2017 best campsites, expenses, and workcamping

Ending 2017 has given me a reason to do a post.  It is not that we didn’t travel in 2017, it is just that I was LAZY and had a plethora of excuses.  Here is a short recap on our year:

January – March in Yuma, AZ exploring different RV parks and learning about all the many ways to stay in an RV there for the winter (see post).

April working our way north to Oregon to Junipers RV Resort in Lakeview, OR for our second year of managing the campground for the summer season.  Great owners and great location made it another enjoyable workcamping assignment.

On Lake Texoma – on the OK side

September we did a road-grinder trip from Oregon to South Padre Island for our son’s wedding.  2,100 miles in 5 days—almost killed us since we are used to moving like turtles!

September – October we worked our way through Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi visiting friends and family (many thanks for the driveway camping) and exploring some new places.

Arkansas river spot

November – December we made it from Georgia to South Carolina to the Florida Keys.  For the first time in our three years of RV travel, we made reservations.  Reservations were mostly at several Florida state parks along the Atlantic since they fill up fast with snowbirds and Florida residents over 65 (1/2 off rate for them).  We had not stayed in the Keys before and normally it is too expensive for us but lady luck opened up a site for two weeks in Tavernier for the same time as our reservation in the Everglades National Park was cancelled (the Everglades campground closed due to hurricane damage).

View in Keys

First Key deer sighting

Our top RV park picks for 2017:

Winter Haven RV Resort in Brownsville, TX.  This would be a spot for us to spend a winter for sure.  Beautiful park with green spaces between each home or RV spot and canals throughout the park.  Close to lots of options for fishing.

Wind Creek State Park in Alexander City, AL.  This is a large park on Lake Martin, wooded spots and park is kept super clean.  Hiking and biking trails round out the experience.

Sebastian Inland State Park in Melbourne Beach, FL.

Easy walk to jetties and long expanses of Atlantic beach front with no development.  Two short nature trails in hammock and mangroves plus a concessionaire that sells beer from a two story veranda overlooking the ocean.

Johnathon Dickson State Park in Hobe Sound, FL.

This is a huge park with lots of mountain biking trails and a great paved bike trail.  Observation tower on Hobe Mountain allows you to see St Johns river and expanse of the park.  It is between the St Johns and the Loxahatchee Rivers so you have boating and fishing places on both.

Portside RV in Bro0kings, OR

The spots here are not big but paved, well kept and the bathrooms are spotless.  Best thing about this park (besides the bathrooms) is the short walk to the beach, a marina area and several fresh fish markets.


Our total expenses for the year were $35,400 with $3,079 spent camping, $3,151 on diesel/gas and $2,330 on truck maintenance (we spent majority of maintenance on getting the tow truck running) plus groceries, insurance, etc.   It helps camping costs to stay low with a free site while work camping and staying driveway parking at friends and family — in fact 194 nights this year!  We keep every receipt and know exact amounts for each category so if you want more specifics, just let me know.

No big changes for us this year besides getting a tow vehicle – a 1988 Toyota truck and making a few modifications on our 2017 Lance 1172 that we picked up in August 2016.  We love being on the road and look forward to a BIG travel year in 2018.








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8 Responses to 2017 best campsites, expenses, and workcamping

  1. Elaine says:

    We hope to retire sometime soon, so your blog is helpful. It would be interesting for you to publish more on your finances. I think from your blogs, you are full time, do you still have a home? How do you work out things like mail and other things typically needing a permanent address? There are some things in life that require snail mail. That is an interesting setup you have using the truck camper kind of like a motor home but not and having your toy/adventure vehicle.
    I would like to hear more about how you keep your expenses low. I know you boondock when you can driveway camp.
    Has your fold up boat held up to what you want to use it for? We are thinking of adding inflatable SUP and Kayak we are not big boat people. We do love to mountain and trail bike. I am sure you have found lots of great adventure trails along the way.
    Happy trails!

    • gconthemove says:

      Elaine: Finances are something that we watch closely – in fact we tract every receipt by category so we can make adjustments if needed. For example, whenever we are around our kids, we spend so much more in food and eating out so the next month we cut back. If you want more specifics on any category, I’d be happy to email them to you. Our camping probably averages $25 – $30 per night because we try to find free public ie Corp of Engineer, BLM, state forests, small town city campgrounds etc. You can search for our post where we list the different resources to find the best price on camping if we are not being picky on the area.

      Having a smaller rig allows us to get into places larger RV setups cannot. By disconnecting our tow, we are 24 feet long and can stash our tow in a different spot if needed.

      Let me know if you have any specific questions – we’d love to be a resource.

  2. Timothy Gerdes says:

    Great to hear another couple is full timing in a truck camper. Wish I would have seen this earlier as we live in Yuma and could have provided another free site for you to camp in for a while. We love visiting with those who are already living the life we hope to in the future so if you’re back in Yuma, AZ please look us up. We are looking to return to a truck camper ourselves and are in the process of building our setup now…we still have a 8 and 11 yr old at home with us so our adventures will be somewhat reduced in length but we hope to do the full timing thing while they are still young enough they’d enjoy it. Looks like your 2018 will be a busy one….travel safe and enjoy this beautiful country of ours.

    • gconthemove says:

      It would be fun to get together! I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to travel much in a small camper with our kids…we did tent camp a bunch but they had to burn off their energy outside so I could handle it:)

  3. Have you a truck with the camper on it and a tow truck too? Glad to see you posting again. We just spent the spring-fall in Maine/NH/VT area. It’s beautiful. Maybe a little chilly for a TEXAN but so beautiful.

  4. Good the hear from you guys and thanks for the campground recommendations and budget info. Having a towed vehicle must make thing more livable. Good addition for sure,


    • gconthemove says:

      I’ve been following your planning for your retirement travel and it looks like you’ve nailed down most everything! After two months of having the tow we do think we like it but want to use it several more months and make a final decision before investing in a better looking tow.

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