I never thought that Brent and I would call a trailer park home.
We left Louisiana and headed East passing through Mississippi and bunking for the night in Mobile, Alabama. From our internet research, visitor center brochures and billboards we are under the impression that coastal Mississippi is all about casinos and beaches. There are some museums but they are out of our price range and would really need to have something special as an exhibit for us to splurge.
Our home this evening is another trailer park. We have been fortunate enough to have friends who have housed us for a good part of our vacation – it’s the other times when things get interesting. There are many different RV park set-ups with an array of amenities and a range of prices.
There are basically three types of parks: State or National parks, Vacation RV parks and year-round RV parks. There may be actual terms but these are what we use. State and National Parks are very reasonable and beautiful. The costs run from $14 to $30 dollars with additional park entrance fees. We have had some stunning landscapes to call home for an evening. They have picnic tables, privacy and fire rings. They may or may not have electricity or water hook-up. Brent has decided that it is in the Constitution that no National or State Park can have Wi-Fi, and the kids would add, or cable. There are limits on how long guests can stay – usually no more than 14 consecutive days in a month.
Vacation Parks are places like a KOA. The spots are not as expansive as State or National parks but they are adequate. They will definitely have Wi-Fi, electricity and water, sometimes there is even a sewer hook-up. [I’m I stretching the blog when I’m writing about sewer hook-ups?] They have pools and game rooms. A majority of these parks are near some type of seasonal attraction and they close down in the winter months. They are expensive, $40 to $90 a night. There is no reason for them to command such high prices based on amenities. I can only assume that they are this high to attract the type of clientele who can pay the high price. We became KOA members and have found that it was not worth it. We only stayed at the one at Devils Tower because we were too chicken to try dry camping (no electricity or water) at the National campground next door. There are some private resort type parks that are very nice and offer all amenities for a reasonable price – there are only a few and we have been lucky to find some, especially during the off season.
Then there are the sardine can establishments in interesting city locations and we never know what we are going to get. A Good Sam designation only means that we will get a 10% discount. These parks fit as many RVs and trailer in as possible, no picnic table and definitely no fire ring. They have electricity, water, Wi-Fi and sometimes cable; and are ALWAYS near an active rail yard with trains (and their loud horns) running all night long. There are also showers and laundry. The prices can be anywhere from $25 to $45 – but we are never sure. Often there are surcharges for each of the children which could be anywhere from $2 to $5. The showers may be free or run by a machine where you pay a quarter for 6 minutes of hot water. These add-ons are not advertised so we have learned to ask lots of questions before arrival. These parks have permanent residents. How do we know? Well, swing-sets, landscaping and gazebos are big give-aways. We have noted that monthly fees are much more reasonable than nightly fees!
Since it has been so cold we do not mind the crowded parks. If there was a picnic table or fire ring – we would not be able to enjoy it. We also never really associate with others around us – we are very transient and don’t have time to socialize. I’m not even sure there is socializing that occurs. We find parks through an app on our iPhone – I’m not sure what we would have done without it.