Oasis in the Desert

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Resort Living in Texas for $5.00 per month

Lakeside Living in our Cedar Creek RV
As I mentioned earlier, we began our rather unconventional lifestyle in 1986. Rather than give you a chronological accounting, I will pick random events. I might mention, we have traveled by plane, auto, bus, train, cruise ship, canoe, kayak, horse-drawn cart, bicycle, motor home, mono rail, skis, motorcycle, horseback, and walked a thousand miles.

First, I’ll make a few comments about RVing. If you do not have RV, go buy one as soon as possible. We owned our first RV in 2001, after our two year stay in Lake Chapala, Jalisco in Old Mexico (another adventure we’ll tell you about later). It was a 1987 36’ Prowler by Fleetwood. I had a temp job in Houston (it ended up lasting six months) and we did not want to sign a one year lease on a house or apartment. So we purchased the 5th Wheel for living quarters, not knowing how long we would be in Houston.
We bought the RV for $4500.00 and refurbished the interior with new carpet, paneling, and living room furniture (a cost of about $900.00). Inside it was just like brand new and the Lazy Boy recliner sofa was very comfortable. The bedroom had its own outside entry and a comfortable queen size bed.

We moved into the All Star RV Resort in South Houston (rating 9.5 out of 10), (the resort was only a block away from where I worked). RV space, electric, water, sewer, and propane cost was only $360.00 per month.

Six months later I accepted another temp job in Conroe, Texas (north of Houston). We were glad that we had our RV. We simply moved to a gated waterfront RV community (rating 9.0 out of 10) on Lake Conroe ($300.00 per month). We had an opportunity to buy a 1997 5th Wheel Fleetwood Prowler with a slide (a nice upgraded model). We sold the ’87 for $6000 and purchased the ’97 from an individual for $6000. After another six months at Lake Conroe, we had a job offer in Oklahoma. We sold the ’97 Prowler for $9300.00 and headed for Oklahoma.

Net housing cost for one year of resort living in Houston, TX was $60.00 or $5.00 per month.

  1. Initial Cost of '87 RV        $4500.00
  2. Refurbish Cost                    900.00
  3. RV Space/Utilites               3960.00
  4.                                          ---------
  5. Total Cost                        $9360.00
  7. Proceeds from '97 RV      $9300.00

Monday, August 16, 2010

Secrets of the Frugal Travelers Revealed!

In reading over our previous blog, I reasoned “why not share the frugal travel saga to those who may have an interest". Perhaps I could share some of our travel experiences with those who have the urge to leave their front porch and see what’s out there. Fortunately, I dropped out around 1986, but there are those who looked to the future, followed their careers, and now are ready for yet another adventure.

Rather than write about “we’ve been there, done that” travel blog (actually, there is some of that), we will share with you how to afford travel around the world like the “jet setters” and the “rich and famous” on a budget, a very frugal budget at that. I will even disclose budgets and money spent on this or that. There is a comment option at the bottom of each blog. Feel free to comment and I will answer your questions along the way.

Over the years, Cindy and I have traveled existentially all over the world. Between us we have traveled five of the seven continents (Australia and Antarctica excepted, but their turn is coming up soon). Nineteen cruises (over five months at sea), fourteen European vacations, Africa, South America, Alaska, Hawaii, Caribbean, Canada, coast to coast Mexico, and coast to coast travel in the Continental USA. What an adventure! And we have just started our discoveries. After travel from our home base, in 2005, we sold our house, packed a few of our precious possessions, and moved into our RV and lived in our “home on wheels”. Over the years, we felt that we again wanted a home base, thus, here we are in our home state building yet another home on a beautiful Oklahoma lake and keeping our RV.

Well, the home base is finished! One of the most comfortable homes I have ever built. Even though the outside temperatures were over 100 degrees (sometimes the gauge hits 107), I kept the inside temperature down between 68 – 70 degrees. I received last month’s electric bill (we have a total electric home, except for the propane fireplace) and I was delighted to see that it was only $76.00. We definitely support the green movement.

Fishing is reported as excellent here at the lake. Geese, deer, raccoons, beaver, fox, ducks, armadillos, possums, and skunks rule here in rural America and it is fun to sit and watch the outdoor activity, but I know we are going to get bored. The first question asked of us when we announced that we were building a home base was “when are you going to sell it and travel on”? The answer is "I think we will keep it and continue our travel adventures".

Before blogging our next adventure, I thought I would recap past travel and record just how it was accomplished. I will try to write the segments in installments and download each Saturday with photos.

If you sign up as friends or followers, I will not share your information except in the comments section, and you will receive a notice of the next installment. I invite all of you to join. Feel free to read older blogs about our Mexico adventure as we traveled from Texas along the Gulf of Mexico to the borders of Belize, then west to the Pacific Ocean and north back to the good ole USA. Also note that we rented houses in Mexico for a month at a time paying as low as $250.00 per month (Photos included).