Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Boy, what an eventful two weeks this has been. I started off my fulltiming experiment by going to the December RVing Women Rally at Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring, FL. I managed to arrive in-between rain storms, but the whole area showed evidence of the previous night's storm and the ground was still very wet. As I was hooking up my electrical line, I got what I thought was a minor shock from the park's box. I blew it off as a fluke, since I was wearing flip flops on wet ground. Everything worked fine and I spent the night without any problem. The next day as I was reaching into an exterior side storage bin of my rig my hand touched the metal vent behind my fridge and I got another, bigger shock. Okay, that one got my attention. I went around the rig to go back inside to turn off everything and got yet another shock when I touched the inside metal of the door. And finally I got another little shock when I went over to the camp box to unplug my cord. I notified the rangers and they came and took a look. Sure enough, the box wasn't properly grounded and I was lucky to have lived to tell about it. I moved to another site and although the entire weekend was pretty much a washout weather-wise, we still managed to have a great time.

After that I came back up to the Tampa Bay area and went directly to the RV resort in Lutz where I was spending a week to "practice" fulltiming while living and working my normal routine. The location of that resort was great because it was about 20 miles from work in one direction and 20 miles from my mother's house in another. The site location within that park was also great because I was directly across the road from the bath and laundry building.

Since I had already decided I was going to make this fulltiming gig work, I went to the park office first thing Monday morning to make application to stay for a year. When I had first visited the park about a month earlier, the manager and office gal both couldn't have been nicer and more accommodating. They talked about finding just the right site for me and the ability to change sites if I tried one and didn't care for it. They told me I would need to go through a background, credit and income check but also told me not to apply too soon because the information would become dated. The manager herself told me to apply within a week or two of when I actually wanted to move in. On Monday, I told them I wanted to get the process done so I could sign a lease and stay and not have to move the van and car back to South Tampa again. I provided all the information they wanted and even notified my current landlord and employer to expedite the process. All of a sudden, the manager and office gal didn't seem to be so accommodating. I checked with them every day and my employer's HR contact even told me, "Have them call me directly. I'll give them whatever information they need." Nothing. On Friday at noon I called to see if they had heard anything about my approval and the office gal nonchalantly said, "Oh, I haven't even checked yet today." She really couldn't have cared any less.

My week at that park was up this past Monday, but as I had to go in to work for the first half of the day, I packed up and moved back to South Tampa Sunday night. I left my car at work and got a co-worker to give me a ride to Lutz so I could get the rig home and then Monday morning I had to take a cab to work to get my car. The week before, I had taken a cab from Lutz to South Tampa to get my car and that ride cost me $90. I didn't want to do that a second time, and that was another reason for wanting to just stay at the park. I don't know why the change of attitude, but it had nothing to do with my background check. I have perfect credit, no criminal history, a good job with one of the largest employers in the Bay area and landlords who hate to lose me. At any rate, I figured if this was how they treated me before I entered into a contract with them, how would they treat me afterward?

Monday afternoon I drove to another RV resort I had found on the internet. It's a little further north and east, but not by too much. The rental rates are slightly more ($340 versus $285), but this park is much, much nicer. It's gated and in addition to including water, sewage and garbage service in the monthly rent, they also provide basic cable. It's neater, cleaner and the people who both work and live here have been extremely nice and welcoming, both before and after I signed a lease. And sign a lease I did, for seven months. If I decide to stay longer the average monthly cost will be even lower.

My site is right next to the bathhouse and in addition to the convenient location, the bathhouse exterior lights light up the area on the driver's side of my van. I like that for safety purposes. My neighbors on the other side are snowbirds from Indiana who have already helped me set up my shed and even brought me over a small bowl of pasta salad. I attended an ice cream social Monday evening and this morning I went to the rec hall for the weekly donuts and coffee gathering. Everything happens for a reason and I'm so glad now I didn't sign a lease with that other park. Oh, and that other park did call me on Tuesday and left a voice mail message that I was approved and could come in whenever it was convenient to sign a year's lease. Yeah, I'll jump right on that. When the phone doesn't ring, honey, it's me.


  1. Oh you so have to send them a thank you card to the assholes. Tell them if it weren't for their piss porr attitude you would never have found the better RV park.

    I'm glad the RV residents are as kind as I've witnessed.

    Do you still have your condo/apt????

  2. My apartment lease runs through the end of February, but if I can vacate it earlier there is a chance my landlord could rent it earlier. I still have some stuff to organize and sell or stash at mom's. I just couldn't see schlepping stuff from the rig back up three flights of stairs again after RVing the past 10 days.