Generation Z. Cruising in an RV.: WOW: Slowing Down, Taming our Bucket List

Monday, January 16, 2012

WOW: Slowing Down, Taming our Bucket List

a lovely park model by the sea, an option for Stage 5
When Bill suffered the heart attack (please see http://rvcruisinglifestyle.blogspot.com/2011/12/wow-getting-scared.html), friends cautioned us to slow down. My children who were just here for the holidays also said so!  Bill disagrees.  We are younger than many we meet in the campgrounds and he feels the level of activity and stress will be as great or even greater if we settle into one place (especially with my propensity for boredom). But the arrival of 2012 has nudged us to look down the road and begin to think about Stages 4 and 5 (please see http://rvcruisinglifestyle.blogspot.com/2010/04/going-through-five-stages-of-cruising.html).

trade show goers lining up to inspect a $2 M RV
The choice of settling down in the US or the Philippines is a no-brainer because most of our children, all grandkids, and majority of siblings are here in the US. But it should be in a place where temperatures go only to lows of 60s during the day even in winter months (these old farts don’t do well in the cold)! The following cities make the grade: San Diego, LA, and Palm Springs for California, Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma, and Lake Havasu for Arizona, Brownsville and Corpus Christi for Texas, and most cities in Florida!

a brand new Mountain Aire, $500K
To pin down the city, we can use the following criteria: proximity to children, local attractions, quality of healthcare, availability of Thousand Trails campgrounds (all free of charge up to 2022), availability of Ballys Fitness Centers (Bill has a free lifetime membership), proximity to water and/or mountains,  and sales, income, and property tax structure (especially for Stage 5). If we construct a decision matrix, the clear winners are 1) Orlando, Florida, 2) Tucson or Phoenix, Arizona, and 3) San Diego, California.

the interior of the brand new Mountain Aire
This is what emerges as a strategy. For sunbirding in Stage 4, we should opt for Orlando, Florida or, alternatively, San Diego, California because these two have many Thousand Trails campgrounds. Ten years from now, we can proceed to nest in Stage 5 and choose Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona which do not have any. In fact, San Diego may make more sense than Orlando because during Stage 4 we will not be full time residents anyway and therefore not subject to the state’s higher tax structure. California is nearer our children’s homes. 

an Italian villa for European sojourns in Stage 4? 
Stage 4 means rotating among available campgrounds in the sunbirding chosen area as opposed to being permanently in one.  When we nest in Stage 5, we may even choose a condominium complex with the same amenities and activities over a park model in a campground. We went to the Florida RV Trade Association Show at the State Fairgrounds last Saturday to look at options of brand new motorhomes and park models for these 2 stages. We found out that a brand new Mountain Aire would cost us about $500,000 (there was even a $2 M motorhome!) and a modern Net Zero 500 sq. ft. park model would be around $100 K.

an RV Resort for sunbirding in Stage 4?
To choose the specific location for nesting, we shall use the following criteria in another decision matrix: proximity to a supermarket, Ballys or another good exercise facility, a Catholic church, a good hospital, amenities, and activities. Most retirement communities have all these features. In the final analysis, beginning 2013 when we would have finished Stage 3 (sight-seeing/relaxing) in North America and we would be begin our extensive travels in countries abroad, we do have to have a slower schedule here as sunbirds for rest periods, staying around southern California, if not Florida, 3-6 months a year!

a 55+ condominium complex for Stage 5?
We have also decided not to cover countries outside of North America by cruising in an RV. We concede…we are already getting on in years and we need more conveniences in traveling. Besides cruising means a pace, not a specific means of transportation! For instance, renting apartments in central locations in Europe and making them bases for road trips to nearby attractions may be the best way to cruise Europe (even less expensive).

The rest of the world will be through the best hotel/flight deals. We will go out of the country for three months at a time, visit the children and siblings the other three months, and rest the other 6 months. This way we may be able to cover Europe in 2-3 trips, Australasia in another 2-3, Central America and South America, 3-4, and Africa, 1-2. This is how we can slow down and still cover the rest of the world! It will take us all the way to 2022 when we should be able to completely settle down. It is called taming our bucket list!