April 9, 2018

What if you thought your RV life was adventuresome, fun, and cool and some book came out...

... that "reveal[ed]" your way of life to be "dark, depressing and sometimes physically painful"?

MarketWatch interviews journalist Jessica Bruder about her book "Nomadland":
The “workamper” jobs range from helping harvest sugar beets to flipping burgers at baseball spring training games to Amazon’s “CamperForce,” seasonal employees who can walk the equivalent of 15 miles a day during Christmas season pulling items off warehouse shelves and then returning to frigid campgrounds at night.... Few have chosen this life. Few think they can find a way out of it. They’re downwardly mobile older Americans in mobile homes.
Yeah, but what if you are someone who's chosen this life and loved the chance to see the spring training games? You're like a Dead Head of baseball, making enough money on the side to keep following your passion, hanging out with other people who love baseball, not taking the work seriously. Boy, do you look stupid now! You're not living a great life. Bruder's got news for you. You are pitiable and downtrodden! Suffer now, doing all the things you'd once imagined were enviable.

What if you thought getting paid for walking 15 miles a day was great, like getting paid for hiking the Appalachian Trail? You are so dumb!

Excerpt from the interview:
Some of the Nomads had to work alongside robots, such as in the Amazon warehouses. How was that?

The robots were making them bonkers. This is isolating work and there’s one scene in the book where a robot kept bringing a woman in her 70s the same thing to count.

What needs to change to prevent people from having to become Nomads or to help them live better if they are?

For one thing, Amazon should pay its workers more and give them better working conditions. It’s laughable that the workers get a 15-minute break when they have to spend it walking to the break room. It’s completely insane.
But the seasonal workers don't drive the robots "bonkers," and the robots never need a break, and if they did need to be programmed to take detours to the break room, they'd never find it "insane."

Maybe all the work (or all the crazy-making work) should be done by robots, and I have no quarrel with the perennial calls for better wages and working conditions, but is this warehouse work really so horrible? Aren't there some people who like it and like the seasonality of what they can get — and so easily — with CamperForce?

Perhaps all jobs could be described in words that would move readers to say oh, those poor, desperate people. A journalist can, in words, find what she wants to find.

But is it really there? I don't know. Many times on this blog, I have questioned whether human beings really love a life full of travel. It seems like mass delusion to me, but I have been willing to believe that there are many people who prefer to be free of a permanent home base and out in the world on wheels and fancy-free. If they work their way through this experience, are they less happy than the people who work at home 95% of their time, piling up enough money to blow as they spend 5% of their time getting in and out of airports and hotels and, at long last, traveling? What are those permanent-home-based lives like? I'm sure plenty of that is driving people bonkers.

100 comments:

mccullough said...

Flipping burgers at spring break games sounds like a blast to me. People spend to much time worrying about not being happy or convincing themselves they are happy. Just be happy. The thing I liked about being a teen was baseball and working different jobs for money. I caddied, worked at my buddies Dad’s video store here and there, cut lawns, scooped ice cream. If my retirement could be an old man version of my times, I’ll be a lucky guy.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Paging mockturtle! :)

No worries, earnest journalist: those warehouses will be completely staffed by robots in a handful of years and then the people in dead-end towns with no opportunities won't have to work for decent money and a couple of Amazon shares anymore. They can go ahead and rely on disability fraud for a living like the many of their neighbors already do. It'll all be fine.

Rusty said...

Yeah. Only in America are you forced to work at menial jobs and are condemned to live in a van. Down by the river.
It's almost like, in this country, there are no better choices.
Oh. Where are the Social Justice Warriors?

Michael K said...

My daughter was interviewed about six or seven times by Apple for a job with their design team. The job didn't materialize but, when she was thinking about it, she wondered where she would live if she took it. She was thinking of buying a small motor home and then wondering about where to park it.

California is petty much insane.

Kevin said...

Once you start seeing people as victims, you see every person in every situation being victimized by someone.

Snark said...

We don't go anywhere
Just on trips
We haven't seen a thing
We still don't know where it is
It's a safe mistake

Interesting lyrics from "Long Time Running". I always think of them when travel is mentioned in an alternative light.

Bay Area Guy said...

At some point, Americans distorted their vision of the purpose of a job.

The job is not an "end" in itself. Yes, it sounds "cool" to tell people at a cocktail party that you're a Marine Biologist or work for Google. The strangers will usually react favorably.

But a job is a means to an end. The end is to make money, and then to spend it on the things dear to you, such as family and fun activities.

A lot of folks lose sight of this, as if a cool job is everything and a miserable job is awful.

I've had miserable jobs. In hindsight, they weren't so bad. I would suggest that working at nearly any job (caddying, flipping burgers, video store, etc) is a good thing, as long as you are: (1) doing it well, (2) saving your money, (3) spending such money on worthwhile activities and (4) looking to move up.



mike c said...

What's missing from the article is facts. For example: the author didn't write that she interviewed 10 people at random and 4 said they were happy, 3 said X, etc. Another example: she didn't write that she set up five people with pedometers and the results were 15 miles for one, etc, etc.

I think that writers are about 20 years behind the times to think that most people will believe her just because she says so.

Char Char Binks said...

I always thought RVs and the "RV life" were ridiculous. You get to be free as a bird, lugging your shell around with you like a turtle. I'd rather spend the money I saved not buying an RV (they can cost well over $100,000) on hotels. Actually, I'd rather just stay home unless I had a very good reason to travel.

But, to each his own, and I wouldn't try to tell other people that their dreams are stupid, even if they are.

Lewis Wetzel said...

They’re downwardly mobile older Americans in mobile homes.
Not mobile homes. Tiny houses.

Mr Wibble said...

My daughter was interviewed about six or seven times by Apple for a job with their design team. The job didn't materialize but, when she was thinking about it, she wondered where she would live if she took it. She was thinking of buying a small motor home and then wondering about where to park it.

California is petty much insane.



I took a job in Santa Barbara because it was the only response I received and I was about to graduate. Within four months I was ready to go. It's too expensive to live here. By June I'll hopefully be out of CA and somewhere reasonable, even if I have to stock shelves for a while until something better comes along.

rehajm said...

...piling up enough money to blow as they spend 5% of their time getting in and out of airports and hotels and, at long last, traveling...

You know, for a while TSA Pre was an upgrade to a better life. Now they're pulling the worst slow poke offenders like families with small kids and the very elderly out of the long regular line into TSA Pre, supposedly to keep them from crippling the long line. So now they only paralyze TSA Pre.

Inga said...

I’ve known three people who decided to sell their homes and hit the road in an RV. Every one of them did it for less than two years and ended up buying a much smaller home and settled down once again. I guess wanderlust isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but it’s good to try it and get it out of your system. The logistics of finding decent places to park your RV for the night or next several nights must be anxiety producing, well it would be for me.

MountainMan said...

My older daughter's in-laws retired several years ago, sold their home here in TN, bought a new RV and pickup, and moved out west. They spend their time during the year traveling around to ID, MT, CO, WY, UT, AZ, and NM, moving south when winter comes and heading back north in the spring. They live off their retirement savings and social security and usually work part-time seasonally for the campgrounds where they stay, trading their labor for either a free or reduced rate. It is what they always wanted to do and they seem to be very happy with it. Our son-in-law is going out west later this year and spend a week or so with them.

holdfast said...

Everyone has Pre now, including people who don't know how to go through security.

Achilles said...

if you want to learn about people who like to live this way talk to some of them.

Or if you are a leftist read a book written by another leftist. Then demand changes that ruin someone else’s life and feel good about how smart and caring you are about the little guy.

surfed said...

Getting ready to do the rv trailer life or maybe a 35' motor trawler (boat) way of life next year for 6 months at a time. No debt, a generous pension (with col of living increases), social security and wise i vestments and it's foot loose and fancy free. Already living a great retirement now for 5 years. Life is very sweet. All I have to do is stay alive. Surfs Up!

Curious George said...

I have no real desire to own one, much less use it, but there is an Airstream dealer on my way to the gym. They are just so cool looking. In a retro way.

AllenS said...

Have you ever checked the prices of those motor homes? EEK!

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

My favorite misuse-of-precheck story is the one where I got stuck for ten minutes behind an elderly Chinese national who did not speak English and had no idea what they were asking her to do. Yeah, that was a good choice to pull out of regular security.

Tommy Duncan said...

The author has never worked in a textile mill, an assembly plant or a foundry. Many of us flip burgers at a baseball game as an enjoyable volunteer job to raise money for the local baseball team. Getting paid to serve burgers, watch the game and talk to baseball fans would be heaven.

There is real news that goes unreported every day because Suzie Social Justice Warrior wants to write (manufacture) a tear jerker. The slant in the news these days is unbearable, and the comments following the articles (even in the LA Times and WaPo) reflect that fact.

William Chadwick said...

The jobs and lifestyles described seem a whole lot more respectable and useful than, say (just picking one at random), "community organizer."*

*classified by Gregg Gutfelf as being one step on the respectability and useful scale below "selling celebrity toenail clippings on E-Bay."

The Cracker Emcee Classic said...

I would love to work with robots. After 30 years of dealing with every kind of aberrant personality, robot co-workers sound like a promise of serenity.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Coincidentally, I was watching a youtube video yesterday relating to people buying campers and/or RVs so that they can quit their jobs and get out of the rat race. Actually, that is just the back story. The actual story is about encountering a reptilian dark magic practicing witch in Sedona , AZ. But the couple ended up in Sedona by purchasing a camper, quiting their jobs, and driving to Sedona where it is possible to camp out in the desert for free.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-enLN7tmYA

surfed said...

Addendum: I'm standing on the beach - as I type - checking out the surf here in north east Florida next to my tricked out Chevy camper van. We can drive on beaches here (not the shit hole known as Daytona Bch). One of the secrets is to not give up your paid off home. That's key. We take cottages in Nova Scotia to sail and surf in the summer and come home to our house in Florida for the winter. We also do lots of three and four day road trips around America on two lane roads. Maybe a Costa Rica surf trip now and then. That's a pretty cheap vacation...

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The video's on youtube that I find really amazing are the earnest 30 - 45 minute ones debunking the flat earth videos. Guys, if somebody thinks the earth is flat, your video isn't going to dissuade them.

Peggy Coffey said...

My husband and I live fulltime in our 31 ft. Motorcoach with our two Weimaraners. We planned for this for years and both of us retired in our mid fifties, sold everything and bought our RV. We spend about a month in an area and move on. We thought about the workcamper jobs, but dont need the money and retired to not work. As I said, we planned for years and are set now. We are nomads and love it.

Michael K said...

I would suggest that working at nearly any job (caddying, flipping burgers, video store, etc) is a good thing, as long as you are: (1) doing it well, (2) saving your money, (3) spending such money on worthwhile activities and (4) looking to move up.

Back when I was practicing surgery, my partner said "I hope they never find out I would do this for free."

When we were in Alaska with the kids about 20 years ago, the motorhome next to us in the Palmer RV park was owned by a couple who lived in it. They spent summers in Alaska and winters in Florida and took about a month to go from one to the other each year,

An eagle had taken their little dog the week before.

mockturtle said...

The RV life is the least depressing lifestyle imaginable, to me. YMMV. Wish I were living in my RV right now but can't leave until the end of the month. And because I have jury duty starting July 1, I'll have to come back. I can only hope I get selected and dismissed early on so I can leave again. Should NEVER have bought this house! Next summer: Alaska again! The Lord willing.

mockturtle said...

Michael K: When my elderly dog passes away, that will be my goal: Alaska every summer, Arizona every winter with plenty of travel between. Right now he is just not up to really long trips. He'll turn 16 this month.

readering said...

Sounds like these rv nomads could use a community organizer.

Read David Garrow about how being a community organizer completely transformed B. Obama.

Unknown said...

Is "nomad" in this context just a euphemism for migrant worker?

Lewis Wetzel said...

Live in a tiny house! Work in the culinary industry, or for one of the big tech companies! The future is bright, bright, bright!
It's all in how you look at it.

MadisonMan said...

It's not for me. I like a little gardening every now and then.

But unlike the book author, I can conceive that there are people who think differently than I. What a close-minded person she sounds!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Class 1: RV Nomads that are barely one or two steps above poverty
VERSUS
Class 2: RV Nomads who are able to travel at will and who are not impoverished.

Mockturtle (it seems to me) represents the Class 2. I am envious. We would love to be able to pack up and take off for months at a time with no itinerary. No obligations to be someplace at any set time. Just go and free form travel. Maybe sometime when we sell the business and are not encumbered. I would still want a home base however, as a permanent life on the road is not appealing to me.

I have friends who take off in the winter for 3 to 4 months and stay in Mexico, Arizona. Travel to visit friends in the Southern States. These people are independently wealthy, retired and return to their large ranch property in the warm seasons.

Other people I know are Camp Hosts in the spring and summer. They love to get outdoors and spend their time in National or State Parks as Hosts. They are not independently wealthy and survive on a small retirement and Social Security. They get paid for their summer hosting job and it helps to supplement them through the winters.

Who wants to aspire to being in Class 1, where you have to scrimp, move all the time to find work to be able to live, and have no home base to return to? We see this group all the time in older motor homes, old camp trailers and vans. The "mobile homeless".

On the other hand.....Class 1 is better than living under a bridge or in a tent on an urban sidewalk. You have your mobile living quarters and you have your dignity.

Everyone has to live somewhere. Even Class 2 is better than other options.

Unknown said...

"But, to each his own, and I wouldn't try to tell other people that their dreams are stupid, even if they are."

Now a BOAT....

Michael said...

Surfed has it right. I have a buddy who travels the west in the summer fishing the best trout rivers and living out of his Mercedes Sprinter. The van lives near the Denver airport the rest of the year. My plan is to keep my house and to rent a furnished apartment at the beach for half the year and one in the mountains for the other half, visiting when I feel like it and staying home when I don't. I might try having both rentals for a contiguous year to test drive the idea. The attraction of an RV evaporates when I think about all the driving and waste water issues.

madAsHell said...

Didn't Upton Sinclair write the first version of this book?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Have you ever checked the prices of those motor homes? EEK!

Hugely valid point. Unless you plan to live permanently in the RV and have no home base, then renting or leasing is a much better option for the part time traveler, RV Nomad. OR...better yet, buy an older vehicle/trailer and doll it up. Glamping!!!!!

Yes. It is great to have your own RV but in reality, most people don't 1. have the money to invest in such a thing. 2. the depreciation on an RV is huge..you lose money in the long run. 3. Maintenance, insurance, DMV registration and storage if you are not 100% traveling is also a sunk cost.

We have an older retro camping trailer that is just perfect for our occasional get away trips. The beauty of owning your own RV/trailer is that once it is stocked with all the necessities (plates, pots, utensils, linens, pillows, games, bbq and supplies, outdoor tables, chairs, awnings, blue tooth speaker for music, etc etc etc) all you have to do is throw in your toiletries, stock the fridge, pack your food, make sure the propane is full and go! At a moment's notice, you can be on the road!

The beauty of an older RV. It only cost us $2800 to buy and not much to revamp and upgrade. Not $80,000 for a new RV. So...not a new Airstream. Not gorgeous or awesomely new. Retro and we think it is awesome. Guess what! WE have just as much fun in our cheap-o trailer as the guy in his expensive RV. Maybe more because we have no payments.

Cost benefit analysis. You're welcome :-)

mockturtle said...

DBQ: Yes, I often encounter people of the Class 1 sort in campgrounds. Most Class 1 folks are OK and I sometimes, tactfully of course, share things with some who seem to be in need. When I switched from a larger RV to a smaller one, it was a good way to get rid of excess cookware, etc. But there are also some who are drug abusers. The meth-heads, especially, are a real PITA and I can't stand to camp anywhere near them. I'm not a snob but they are both annoying and scary.

madAsHell said...

The logistics of finding decent places to park your RV for the night or next several nights must be anxiety producing, well it would be for me.

One word: Walmart!!

mockturtle said...

DBQ, it sounds like your retro trailer is perfect for you! Small travel trailers are easily the most cost effective RV and often the most convenient. We had one for a few years when we had a house in AZ and one in WA and used it to travel back and forth [no motels for us!]. It was cute and easy to tow. I've seen some beautiful old teardrop trailers that have been lovingly restored and redecorated.

YeeHaw! said...

RV life has a system of social stratification, as with any other life.

I actually read Jessica Bruder's article on this subject in the Oct 2017 Wired Magazine, and some of the details of Chuck and Barb make me grit my teeth.

The article says that Chuck retired in 2002 at age ~58. It refers to a "$250,000 nest egg in a fund that supposedly guaranteed him $4,000 a month to live on" and which was lost in the 2008 financial crisis. It discusses how "Barb had lost her savings too, some $200,000 in investments". It mentions them being "upside down on their mortgage and grappling with credit card debt" at the time of their marriage in 2009. From the article, it appears that Chuck was around 65 and Barb was around 54 in 2009.

Anybody else seeing some of the factors that may have led to their financial situation here?

Lexington Green said...

There are indeed people who prefer not to have a fixed place of residence, and drive around nomadically. I knew guys who worked as cooks, different places, seasonally. One guy went down and cooked in the Florida Keys, then the ski resorts in the Winter. Ski resorts, then summer resorts, big breaks in between, living in their vehicles. One guy I remember I wanted to mail him something after I left for the Summer, and he said to send it to his name, General Delivery, Jackpot, Nevada. He checked his mail there a few times a year, when he was passing through. True story. Not for me, but for lots of people, it is genuinely what they want to do.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Mockturtle

Unfortunately, there ARE a lot of meth-heads, druggies, thieves, mentally ill even, who are less than desirable RV neighbors. We see those people all the time in our area. Trespassing on property, setting up 'camp' in wilderness areas and generally making themselves dangerous nuisances. Our sheriff's department has given tacit approval that land owners can use most any means necessary to move them off of their property (barring physical harm of course).

The good news for 'us' is that the winters are quite severe here so they don't make permanent camps. It can be very unpleasant if you are in an inadequate trailer or van. They move to the warmer areas and places where they can get hand outs, more stealing opportunities where people are not armed.

gadfly said...

Nomads need a voice, but at the same time, it’s extremely unlikely that they’ll organize for better working conditions because they’re vulnerable and always on the move.

I wonder if these hoards of workampers gathered around community campfires in places such as Quartzite, AZ during 2016 and decided to vote with the populace movement sponsoring Donald Trump.

Just released is a Reuters/Ipsos poll with some bad news for Trump and the Republicans.

Nationwide, whites over the age of 60 with college degrees now favor Democrats over Republicans for Congress by a 2-point margin, according to Reuters/Ipsos opinion polling during the first three months of the year. During the same period in 2016, that same group favored Republicans for Congress by 10 percentage points.

“The real core for the Republicans is white, older white, and if they’re losing ground there, they’re going to have a tsunami,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist who closely tracks political races. “If that continues to November, they’re toast.”

theribbonguy said...

To expand on what DBQ said, there is a very large spectrum of people living the nomadic lifestyle. On the low end are the people living out of their cars/vans because of poor choices/planning, to the high end of living in class A motor coach set up for off-grid living with kilo-watts of solar power and large water storage capacity. You don't even need to move around that much if you don't want to. You can stay in BLM land designated as a "Long Term Recreation Area" from Sept. to Apr. for $180 bucks a year. These areas are in the deserts of CA NV, and AZ. You can disperse camp any most any area in BLM or FS land for 2 weeks at a time for free as long as you move at least 25 miles between spots. There are many people who move just 2 times a year, down to the desert in to winter, then up the mountains to "host" a campground during the winter. That is just a couple of ways to avoid the sardine packing of an RV park.

The Mrs. and I are currently building our dream setup in a 38' diesel pusher transit style school bus. We'll have about $25k and 6 years invested in it before we are done, but will have STEEL home that will outlast us.

To each his own, but come 2023...we gone.

Titus said...

These people sound deplorable.

YeeHaw! said...

Nor do Chuck and Barb seem terribly unhappy. They have social security -- slightly over $14k per year, they have a RV, which appears to have a rather nice interior with leather upholstery. Barb gets some money annually from her family, so probably she is going to inherit something. I get a strong "free spirit" vibe from them.

On the other hand, they don't seem to have much of a future. No savings, and both are getting too old to work in jobs they have been doing.

It is probably too late to "fix" Chuck and Barb's life, unless they inherit a fair chunk of money. Assisted living programs and nursing homes also have several different tiers, and the ones that medicaid pays for are not very nice.

But eh, like Mehitabel the Cat, They live their life like they like their life, and there's pep in the old dame yet. (for now). T

gadfly said...

Would you believe "populist" not "populace?"

DKWalser said...

About 10 years ago, my wife and my parents went on an Alaskan cruise/tour. Our bus driver for part of our tour was from a city close to our home in Arizona. His wife owned a franchise tax-preparation business that kept them busy January - April. Then, they both started driving buses for the cruise lines. Part of the year, they were in Alaska, part of the year they were in the Caribbean. He said they'd been doing for 5 years and he thought they'd keep doing for at least another 5. Yes, the hours were long, but they got to see a lot of interesting places. Each year, the changed locations (so the drove in different parts of Alaska and on different islands in the Caribbean).

Sounded like a nice semi-retirement to me. No pressure to sell. Meets your current expenses and more, so you can allow your retirement savings to grow for another several years. Lot's to like about such an arrangement if you have the health.

theribbonguy said...

then up the mountains to "host" a campground during the winter.

That should read..
then up the mountains to "host" a campground during the SUMMER.
...but you probably figured that out.

roesch/voltaire said...

You do what you can to get by and enjoy some of life. In camping grounds from New Mexico to Wisconsin, I've met some really nice RV folks who volunteer their time etc to help manage camping grounds as they move from summer in the north to winter in southwest.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Now a BOAT....

The two happiest days in a boat owner's life.

The day you buy the boat.
The day you sell the boat.

:-)

jimbino said...

Nothing is more fun than following the RV travels of the 11-member Knorpp family, or the 3-member "Less junk, more journey" family or the single Carolyn from CA.

I myself was paid as a tour guide by Cosmos-Globus in Europe to show tourists the wonders of Paris, Stuttgart, Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Florence, Venice, Rome, Lucerne and many other places. (You should be young, energetic and multi-lingual to do it.)

Not yet sated with travel, I traveled with two companions by VW Kombi from Munich to the Black Sea in Iron Curtain days and later from Munich to Lisbon.

Still not sated, I bought a VW Kombi in Rio de Janeiro and traveled throughout Brazil and on through Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. I would have worked for free, picking grapes, just to learn the language. BBC, Deutsche Welle and Voice of Amerika were my constant companions in those days before the WWW.

I feel sorry for my fellow Amerikans, static and barely monolingual. As Mark Twain famously said:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

I Callahan said...

Didn't Upton Sinclair write the first version of this book?

John Steinbeck - “Travels with Charley”

mockturtle said...

DBQ sez: Now a BOAT....

The two happiest days in a boat owner's life.

The day you buy the boat.
The day you sell the boat.

:-)


Yep. BTDT.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

"For one thing, Amazon should pay its workers more and give them better working conditions. It’s laughable that the workers get a 15-minute break when they have to spend it walking to the break room. It’s completely insane."

I read this article when it came out and this very quote jumped out at me as being particularly glib and illuminating of the progressive mindset.

"pay their workers more...better working conditions" The pay has nothing whatsoever to do with the nature of work. Pay them a million dollars a minute and it remains an assembly line or factory floor, and people like this writer will still look down their noses at the work and the people who do it, only then they'd be envious and disdainful at the workers and what they are paid, instead of superior and disdainful.


The complaint about the length of timed breaks is simply bitching. This idiot has obviously never had to manage the workday breaks and meal times of a paid workforce.

bagoh20 said...

At least they don't have to sit around all day trying to think up a new way to arrange letters on their computer screen, which is also working with a machine/robot that can drive you insane. So insane you might actually think you know how other people should live their lives. So insane you cannot imagine how they might find your own situation pitiful or at the least unattractive or boring.

I work with robots (CNC machinery) all day long, and I love it. Those jobs are the most coveted in our industry. The jobs that really drive people nuts are ones where you sit at a screen all day typing.

I work about half and half at a desk and in a factory doing manual work. It's the days full of manual work that leave me most satisfied. A few days in a row of office work, and I feel useless and bored.

Rusty said...

Blogger AllenS said...
"Have you ever checked the prices of those motor homes? EEK!"
Never buy new. Used ones go for 1/4 to 1/10 of original cost depending on age and condition. Get a diesel. Campers are the same. my BILs 5th wheel cost them 10,000 used. It was in immaculate condition.



Blogger madAsHell said...
"The logistics of finding decent places to park your RV for the night or next several nights must be anxiety producing, well it would be for me.

One word: Walmart!!"

This is why you join fraternal orders. The Moose will let you park in their parking lot for up to two weeks. I'm sure there are others who do the same.

My wife got me a card that lets us into any national park for free. We also get camping discounts.






Rusty said...

bagoh @ 1:35

Brothers!
Although most of my computer time is spent designing.

madAsHell said...

John Steinbeck - “Travels with Charley”

It's a little known fact that Mr. Sinclair wanted to call his book "The Meat Packers", but his editrix told him "Nooooooooooo...!!"

bagoh20 said...

I hate taking breaks. I would prefer skip them and go home an hour earlier. Every employee I ask agrees. Of course we can't do that becuase the government knows what we want better.

I would actually prefer to work three 12-hour days with no breaks and have 4 days off every week for the same pay. Employers would benefit from less utilities or have twice as many shifts working with the same facility and equipment. 4 days off every week!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bagoh20: I would actually prefer to work three 12-hour days with no breaks

TIL: Bagoh20 never has to use the restroom and must have the largest bladder capacity in the world. Also doesn't need to eat or drink anything for 12 hours. He is a camel :-D

pacwest said...

We've been living full time in a 40' 5th wheel (less than 400 sq ft) for three years after spending 50 years in Alaska. During the time in AK our vacations were always to Pacific or Caribbean islands so we didn't see much of the lower 48. We will settle down some day, but we are loving it. So much to see down here both cultural and natural.

We are pretty flush financially, so it's not about the post of workamping, but we see a lot of that, especially in oil country. Not something I would choose. You can make it on the cheap (1K / month?) if you need to, but we live high on less than 5K.

We'll wind up buying a summer and winter place someday, but will continue til we run out of things to see and do.

Freeman Hunt said...

You're only supposed to like sitting at a desk in a box.

bagoh20 said...

People don't use their breaks to use the rest room. No workplace has enough stalls for that to work. You go whenever you need to, and everybody carries water around with them anyway. Who needs an hour a day to pee and hydrate? When I work at home doing gardening and stuff, I don't stop sunrise to sunset, and minimum wage? I don't get paid at all. My family has a slave, and their is no underground railroad for me. My name is Toby.

bagoh20 said...

For a four day weekend every week, I'll wear a catheter and a bag.

bagoh20 said...

Even better: two 18 hour days with four 15 minute breaks. That's 35 hours which is what everybody actually works anyway. 5 days off every single week. WooHoo! Get my catheter, boss.

Richard Dolan said...

"What if ...."

So some writer thinks you are living a crappy life. There are others who think sitting behind a computer whining about how crappy other people's lives are is an even crappier life. Getting outside and moving around a bit has a lot to recommend it, even if the job is pretty dirty. Just ask Mike Rowe.

mockturtle said...

Rusty reports: My wife got me a card that lets us into any national park for free. We also get camping discounts.


Yes, the America the Beautiful Senior Pass. I use mine a lot at USFS campgrounds, national parks and BLM campgrounds. Great value for only $20 and lasts until you die.
[They could charge $50 and it would still be a great value]. You're eligible at 62.

virgil xenophon said...

DBQ & Mock Turtle re: "BOATS!"

When he was younger (I'm now 74) one of my good friends used to Captain for the owner of a 32ft Sloop here in New Orleans. The guy let my friend take it out ANY time he wasn't using it (which was seldom). I spent many hours partying on it during my college days. "Best Boat I never owned!" my friend used to--and still does-- say.. :)

Caligula said...

"Amazon should pay its workers more and give them better working conditions."
The author apparently doesn't understand that employers don't "give" employees anything; they offer of value for value. As the saying goes, "it's a business, not a charity."

Yet this author (who seems deeply ignorant about the nature of economic exchange) is ... someone who writes about personal money management??

I've heard that a financial advisor is someone who helps people manage their money (until it's all gone, and then they can't "help" anymore), but, how stupid would one have to be to take financial advise from this author seriously?

"Richard Eisenberg is the Senior Web Editor of the Money & Security and Work & Purpose channels of Next Avenue and Managing Editor for the site. He is the author of "How to Avoid a Mid-Life Financial Crisis" and has been a personal finance editor at Money, Yahoo, Good Housekeeping, and CBS MoneyWatch."

Char Char Binks said...

"One word: Walmart!!"

This one word describes how unappealing the RV life is. You get to travel the length and breadth of the continent, and stay at every Walmart on the way.

To each his own, but your life's dream is still pathetic.

Char Char Binks said...

At least living on a boat, maybe a houseboat, seems more exciting and adventuresome, although I suspect it's a lot like RV-ing, only wetter.

William Chadwick said...

"It's a little known fact that Mr. Sinclair wanted to call his book 'The Meat Packers' but his editrix told him 'Nooooooooooo...!!"

It's an even lesser-known fact that Sinclair wanted to follow up on "The Jungle" with an expose of the candy industry called "The Fudge Packers."

William Chadwick said...

"'The real core for the Republicans is white, older white, and if they’re losing ground there, they’re going to have a tsunami,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist who closely tracks political races. 'If that continues to November, they’re toast.'”

I guess the Republicans need to do better cultivating the Dumbest Generation, fresh from their "liberal" re-education camps (i.e., colleges) and looking forward to being cared for in "Julia's World" by a benevolent free-spending Big Brother.

Until the money runs out, anyway.

YeeHaw! said...

Bruder's article DOES highlight one area where government -- specifically the K-12 educational system COULD make a significant difference:

By teaching basic financial literacy and budgeting.

Like, for instance, don't expect your $250,000 nest egg to yield a 19% annual return each year, every year. Certainly don't expect to retire in your 50's on not even $500k and no pension.

Or don't get into credit card debt.

Or don't buy so much house that you can't pay off your mortgage by the time you are 58.

Or develop some skills by the time that you are 60 that allow you to earn more than $11 an hour.

Or medical care is expensive.

This is basic stuff, something that a teenager can easily learn in two weeks. Now, I am not saying Chuck and Barb didn't learn this, but I can attest that the personal economics instruction in our high schools is pretty sketchy. Yeah, this isn't going to keep everyone out of poverty, but it certainly wouldn't hurt.

I Callahan said...

At least living on a boat, maybe a houseboat, seems more exciting and adventuresome, although I suspect it's a lot like RV-ing, only wetter.

See, now this I don’t understand. If you’re on any lake or ocean, it all looks the same. Traveling by land, everything looks different.

That aside - a WalMart is perfect for a quick overnight stay if you’re in a hurry to get somewhere. As for actually traveling, there are thousands of great RV parks all across the continent.

bagoh20 said...

The vast majority of us pay for the pensions of others, but do not get one ourselves, so to be well off in our later years, we need to start early with:

1) Spend less than you earn
2) Work hard and steady
3) Always keep your money working. (Money sitting in the bank is getting old and weak faster than you are.

And most importantly don't spend like a Kardashian. You end up looking like a huge ass.


gilbar said...

help me out people!
I just retired (at 55) this January; and my goal is to live in a Van, down by the river. BUT; i feel that i still need a permanent house to come back to.

When you all leave your houses for months, what do you do to keep from worrying yourself to death over it?

Do you turn off your water? do you Drain your pipes? do you Hire someone to watch over it ? dO you tell the police that you're going away? See? I have No IDEA what the protocol is for this.

I can handle being gone a week or two (like when i was working): stop the mail, etc.
But it scares me to think about being gone for a long time.
Please help. Those trouts won't catch themselves
thanx

Karen said...

gadfly said...
Just released is a Reuters/Ipsos poll with some

Nationwide, whites over the age of 60 with college degrees now favor Democrats over Republicans for Congress by a 2-point margin, according to Reuters/Ipsos opinion polling during the first three months of the year. During the same period in 2016, that same group favored Republicans for Congress by 10 percentage points.

“The real core for the Republicans is white, older white, and if they’re losing ground there, they’re going to have a tsunami,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist who closely tracks political races. “If that continues to November, they’re toast.”

I am in the white, college-educated, over 60 female category and have many other like minded friends. None of us has changed our minds since the election, so I don’t know who they are polling.

mockturtle said...

I am in the white, college-educated, over 60 female category and have many other like minded friends. None of us has changed our minds since the election, so I don’t know who they are polling.

Nor I. And most of the people I know who reluctantly voted for Trump are enthusiastic about him now. Whether that enthusiasm can be expanded to include Congress, I can't say. Congress has been a big disappointment on both sides of the aisle. I know that, as an Arizonan, I wouldn't cast a vote for McCain [not up for re-election this year] or Flake [who saw the writing on the wall and decided not to run again]. OTOH, I am supporting our GOP candidates and I suspect they will win but they will not win without supporting Trump.

mockturtle said...

Gilbar, all of your questions can be answered here: RV.net

jimbino said...

Yes, the America the Beautiful Senior Pass. I use mine a lot at USFS campgrounds, national parks and BLM campgrounds. Great value for only $20 and lasts until you die.

And just think, if you're an old redneck, you never have to mix with our Blacks, Hispanics or Native Amerikans, who never set foot in them, though they do pay to support them.

mockturtle said...

Not so, jimbino! Not sure about Native Americans but Blacks and Hispanics do camp in national parks and forest campgrounds. Not a lot but probably proportional. At least, here in the west.

mockturtle said...

I might add that the Hispanics tend to play their music all day long but seem to enjoy their family outings, which is nice to see.

jimbino said...

Not so, Mockturtle!

I recently did a tour of the parks and forests of the West and deliberately took a visual census. There were only 6 Blacks (maybe not all Amerikans) and very few Latinos among some 4000 visitors. The visitors of color were all SE and E Asians, and all were seen only in Yosemite.

I know one visitor is Justice Clarence Thomas. Wouldn't it be fun to discuss this unfair treatment of our minorities with him around a campfire?

Sam L. said...

We're all different Accept it. LIVE with it.

mockturtle said...

Well, jimbino, I've met more than a few black RV-ers as well as mixed couples. Few Hispanics tend to travel the country but camp near to home on weekends with the family. Anecdotal, yes. Are you implying that blacks and Hispanics should be forced to go camping even if they don't want to?

I wonder how much you were able to enjoy our Western campgrounds if you were busy tallying the racial demographics. :-\

gilbar said...

thanx mockturtle!

jimbino said...

Yo Mockturtle:

Why don't you provide us a link to some YouTube videos of our minority families visiting the fabulous, taxpayer supported parks and forests of our White Amerika?

jimbino said...

@Mockturtle:

Are you implying that blacks and Hispanics should be forced to go camping even if they don't want to?

I wonder how much you were able to enjoy our Western campgrounds if you were busy tallying the racial demographics.


No but I am implying that taxing poor minorities to support White country clubs reeks of apartheid Rhodesia and South Africa. I had the pleasure of enjoying our racist West in the company of two Brazilians who helped me document our apparent racist policies.

mockturtle said...

Just back up quietly into your cage, jimbino, and no one will get hurt.

pacwest said...

What are you talking about jimbino?? I ha visited a lot, a whole lot, of national and state parks an have yet to see a 'whites only' sign.

jimbino said...

@Pacwest

What are you talking about jimbino?? I ha visited a lot, a whole lot, of national and state parks an have yet to see a 'whites only' sign.

Did you see any signs saying, "Welcome to our magnificent national and state parks and forests that are financed by all Amerikans and enjoyed only by our Whites, most of whom are seniors with free passes"?

Rusty said...

Jimbino.
Here's what you do. Go rent a bus. Go to your favorite place where your minorities of choice hang out. Load em on the bus. Drive to your nearest national park.
Here's clue Jimbeno. It isn't that minorities aren't elcom. It's that minorities don't want to go.
So , like, quit yer bitchin'

Kirk Parker said...

Wow, Char Char! You don't see the yuuuuge difference between saying this:

"I always thought RVs and the 'RV life' were of no interest to me"

and what you actually said:

"I always thought RVs and the 'RV life' were ridiculous"

And then followed up with "your life's dream is still pathetic."? You need to get back on your anti-solipsism meds!

Kirk Parker said...

I Callahan,

"See, now this I don’t understand. If you’re on any lake or ocean, it all looks the same."

If you really think this, then I can only conclude that you have been on, at most, one lake or ocean once in your life.

Kirk Parker said...

jimbino,

You're back to your stupid "minorities can't go to national parks" shtick??? It was stupid the first time, it's still stupid, it will be stupid forever.. or at least up until the time that the Mt Rainer entrance points start turning back potential visitors because they aren't white enough.

And I challenge you once again, about your other (neglected as of late) shtick: you're the son-of-breeders who has never admitted the unfair advantage that your despicable breeder parents gave you in life. When are you going to own up to your unearned privilege and off yourself to make amends?