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Which RV Membership is Right for You?

GreenHeartAdventure 1 Comments

One question we get asked a lot is “Which RV memberships do you recommend?” With so many out there offering many different benefits it can be quite confusing to determine which campground memberships or RV memberships are the best ones for your family. Read our 6 most popular memberships for Fulltime Families members and see if they are right for you.

RV memberships

 

Be sure to read to the end to find out how you can receive several of these memberships at a large discount, just by joining one!

 

1. Thousand Trails

Website: https://www.thousandtrails.com

Thousand Trails is a membership-based campground system with 81 member parks and 100 additional parks available through their sister program, Trails Collection.

Leavenworth Thousand Trails in Leavenworth, WA

Photo Credit: thousandtrails.com

Benefits

  • Free nightly stays at member parks (some charge $3 per night for 50amp service)
  • 81 Campgrounds available nationwide
  • Up to 20% savings at Encore Parks
  • Membership Rebate available for FTF Members

Cost:

  • $575 annually for a single zone
  • $49 for each additional zone
  • $199 for the Trails Collection
  • Additional membership upgrades with extra benefits are available

The Pros to Thousand Trails

One of the biggest perks of the Thousand trails system is the pricing.  After the initial membership cost and annual dues, members can stay at the 81 parks for 2-3 weeks at no cost.  This is why we consider the Thousand Trails system very budget friendly and a good place for many traveling families to rest for a period of time after more expensive explorations.

Another wonderful benefit of the system is the convenient online reservations.  You can make reservations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can change them at any time without a cancellation penalty.  We have found this to be very convenient as it allows us to be flexible but still have reservations, so we are never without a place to stay.

Our favorite benefit with Thousand Trails though is one that isn’t listed anywhere on their site and that’s the opportunity to meet fellow Fulltime Families!  Many of our families use the system so there are wonderful opportunities for meetups and play dates while staying in the system. So many use the system in fact, that we have a meetup group dedicated to the Florida parks, simply because in the winter they are hopping with FTFs!

South Jetty Thousand Trails in Florence, OR

Photo Credit: thousandtrails.com

The Cons to Thousand Trails

One con that we hear from time to time is the parks are out of the way or not near a major city.  We have found this to be true in some areas and in others, found them to be in the perfect locations.  For instance, TT Diamond Caverns is located in KY and while it is technically out of the way, it is at the entrance to Mammoth Cave National park.  We really enjoyed our quiet stay there and it made exploring the National park a breeze. Another great location we have enjoyed was TT South Jetty, nestled in a tiny coastal Oregon town, we were just outside the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.  TT Williamsburg is also another amazing location, located in the historic triangle in VA, you are close to Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg while nestled in a gorgeous tree-filled park.

We have also heard complaints of the quality of upkeep at some of the parks and have experienced this ourselves on occasion.  Overall, we feel that the price we pay is on par with the quality we receive. We always have a safe place to stay for the night and we have seen them working steadily at improving the parks since we joined several years ago.  This year we saw them upgrade more sites at TT Orlando to 50amp and add a new pickleball court, work on leveling sites at TT Oaks, new playgrounds and fire pits at others and many other improvements.

The memberships can be confusing!  Over the years, Thousand Trails has had many different membership levels with many different benefits.  This creates a sea of confusion on the internet and even when discussing amongst members. The best way to overcome the confusion is to work with a member specialist who can help you navigate to the best membership for your family.  We recommend working with Alisha Deschene, Fulltime Families dedicated Thousand Trails representative. She can be reached by email alishaplus8@yahoo.com or by phone at 207-270-1121.  Working with Alisha not only guarantees a smooth transaction but qualifies you for the FTF rebate on your membership.

Orlando Thousand Trails in Clermont, FL

Photo Credit: thousandtrails.com

Is Thousand Trails Worth it?

For most Fulltime Families, absolutely!!  Between the benefit of low-cost camping, ease of changing reservations and opportunities to connect with other traveling families, it is a no-brainer to make this one of most used memberships in your arsenal.

 

Passport America

Website: http://www.passportamerica.com/

Discount programming saving you 50% off campgrounds in their network.

Benefits

  • 50% off Campgrounds
  • 1800+ Campgrounds
  • Basic Route Planning to show member parks on route
  • FTF Members receive a discount

Cost:

  • $44 annually
  • $79 for 2 years
  • $109 for 3 years

The Pros to Passport America

The low cost of this program and potential savings are the biggest pros.  With most campgrounds in their network costing an average of $35 a night, this program takes those nightly rates down to $17.50 a night.  This means that the return on investment will be realized in just 3 short nights.

Another benefit to the program is the volume of parks that participate, with over 1800 parks across the US, Canada, and Mexico, meaning that there are plenty of places to choose from.

The Cons to Passport America

One of the biggest cons are the rules for the discount are set by the campgrounds.  Some of them are very generous while others only let you stay a night or 2 at the discounted rate or the rate is only available on weekdays.  Be sure to read the rules for the campground you are looking to stay at, to ensure there are no surprises in cost.

We have heard also complaints of the quality of certain parks.  We find using RV review sites helps us to better pick parks and we have stayed at some really cool and interesting ones, like Faywood Hotsprings, an RV park and Hotsprings resort.

Faywood Hotsprings in Faywood, NM

Photo Credit: Instagram.com/theroaminghome

Is Passport America worth it?

If you are traveling, absolutely!  Since it’s so quick to pay for itself and there are so many locations, we highly recommend it.

 

Good Sam

Website: https://www.goodsam.com/club/

Discount programming saving you at campgrounds, Camping World and Pilot/Flying J

Benefits

  • FREE SHIPPING at CampingWorld.com – No Minimum Purchase Necessary
  • Save up to 10% Every Day at Camping World SuperCenters! Plus, Members-Only Specials & Double Discount Days
  • Save 10% on Camping World Installation Fees
  • Save $10 on the Posted Hourly Service Rate at Camping World SuperCenters
  • Save up to 10% Every Day at Gander Outdoors Retail Locations! Plus, Members-Only Specials & Double Discount Days
  • Save 5¢ off gas & 8¢ off diesel instantly at select Pilot or Flying J locations
  • Save 10% off Good Sam Campgrounds
  • FTF Members receive a 1-year membership for free

Cost:

  • $27 annually
  • $50 for 2 years
  • $79 for 3 years

The Pros to Good Sam

One thing we love about this program is its FREE for one year when you join Fulltime Families!  And who doesn’t love a free membership! But seriously, the biggest pro to this program are the discounts and free shipping from Camping World as well as the discounts on gas, diesel, and propane.  While the campground discounts are nice, your return on investment if you were to buy this one would be longer if you only used it for the camping discounts

The Cons to Good Sam

As we mentioned above if you are only using it for the camping discounts, it won’t save you as much but as travelers, the savings on the gas or diesel and the savings at Camping World make up for it.

Is Good Sam worth it?

Maybe, since you receive a free year of it with FTF memberships it’s worth seeing if it would pay off for your family.  For ours, most years it does based on the shopping discount at Camping World alone.

 

Escapees

Website: https://www.escapees.com/

A support network for RVers

Benefits

  • 10-50% Discount on club affiliated parks
  • 19 Escapee parks that offer low member-only rates
  • Discounts on mail service that provides a domicile address
  • FTF Members receive a 1-year membership for free

Cost:

  • $39.99 annually
  • $895 for a lifetime

The Pros to Escapees

Many Fulltime Families use their mail service and address as a domicile.  They offer addresses both out of FL and TX and you must be an Escapees member to utilize their mail service.

Other benefits we love are the private Escapee parks, while there aren’t many of them, they are well maintained and we have found the staff and other campers to be very welcoming to families.

The discounts on the club affiliated parks are also a nice perk, just be sure to check with each park as they set their own prices

The Cons to Escapees

Isn’t that the club for retirees?  Yikes! we have heard that one a few times over the years and while yes for years Escapees served mostly those who were retired, they are now embracing the younger generation with their Xscapers club.  Membership in Escapees gives you access to both and the Xscapers are an active group hosting rallies and meetups themselves.

Is Escapees worth it?

We feel it is, for those looking for a trusted domicile and mail handling but also for those looking for education, weighing services and for the park discounts.  Members of FTF receive their first year free with Escapees

 

Harvest Hosts

Website: https://harvesthosts.com/

Harvest Hosts overnight stays are a special opportunity to meet people and enjoy wine tastings, farm tours and museum visits.

Benefits

  • Free overnight stays with hosts listed on the site
  • FTF Members receive a discount on membership

Cost:

  • $49 annually ($45 if you sign up for auto-renewal)
  • $115 for 3 years
  • $300 for a lifetime

The Pros to Harvest Hosts

Gorgeous settings for overnight stays are certainly a big pro for Harvest Hosts.  Instead of camping in a Walmart parking lot for your quick stop over you can settle in between the grapes for a quiet nights rest.  

We also love that we get to support small businesses and learn about their business. We have found them to be very welcoming to our family at all the hosts we have stayed with and loved chatting with everyone we met.

Harvest Host site in Virginia

Photo Credit: facebook.com/theroaminghome

 

The Cons to Harvest Hosts

Harvest Hosts may sound like a dream. Free camping and wine tasting, what’s not to love right? Well some of our members have mentioned that having to arrive during the businesses operating hours can pose a challenge on long travel days if you aren’t an early riser.

Others have mentioned that it’s not technically free as you are asked to support the business with a purchase.  We don’t really see the con in this as even if you aren’t a wine drinker, most sell other locally sourced products to purchase.  We enjoyed blueberry pie at one, scored some delicious wildflower honey at another and dined at a café at another.

Is Harvest Host worth it?

For our family it has been worth it.  We spent last Memorial day bouncing around California’s wine country, avoiding the crowds and spending time with some amazing winemakers.  FTF members receive a discount off of the annual membership and with the cost around the price of a single night a resort, it pays for itself quickly.

 

Fulltime Families

Website: https://fulltimefamilies.com

Fulltime Families is the only RV organization dedicated to supporting Fulltime Families in their unique journeys.

Benefits

  • Private members only forum
  • No Kid Tax (extra fees for children) at 350+ campgrounds
  • Planned events, rallies, meetups and hangouts
  • Family Finder, locate other traveling families
  • Discounts on accounting, doctors visits, and much more
  • Free year of Escapees and Good Sam’s
  • Discounts on Harvest Hosts, Boondockers Welcome, Passport America
  • Rebate on Thousand Trails
  • Over $1000 in value

Cost:

  • $65 annual membership
  • $345 for a lifetime membership

Photo Credit: fulltimefamilies.com

The Pros to Fulltime Families

The pros are numerous!

First, you receive both Escapees and Good Sam memberships for the cost of your FTF membership. This is a $67 value for you right there. Then you also receive discounts off of other popular memberships like Passport America, Harvest Host, and Boondockers Welcome. Fulltime Families also gives you a rebate when you purchase a new Zone pass or upgrade your Thousand Trails membership with their dedicated Thousand Trails representative, Alisha Deschene!

Another perk that can’t be translated into a dollar figure is the support and community that families receive. From the many events that Fulltime Families hosts annually to the online community and support in the private Facebook Groups you will have the opportunity to build the community you dream of on the road.

In the forums, you can pick the brains of those with experience and make lasting friendships. Fulltime Families hosts several in-person events each year all over the country, from large rallies to smaller hangouts to field trips.  After attending these events most families find that they have made friends for life and have started to establish their mobile neighborhood.

If you can’t make it to an event or if you are just wanting to see if there are other fulltime families around you, we have a tool for that….the Fulltime Families Finder.  You can update your location and share a little bit about your family and then see other members locations. You are always in control of your information so you can share the exact park or just the city you are in and because it’s only available to other FTF members you don’t have to worry about prying eyes knowing your location.

Photo Credit: fulltimefamilies.com

The Cons to Fulltime Families

Could FOMO (fear of missing out) be considered a con? Perhaps, I know it’s something we experience.  Seeing all the amazing pictures of our friends in other gorgeous locations, knowing that time won’t let you make all the rallies and meetups (though some of us try really hard) can cause those feelings.  

Or perhaps that you might have to drop your very well-planned route, cancel all your reservation and head in the exact opposite direction to meet up with friends or attend an exciting event.

Is Fulltime Families worth it?

We absolutely believe it is! With over $1000 in savings and the community and support you gain as a Fulltime Families member, your membership will be worth it.  Finding the connections on the road, meeting a circle of friends who can become your traveling neighborhood, is priceless. 

2012 FtF Summer Family Reunion Rally is a HUGE Success

Kimberly 1 Comments

2012 FtF Thrift Shop Prom

The 2012 FtF Summer Family Reunion Rally was a HUGE Success!  I want to thank all the attendees – who brought their good spirits and fun loving attitudes! Everyone single one of you contributed in taking this event from fun to Phenomenal!

The Rally Recap Video is here!

Special thanks to Margie Lundy for all the beautiful pics!

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But don’t just take our word for it, each family took away something unique from their time with us… Here’s what they are saying about the event:

The Seeley Family: Fulltime Family Fun

The Lundy Family: Rally Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4

The Zavocki Family: Fulltime Families Rally

 

Do you have a blog post about the rally?  Please send the link to kimberly@fulltimefamilies.com

 

 

 

 

Sometimes Ya Gotta Kiss the Moose!

Kimberly No Comments

As far as I know, I’ve only got 30 maybe 40 more trips around the sun – and I sure as heck didn’t sell it all, stuff my kids in a tiny box on wheels and head out on the open road to miss opportunities and more importantly, to teach my kids to live out loud!

So when I hear about a rock that needs rubbin’, a bull that needs ridin’ or a moose that needs a little smoochin’ – you can bet your bottom dollar, I’m on it!

The morning of our Blue Angels field trip, Margie M. reminded me that we should have lunch at McGuires Irish Pub, so we headed straight there from the Pensacola Naval Base.

look at the two faces in this pic… happy and strangled

What a great place! Mixed up bathrooms (I love when restaurants really test their patrons) money hanging all over the ceiling (about $500,000 according to Google) and a moose with a bare muzzle from too many kisses!

Whether you live on wheels or stick and bricks… I hope you take every opportunity to kiss the moose!

 

 

 

 

Shhhh… The Best Kept Secret in RV Furnishings is…

Kimberly No Comments

For years, I have searched the aisles of Camping World looking for fun and interesting things that would be fully functional and funky additions to my RV. For years I have been disappointed. Spare the clock with the days of the week, I have not found anything exciting in any CW across the country.

That doesn’t mean we haven’t spent a lot of money there, in the form of sewer hoses, vent covers and other RV Essentials, we have. But those interesting, dual functioning, perfectly proportioned items that would make life in my camper easier… were not there.

Then, I found them! All in one place, all affordable and all served with a delicious side of Swedish Meatballs… Was this a dream??? No, it’s IKEA!!!

THE BEST store for fun, functional and funky things to add to your RV at affordable prices.

Check out some of the things I got…

High chair 19.99 – Note this chair is light weight, the perfect height for an RV table AND a picnic table, and it’s totally weather proof! Love it!

Toddler potty 4.99 – Simple, portable, works great in the RV and on the tailgate of the truck – oh and it looks great in the middle of my kitchen too! Atleast I think so!!!

Matchbox car carpet $12.99 Since we brought this home it has seen hours of play time. It’s the perfect foundation to build a Matchbox World on top of. Also works great with our train collection and Tonia loves how her Giant Barbie Dolls can wreak havoc on the entire town her brothers just diligently built.

Butt that’s not alll!

 

These dog leash holders for $2.99 each are absolutely my favorite. Not only do they help me organize the various tethers I have for our three mongrels, they also make me laugh!!!

Keep in mind, once you go to Ikea one time you will be absolutely addicted because… unlike that dusty Camping World… Ikea offers (are you sitting down) FREE BABYSITTING!!!!

Yes, you can shop in peace! or make it a date and check out the Ikea Cafeteria.

Check out this menu… Sometimes they even offer “kids eat free” http://www.ikea.com/us/en/store/sunrise/restaurant

And get this … Ikea has RV Parking and they’ll even let you stay overnight! It’s like they were built with FtF’s in mind!

Ikea is definitely the best kept secret in RV stores, so the next time you pass that bright blue and yellow sign, hang a u-ie and be sure to keep a lookout for me in the parking lot – it’s my new obsession! 😉

 

 

 

Make Your Own Paper Creeper

Kimberly 1 Comments

It’s official! Minecraft has infilitrated our RV. It’s available on every screened item in our home. So when Blaise saw a Youtube video on “How to Make your own Paper Creeper” I knew it was only a matter of time and ink before we were in full blown creeper creation.

It was actually quite easy to make this little guy. All you need is some paper, glue, tape and scissors.

Oh and this print out helps too: http://pixelpapercraft.com/papercraft/4f1b1e1a6f923f8035000002/creeper

So if you’re interested in making your own paper creeper, it can be done!

 

 

Our visit to the American Girl Place NYC

Kimberly No Comments

image

How much would you pay for a hair do, an ear piercing and a special lunch with your special girl… now what if that special someone was an American Girl Doll? Wanna know how much we spent?

Well, the answer’s coming soon, but first a little back story.

I hate American Girl Dolls. I hate what they stand for, I hate how they indoctrinate little girls into a materialistic branded way of life, veiled by fake historic characters and I especially hate how much they cost. I don’t honestly believe there’s a place for one of them in our anti-consumer, rv lifestyle, where we treasure experiences over stuff.

So why do we have one? Because I am a complete hypocrite! Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Last week, Tonia and I boarded a plane bound for New York to attend the wedding of my oldest friend.

A familiar skyline

A familiar skyline

This trip also provided the opportunity to satisfy my mother’s desire to take her one and only granddaughter to lunch at the American Girl Place in NYC. Knowing of our impending jaunt to this fantasyland of molded plastic, I made a reservation for lunch weeks in advance. It’s not uncommon for this event to be sold out, so if this is something you are interested in, I strongly advise reservations, lest you find yourself with a starving doll and a disappointed little girl.

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American Girl Place NYC

Thursday morning we headed to 5th and 49th street to the mecca of all things AG with Kanani, the 2011 Girl of the Year doll my mother had purchased and stashed away 2 years ago.
My mother had decided that Kanani need not be a full time rver and told Tonia the doll would stay at her house. To assuage the upset, I had agreed to get Tonia an Our Generation doll at Target. With an $18 price tag this is a much more palatable option for me and would resolve Tonia’s issue regarding taking a doll home with her.

However, as we stood in the midst of everything American Girl, the ‘big red bag obsession’ took firm hold in Tonia’s heart and she confided in me she no longer wanted an Our Generation doll, she wanted a “real doll”.

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Meet Saige – the newest full time rving American Girl!

 

Yikes! It was happening right before my eyes! The idea that one 18 inch plastic doll could be more real than another was just the insidious attitude I try valiantly to guard against… or at least I thought I had…

But then I caught my reflection in the mirror and knew the awful truth. There I was in my Miss Me jeans, with my Coach purse and designer cowboy boots. I was really nothing more than an overgrown version of these 6 yr olds running around pleading for overpriced dolls, accessories and furnishings.

In a last ditch effort to impress upon Tonia the implications of owning a $110 doll, I told her that this purchase would necessitate the complete suspension of her allowance for one whole year, while she currently had enough money saved for the Our Generation doll and could continue to accrue her weekly allowance without interruption if she chose to go that path. But it was too late. I had opened the door to Pandora’s Doll House and there was no going back.

wpid-Photo-Apr-21-2013-907-AM.jpg

Thank Goodness these dolls don’t eat, lunch was expensive enough!

After we purchased Saige we headed to the third floor to check in for our lunch reservations. Lunch started with some sweet treats as fresh hot cinnamon rolls were delivered to the table, followed shortly by a veggie and cheese platter.

The menu had a savory assortment of salads, entrees and even some adult beverages.

Not to be left out, the dolls have plates and cups set in front of them, so you can share some of your lunch with them. I think these dolls are all calorie conscious ’cause I didn’t see a single one eating!

After lunch, the cakes (which I must say looked absolutely scrumptious) started rolling in, candles being blown out left and right to that ol’ familiar tune.

Since we were not celebrating a special occasion (unless you consider losing your mind and spending enormous amounts of money a cause for celebration), we were served iced heart cakes, a stick of fruit, and a cup of dirt 😉

These dolls are all starving!

These dolls are all starving!

As the meal wound down, I noticed a large collection of wall flowers. They have a huge assortment of ‘loaner dolls’ on hand, although I could not think of a single instance in which one would utilize this option.. except maybe if you dropped your doll in the sewer on the way to lunch?!?

Next up, the lovely ladies at the hair salon were anxiously awaiting Kanani for a hair appointment and ear piercing.. Yes, you read that right – the doll was getting her ears pierced, or more accurately holes drilled into her head.

Gettin' her hair did!

Gettin’ her hair did!

When we came upon the Doll Hair Salon earlier that morning my initial reaction was “what a clever way to make even more money”, but after seeing the transformations from ‘well-loved’ gnarly-haired dolls to prim and proper well groomed toys, I have to admit I was impressed.

I have spent many an hour on the floor of my camper trying valiantly to unknot the unknottable when Tonia went through her “I LOVE RAPUNZEL” phase and the quality and resilience of these American Girls wigs should be given due credit.

The ear piercing was done behind closed doors, so no one could hear the doll screaming. She emerged with sparkly star earrings and a triple set of mix and match options to take home.

Next stop, traipsing through endless galleries of doll clothing and accessories. With weddings on her mind, Tonia picked a Flower Girl ensemble that ironically cost more than Tonia’s own real life Flower Girl ensemble.

This could double as a 'toad'

This could double as a ‘toad’

Again, I must give credit where its due and although I can not justify the crazy price tags, I can say the clothing is very well made, exceptionally detailed and durable.

The furnishings are completely over the top! I have no idea what kind of square footage the target market girls have, but a 6 foot hot air ballon is never going to fit in my RV!

All told, our time we spent at the American Girl Place in New York City was definitely an experience.

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This bag is almost bigger than Tonia’s “room”

Our grand total was:

Lunch for 3 $125
Saige $110
Hair Style and Ear Piercing $35
Flower Girl Outfit $32
Not including transportation expenses: $302.00

Holy Cow! That’s more than my Coach purse, Miss Me jeans and designer cowboy boots combined!!!

Glass Bottom Boats in San Marcos

Kimberly 1 Comments

Hungry for an economical and educational field trip, Renee and I packed up the kiddos and headed to the aquarena at Texas state in San Marcos.

There, we boarded one of the original boats from 1945 and left the dock to explore the natural springs.

 

This was our first experience on a glass bottom boat and we all enjoyed it very much!

The water was crystal clear. We were even able to see the spring water bubbling up from the sand at the bottom.

Can you see the turtle?

We were able to watch the underwater wildlife in their natural surroundings and even got to check out some of the local aviary life.

 

The tour lasted a half hour and cost our family $27.00 (which left some $$ for some frozen yogurt!)

This unique aquafir used to be home to mermaids and a swimming pig… But we found no evidence of them.

 

 

Membership has it’s Privileges; Top 5 Benefits of Joining Fulltime Families

Kimberly No Comments

The Fulltime Families Membership can save you thousands of dollars, but the privileges of membership go way beyond saving money.

Here are the top 5 benefits our members point to as their favorite thing about being a Fulltime Families Member.

#1 Finding My Tribe!

  • Fulltime Families Members share a common bond that is considered weird by the majority of American Families.   We think less is more… that’s weird!  We’re actually excited about living in 350 sq feet, alongside our family, every minute of the day… that’s weird!  We don’t want to wait until our children are on their own to explore this country… that’s weird!  Fulltime Families Members understand and embrace these “so called oddities”.  If making time with our family makes us “misfits” then we’d rather not fit in.  Fulltime Families supports and applauds You, the risk taker, You the pioneer, You the trail blazer, who is looking for more out of life than just security!

    #2 Making Spaces to Meet in Real Life!

    Fulltime Families hosts events around the country so families enjoying the full-time RV lifestyle can meet in person and make friends.  The reality is lifestyle can be isolating and connecting through Fulltime Families events, provides adults and children alike the opportunity to make friends and form bonds that span the miles.  It is very common for families to establish temporary or long term intentional neighborhoods with the families they click with, after an FtF event.  Just because your family is nomadic doesn’t mean you need to be alone.  Join us for our next event and embark on the next leg of your journey with friends in tow.

     

    #3 Connecting Families with the Services and Suppliers who commend their choices!

Isn’t it great to do business with someone who values you as a customer?  Isn’t it awesome to know you are supporting businesses that are supportive of your lifestyle choices and actually look forward to serving you? Fulltime Families reaches across all service and supply industries, vetting companies both large and small, to present our members with businesses of the highest level of integrity.  Through both our Resource Guide and our Partnership list, FtF Members are connected to trusted resources that will help you save time and money!

#4 We’ve Got Your Back!

At Fulltime Families, we’ve got your back!  Through our relationships with RV professionals, Home School curriculum providers and the media, we have a unique opportunity to help you spread your message and connect you effectively to the resources that can help you the most.  You’re not out on the road alone and being a part of the FtF family has made an impact through the collective voice and the collective efforts of your other FtF family members.  Case in point, in 2016 alone, FtF served 343 families in person at FtF events and provided over $21,000 in relief to RVing Families!

#5 Saving You Money and Time!

Of course, your Fulltime Families Membership will save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of wasted time.  Through our extensive list of partnerships, which currently includes a Free Year of Escapees and a Free Year of Good Sams Membership, our members rack up savings on:

So what are you waiting for?

Don’t you like friends, having fun times with people who get you, businesses that understand and value you, someone who has your back and saving money?  Join Fulltime Families today!  https://www.fulltimefamilies.com/joinftf/

 

 

 

 

Investigating Aliens in Roswell, NM

Kimberly 2 comments

We had heard mixed reviews about Roswell, NM. Some families said emphatically “Don’t miss it” while others suggested we could totally skip it without regretting it.

When we realized it was on our route to the rally in Colorado, we decided we’d take the opportunity to finally cross it off our list.

While I can now completely understand the ambivilance to this tourist trap of a city, I am immensely happy we went. Not so much for Roswell itself, but rather for the hidden gem of a campground we found at Bottomless Lakes State Park, a mere 11 miles west of downtown Roswell.

Coming from the south, we drove for what seemed an eternity down a dirt road. All the while, Chris asking me, “are you sure we’re going the right way”. My response… “Yes!” Eye roll, didn’t give away even a hint of my own uncertainty.

Nothing but dusty desert stretched out for miles before us, and then, a single left turn revealed the pristine oasis that is Bottomless Lake.

If you stood on the cliff overlooking the water at Crater Lake, wishing you could dive into that unimaginable crystal blue water, then you would love this campground.

Full hook up set us back a wooping $18 a night.

The night sky revealed a myriad of stars and rolling out of the rv every morning to this stunning swimming hole was a dream come true!

Sometimes we rented paddle boats, sometimes we used our floats and all the time we enjoyed the laid back family atmosphere of his wonderous place.

Of course, we did roll into town and do the “alien thing”.

 

We skipped the international UFO museum, and opted instead for a $6 (for the whole family) admission to the Alien Zone.

A converted store front, with limited air conditioning, it’s a veritable treasure trove for those seeking photo ops of the other worldy variety.

 

Am I glad we stopped at Roswell? Yes. Not so much for the town itself, but rather for the opportunity to recharge and reconnect in a bottomless lake.

 

 

Exploring Tinkertown Museum in Sandia Park, NM with Video

Kimberly No Comments

When you travel full time, you can’t see everything. This is one of the ironies of full time rving.

Don’t they all look thrilled!

Whether its due to finances, weather, crowds, time or just plain overlooking, families need to realize that some things will need to be left for the next trip around.

Count me as one of those friends

 

This was actually a hard lesson for me (the family itinerary maker) to learn.

The excitement is growing

 

When I sat in my house, making list upon list of all the places we’d visit, I thought I’d be disappointed if we had to forego some excursions. And truth be told, I was. In those early months, I was known to pout and carry on when we couldn’t do this, or wouldn’t be able to eat that, etc

Buttons along the front animate the scenes

But somewhere in the midst of year two, I matured (thankfully and possibly somewhat questionably) and realized we don’t have to take every opportunity set before us and chances are we will be here again, some time in the future, and won’t it be nice to have something to look forward to then. Ahhhhhhh!

So what does this all have to do with Tinkertown Museum?

Well, this is one of those places we missed due to overlooking and possibly your family would have no trouble overlooking such a place, but you might regret it!

This scene blew me away

It seems I have a certain gene that loves colorful collections of, what might be called by the untrained eye, JUNK.

Never a truer word!

My husband, bless his heart, lacks the gene and runs around with not one, but two, untrained eyes.

A one man band in a box!

But he’s always very accommodating so when I exclaimed one evening in Texas, “oh no! We’ve been to Albuquerque twice and we completely missed Tinkertown, we need to go back!”. He said, “ok”.

Kids have their own guest book

So back we went, to a city neither one of us are particularly fond of, to see the Tinkertown Museum.

Leave a message in a bottle

It took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect, and lovingly construct the collection on display. His miniature wood-carved figures were first part of a traveling exhibit, driven to county fairs and carnivals in the 1960s and ’70s. Today over 50,000 glass bottles form rambling walls that surround a 22-room museum. Wagon wheels, old fashioned store fronts, and wacky western memorabilia make Tinkertown’s exterior as much as a museum as the wonders within.

Outside you’ll find a unique collection of items Ross and his wife have collected from ghost towns.

When you go to Tinkertown make sure you bring quarters and ask for a scavenger hunt handout, or download and print it from their website.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our time at Tinkertown and we know you will too!

For more of the sights and sounds of Tinkertown, check out our episode of One Epic Adventure.

 

 

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