mount Airy Hotel and Casino in the Poconos, Pa. doesn't allow overnight stay for RV's. We recently stayed at two Casinos.

We had a great time at Dover Downs Hotel And Casino. They are located in Dover, Delaware. I found them on the free campsites.net App. When we pulled in I went inside and found the security desk. I asked if we could stay overnight and they said sure and told us where to park. We were the only RV there. Because it is located so close to the ocean the evening was nice and cool.  They have an excellent buffet. Dover Downs is a famous horse race track. So during race season, RV parking is not permitted. As a courtesy, I always try and spend some money at these places. So we ate and then gambled. I ended up leaving there with $150.00 of their money, nice. It always good to get paid to stay somewhere.

We also stayed at Del Lago Hotel And Casino In Waterloo, NY. I couldn't find any free places to camp on our apps so I figured we would drive until we came across something. we were driving down I90 west in upstate NY when we saw a billboard for Del Lago casino. I had Cathy look them up online as I drove. She got the phone number and called them. She asked if they allow overnight RV parking. They said, of course, no problem. So we got off the Thruway at exit 41. They told us to park in the back by the buses. We were once again the only RV there. we got ourselves situated and went inside. We got ourselves the players cards. By doing so they gave us a buy one get one free buffet coupon on our player's card. The food was the best we've had so far. A fantastic value for $20. They also gave us a chance to win casino money. When you first insert your player card into a slot machine it brings up a spinning wheel. You hit the spin button to win casino money. Cathy hit $6.00 which she played and promptly lost. I won $5.00 and played it on one bet. The $5 bet won me $30. I ended up playing most of that evening on their money.  They did allow us to stay a second night. I ended up breaking even on the gambling after all was said and done. We ate two dinner buffets and a breakfast buffet on Saturday morning. Food was all excellent.

All in all casino parking can be a great way to reduce traveling cost's if you are careful about your gambling. I have gotten pretty lucky and have turned a small profit overall in the last month. Watch the videos for more information.

Until next time, Happy Camping!

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Monday, April 2, 2018

Travel trailer Vs Fifth Wheel

One of my YouTube viewers asked the question what size trailer would you recommend for only 2 people, yours is 30 feet and would you stick with it or go with a fifth wheel?

I think that's a great question but there's no real easy answer for it. I'm perfectly content to stay in the 30-foot travel trailer, we have a Keystone Sprinter 26rb  Which has one slide out has an outside kitchen and to me, it's perfectly comfortable. Its dry weight is only 6900 pounds. Fully Loaded takes us up to about 8,500 lb. It's an easy pull for my 3500 gas pickup truck. We are currently living in ours full-time. But the trailer being only 30 feet long, we can still get into most of the national parks and it's not very difficult to find places to camp otherwise. You start getting closer to 35 ft the amount of available campsites decreases. The plan is to use the travel trailer for a year to see how things go and then maybe move up to a fifth wheel. Why would we do that? Well, the floor plans of the fifth wheels tend to be nicer. Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of a fifth wheel versus a travel trailer.

Watch The Video!

Pros for the fifth wheel

More stable to tow. Part of the trailer weight is placed over the rear axles of the truck. This makes it more maneuverable and easier to backup, so it’s much less prone to sway. The floor plans tend to be nicer. The bedroom typically is isolated from the rest of the trailer like a real bedroom. That has a lot of appeal to my wife. Fifth wheels tend to feel more like an apartment rather than a trailer, giving it a more homey feeling. Also, the fifth wheel when hooked up to a tow vehicle is not as long for the same length trailer as a travel trailer because part of the trailer is over into the pickup bed. That shortens the overall length of the whole rig. So with the travel trailer being 30 ft long, and the truck being 20 ft long, the overall length of the rig is 50ft. Whereas with a fifth wheel, five or six feet of the trailer resides over the pickup bed so the overall length then becomes 45 feet for the rig making it a little easier to manage when towing and maneuver. Beware of 5th wheels that are labeled half ton towable. I think with a lot of the fifth wheels you'd be hard-pressed to tow them with a half-ton pickup truck. Fifth wheels do tend to have a lot more basement space. that's an important factor to consider if you're going to live in your trailer full time.

Cons of a 5th wheel

Fifth wheels are a lot taller than a travel trailer. It gives you the feeling of openness because of the high ceilings. Also, with such high ceilings, that tends to put more things out of reach. So that can be an issue if you're a little bit on the shorter side or vertically challenged. I think with such high ceiling it's it's a waste of space that you're trying to either heat or cool. But it also creates a lot more wind drag when towing worsening your fuel economy. you also have to be more mindful of low bridges and. Most fifth wheels are over 13 feet tall where is travel trailers tend to be about 10 to 11 ft tall.The height of the trailer can become a hindrance when trying to travel down Forest roads. There is a lot of overhanging trees that could cause a problem. A few years back I saw an older gentleman with a fifth wheel at Glacier National Park campground. He was driving through the campground loop when a branch from a tree that spanned over the road punctured a hole right in his roof. I can imagine that put a damper on their vacation. It also May limit you as to what gas stations you can pull into if they have low roofs. Fifth wheels also tend to be a lot more expensive than travel trailers. Travel trailers can give you a lot of bang for the buck.The fifth wheel equipment in the back of the pickup truck tends to make a lot of rattling noises when you're driving down the road so that might be an issue for some people. You also have to consider your tow vehicle.The 5th wheels tend to be heavier and I would definitely recommend going to a heavy-duty truck if you going to get a 5th wheel.There are quite a few 5th wheels out there that are labeled half ton towable but it is really stretching the imagination. A combination of half ton truck with the 5th wheel is marginal at best with a lot of these.To me, a 5th wheel that's 9000 or 9500 pounds dry weight is not Half ton towable.

So to answer the question how much space does two people really need and if you're going to live full-time in it or not. To me 30 feet is plenty but the wife would like something bigger. Bigger means more stuff course. But she could change her mind in the future after we've been doing this for a while, only time will tell. So if your budget is tight then a travel trailer may very well be the way to go. Personally, I like the fact that I can park this trailer almost anywhere. I think the 30-foot size fifth wheels are more or less just a waste of money. You start to see a real advantage with the fifth wheels when you get into the 30 ft plus.

Hope this at least gets you thinking about your actual needs and wants. Until next time, happy camping!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Living In Our RV For Two Months!

So now we've been living in our travel trailer for two months. We sold our house, and we sold Most everything that we owned. I quit work the week before Christmas, this way I could the be available to sell our household items. I used two apps One was called "let go" and the other one "offer up". Between the two, I was able to sell most everything. These apps were free. Now you could get premium advertising if you want to, but I sold most everything through the free ads. The garage was a real challenge, it was just packed full of stuff. So I rented a dumpster from a company called "Bin there dump that". So we dumped a lot of stuff. We moved into the trailer January 4th. And we still have too much stuff. The back of the truck was full of stuff and including the back seat. I have been slowly sorting through it consolidating down. I built additional storage inside the trailer by building steps for the two sides of the bed so the dog could get in-and-out. Inside the steps, I created more storage space. We bought a new bed to replace the Rv bed because RV bed was terrible. We bought a Novaform memory foam mattress. It is a 14" thick mattress, and so that is way taller than the original mattress. That's why I had to build the steps. If you are gonna live in an RV full time you need a comfortable bed, RV beds are just not going to cut it.

So we are still Sitting here in Manitou Springs. That is giving us time to continue to consolidate down and to continue to organize our things better. It's also giving us an opportunity to pay down our bills and get our taxes taken care of so all our financial things are in order before we start to travel. I'm trying to preserve as much cash from the sale of the house but we have to get rid of the credit card bills. The amount of interest that we pay each and every month is crazy. what a waste of money! I have paid off about half our credit cards so far. I started off by paying all the small balances first and have been slowly working up to the cards with the higher balance. I did it that way so it felt like we are accomplishing more. We had way too many credit cards which made it very difficult to keep track of it all. As I pay off these cards it will reduce our future monthly bill Obligations.

I can't wait to start traveling. We should be able to hit the road end of April. The first trip will be to South Dakota that's where we are going to domicile. First order of business will be to get new drivers licenses. I already have a PMB in South Dakota. A personal mailbox becomes your legal address.We signed up with America's mailbox because they offer a lot of services. I'm currently working with them to register my car. They will mail me my plates. It's definitely nice to have someone in South Dakota to do the legwork for you. Once the car is registered in South Dakota I can get auto insurance in South Dakota. Auto insurance is way cheaper there.

 If you decide to sign up with America's mailbox please use me as a Referral. Tell them Syd Robinson #9435 sent you. You will get a $25 Gift card good at 15,000 restaurants around the country www.americasmailbox.com

Cathy's already collecting her social security retirement and mine begins this month. Between the two of us, we will have a decent monthly income. Fortunately, Social Security is not our only resource. even though we retired early we can still make extra income through various work opportunities. We won't lose any benefits as long as we keep our earned income below $17,020 each. As long as we continue to make some extra money we should be able to do pretty much what we want. I plan on trying to keep as much money in our retirement funds as possible by not using them. It will be good to continue to allow the retirement funds to grow until age 70. At that time you have to start withdrawing money from your funds or you will be penalized.

While we continue to prepare to travel I will continue to keep you updated with these blog posts. So until next time happy camping!

PS: Check out my youtube channel! RV Tips And Trips!

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