Long Term Stays in Your RV

I spent the first two years with my new Class C motorhome about the same way I’d been tent and truck camper camping before buying it. We would pack everything up for a trip, load up, and then take three to six days somewhere relaxing and less crowded for a short vacation, always returning to the comforts of the house in the suburbs. Then I retired and sold my house. Full timing is not the same thing as vacationing but it took me a while to adjust.

For most of my first year, I was on the road trying to see as much as I could see. Then, I got a tow car and I was more reluctant to be on the road all the time. I found myself staying a little longer at each place. Then the virus hit and I ended up staying more than half a year in one place. I was really itching to get back on the road but found it wasn’t as much fun as it used to be for me. My son suggested that I find places I like and stay for awhile. And that’s what I’ve decided to do.

Here are some notes on some places I’ve stayed at least one month or longer. There are a lot of places in the past I’ve enjoyed where I stayed for 10 days to 2 weeks but those are not included here this time. All of the following had adequate laundry facilites so I didn’t address those. I never use the campground shower facilities so those haven’t been addressed either.

Cal Expo RV Park, Sacramento, CA — My first long term stay after going full time was when I returned back to Sacramento from a tour of the south to the east coast. This RV Park has 30 day maximum stays but my friend is a breeder/owner/trainer at Cal Expo Harness Racing and called and got me an extra two weeks. I wanted to be home for Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to get back on the road until after New Year’s. 

I don’t love being in the city or driving a motorhome in the city but this is only a few miles from my folks’ house and they have restricted parking. I didn’t have my tow car yet at this time so I rented a car while there. This RV Park has one paved parking lot and then through a gate and a gravel parking lot which can house bigger rigs. I had stayed at the paved area a time before when my house was in escrow and remembered that the sites were so slanted that I couldn’t level even with blocks so I requested the gravel area. This was okay but hard on the dogs’ feet every time we walked and when it rained (which it does often in December), the puddles stayed for a long time. 

The monthly rate is about $800 and includes electricity. There are laundry and bathroom facilities but this park is right along the river and the park hiking trails so there are a lot of homeless people that wander through. They make an effort to have a security person patrolling but I would still use a lot of caution staying here.

Overall: I will try to avoid staying here in the future.

Sugar Barge RV Resort and Marina, Bethel Island, CA — I had missed an RVing Women Rally that was held here in 2017 and had been wanting to check it out so when I decided to spend the spring of 2019 in the northern CA bay area, I booked here. This is in the Delta and is actually on an island but very accessible for RVs and boats. I was here in February and it was rather overcast and drizzly most of the time, which is to be expected. I enjoyed large empty fields for the dogs to roam in and there was lots of bird life with spring migrations happening.

One of the reasons I booked here was the advertised restaurant on site but I ended up never going. There are people that live here full time in their RVs but this is also a party place for fishing groups, family reunions, and the like. It was quiet when I was there but I’m sure it gets quite lively in the summer.

It’s $800 a month, including electricity. I didn’t have a tow car yet when I stayed here and only went out once for groceries. We did all our exploring by walking. It was a very peaceful month.

Overall: I would recommend staying here.

RoadRunner RV Park, OKC, OK — I spent two months here in May/June of 2019. This is the closest RV park to my son’s house after the county fairgrounds, which are a little questionable with a homeless shelter and social services nearby (Norman, OK). At first, I did like staying here even though it’s mostly concrete and in the city. However, I realized that it’s very expensive compared to other parks in the area ($800 a month), some of the tenants weren’t very nice, and there are homeless people going in and out using the public facilities. It’s on a frontage road with no gates so an open invitation.

If you have to be in the city and can afford their prices, it’s fairly clean and everything seems to work well. My surge protector was melted to my power cord when I went to unplug and leave but that was partially my fault for running the AC full time and not turning it off when I ran the microwave.

There were a number of tornado warnings and sirens while I was there and the shelters onsite don’t allow pets. Keep that in mind if you’re there in May.

Overall: If you can find something nicer, I would not recommend staying here for long term.

Escapee’s Turkey Creek RV Park, Hollister, MO — I was here for two months July/August 2019, left for three weeks, and then came back for two more weeks. I would highly recommend this park for several reasons — it’s inexpensive (about $360 a month), it’s in the woods with a creek running through, and it’s not in a congested area. Hollister is actually just across the bridge from Branson, MO so I was able to do sightseeing and touristy things (before virus) within about 5 to 15 minutes from where I was. However, Hollister is a completely different vibe than Branson, it’s quiet and laid back and uncrowded. So to me it was the perfect place. The animals loved it too. It’s rustic with gravel sites, tree branches and debris that hasn’t been raked, and no wifi. All that didn’t affect me in the least.

If it wasn’t so far east, I would plan another two or three months here in the future. The weather was also almost 20 degrees cooler than OKC the summer I was there.

Overall: I would recommend this park if you like a woodsy camping vibe with few amenities but still within a few miles of tourist attractions.

Dellanera RV Park, Galveston Island, TX — I paid about $650 a month in November 2019 but I think they’ve since raised their rates. As far as I could tell from driving around and also a previous stay at another park, this is the only RV Park on the west end of the island that has beach access without having to cross the highway. The State Park has beach access but they were closed for two years for renovations. This park is run by the city of Galveston.

You can pick your site from their online reservation app but I didn’t know the area and invadvertently picked a site that was just one site over from some beach condos. There was construction noise all day long and I asked to move, which they were able to accommodate after my first week. The rest of the month was nice. I liked my spot so much, I booked the same spot again for November 2020 but ended up cancelling due to the virus. 

There is a boardwalk at the RV Park and it was nice to walk the dogs on the beach several times a day, especially at sunrise and sunset. Oftentimes, at this time of year, the beach is completely devoid of people. I was just a few miles from all the shopping I needed to do, including super Walmart, PetSmart, and the like. The actual town of Galveston is a little crowded for me but being on the western side outside of the city limits is nice.

There are opportunities for birding trips through several organizations if you are here at the right time of year. I also boarded the dogs for a day and drove up to the Houston Space Center for a tour.

Overall: I would recommend this park for a month long stay but I think I would get tired after a month because the area is still quite citified.

Escapee’s Rainbow’s End RV Park, Livingston, TX — I will always recommend this park for short or long stays and mostly because I’ve made many friends here. For my third stay here, I decided to winter here and booked four months. Then the virus hit and I ended up staying eight months instead. After eight months, you are practically a full time resident and I’ll admit it was hard to leave something so familiar and safe. There are three areas for parking RVs and the rest of the complex is deeded lots and the like. Monthly rates are $360 plus eletricity. 

Rainbow’s End is an interesting combination of cute little cabins, casitas, and manufactured homes with RV garages and then short term parking for those who are coming and going. I even toyed with the idea of making a purchase of a deeded lot while I was there and they do come up if you’re patient, but in the end, I decided to head west. When I left, there were about five or six places with for sale signs.

When we aren’t social distancing, there is a lot happening at Rainbow’s End, from weekly sewing groups, ice cream socials, bridge clubs, and more. With everything locked down, I was still able to socialize everyday with a small group of friends at the dog park. One thing that you might miss if you are on the road full time is just getting together with friends on a regular basis.

The town is big enough (5,000 people) to have what you need, including a Walmart and two other grocery stores. I missed Petco or Petsmart but if you drive less than an hour toward Houston, there are much bigger towns with these kinds of stores. I found a great vet while there and also had a regular pedicure place that I used often. Livingston is a popular place for people to change domiciles because everything you need is right there. I even voted in the primary elections because I use the Escapee’s mail forwarding service and my address is at Rainbow’s End.

Overall: If you don’t mind humid, southeastern Texas weather, I would recommend Rainbow’s End for long term stays.

Edgewood RV Community, Midwest City, OK — Normally, I don’t write reviews until after I’ve left a place but I wanted to include my latest because I’m quite impressed. I’m here Aug/Sept 2020. This is about as close to town as you can get and still be away from traffic and congestion. You won’t find Edgewood on any RV Camping apps and I only found them by accident when I was googling. They only do monthly stays and you have to fill out a credit application before being approved. I like discerning parks because I know it will be safer and quieter and this is no exception.

Monthly fees are $350 plus electricity and each site gets their own full sized trash can. No trips walking across the campground to the dumpster. The landscaping is quite impressive with pretty crepe myrtles and large shade tress throughout. Most surprisingly, there are actually a handful of sites available. The manager gets very high ratings online and has responded to me each time in a very timely manner. 

I went out my first day to discover probably a dozen fast food and other types of restaurants all within a few miles. On the second day I visited the super Walmart. Also just a few miles away is Stanley Draper Lake, and I plan on spending time on the walking trails with my dog. If you aren’t used to living near an Air Force Base or airport, you might be disturbed by the AWACs and Jet Engine noise directly overhead but I actually quite enjoy it. Of course, I lived on bases as a youngster.

So far, Edgewood seems safe, clean, shaded, near shopping but not in the city, and affordable. I even discovered that one of my FB friends lives here full time, much to my surpise. 

Overall: If airplane noise doesn’t bother you and you need to be near OKC, I would recommend Edgewood RV Community.

If you are looking for long term or seasonal sites, there are several ways you can begin your exploring:

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