Keeping batteries charged and learning a lesson

I drive over to the Escapees Club’s North Ranch for the purpose of doing laundry and taking a shower.

I stuff my clothes into two washers and walk into the office to present my membership card. That’s when I learn I’m not welcome to use the facilities. After a series of questions the office lady informs me, “We can’t have BLM people coming over here using our showers and laundry.”

“Even if they’re an Escapees member?” I ask, stunned. 

“No.  You can use the dump station but it’ll cost you $10 and you can buy propane, but you can’t use the showers or laundry unless you’re camped here.” 

At that moment a man walks in and hands the lady a ten dollar bill. 

The lady writes a note “Non-member dump” and attaches it to the ten dollar bill before placing it in the cash register. 

“Let me make sure I understand you correctly.  I’m a member of Escapees – I paid the first-year annual fee of $75 —  but I have no more privileges than a non-member.”  

“Well, you can stay here,” the office lady responds, her feathers ruffled a bit.  She frowns. “Did you use the dump station?”

“No.”  I’m surprised by her question.  I don’t even have the Best Little Trailer with me. 

“Well, why were you parked over there?” she asks suspiciously.

“Oh, I filled a few gallon-jugs with water,” I explain.

The lady informs me I owe $5 for the water.

I pay the $5, and say thank you with a smile.  The office lady says, “Go ahead and finish your laundry but don’t use the shower.”   

While loading the wet clothes into the dryer, I realize I’m going to fester about this situation.  I walk out to the PTV, grab my tote bag, go over to the door with the sign on it reminding me I’m not welcome, and take a nice, long, heavenly shower . . .  surely the most expensive shower of my life.   

Escapees got the better part of that bargain!

Escapees provides wonderful, well-maintained places for those who enjoy rv-park living, and if that describes you, great.  It’s not meant to be a place to drop in for a shower or to use the laundry.

NOTE:  When I wrote this post, I had no intention of causing an outpouring of criticism toward Escapees. In looking back, I realize my writing was inflammatory.   I apologize to the Escapees organization, to the people of North Ranch, and especially to the office lady whom I hope remains anonymous.  

My blog is an account of my experiences.  One of my purposes in telling my day-to-day story of fulltiming in my Casita is to help, not hurt, people.  To that end I have revised the above account.  I ask my readers to understand my motive in doing so.  Again, I apologize to the people of North Ranch and Escapees.  I am truly sorry. 

Tomorrow the crew and I break camp and head further north.

The permit granted us by the BLM rangers expires tomorrow.  We’ll look for a boondock in Prescott National Forest.  If it’s still windy, I’ll wait another day.  I’m sure the rangers will understand.

The cattle came by and peeked in the windows again. 

No sign of the horses today. 

It’s been windy and overcast all day.  This afternoon I noticed the batteries struggling to stay charged (as indicated by a red flashing light/zero amp hours on the controller), so I started up the PTV and let it run for about five minutes.  That made the controller, the batteries, and me happy again!



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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212 Responses to Keeping batteries charged and learning a lesson

  1. We are managers of an Escapees Co-op park in Texas. We do not allow anyone not staying in our park to use our facilities. It is because the park facilities are there for the guests/members in the park. I am in total agreement that you not use the facilities if you are not staying there. I was surprised the last time that you posted that you went over there and did your laundry and showered.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ali,

      I don’t disagree with the policy. If that’s how Escapees has set up the parks, that’s fine. I wish it were written more clearly on the membership sign-up page. I could have avoided the embarassment and saved myself 75 bucks. Oh well, now I know.

      • bearwise2010 says:

        I would ask for a refund – misreprentation, they must have known you weren’t staying on one of their so called lots.

      • Terry says:

        Sue and Crew – it looks like you can “dry camp” at North Ranch for $5/night. I would expect that fee to include water and showers. Do they charge people staying to use the dump station? If not, you could use all three services for $5. I’d have no problems with registering, paying, using the services and then checking out “early” 🙂

        I’m another RVer who is now unlikley to ever join Escapees Club!
        btw – really enjoy your blog!

    • bearwise2010 says:

      Wow did this really need to writen on her “personal” post. If she paid a fee then she is entitled whether she stays on the “property’ or not.. Where has humanity gone………..

    • Wayne says:

      My wife and I are planning SOON to join the ranks of FULL TIMERS
      We are planning to mostly BOONDOCK, WE HAVE AND CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THAT LAND WITH EXCESSIVE TAXES. So welan to get some use of it.

      I am surprised you do not make provisions for MEMBERS, you can still charge fees, but with your attitude toward MEMBERS you are more likely to loose much more $ as I -now knowing your policy and attitude, say WHY JOIN, I will pass you by and get ALL my services else where. For the most part those businesses will appreciate me being a customer. I did not see that Sue expected ANYTHING for FREE….

      THANKS SUE. AND AL. Now I know……

  2. bearwise2010 says:

    Well I am never surprised by the rudness of people, I made a note of this and they will never see my money that is for sure, you just don’t treat people like that. i am so happy you went and had a nice long expensive shower good for you Sue. The nerve of some people. love the pics and stories as always. Our little tent trailer is set up and ready to hit the road, someday I will up grade but right now that is all my son and i need to get out to the wilderness away from the crazy money hungery people and do some good old fashion fishing. take care

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Congratulations on getting your tent trailer ready to hit the road! I hope you and your son have a wonderful time fishing and enjoying the wilderness.

      Oh, I don’t think the lady meant to be rude. She probably tensed up thinking I was going to give her a hard time.

      • bearwise2010 says:

        Thank you, yes we are looking forward to the nicer weather, just starting to get a little warmer here. No one needs to be rude Sue, that’s what is wrong with the world. She could have politely stated the rules, and said we are sorry you misintrepreted the rules, but this time we will let it go.. then everyone is happy and no ones walks away embarased or hurt. So much for enjoying the moment, but glad to hear you recovered, and that your batteries are charged. Looking at a solar panel to charge the battery in the tent trailer, not sure what I am doing but fun to do the research, ha ha… if anyone has any ideas, easy peezzzzy please… take care Sue, as always I love reading about your adventures, and just love the pictures. You are so lucky to be admist such awesomeness….

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, bearwise, I’m living proof that a person can rely on solar power without having the faintest idea what they’re doing.

          Stay safe. Watch out for them bears and other wild things . . .

  3. hobopals says:

    You might want to pose your question regarding advantages of membership on the Escapee forum. You certainly weren’t treated politely. Perhaps this is really the rule or maybe it was just this “lady’s” rule. If it is the rule, then at least you know you can save the membership fee. If it isn’t, maybe they’ll consider changing the rules or making an exception for card carrying members–maybe even a minimum charge, i.e., $2.00. Surely they would make a profit for one shower at that rate.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It wasn’t the lady’s rule because there was a sign on the shower door, although I don’t remember seeing the sign the last time I was there. Maybe it was put up for my benefit! LOL!

      I’ll let Escapees know why I’m not renewing my membership when my current membership expires. There’s probably not enough boondocking people to make it a matter worth addressing by the club. It is what it is . . . a place for people to camp together, lease or buy lots, and live communally. Just not my cup of tea.

      • Nan says:

        If there are not enough boondocking people to make it a matter worth addressing by the club, there should be no reason to keep those few people from using the facilities. Just my opinion

  4. Jim Sathe says:

    I printed out the PDF file for Escapees last night and read it today. It sounded really great and I was seriously considering becoming a member until I read your post today. Now I am not so sure.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      If you think you might use the Escapees parks for overnight or long term stays, it might be something you’d enjoy and benefit from. It’s a popular club with many happy members. I’m sure most of them would tell you it’s “really great.”

      I wanted to point out that it’s not a club you join in order to have access to showers and laundry.

    • i was going to join Escapees also. Now I am thinking of not joining. What other club is a good choice? Sorry you had such a uncomfortable time.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Please don’t base your decision re Escapees on my experience over showers. The organization has many other benefits, some may suit you, I don’t know.

        I wrote about the shower situation today because I had previously mentioned going to North Ranch for showering and laundry, and I wanted to make sure I cleared up that misconception on my blog.

        Other organizations? Steve mentioned Loners on Wheels (LoWs). I’m not a good source for advice on clubs to join.

  5. Teri says:

    I’m sure you were frustrated, but did you have to pay last time, or did someone tell you it was ok. I do not boondock, I like to have electric and water hookups. I guess if you are going to boondock, you have to accept whatever services you can when they are available. Boondocking and then plugging in or taking water from sources may not be totally legitimate, everything costs money and someone else is paying for your water or electricity if you just take what you need whenever you want. I would do as “hobopals” suggest and check into the rules of membership for the Escapees, to see if maybe it was just that one person behind the desk making her own rules.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      My intention when paying the $75 was to have access to showers, laundry, water, and dump station. That’s what I thought the $75 paid for. I was mistaken, because you don’t have to be a member to use the dump station ($10) or get water ($5). If you dump, the water is included. Showers and laundry are off-limits to members who aren’t camped there. The new sign on the shower door says for park campers only, so it wasn’t the lady’s rule.

      I didn’t have to pay last time, probably because the lady on duty was either unaware of the rules, the park had been lax about enforcement, or she was too nice to tell me otherwise.

  6. geogypsy2u says:

    Why bother to join this outfit if you can’t take advantage of the membership without camping in their parking lot. Bah humbug to them.

    Possibility of rain here and further north tomorrow with wind. And Prescott still getting into the 30s at night. I’d hang in the desert a bit longer. You could always move to the other side of the road where you were before if you think the Rangers will be by. Plus you’re more than welcome to park here a few days.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Gaelyn! I’d take you up on your offer if you weren’t up on the mountain where it tends to do things like SNOW. LOL!

      I’m doubting I’ll be able to go far tomorrow, if anywhere. I refuse to tow in bad weather, especially gusty desert winds.

  7. Cathie Laurent says:

    I have never looked into the Escapees. Guess I will read the fine print! Good luck on your travel day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A good lesson for all of us . . . always read the fine print! Thanks for the good luck wish. The sound of the wind tonight tells me I’ll probably have to postpone any travel.

  8. Steve says:

    Look into the LoW’s (Loners on Wheels – Friends of mine belong to them and they’ve never treated me with anything less than respect. This is why I will be joining them once I go full time.

    • Steve says:

      Well, at least unless I start dating someone. They have a rule where you can only be a member if you’re single.

      Sorry to hear you had such a crappy experience with Escapees, but Thanks for the heads up. That’s one club I won’t be joining.

  9. RosalynM says:

    Wow! Thank you Sue for sharing. I too find the treatment rude as you were not aware of the restrictions when you purchased your membership. The woman should have explained yet allowed you to continue under the circumstance. It is sad that the name “Escapee’s” doesn’t include the right of those who truly ” Escape”.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rosalyn,

      Yes, it would have been better if I had been offered the shower. The only reason I was allowed to use the laundry was because I had already started the washers with my coins inside ($1 per washer).

  10. Life is too short… Sun Showers… Little Village Laundry where you will always meet some kind souls (let’s face it… they could not afford a washer… ). BLM Primitive camping and same with National Forest… Done…
    I have never ever joined a Club or Organization… what for?
    Be well… Ara and Spirit

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re wise, Ara. I joined Escapees and Good Sam’s, both on a trial basis. I planned to make a decision at renewal time whether either was worth my money. I joined Good Sam’s for one reason only, for the road service. I’m going to call them and see what restrictions apply to their road service.

      • Chuck says:

        We have had to use Good Sam Road Service three timea and each time it was excellent. Don’t know what services are available out in the boonies. I was a member of Escapees for 6 years: used there mail service which is outstanding, stayed at a lot of their parks espescia;;y along the I-10 corridor…they seem to be spaced about a day apart going back and forth from FL to CA, sometimes drycamping, sometimes with hook ups and was always treated well with the exception of Casa Grande..real snobby.Never stayed at North Ranch. Most of the parks have a limit on drycamping, usually a week, but I always assumed if you paid the fee for drycamping, you got to use the facilities, even if you didn’t actually park your camper there. We didn’t renew because we don’t use freeways and most of their parks are close to them and use PO for forwarding now. They are a great organization if it fits your lifestyle. Chuck

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks so much, Chuck. We need some balance here.

          Escapees is a popular club with a long, successful history fulfilling the purposes it set out to fulfill. Many, many people love Escapees. As you said, and it’s worth repeating, “They are a great organization if it fits your lifestyle.”

  11. Howdy Sue…. Hard to believe that no matter how far you go out in the ‘boonies’ rude people roll into your path! So glad you found a way stomach the bitter pill. Loved your pics of the horses in your last post…. maybe you have found the way I can live without mine oneday. If you are moving on how will we know about the sorrels foal…. and pics?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Karen, I was thinking the same thing today as I looked for the herd while we were out walking! I think two of the mares are in foal. I’d love to see what the babies look like.

      “rude people roll into your path” . . . nice imagery, Karen. LOL!

    • Chuck says:

      That sorrel is for sure in foal. Looks pretty close.
      In your letter to Escapees, ask them what they can do for boondockers, change policy,etc. Each of their parks is sorta’ independent and has rules of their own…Wachulala in FL limits to 2 dogs, Casa Grande, 1st nite drycamping free, etc..Just sayin’

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Call me lazy but I’m not going to do anything other than state the facts if asked why I’m not renewing my membership. My contribution to the world of rving and boondocking is this blog. I’ll leave the policy-changing to someone else.

        Good thing to mention how the parks may have different rules.

  12. Old Fat Man says:

    I am a 15+ years member of the Escapees and the only thing I have found worthwhile about the organization is the mail forwarding. That alone is worth my membership fee and the only reason I have stayed a member.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barney!

      You reminded me . . . I had forgotten that I was thinking of switching my mail forwarding to Escapees from America’s Mailbox. Hmmm . . . . Oh well, I have until July, I think, to make that decision.

  13. I don’t think it is right. Maybe , if needed they could charge like a couple $ s for the shower but it seems to me it is rude to not let a member use the facility unless they stay over. When I lived in my RV I also did a lot of boondocking. I used to go to campgrounds and ask if I could pay to use the shower . Usually they didnt charge much . So, why wouldnt they have that option for an actual member?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      From our point of view, it does seem odd that they don’t allow members to pay for the use. Maybe they fear people will camp on the BLM land and take showers every day for months. That wouldn’t happen, of course, because of the 14-day limit.

      • hobopals says:

        After thinking about it, yesterday, they may also have the rule for safety, but that doesn’t excuse the rudeness. All that had to be said was, “I’m very sorry that you misunderstood, but the membership fee does not extend to people who aren’t camping here.” It’s so much easier to be pleasant than nasty.

        I was in a Georgia State Park one time and the gates were locked during the day. I asked the ranger about it and he said they were having trouble with illegals working in the carpet industry using the restrooms. It was costly which can raise the cost for the consumer, but it was also dangerous not knowing who was in the restrooms or laundry.

  14. julieinoregon says:

    I went to their website for North Ranch. It states dry camping available for $5. Next time just pay the $5 dry camping. Maybe that will work for you?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wish I had thought of that while I was there. I was so taken aback by the tone of the conversation that I didn’t think of that. I have a feeling it wouldn’t have made any difference. The sign didn’t say, “If you aren’t a resident of the park, pay $5.”

  15. Chinle says:

    What did Mark Twain say about rules??? Hmmm, let me see…

    “Life is short, Break the Rules.
    Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly.
    Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
    And never regret ANYTHING
    That makes you smile.”
    ― Mark Twain

    The picture of you enjoying their shower made me smile. I like your anachronistic attitude. I’ve been known to do the same when necessity dictated, but mostly at Utah and Montana state parks. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      This rebellious episode is so unlike me. I’ve always been a rule-follower. Then I bought a little trailer, hit the road, and now I figure I can do anything I want! Ha!

      Thanks for sharing some Twain with us . . .

      • Chinle says:

        Once you taste the freedom of the road, all kinds of other freedoms rear their wonderful heads. Like Brighty’s statue at the Grand Canyon says—forever wild, forever free!

        • Geri says:

          Chinle, I am really enjoying your book, I couldn’t put it down last night… now 75% finished! You are a great writer! Glad your books are on Kindle! (sorry Sue, but I just had to let her know!

  16. joan gagnon says:

    there are a few camping outfits that aren’t worth the annual fee, this being just one of the.Nick from the ” Bad Nick Blog” has a list of free dumps all over the US, 90% of truck stops have nice showers and 90% of towns have laundramats, Save your money on useless Camping Clubs.We have belonged to many on the only one that has been of any use is Passport America.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Joan. Good comment.

      There’s a laundromat in Wickenburg. No showers nearby, but one can manage with the rv shower and sponge baths, until a state park or truck stop is available.

      • Chinle says:

        If you’re ever in Moab, the brand new rec center is open to everyone, showers are $3 and it’s nice and clean. Ara, take note for when you come up this way next. 🙂

  17. Billy Bob says:

    The way I understand, North Ranch was constructed and is maintained by the Escapees Club. They have rules at North Ranch, just like do all RV parks.
    There is no call for all the “rude” comments against the Escapees Club, which I understand from RV’er reviews, is second to none on a scale of 1 to 10. Do some research before you post rude comments.
    Sorry Sue, but you made it sound like you were treated like a dog.
    LOL….if you want to be treated like a dog, go to LOW’s in Deming. Lady with a donut in one hand, cigarette hang’n out her lips, throws the rules and application on the counter and says….”read it” through a puff of smoke and just walks off. Left me stand’n there dumbfounded. Needless to say, I didn’t join.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’ve got to be kidding!!! I would’ve been dumbfounded, too.

      I tried very hard to write the words exactly as they were said. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience either. Maybe standing there in need of a shower made me sensitive to being told not to use their shower (like I’m too dirty or somethin’)!

      My point is this: Escapees is wonderful. But don’t join just for showers and laundry.

    • Chuck says:

      Billy Bob,
      This is NOT your blog and Sue can say what ever she wants. And I have heard that North Ranch is a little snobby as is Casa Grande.

    • Wayne says:

      My assumption is that a number of folks would give you that response Billy Bob. I know I would not care to put up with you….. It would be a bad time investment.


  18. Rod Ivers says:

    The last time we stayed at North Ranch, we used the laundry facilities and they got after us about not having laundry privileges even though we were paying the daily fee. My wife started doing the laundry later at night after the office was closed for the day…. Something about the laundry was broken or there weren’t enough machines since we were only staying for about a week, and not on monthly pay. But that has been two years ago and we haven’t considered going back to the park. We have renewed our membership since, but have never stayed at a SKP park since………. North Ranch has a lot of pressure on it from winter snow birds, and is not a warmer friendlier kind of a place……… JMHO

  19. Bill says:

    Hi Sue- A couple of things. When these AGM batteries become discharged, it takes a while to recharge them. I prefer to charge them slowly but I have no evidence that quick charging is detremental other than generating heat. Rule of thumb on any rechargable battery is 10% of amp/hour rating. That would be 15 amps for your two AGM’s. I try to keep them between 13.5-14.2V.
    If you make it to CO in August, Navajo Lake State Park in NM is 35 miles from Aztec and 50 miles to Durango. Pine camp ground has a dry camp area with shower/potty facilities and free to holders of the NM Annual camp pass. There is a free National campground 3 miles from Silverton. We like to stay there so we don’t have to drive over Coal Bank/Molas pass (50 miles to Durango) then 50 miles to Navajo. The CB/M pass crossing at night affords you the priviledge of stopping/braking for Deer. Usual count is 20-25! The National Campground is at 9200′ msl and temps go down to freezing most of August! We usually tent because our Jeep won’t tow the trailer up those mountains! Even the 330hp Cat in the MH strains a little! You’ll be fine towing the BLT. You’ll have to follow our bumper and DON’T LOOK DOWN!!!!
    I like the slide shows…do you know anything about the horses? They look domesticated (broke) and used to campers. You could do a dental examine to see if they have teeth missing for a ‘bit’ but I warn you some horses resist this procedure.
    Cheers- Off toTucson this week. I dread the I-10 trip in the Ranger! BR and crew.(ps -it’s 10 pm, 68 degrees) here in EB.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill,

      You’re scaring me with that road description. I’m getting skittish about driving on the edges of cliffs with no guardrails. Yikes. Are you sure I won’t follow your bumper right over the side?

      I don’t know anything about horses. Judging from their calm while I’m moving around them taking photos and also by the condition of their coats (neat) and hooves (nicely trimmed), I’d say someone is taking care of them. No way am I going to do a dental exam! You’ve got to be kidding me

      Be careful on your way to Tuscon. Big rigs on I-10 made the PTV seem awfully small …

    • Ed says:

      This is what the Optima web site says about charging your batteries:

      Recommended charging information:
      * 13.65 to 15.0 volts, no amperage limit.
      Battery Charger:
      * 13.8 to 15.0 volts, 10 amps maximum, 6-12 hours approximate.
      Cyclic Applications:
      * 14.7 volts, no current limit as long as battery temperature remains below 125°F (51.7°C). When current falls below 1 amp, finish with 2 amp constant current for 1 hour.
      Rapid Recharge:
      * Maximum voltage 15.6 volts (regulated), no current limit as long as battery temperature remains below 125°F (51.7°C). Charge until current drops below 1 amp.
      Float Charge:
      * 13.2 to 13.8 volts, 1 amp maximum current, time indefinite (at lower voltage).

  20. Rude comments? Tell billy bob to shove it. Now thats a rude response Sue. Sounded like they were rude to you and if thats what they said and you posted it just like they said it and he called it rude ,whats his point.. They were rude and he knew it. Sounded to me like he talked to you like a dog…Joe
    P.S. Other then that I like your blog and find it interesting Sue. pet the pups for me..Joe

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, Joe! Sweet of you to come to my defense. You made me smile. I don’t think Billy Bob meant me any harm. But thanks for sticking up for me.

      And thanks for letting me know you like my blog and think it’s interesting. The “pups” are fast asleep as I type this . . . Spike’s paws are kicking — he must be dreaming.

  21. Elizabeth in NC says:

    WOW what is with the snootiness?? I happen to know that there ARE other boondockers who are members!! What business is it how you spend your time?? This is NOT good news!! We had been considering when we begin to live in similar manner, to be members!! THANKS so much for sharing. It may not have saved you $75 but it will probably save some others’. So sorry about that. If there was some sort of rule about having to stay on the premises to use the facilities, it should have been stated very clearly. And to charge you the same as a non-member…that makes no sense whatsoever. Well, it does take some folks a long time to learn that a good reputation is far better to have than a bad one. KMart made some bad choices so many years ago and in many parts of the country they are out of business…and I imagine one day will be completely gone. BUSINESSES DO NEED their customers!!

    I hope the next spot you camp will be a very good one. Thanks again for sharing your experiences!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      All my camps so far have been ones I’d return to. Well, maybe not Love’s truck stop in Benson!

      Maybe an Escapee member will see my post and these comments and rectify the situation. People expect to get something when they pay $75, not just the privilege of buying something more. That’s rare, so it needs to be stated up front, especially for people like myself who have no knowledge of the rv park culture.

  22. JoeSmoe says:

    I’m really not sure why people are getting into such a snit. Joining organizations like Escapees, KOA, Good Sams, etc. all work the same. You can camp at their facilities and get a discount. You certainly can’t walk into a KOA campground present your card and expect to use the facilities, you have to be camped there. Pretty simple, RVSue being a newbie to Rving didn’t realize this and should count this as part of the learning curve and not take is so personal, after all it’s her error and assumptions that are at fault here. Just look at the club benefits page for Escapees and you won’t see anywhere that it implies you can just present your card and use any facilities at their parks.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Where in my post or in any of my comments have I made this a personal issue? Actually I am proud of myself for not making it “so personal.” As you can see from several comments by readers, the assumption is not mine alone.

      Life is a learning curve.

    • I used to manage a 866 acre RV membership park, and there were no such rules by us or management. Members often stopped in and used the park during the day, whether to enjoy the commaraderie at the 10,000 SF recreation building, to have a picnic, to let the kids use the playground, or to fish or hunt! (We were the only park out of about 76 at the time that allowed hunting!) A management team, if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, has better things to do than wander around worrying about whether someone uses restrooms or showers, or fills a jug with water! A manager has to make people feel welcome so that sales and rentals continue to thrive! When they drive people away, it is costing the park more money than those people are being paid! Look at how many people will read this, and then not become members! Bad managers in ANY hospitality position need to be re-trained or replaced, preferably the latter, since you can’t change people’s inheritited dispositions!

      • Joe says:

        For cring out loud it was a freaking shower. Didn”t kill Anyway I”m glad to see the tide has seemed to turn and most people feel the way I do. In other words it was 10 cents worth of water. Already paid $5 to much for your other water. Anyway I do admire you sue and your spirit of adventure. Keep telling it like it is darling…Joe

  23. Pam Perry says:

    Gee thanks for the heads up on Escapees. An unpleasant surprise. You certainly deserved that $75 shower.

  24. Kathy says:

    Thanks for the info, Sue. I was planning to join them for the same reason you did.

  25. Shar Pei Mom says:

    Still to cold up here on the mountain (Prescott area) Sue! Did feel warm @ 4:30 this morning, took the dogs out a few minutes ago and the wind had picked up. Yesterday the wind cut threw ya like ice.
    If you need to move try either out El Recreo rd/ Constellation rd or out past Safeway on Vaulture mine rd. for more BLM land. Call the “Horspitality Rv park @ 928-684-2519 to see about showers…dump/water 10.00, they have propane and very nice managers there. Theres also Desert Cypress Rv park they too have dump/water not sure about showers though.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How nice of you to post this information for me! My next boondock’s weather is a bit nippy, so I need to change plans. I crossed Vulture Mine Road off my list when I saw all the cholla which is bad for the crew. I guess I need to take another look.

      Thanks again!

  26. Sharon says:

    Glad you took that $75 shower. I would’ve done the same thing. I think that ‘lady’ could’ve spoken kinder to you, but, maybe she was having a bad day. Live and learn.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Right. I have no gripes against the lady in the office. She probably was nervous about having to break the news to me so she didn’t choose the best words. Happens to all of us.

      • That is very true. However, if it continues after you have aplogized and tried to be nice, the best thing to do is pick up your cell phone and tell them you are calling the corporate office to file a complaint. Either they will rethink their snotty comments immediately, or get mad and leave, either one of which solves the immediate issue. If enough people would use their cell phones for useful purposes instead of idle chatter, it might make the world better for all of us! No manager likes to be called on the carpet because of their bad attitude! Call their bluff by calling their employer!

  27. Maribeth says:

    I understand exactly what you are saying Sue! Not putting the Escapees Club down, just clarifying what you get for your membership fee. Advice for those considering membership. North Ranch actually sounds like a great place for those who like RV park lifestyle. On reason we never considered purchasing an RV, communal living in and RV park just was not our thing. Our minds were changed on RV life on our 2011 trip to Utah when we were exposed to the vast open and empty spaces on which one could camp. Now that seemed appealing. Although we are only going to get to “part-time” and we will be staying in “campgrounds” most of the ones we have selected are state parks, and national forest type campgrounds, were I think we can get closer to the BLM boondocking feel than an RV Park. Excited for your next location details.

    Hey Bill (from above) if you read this could you let me know more about the road from Durango to Molas Lake, we are planning a trip there in August and I didn’t think that part of the road was as bad as from Silverton to Ouray. Would love to know more about it before we go in case it may be too much for us and we should cancel and re-plan. Thanks

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Maribeth, for understanding me and making my purpose clearer for other readers. I appreciate your kind words!

      I will ask Bill (a personal friend) if he minds me giving you his email address.

      • Chinle says:

        I know that road well. It’s not bad if you don’t mind exposure and lots of curves. Well maintained, but no shoulder most of the time. But it’s nothing compared to Red Mountain Pass. My cousin is the head of the road dept. in Ouray County and he cut his teeth as a snow-plow operator on Red Mtn. and has lots of rig stories. I personally would go WAY around rather than pulling a rig over any of those passes, and I grew up in that country. Even a small rig. It’s bad enough driving a car. But I do see people doing it and they’re usually leading a parade. I would say go to Ouray and park there, it’s a beautiful town, or the state park near Ridgeway, which is awesome, then drive the passes to visit Silverton/Durango. Much more fun.

  28. Greg and Jean says:

    What JoeSmoe said Sue.

    It always amuses me when people think the rules are for everyone else. If you were treated with rudeness that is unacceptable and I would complain if I were you. If you were simply asked to follow the rules that EVERY campground has then I believe it is your turn to apologize. Not entirely certain why you even brought this up. We have ‘membership’ in just about every ‘club’ there is and each and everyone of them has rules…wonder if I could just stop in for those free KOA pancakes even though I’m not paying to camp there for the night…….or maybe let the grandkids use the pool and game room.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m surprised and a bit hurt by your comment, that you are amused by my experience. What would I be apologizing for? For giving $75 to the organization?

      As for expecting “free pancakes” or anything else, I was willing to pay extra for anything I used. I paid for the laundry and for the water. I would have paid for the shower if given the opportunity.

      There’s no need to insult someone for making a mistake based on ignorance.

      Here’s why I brought the subject up: In a previous post I mentioned using the shower and laundry. This blog is read by a lot of people every day. I felt it necessary to make it obvious, even to those who just scan my posts, that Escapees is not to be used the way I used it. In other words, don’t sign up for the sole purpose of convenient showers and laundry. I feel an obligation to provide true information for readers, to the best of my ability. Also, this blog is about my experiences as a boondocker.

      I suppose my ignorance of the ways of rv parks is laughable, thus your amusement. I’ve never been to a KOA or a private campground in my entire life. My actions were based on my limited knowledge that usually when you pay money, you get something in return. I was not snotty and if you read closely, I haven’t said anything bad about Escapees. The residents are friendly, good people (Bob and Boswell).

      As you can see from other comments (by very nice people), the misconception is not just limited to me.

      • strawberrypolly says:

        Well said, Sister o’ Mine. You are a big help to others with your experiences. Report the good with the bad….the rude with the pleasant…. whether you are right or wrong…tell your experiences so others can learn.
        Love you

    • Wayne says:

      Greg and Jean,

      WOW, FIRST, YOU NEED TO RE-READ SUE’s post. SECOND need to consider that it may be YOUR TURN TO APOLOGIZE.




    • bearwise2010 says:

      Greg and Jean way off base, you have not read all of Sue’s adventures. And getting to know her through this blog of her “personal experiences” you would know she is kind and gentle soul who is not looking for the dues the world owes, but simply trying to live and experience life to its fullest. I took Sue’s comments about her experience as a person behind the counter who was just utterly “rude”.. There are so many better ways to handle a situation like this “Sue was incredible in handling the situation, however the clerk needs to have some customer service lessons. The ignorance is in people like this who make comments in this blog and who attack personally. No need for that, Sue was stating the facts, and “her” feelings.. respect that and lay off. I did not get that it was the organization etc, it was the rudeness of the woman at the rv park, this could have been better dealt with and in a much more pleasant tone….

  29. Dayton says:

    Thanks for the “heads up” on the SKP, North Ranch rules. I liked the suggestion on the $5 Dry Camp option. I’m wondering if it has restrictions on the use of facilities. I’m an SKP member along with LOW, Good Sam, and inherited a Thousnd Trails membership. I rarely use any of the club camp options as I have other options like boondocking.
    Every organization has pluses and minuses. Knowledge is protection.
    I appreciated the heads up. Thanks.

  30. Sherry says:

    It’s your blog and your right to describe your experience the way you saw and felt it. Seems to me the lady could have been more polite to an escapees member in explaining the rules. I joined Good Sam and Passport America when I first started full timing. Thought I’d wait and see about Escapees. Good Sam has not proven to be worth it but Passport has and I now don’t see any reason to join Escapees since I’m not domicling in Texas.

    Thanks for your view on this it has helped me make up my mind. As someone else put it, bad press for a company is not a good thing. All she had to be was nice about it. Which is what I think all your commenters should also be. I’m shocked at some of the things they say here criticizing you for your own opinion on your own blog. Glad they don’t read mine.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Maybe they DO read yours. You just haven’t said the wrong thing yet! Blogging about your life is not easy, especially for a thin-skinned person like me.

      Thanks for weighing in on this topic. Your last line made me laugh!

      • Sherry says:

        Glad I could put a smile on your face in exchange for the many you put on mine.

        I don’t think it’s possible that I haven’t said anything wrong on my blog. I’m a mighty opinionated environmentalist.

    • Chuck says:

      Totally agree with Sherry! Like GoodSam for the road service, discount not much at campgroungs. Passport America has more parks ‘off the beaten path’ and have found some real nice, cozy type parks that we have returned to numerous times.
      Some have said that North Ranch has a “Wickenburg” attitude…….
      Again, Chuck

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Oh boy. I’m not going to ask what a Wickenburg attitude is!

        Chuck, about the horses . . . Click on the gray horse in this post to enlarge it. Does it look like the horse has a big scar forward of the hip?

        • Chuck says:

          Probably should have said Prescott attitude….snobby. Wickenburg used to be pretty nice.

          Yeah it does look kinda like a large scar on the roan(black points). Could also be rub mark to get rid of winter coat but has a couple of small scar-like marks on hip.
          Next lesson, horses have a winter coat the grows out leaving a lighter summer coat.


          • Shar Pei Mom says:

            Hey!!!! Chuck…(Just given you a jab) Not all of us Prescottonians are snobby,most native and long timers are the friendliest,helpful people.
            The snobs are the new comers from California and all their money from the housing boom over there, bought up the reasonable priced land and made it into lil california!!!

            • Chuck says:

              Yep, gotta’ agree with you on that point, Shar Pei Mom! We’re gonna’ need another fence twixt CA and AZ! and I was a Northern Californian for 35 years. The southern ones that leave all seem to want to be big fish in little ponds….Because the state capitol is in N CA, I think is the only reason the state hasn’t divided.

              • Elizabeth in NC says:

                Heh, another native born Californian here…tho I left decades ago. We moved to Northern Idaho…and both north and south Idaho said the same thing; The Californians ruined some things about their culture. Maybe so…heh, not all natives are nice either I am here to tell ya…regardless of where they come from. Sometimes I think SOME of those who are not so nice, are also strong enough to leave all that is familiar and strike out for “parts unknown”. My grandma however, 3rd generation native Californian born in 1897, was one of the BEST people who ever walked this planet. I guess one of the “tests” of this life is how we handle such events as happened to Sue. I think she was gracious. But it also fair to share with others what happened. I think often that what divides us most is our life experiences. We find it easier to be critical of others when we ourselves have not gone though such things. If I was alone as Sue is, I would feel very much more vulnerable too…it is a fact that often women alone are not treated so well, even by other women…go figure!!

              • rvsueandcrew says:

                Thought-provoking comment.

  31. Karen says:

    Sad to say that hubby, furry kids and I have never boondocked…at least not yet. We only have a membership for Sam’s Club and purchased it mostly for the road service and it also gives us discounts at most campgrounds. I was surprised at your experience at Escapees. You’d certainly think they would at least give you a discount on your shower, etc if you are a member. Sounds like they need to clarify a few things. I’m glad you took your shower and did some laundry anyway. I’m pretty sure the lady enforcer presented the rules defensively not knowing for sure what your reaction would be. I enjoyed the story and am glad you could help others by relating your experience. There is no need for you to apologize for relating an experience, that’s what a blog is all about. Kind of thinking about getting a KOA membership so we can stop in on Sundays for pancakes..Ha, ha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad you explained the office lady’s point of view. She probably was defensive and feared I’d make “a stink,” which now that I think about it, I probably did, needing a shower and all. LOL!

      She’s probably a very nice person who wanted to do her job correctly.

      Be sure and pay for those pancakes!

  32. Karen says:

    Oh, and I forgot to add another funny thought I had regarding the Q and A at Escapees. When asked if you used the dump station you could have said. I was intending to, I have the contents of the BLT black tank in the back seat and wondered if you have a funnel and a hose. (Sorry for the coarse humor, I couldn’t help myself.)

  33. Bill and Ann says:

    Thank you for your comments Sue; and all the others. There is nothing like the ‘rude people’ treatment. It can stay with you for days. That is why we don’t go to private parks. We would rather boondock, go to a USFS or state park. I will look up the Passport America group. We probably would have joined Escapees based on your past postings. Not anymore. Thank you for posting you; you have saved us $75 and a ‘rude people’ experience.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, the lady wasn’t that bad. It sounds worse in print. Judge Escapees on its merits, not my one experience which I caused by being uninformed. But don’t join just for showers and laundry!

  34. Bob Wells says:

    Hey Sue, I’m sure you know your controller 1000 times better than I do, so if I am all wrong forgive me. But on my controller the red light means the battery has reached float and zero amps are going into the battery because it is full. But every controller is different, and red meaning danger makes more sense. Yesterday it rained here in the high desert of CA and today it is beautiful, so the sun is coming.

    One more thought, Prescott National Forest might have snow on the ground now and be pretty cold. I know a snowstorm went through Flagstaff last week. You might want to call the Ranger station and ask before you go. I only camped there for a week once and it was pretty close to Prescott, but there was a limit to dispersed camping. You were only allowed to camp in designated areas. But usually the further you get from towns, the less the restrictions. Again, you may want to call and ask first.

    Its a tough time for boondockers, the low desert is getting a little hot, but the National Forests are generally still too cold. The high desert is best right now. We haven’t even got up to 80 However the high desert gets a lot of wind. You might think about the Dolan Springs area in the NorthWest corner of Arizona. Here’s the weather there;,-114.273293

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bob! Great comment with lots of useful info. I was wondering how boondockers deal with this situation … too hot in the desert, too cold elsewhere. I was planning on boondocking near Ash Fork but today I see the lows are in the mid to low 30s. Not good.

      Thanks for the link and the suggestion. NW is a bit out-of-the way according to my long range “plan” but I’ll consider it. Especially since I’m not coming up with anything better. I’d like to say more but my computer/WordPress? is starting to act funny. Thanks loads.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bob, computer’s settled down so I’ll continue . . . .

      About the controller . . . The booklet says red flashing means an error. One of the errors listed is low voltage which I take to mean the voltage is below the set minimum. That’s why I gave it a little push with the PTV. Soon it went from zero amps to 1.47 amps and higher. All the time the little icon light (shaped like a full battery) was green and blinking. So I’m interpreting the flashing red light as a warning that the batteries, though full, are yelling, “feed me! feed me!” (I have to bring this down to a level I can understand.)

      Yesterday was the most overcast day we’ve experienced since relying on solar. It was dark! Yet the power came through. I was online a large part of the day and turned on lights after dark. I didn’t watch tv, don’t know how long that would’ve lasted.

  35. Ron says:

    Sometime folks dont like facts ,and that is what you presented. So just smile and keep doing it , you have my respect .
    Still the best blog on the net!!

  36. Geri says:

    Hi Sue! Next time you stop at WallyWorld, go to the camping section and pick up a 5 gallon solar shower, a hula hoop, a shower curtain, some shower curtain hooks, a carabinier hook… (like they use in rock climbing or nowadays on keychains) I used an extra shower hook, didn’t have carabinier hooks back in my boondocking days! Hang all the hooks on the shower curtain and hang the shower curtain on the HulaHoop! Then just hang the bungee cords from the carabinier hook and hang it from a tree limb (when you get camped where you have tree limbs) and you can shower in privacy as often as you want for about $30 one time charge! Then you won’t have to be putting up with rude, obnoxious people! I did this system for almost 6 years and it worked just fine!
    Again, I am so sorry that lady and several of these folks posting felt the need to be rude. Some folks just have off days, ya know???

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I saw where you were going with your comment and I was thinking , “Um, there are no trees to hang it from,” but good ol’ Geri knows what she talks about. You knew that!

      Okay. Good info. Good advice. Now I have another justification for my BIG PTV!

      • hobopals says:

        Sue, there are inexpensive free standing showers that can be folded for transport.

        For that matter, as isolated as you camp, you might not even need a surround.

        The only question I would have is whether there is environmentally safe soap because it’s actually grey water that you’d be dumping. I’d be interested in hearing what you and your followers think.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good point about the soap. I know there are “green” products for shampoo. They’re at health food stores so I’d have to stock up when I find one.

          Um, I want a shower curtain. With the lenses available today? Oh no, I gotta have that surround. One thing I’ve learned about boondocking … you can camp in the middle of hundreds of acres and a jogger will run right by your window. Ha!

          Thank you for the link, so thoughtful. In a few minutes I’m going to look and see.

          • Geri says:

            Sue, we use Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile spap made with organic oils! Love the peppermint soap…. seems to keep you cooler longer in the warmer months! It is a certified organic soap…. so that should be “green”! Those fancy showers from hobopal sure looks good, but my idea is lots cheaper and stores up small! But you gotta remember, I was doing all my travelling and boondocking in the early 1980’s… we didn’t have all that fancy stuff around!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              As always, useful info!

              • hobopals says:

                A friend of mine has either this one or one very similar to it. She has no bath or toilet facilities in her Aframe camper. She likes it because it folds up and fits back into a case that makes it easy to transport.
       Geri, hope you don’t mind my link–Sue may be handier than I am and could make one without problems, but in as much as there aren’t many trees in the desert I would think a free standing “room” might be something to consider. There are many versions out there that aren’t expensive. I also saw that they sell “green” soap on Amazon (in the camping category) so I’m sure it’s not hard to get in the camping section of any Walmart. Just something to consider.

              • Geri says:

                Hey Hobo Pals, Now THAT ia a cool, affordable, shower shelter! Sue, I really like this suggestion… If it had been around in the 1980’s, I would have had this! TOO COOL!!!
                Put this one on Sue’s new link above! Great product, great idea! Chinle might need one too!

              • Chinle says:

                I actually already have one. They’re well worth the money!

          • Elizabeth in NC says:

            Whatever you do, have your good ole SPIKEY nearby….heehee…so he can bark and warn you. I was wondering too if you might be able to set up the shower in the MIDST of the dog pen with them inside the pen. Those little dogs can be mighty bitey when need be sometimes, eh? And something handy to “even up the score” if necessary.

            You do know what a crow bar is for right? Hubby came back from several months at sea once. Came in the house and said he wondered what on earth had happened to our crow bar in our 1 car. Heh…well, me and some of my girlfriends and my visiting Granny had gone up to a high park there on Oahu where we lived. Beautiful view. While one girlfriend and I were using the bathroom some big Somoan guys came up. No one else around. I told my city-wise girlfriend I did NOT like how they were looking at us (all young and pretty then, except Granny heh). She agreed. I went to my little ’65 Baracuda (with 4 on the floor no less) trunk, got out the crowbar, put it under my seat, told everyone to hurry and get in and tore off. Now this ole mountain girl has driven a few Idaho backroads ok? Baby I straightened those curves getting out of there. LO and Behold….later one of my girlfriends saw on TV that those guys looking at us had raped some women at that very spot that very day (after us I guess). They tried to follow us down the mountain but I had a good co-pilot too (GOD)…and we got away. I told the others after I tore off that I figured I would go out fighting. Heh…growing up with only 3 brothers learns ya a few things…no I never hit them with one, but it was all I could think of at that moment. Do be careful dearie!!

          • Kristin says:

            Hi Sue,
            I’ve seen the free standing showers such as Hobopals mentioned at Walmart for $35. They hold one of the 5 gallon solar shower bags and looked pretty roomy. Sorry about your experience at the park; to be told you can’t take a much anticipated shower would be such a downer! I’m very glad you took it any way. 🙂

        • Chuck says:

          During the 70s water crisis in CA, I piped my washing machine water outside and used that to water my landscaped treesand they thrived( used Amway soap) All of their products are grey water safe and actually make water wetter somehow. A few drops in a watering can will allow water to penetrate hard pan! It is safe enuff to drink! They were green before it was COOL!

          • Chuck, that is a great idea for recycling water, and you are exactly right about Amway. Regardless of how some of us feel about their past marketing methods, they DO make some great products. When I used to manage apartments, someone had used a chemical in one of the the stainless steel sinks and turned it blueish. We tried several cleaners and nothing would work. We thought we were going to have to replace it, but my cleaning lady had an idea. She brought in some Amway Metal Cleaner, and with a little rubbing, she had it shining like brand new!

            Another product, very hard to find anywhere else, is they make a stainless steel wool pot scrubber product, I think it’s called “Scrub Buds” or something like that. They are the best thing we have found for cleaning stainless steel cookware (especially hard water lime deposits).

            I had gotten involved with Amway twice in my life many years ago, but their deceptive marketing methods always turned me off. Someone said they have changed that now, and even allow their dealers to put stuff on the web, so I may take another look. Their products typically cost a little more than you would buy a similar product in stores, but they really are great products, and worth every penny for our environment.

      • Bob Wells says:

        HOW TO SHOWER: I don’t know what kind of side doors your van has, but if they are barn doors (two doors that open out) it is pretty easy to rig up a shower curtain from door to door, and stand in the doorway to shower. A strong rare earth magnet on each door will hold it. Put the hot water in a bucket and use a simple 12 volt or D cell shower pump to shower with.

        Another possibility is a Stansport Cabana. usually I hate Stansport products but this one is quite good. I bought one from Amazon for less than $40 and set it up at the last two Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, it withstood multiple BIg windstorms. I know for a fact the wind was over 50 mph several times. Highly recommended. I have a friend who has a Stansport shower pump. It uses D cell batteries and has a shower head on one end. He has been using it for years and loves it. I think it’s less than $30 at amazon. Another friend has a ZODI hot water on demand water heater with shower pump and loves it.

        it’s actually pretty easy, and pretty cheap for a boondocker to set up your own shower. bob

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Bob…

          The PTV does have barn-type doors (It’s perfect, remember?). Your suggestions are excellent. Maybe someday when you are bored and have nothing to do, you’ll think about putting the information on the Resources page (header) so we can find it in the future.

  37. Bill says:

    To Maribeth- The road from Durango to Silverton is not that bad. From Silverton to Ouray is a different story. Still both are doable and the biggest problem are locals that drive over the speed limit and situations where you briefly check out your mirrors and see 10 plus cars behind. SO you use one of the many ‘turnouts’ to let the crazies pass. I’ve made that trip many times on a biking tour and they have such acceleration that they pass on impossible blind curves!
    But all that aside, K and I invited Susan to experience the annual (31st year) of the BRASS BAND FESTIVAL. Words cannot describe the event! Five concerts over one week-end in August; it’s held in a huge tent, FREE! (If you think SUSANS blog is entertaining now, JUST WAIT!!!! )
    Need any other info, we’re considered locals up there and would be glad to chat. S will give you our e-mail. BR and Kids

  38. libertatemamo says:

    Unfortunately the Escapee membership rule (i.e. you can’t use the facilities unless camped there) is in-force at all their parks. It’s true for most other RV parks too. Now if you’re a member I believe you can dry-camp at the park for a minimal fee ($5-$10?) and use all the facilities. So that’s another option for you.

  39. Rick says:

    I like Geri’s idea of being able to shower where you camp. You may need to carry extra water for showers in the PTV but that seems more convenient than driving into town for a shower.

    One poster seems to say that even if you’ve paid to dry camp, dry campers still are not allowed to use the facilities in an Escapees park. Can that possibly be true?

    It seems to me, many parks, not necessarily Escapees, allow use of their facilities for a fee if someone asks and that Escapees could do the same. But $10 seems like a lot of money for dumping the contents of a small Casita black tank when they charge the same amount for the contents of a much larger black tank on a 42′ coach. And $5 for water for a Casita vs. $5 for water on a coach with a 100 fresh water tank seems a large disparity.

    Tioga George always seems to find free water from convenience stores and gas stations just by asking. From reading your blog so far, my guess is, you will find ways to deal with these issues that are cost effective and more convenient than driving to town for a shower.

    Does anyone dig a hole in the desert and dispose of their black tank contents that way? Does anyone use a double plastic bagged sawdust toilet instead of a black tank and dispose of the full bags in dumpsters? Not necessarily advocating, just exploring possible options.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rick… I’ll address your comments in order ….

      Yes, Geri has a lot of good ideas. Carrying a lot of water is a problem to be solved.

      I’m pretty sure if you dry camp at Escapees, you can use the showers and laundry.

      In my limited experience, I’ve noticed so far my little Casita gets charged as much as a huge motorhome for dumping tanks and taking on water. I don’t mind.

      Tioga George does find water for his tanks at the places you mention. He buys drinking water. I paid for water that is “fresh water for drinking.” There’s another faucet for flushing hoses, etc. I was putting drinking water in the jugs. Escapees doesn’t make any distinction. You’re not a resident and you turn on the faucet, you pay $5.

      I can’t help you re: black water disposal/sawdust. Maybe a reader will help you.

    • hobopals says:

      I don’t do that, but I know people who make a “porta potty” with double plastic bags and cat litter.

      • hobopals says:

        Oops, sorry. I forgot to say that they dispose of the tied bag in trash containers. I’m not fond of the idea because of all the plastic in the environment and wouldn’t bury it in the desert, either.

        BTW, Sue. Your “Notify me of follow-up comments via email does not work.

        • Must be something at your end. I just signed up for follow-ups today and I’m getting a ton of them! Go through the process again, and make sure you check all the boxes. Also, WordPress will send you a follow-up email that you have to click on for the final approval. Maybe that step is what you left out. Once you are approved you don’t have to recheck the two boxes below the3 comment box every time. If you name and URL show up in the three boxes, you’re good to comment.

  40. cathieok says:

    Sue, I admire your diplomacy through all this!

  41. Carla says:

    WOW. I didn’t realize what a read I was going to get today. Thank you so much for your review. I follow your blog closely because I want to go boondocking too! And I find it much easier if I have some idea of what I may encounter. Showering is the one thing that would keep me from boondocking full time (I’m such a winp) and I was glad when I saw how some of the Camp Like A Girl & SOTF made temporary tents for their toilets with lovely sheets. That with one of the solar water things would be so cool.

    I’m so glad I found your blog. Thanks Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad my blog is helpful, Carla.

      Another thing I’ll be doing is making short stays at state parks, COE and other campgrounds, in order to have a real shower once in a while. I can give myself a pretty good sponge bath now that I’ve had a lot of practice with water management! It’s like anything, you want to do something bad enough, you adjust.

      Good luck to you in your boondocking future . . .

  42. Hi Sue,
    Live and learn, Eh…(smile)
    You mentioned you belong to Good Sam’s for the road service. Last fall, while in REMOTE northern Maine, I put a rock through my oil pan and needed a tow. I made my way to the main highway, got a ride and called the local tow operator. He asked if I had a road service contract. I did not. He said he was able to come right away. On the drive back to town, 45 miles away, he explained the road service organizations like AAA don’t pay him enough for remote calls so he tells those customers it will be 6-8 hours unless they want to pay the full rate in cash. He doesn’t accept credit cards (those transactions can be reversed) so he drove me to an ATM. He was the only tow operator in the area and not concerned about loosing a contract.

    Since you seek out remote areas you may want to check with Good Sam’s to see how these situations are handled.

    Al;l the best!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Barrie, you’ve got me thinking. I’m wondering . .. what with internet information and cell phone . . . if road service is any value for me. If I need a tow or whatever, I make a few calls to local tow services. That way I pay only when I have problems. I may have to pay more, but then I’ve been paying since August for something I haven’t used.

      I will be talking with Good Sam’s so I can make an evaluation. Good comment, as always.

  43. Sylvia K says:

    Hi Sue,
    Have you considered carrying extra water in a 25gallon or 50 gallon ice chest in back of your van?
    This would save you from having to go into town to shower or maybe do a little laundry by hand.
    I hope you find a good place to camp. We had rain since Saturday night and it is cold.
    Have a great day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sylvia,

      I don’t carry a large container for water because of the weight. If I can’t lift the container, new problems occur. With smaller containers I can adjust the load the PTV is carrying.

      Right now I’ve accumulated 12 plastic jugs. Along with my 25 gallon Casita water tank, I can carry 37 gallons of water. That’s been sufficient for me alone.

      I buy gallon jugs of iced tea, too. I love Arizona brand’s “Arnold Palmer Half Tea-Half Lemonade – Lite.” It comes in a sturdy plastic jug that makes a good water container.

      You have a great day, too!

      • hobopals says:

        Boy, I’m gabby, today. I get Arizona Ice Tea in the packets. Then, I make a half gallon at a time–in a glass container so it’s ice cold. Tastes as good as the premixed–haven’t used that in so long I’m not sure what the price difference is. I didn’t know it existed until I came across it looking for a six pack. Good stuff.

  44. Linda A. says:

    Well, the comment section was a total wealth of knowledge of all kinds. Good information and
    loads of entertainment.
    My thought is…..for any one who has read ‘rv sue’s’ blog for any length of time, would know
    that she is NOT a rude or troublesome person. Blogging is about ‘what’s happening’ and
    personal observations….isn’t it? That’s my 2 cents…. lol

  45. Bill says:

    Hi Chinle- Wow…. your’e not only familiar with the event, your related to Gary Miller. He’s listed under the Tuba section as ‘Gary Miller from Ouray, CO.’ (as listed in the souvenir program for 2011) AND, member of the Board of Directors! WOW again! We now know a VIP! He is one of a few elite musicians invited to such an event! And they are awesome-the best of the best! When you enter the tent, sit down and prepare for the concert, you’re in a hohum mood. Then, strap yourself in. The music under director Paul Mayberry is indescribable!

    Thanks so much for sharing! BR and crew!Cheers!!!

    • Chinle says:

      Hi Bill, Gary helped start the Brass Band when he lived in Silverton. They used to go play in the gravel pit, as it was the only place they could find. LOL.

      Go say hi to him, he is truly one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He loves meeting new people. Everyone in SIlverton and Ouray and Ridgway love Gary. He just retired from the power company and is also the Ouray County Coroner. He’s a lot like his dad, my uncle Leonard. They’re a wonderful family, though my uncle’s now gone. Tell them his wild cousin who lives in Moab says hello. He used to take me for rides on his dirtbike when we were kids. I love the guy. For some reason, Al of the Bayfield Bunch reminds me of him.

      (Thanks, Sue.)

  46. FLkamper says:

    I hope you used every last drop of hot water!

  47. rvwayoflife by Lindadeeza says:

    Please don’t stop posting ever and always tell the truth as you did. You sure are popular RVSue. I love your posts. As I told you before, my husband and I plan on selling everything and going full time. We plan on both staying in parks and boondocking. I’m learning lot from you and today I learned something new. I also learned that people of all walks of life can be rude (hence the people commenting). My mother always told me that if you don’t have something nice to say, keep your mouth shut. RVSue, all you did in your initial post was be honest and I commend you for that. And you know what? My husband travel a lot on our motorcycle and we stop at many RV parks even though we don’t currently have an RV we ask if we can walk around. We were always told yes. We are always treated with RESPECT. And guess what, one of the parks was having a cook out and we were asked to stay and eat. It was not pancakes, just hot dogs. We didn’t have to pay a dime. This is what I thought RVing was all about, people helping people. I hope in my travels I don’t meet up with some of the people that have commented on your post. To me AND THIS IS MY OPINION, these people give RVers a bad name.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate the compliments. I’m happy you love my blog and you find it informative.

      What a great experience . . . being invited to the cook-out when you don’t know anyone and haven’t paid a dime! It makes me think of how friendly people can be in other countries, inviting people to join in a wedding reception or quinciera (sp?) party.

      I think people write things in forums and comment sections that they would never say in person. I know I’ve been guilty of that.

      I’m glad you accept my honesty and straightforward writing, as I do yours. Best wishes to you and your husband on the fulltiming journey!

  48. rvwayoflife by Lindadeeza says:

    Me again. I forgot to tell you. My husband and I rode from Silverton to Ouray on that Million Dollar Highway, on our motorcycle. No guard rails. I got dizzy looking down. Then guess what, we got caught in a hail storm, on the motorcycle. lol… The next day, we rode it again, this time in the sunshine. What a beautiful ride. I would not recommend it for any travel trailer or RV though. But I do remember an 18 wheeler passing us. We figured he drove that road daily because he negotiated those twists, turns and switchbacks like a pro. I love it out west…

  49. Sharpei Mom says:

    Hey Sue…I see your plan was to go up around Ash Fork…I’m gonna give you my email so I can discreetly give ya some info on the area.

  50. Bill says:

    HI Chinle- I forgot to thank Sue for creating such an exciting BLOG where so many people of different places and backgrounds can come together and share ideas and meet new people. The learning will probably never stop!
    YOU bet we’ll look up Gary. We looked up info from 2009-2010 and learned how involved he is (was) way north of Ridgeway, up to Montrose and Grand Junction (what the Coloradorans call the ‘Western Slope’) He was involved in community education/music! Such a wonderful story! Thanks again and thank you RVSUE for your dedication to such a GREAT site! Almost as precious as Brig and Mr. Spike! BR ..CHEERS!.

  51. hobopals says:

    Bill and Chinle, there’s a fella named Mark Johnson–Box Canyon Blog. He lives in Ouray and goes down to Moab–check him out.

    Thanks for the “community”, Sue.

  52. Wayne says:

    I may be wrong but do not think so…. If your batteries are AGM you should not allow them to drop below 80% of a full charge. That will reduce the life of them significantly.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t think they are dropping low. I think the red flashing light comes on when the voltage coming in drops to a certain point. That’s why I turned on the PTV, to let the alternator supplement what little solar power was coming in on such a dark day. In other words, the controller has three icons (little battery symbols: one is empty, one is half full, and the other is full). The battery icon was on full. So I think we’re good!

      I appreciate your concern. It’s people like you keeping watch that helps me from making a super boo-boo.

  53. Bill says:

    Hi Sue, let me first say I am a devoted follower of your blog and check it daily. I am also a full timer and a SKP member. The benefits of SKP membership to me is the mail service, the possibility of getting a lot for a home base someday if I want, and the stops at the parks where the daily, weekly and or monthly rate is usually a lot lower than the other parks in the area, with 5 or 6 over night stops at a SKP park I can recoup my yearly membership fee. Also most of the parks are not owned and funded by SKP they are owned and funded by the people that live there and own lots there , and these people set a lot of the rules for their particular park since they have to support it. Since your style is going to be 99% boondocking you may decide SKP has no value to you, lot of people boondocking will still spend the night at a RV Park ever 10 to 14 days to dump tanks, take long showers and do laundry so you might consider your SKP membership for something like that. Any way take care, safe travels and keep on posting.


    • JoeSmoe says:

      I’m just curious Sue, how did you make the assumption that an Escapees Membership allowed you to use showers, get free water and dump for free?

      • rvsueandcrew says:


        Because I wouldn’t be getting these services for free. I paid $75. Plus I’m not saying I shouldn’t be charged for using the dump station or any of the other amenities. I found out that I can’t pay for showers because I’m not allowed to use the showers. Ditto on the laundry. Dump station and water I am allowed to purchase.

        What made it more confusing is the first time I went to North Ranch, I walked into the office, stated my purpose for being there, presented my card, and asked if they needed anything else. The lady was very pleasant. I used the dump station and the water faucet in her plain view, yet I wasn’t charged anything.

        • JoeSmoe says:

          Okay, but still doesn’t explain when you signed up for Escapees why, who, what told you that you could use that card to use their park facilities.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Was it so unreasonable for me to think that my membership in the club would allow me to use the facilities, with or without extra charge? When you join a country club, you get to use the country club facilities. When you join the Elks or BPOE, I’m assuming you’re allowed to use the bathroom. Golly. Let it go. I made a mistake. Give me a break. I’m worn out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Bill,

      Thanks for a very intelligent, well-reasoned comment. I appreciate the explanation how SKP parks operate. I’m learning!

      I don’t see me ever using one of the SKP parks. The lots are very close together and I’m not comfortable camping like that.

      I’m glad you made the suggestion because other people reading your comment may see that it fits them!

  54. Bill and Kathy says:

    Dear Sue- Let’s put an end to this! For $10, you can go to the hot springs pool in Ouray, CO. There are super campgrounds above and below the town. There is a water fall that comes off the high mountain range above Ouray that you can walk into called ‘Box Canyon Falls’. You walk through a cave right up to the falls!
    The hot springs is operated by the town of Ouray and they request you take a shower before entering the pools. You have a choice between ‘hot hot’ or something in between because they blend hot thermal water with high mountain snow melt…the experience is nothing less than spiritual! They even warn ‘flat landers’ not to stay more than 15 minutes in the hot end because of the elevation! It’s a ‘hoot’!
    If your journeys put you into the geograhical location of the four corners,( ie seeing Chuck and Geri in Utah), don’t miss the most diverse and exciting stuff the Rockies have to offer. One of your blog follows mentioned Red Mountain Pass…your camera will ‘ZING’ at all the colors! And just outside of Ouray is Yankee Boy Basin. The flowers are awesome..INCLUDING ‘elephants heads’! Are you writing this down?…just kidding! Don’t worry, this is just the calm before the storm. I have enjoyed introducing this part of America to many people…including my wife 34 years ago! BR..and No, you didn’t ‘nag’ me to check your blog! If you recall, I didn’t know what a blog was!!! Me and K are one of the few that didn’t meet you through your blog..You know I’ve never been shy about showing how dumb I am…you make more friends that way…BR again.CHEERS!

  55. Marylou says:

    This whole comment post has been ridiculous. Why bother to contact Escapees management and legitimately voice your concerns over their policy when you and a few of your loyal fans can “dump” all over them on your blog post and get another ratings boost like the last time poor Sue was maltreated. Really Sue, you have a great blog that people. You don’t need to do this kind of a post to generate more interest. It is beneath your abilities as a writer.

    By the way, Chuck and Geri, you don’t need to rev up to jump all over this commentary. We already know that you are the only ones authorized to speak for Sue and make negative comments about comments made by others.

    • OK, since I was the one who actually voiced my opinion to corporate, it is fair that I should speak a few words in their behalf. I was told that the campgrounds get no portion of that membership fee. They have to operate on their own. So I can understand why they don’t want someone parking outside the gate for free and coming in to use their facilities. That’s only fair. I am used to memberships that cost far more than that, and as a former park manager I can tell you that even when the membership cost is in the thousands of dollars, the parks don’t see nearly enough of it.

      But the real issue here is how these managers make people feel, not only Sue, but others, as evidenced in other reviews about the park. These kinds of managers can cost the company far more than the piddly fees that they collect. I was told that the issue will be investigated and dealt with, so basically the problem has been made known to the proper people, and the issue will be resolved (hopefully). It is always better to go to the “higher ups” than deal with an issue publicly.

      From our roughly 30 years of camping and RV’ing, I have heard very few things negative about Escapees, and I feel that the actions of one or two people should not weigh heavily on the decision as to whether or not to join. Our own park system has much more liberal rules, and we have never paid a dime of usage fees whether we stay overnight or not, but as I have said many times, you get what you pay for. Escapees doesn’t cost many thousands of dollars to join, either, but they do have a great system which has always been honorable.

      After seeing Glenn Morrissette’s blog and seeing that he traveled freely for nearly two years across the country and paid nearly no fees at all, I have to wonder why people would purposely pay out good money for what there are millions of acres of for free! We choose to stay in our resort parks “sometimes” (if it’s convenient) but only because the memberships have long since been paid in full. If we hadn’t done that long ago, I wouldn’t waste money with pulling into expensive resorts just to have a place to sleep! Water is free, there are dump sites available for free, and in some places electricity is free, and even if it wasn’t, I would spend the money on solar to make it free! This country is still a very safe place to be! But there is a place for everyone, and a reason for them being there, so it’s not for me to judge why people do what they do. Just know that the problem at North Ranch is being handled.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Your comment is enlightening for us all. Thank you!

        I’m guessing the lady isn’t the manager. She didn’t know what to charge me for the water, so she made a phone call and then told me it was $5. (When I wrote the post, I didn’t think that detail was important. Now I see it has relevance.) I feel terrible that she might be identified for a small lapse such as this.

    • Chinle says:

      Marylou, Sue doesn’t need to boost her blog ratings by stirring up controversy, you know that. She has lots of loyal fans, and I think part of it’s because she’s such a pleasant and straightforward person. I’ve seen nothing in her posts but calm and measuredness, but she does have lots of defenders. Chuck and Geri are also on the list of good people who read her blog, just like you. I betcha anything Sue had no idea of the tempest in the teapot that would be stirred up just from expressing her own opinions on her own blog. I’m still laughing at how many posts this has generated. Escapees will survive. 🙂

    • Geri says:

      ahhhh…. EXCUSE ME? Chuck nor I even ONE Time dumped on Escapees, we have been members for 6 years! Chuck even said, “They are a great organization if it fits your lifestyle. Chuck” His main comments were about horses. My main comments were about portable showers and RUDE people who make comments like yours without reading the whole blog and truly understanding what was being said! Sue was never disparaging about Escapees! She simply let the rest of us know that if it was our intention to join Escapees for the free showers and laundry, we might want to rethink that! She was very kind in her words about Escapees. If camping in a campground it is your thing then you would enjoy North Ranch!And where do you get that we are the only ones “AUTHORIZED to speak for Sue and make negative comments???””” Lady, did you even read this blog!??!?? Almost everybody spoke up for Sue!
      You are out of line and need to take a few minutes to totally re-read this whole blog. Try to understand what each person is saying.If you still can’t figure it out after re-reading it, you might want to go back to watching soap operas!

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      After I went to bed last night, I thought about my blog, the critical and insulting comments as well as the praise and supportive comments. I thought to myself . . . Well, at least I haven’t been accused of making all this ruckus on purpose. Lo and behold, this morning I get online and there you are with your accusation!

      If there’s a way to spread negativity, some people will find it and spread it with glee. Other people do their best to see the good in people, and if they find faults, they try to help the person conquer them, or they do their best to overlook them.

      I think your behavior best not be overlooked. I can take your insults. Chuck and Geri can take your insults. However, Chuck and Geri are good, kind people, they are my friends, and they don’t deserve to be insulted by you. If you cannot control your resentments, please do not comment here. If you can express yourself kindly and rationally, you are most welcome.

      You owe Chuck and Geri an apology.

      • Joe says:

        Hi Sue, Did these people crawl out of the woodwork? Nuts is all I can say. It was still just a freaking shower!!! get over it people. Don”t make it someit was not meant to be. It was an observation of a situation? Thats all!!! Jeeze Lowezzz….Sue I feel bad for you darling….Joe

      • Marylou says:

        Sue, I made my comment about Chuck and Geri based on the following comment and the fact that the same kind of responses came from them the last time there was a controversy on YOUR blog:

        “Chuck says:
        March 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM
        Billy Bob,
        This NOT your blog and Sue can say what ever she wants. And I have heard that
        North Ranch is a little snobby as is Casa Grande.”

        They probably are good, kind people but they are not the only ones who have a right to comment on your PUBLIC blog. People expect YOU to respond; you are clearly not a child who needs someone to jump to your defense and speak for you. That was my point.

        When someone has a blog that is widely read, they have a responsibility to consider how what they say as well as the comments that come up based on what was said will affect the situation. I’m glad to hear that someone did contact Escapees corporate to give them a chance to take some action to ensure that the rules are clear. If the woman was truly rude to you, then management needs to take action on that. I can’t imagine that you would want someone fired who it now appears was probably somewhat new to her job. Rudeness was not necessary but, I know that I would have been embarrassed in your position and might easily have overreacted to what she said. As I said before, you have a great blog that is widely read. It becomes ever more important to consider where words will lead.
        Geri–I did read the post carefully as well as all the comments that were made. It has been years since I watched a soap opera (other than “the uninvited guests” and the “shower episode”), I’m too busy RVing and enjoying travels across this country. Sue is a big girl and quite capable of responding to the commenters on her blog.

        • Joe says:

          Your”re the soap opera if you haven”t figured it out with your holier then thou indignation>Sheesh…Joe

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Thank you, Joe . . . and Chinle . . . and bearwise . . . and Chuck . . . and Geri . . . and Pauline (my sister) . . . and Tawnya (my niece) . . . and all the wonderful people who couldn’t stand seeing me verbally attacked on my blog, so they fought back with their own comments. I appreciate your help. It takes some of the heat off of me.

            Marylou . . . You aren’t being helpful. Take a deep breath and back off.

  56. Ron says:

    I dont personally know Sue ,but the impression she leaves with me that if she really wanted to hammer someone she is plenty capable of turning it loose , never seen a women that was bashful when there mad .
    Now I think the parks should thank her for bringing up something that could cause a misunderstanding , and her blog gives information that folks need to be aware of so they dont have the same misunderstanding..

  57. Bob says:

    My Goodness! Took me a while to wade through most of those posts! Had to skip ahead.
    I think your second last commenter has pretty much nailed it. (John.W. Albert)
    The whole “issue” could have been dealt with, with such a more positive spin. And by that I mean, on the part of the “Manager”.
    Now, I’m putting “Manager” in quotation marks, since the idea behind being a Manager is to be able deal with situations that will result in the best outcome all around. That’s one of the reasons they call it “Management”. It’s not to speak harshly to people, or belittle them, or berate them…ever. I mean, unless you’re clearly being ripped off, but in that case there’s always the authorities to handle that end of things.
    Usually, the best and first words out of a Manager’s mouth should be “I’m sorry”. And then you can proceed to tell someone just how wrong they might be, but in the nicest of ways.
    Also, in this particular case it wouldn’t have broke the bank for the “Manager” to have explained carefully and politely what the rules are, but then just charged a couple bucks for the shower. I mean, you still needed the shower! Simple really. And then, there wouldn’t have been this whole “Tempest in a Tea-Pot”. And the park would have been “up” the better part of a couple bucks.
    There can be misunderstandings between customers and those whose services they use on a regular basis. The key is, getting it sorted out by first keeping your customer, (happy, by the way) and then steering the proceedings back in the direction of the “rules”. IT IS POSSIBLE. But, it’s called “Management”, and very few “Managers” have ever had any actual training in that regard. Kind of sad, really.
    Please indulge me for a minute here while I go on and talk about being given an “Associate Membership” to a yacht club one year, and just exactly what that “gave” me. Nothing. They still gladly took my cash for the odd jug of beer, I could come and go in the club house before and after being an “Associate Member” that year as I pleased, so I never understood the point. Well, except that they got some money out of the deal. The only benefit was getting their monthly news bulletin, which anyone with a decent internet connection can read as a pdf file anyway. Never did that again. I didn’t want to tell the kids (whose gift it was) that it was pretty damned useless. Live and learn.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      (For anyone reading this late, Bob’s comment was written before I responded to John W. Abert’s comment, so he also naturally assumed the lady is the manager.)

      Thank you, Bob, for making me feel less stupid for assuming I had the purchased right to the amenities!

    • Bob, thank you for the mention, but my name is NOT mis-spelled on the blog. And in case people forget, I always tell them that if they put the “L” in, then they can get the “L” out!!! And before people mispronounce a very simple name in every which way as they have done all my life, it is not French (Abair), not is it “Abbert” with a short “A”… it is German, with a long “A”.

      Now that we have that cleared up….

      • Bob says:

        *D’oh!* I totally missed that there was no “L” there. Well bloody “L”!! Sorry about that. At first I thought, “What the ‘L’ is he talking about?”
        Oh man, we could beat that one to death.
        And sorry to add yet another comment to Sue’s blog. *blush* Sorry Sue.
        Smile and wave. Smile and wave.

  58. Pat Gabriel says:

    Hi Sue,
    Just a word of caution about the comment you received looking to add a link to your blog. That’s a money making “scheme” where that person gets paid for everytime someone clicks on the link. Not a bad idea, but if anyone is going to make a few pennies that way, it should be you.
    Happy trails!

    • Pat, I couldn’t even find the comment you were referring to, but you are right about what happens with “some” links. Even the commenters names that are in blue, that lead someone to their site or blog is link, some designed to get people to their site to make money and others not. It’s still promotion, even if they choose not to make money from it. That’s the way the internet works. And yes, Sue “could” make money from it, but that’s her choice. I have been in internet marketing for about 13 years and learned from some of the top names in the business, because I “wanted” to learn. I also learned that statistically speaking 95% of people will never do anything with the information even after they pay (sometimes) thousands of dollars for the training. They will take it home, try it, get frustrated, and before long it ends up in the bottom of a closet.

      There’s nothing wrong with making money, or in helping someone achieve their goals in the process. Someone (maybe Zig Ziegler?) said that if you help enough people, you will also get what you want. When someone on a blog has a problem, and someone can solve it, there’s nothing wrong with them making something from it. It helps both of them. Nothing within your line of site that wasn’t made by God, got there without a sale being made first, whether it be for the idea, for the raw materials, or for the finished product.

      In this era, it is very easy for people to add a few links or banners to their site or blog, but I can guarantee you that (again) 95% of those people don’t make more than a few cents off those clicks because they don’t learn to do it right. So I NEVER worry about what links I click on or who is going to make money off them.To do so is wasted effort for something I cannot change! If the link solves my problem, I am grateful for being informed about it, then we both go away happy. As long as it doesn’t cost me any more than it would to buy the product somewhere else, it might even SAVE me money. And links to Amazon are to a comparison shopping engine, where the person has a choice of what they buy, new or used, and at what price they wish to pay. How can anyone beat that?

      So before someone gets all worked about links… they don’t hurt ANYONE, and more than often enough, they solve a problem for a person, and end up making both of the seller AND the buyer happy! That’s the way of the world of business. A sale isn’t a good transaction unless all parties to it come away with what they want, and in most cases they do. If that weren’t the case, we would still be living in the world of “Quest for Fire”, because nothing would get sold!

  59. Geri says:

    Those who appear in your life – whether to help or to harm-are all given by the universe. Meet all of them with a peaceful heart but with a warrior’s spirit. You will fail many times but in failing you’ll learn and in learning you’ll find your way. Remember there are no mistakes in life, only lessons. AND lessons will keep on repeating themselves until learned…. Author Unknown

  60. Just thought it funny, the problems of “Congress” seem to keep on coming… even when we’re out RV’ing. Time to give up the “politics” and get back to looking at the front ends of horses.

  61. Bob Giddings says:

    I found Escapees a good organization in principle, but never extended beyond the first year because I just never used them. I never stayed in commercial campgrounds of any description. Well, maybe twice in 5 years. So my reaction to the grasping and unhappy campground owner would have initially been the same as yours.

    That being said, you might spare a sigh for them anyway. You don’t know the pressures they are under. Apparently the Escapees thing hasn’t worked out any better for them than it has for you. They might well be facing bankruptcy and be unable to sell after sinking their retirement savings in a piece of desert. You are only out the 75 bucks. I imagine it ain’t all that easy to make a living in that racket, being subject to the vagaries of traffic in a desolate area. No doubt the new has worn off the idea, and they are feeling the need to maximize petty cash just to get along.

    I sure wouldn’t want to be in their shoes, watching the carefree BLMers come and go, while they are chained to a mortgage and scratching out a living in the middle of nowhere. You pays yer money and you takes yer chances, whether you are sellin’ or buyin’.

    Bob, the devil’s advocate.

  62. RTL says:

    Hello Sue:
    I’m glad you wrote about your experience with Escapee. I can’t believe they would accept your membership dues and then not let you use the facilities even if you are boondocking. They should rethink their policy and change it. You would actually be costing them less because your were only using laundry and shower, not the hook-ups.

    • My understanding is that Sue was boondocking on BLM land, not the Escapees park. We too, at Lone Star Corral, Escapee co-op in Hondo, TX do not allow people not staying in the park to use our facilities. I just don’t understand why so many of you have issues with that.

      • Since this post is still drawing comments long after it was thought to be and should have been dead, and the fact that many of the remarks I see are based on mis-information of lack of it, I have added a new three part series of posts called “Membership Resorts Expose!” on my blog at: The articles were too long to leave here, but if you want to go behind the scenes in membership resort management to see what it’s really like, you need to read these three posts, starting with Part One! And if you think anyone else needs to know this information, please send them the link! And as always, let me know your thoughts!

  63. Linda D. says:

    Sue, I LOVE reading your blog. This post and all the comments took me awhile to read; BUT, I have learned a lot! Keep up the good work. Us “other mature ladies” who wanna do what you do, need you! Hope to meet you one day “out there”. Blessings! Linda

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