Monday, January 30, 2017

Arizona, land of an infinite number of ratty RV parks

 Every decade or so a new easy money scheme hits the collective consciousness. Chicken farms, emu ranching, alpacas. . . I find myself wondering if at some point 30 or 40 years ago property owners in Arizona decided en masse to try milking snowbirds. I swear there's a ratty, semi-abandoned RV park lurking behind every other cholla cactus or creosote bush in the state.

We had The Younger Daughter do some research before we came down here. She checked out the two or three in the Safford-Thatcher area that looked good, and then recommended the one we've been sitting in since early November. The runner-up park had an amenity this one didn't -- a heated pool -- but was a lot newer so the landscaping, even for Arizona, was bleak. The Kid had done drive-throughs of both, but said this one just seemed a little nicer, maybe because it had a few actual trees. She also said there were some other parks in the area, but just seeing them from the highway made her not want to explore further.

Since getting here, just our of curiousity I checked out some of the competition. Holy wah. Their rates better be pretty damn low because I can't imagine willingly driving the Guppy into any of them. But they all had some pretty nice equipment sitting there, people who were fairly obviously just passing through. I found myself wondering what happened. Did they get to Safford in the middle of the night and were desperate? Did they deliberately go looking for the park that had the lowest possible rates and still provided at least one amenity, e.g., electricity? How much sleep would you get if all the neighboring motorhomes and trailers looked like they were being used as meth labs? I've seen a few that make a Walmart parking lot look pretty good in comparison.
 The second runner-up was also looking a tad seedy when we did a drive through a couple weeks ago. Now there's an ad in the paper for manager/maintenance. Interesting. Makes me glad we were able to get in here.

And, while I'm on the subject of RVs and RV parks, I've noticed one oddity here. Well, I've actually noticed multiple oddities, but this is the one that I just got reminded about: Since we arrived, there have been other trailers and motor homes coming and going. The larger RVs, both the Leviathans (Class A motorhomes) and 5th wheel trailers, tend to have side entrance doors set fairly high off the ground. It seems to be common practice in this park (and I'm sure in many others) for the people who are doing extended stays to put up actual wooden porches.

I can see doing a wooden porch if you're one of those people who's decided to just keep the RV parked here permanently (and there are a bunch of them, some belonging to people who are still being snowbirds so are just here seasonally and others who have progressed to being here year-round), but if you're just here for a month? There have been a couple 5th wheels that came in that weren't here long but indulged in mammoth construction projects: big wooden porch with balustraded railings, a wooden fenced enclosure for their drop kick dogs, . . . one unit even had a trellis of the type one would expect to see roses climbing over. It was bizarre. It is bizarre.The thing that reminded me was spotting one of the neighbors busy adding yet another piece to his porch, a porch that's been in progress for about 3 weeks now.

Then again, maybe it's a way for some these old dudes to keep busy. There's a 5th wheel not far from us where the old dude there has been building a porch practically since they got here. I think he's adding a balustrade a day, all lovingly sanded and polyurethaned. I commented a couple posts ago that the S.O. was kind of loose ends with nothing to tinker on. Maybe I should suggest to him that the Guppy could use a porch, too. Or not. I do find myself wondering just what these people do with their construction projects when they move on. I've yet to see anyone build something that looked even remotely portable.


  1. Back when I lived there I noticed that creating some kind of a small business for a living lots of folks tried all sorts of things. Now of course many of those folks are getting old so maintenance and such things don't get the attention they used to put into them. If they don't sell out they will continue to go downhill.

    Get the driveshaft back yet?

    1. Nope. Didn't even think about it today. The S.O. will go check tomorrow.

  2. Don't plan to ever go to Arizona; but as a sometimes RV'er this is interesting. I thought you had the drive shaft problem solved.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    1. The S.O. was able to replace the damaged yoke and the U-joints that let go but couldn't do anything about the slop in a carrier bearing. We figured sooner or later that slop would lead to another U-joint letting go sooner than normal so decided to get the work done now while we're sitting in one place for awhile rather than doing our usual procrastination.


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