We are now in the last month of our lease agreement in the apartment where we currently reside. The apartment is a one bedroom in an old house that is divided into six different apartments. The house has no insulation and we can hear all of our neighbors at all hours of the day and night. The neighborhood that we live in is not savory either. In the past year that we have lived there, one car has had it’s windows smashed out, another one has been stolen and broken into on two separate occasions. We own two vehicles which have both had flat tires, and with one of the vehicles, the alarm went off in the middle of the night which can only be caused by someone physically trying to open one of the doors. Needless to say, it is definitely time for us to move on.
I am excited. I think that we have enough money saved to be able to purchase a small used 5th wheel or travel trailer. It will have to be an older model, but as long as the plumbing works and there is no water damage, we will be okay with an older model.
This month we will focus on downsizing and storing most of our items in a storage unit until we either need them or sort through and decide what to keep and what to donate. My husband and I have lived for many years with minimal material items and most of our household items came from thrift stores anyway, so we will just recyle them back into the system. All of our shelving breaks down and is easy to store and our tables all fold up for easy transportation. Living small is not something we shy away from. A good guide for you if you are planning to downsize is: if you haven’t used it in the past year, you more than likely don’t need it.
Last year, we lived in our car for 3 months while relocating to a new area. This was the most difficult move that we have done. We are thankful for Walmart® parking lots, the public parks in the area and for the state park here that has shower access that is coin operated. In Washington, you can purchase a Discover Pass that allows you access to all state parks for only $30.00 per year. The Discover Pass offers you access to millions of acres of state recreation lands in Washington, including:
- More than 100 developed state parks
- More than 350 primitive recreation sites, including campgrounds and picnic areas
- Nearly 700 water-access points
- Nearly 2,000 miles of designated water and land recreation trails
- More than 80 natural areas
- More than 30 wildlife areas
The Discover pass is transferable between two vehicles, but you may only use it on one vehicle at a time. For example, if you wanted to take both vehicles to your destination, each vehicle would have to have it’s own pass. So it is best to carpool when you can. Parks and Recreation officials do check passes and issue tickets to those who do not comply. The fine for not having a pass is $99.00, so it is definitely cheaper to just buy two passes if you are planning to take two vehicles.
Walmart Stores That Provide Overnight RV Camping – There are plenty of Walmart stores that DO allow overnight RV parking, and you can find a state-by-state directory of those locations here. Here are a few things to remember when you’re planning to park overnight at Walmart:
- This is “dry camping”, so there won’t be electricity, water or dump stations available while you’re there. You’ll need to find a dump station elsewhere (you may want to check out rvdumps.com for this), as well as filling water tanks and using your own generator.
- Park only in the spaces designated for RV parking. It’s always a good idea to double-check with the store ahead of time, so you aren’t awakened in the middle of the night by security.
- Always leave your campsite clean, whether in a Walmart parking lot or at an exclusive resort. This is a FREE service, we want to show our appreciation for Walmart by always cleaning up after ourselves.
- Not all Walmart locations allow overnight RV parking. You can use this link to find stores that don’t offer this service. Please keep our public image shiny by respecting the policies of these stores.
DISCLAIMER/WARNING: While free overnight stays at Walmart may be something that may seem attractive, always check with the store to see if they allow camping. In addition, in some cities/states, it is illegal. Also, consider the area in which the Walmart is located when deciding to stay there. Some stores may be in areas that may be unsafe.
Always be careful no matter where you decide to park. You must obey all laws and always be aware of your surroundings.
There are also Truck Stops that offer showers for a price, some cost more than others, so you will need to research to see if this is a viable option for you.
I am grateful that we have had a roof over our heads and a nice hot shower or bath daily. It has been nice to have those amenities, but now it is time for us to move on. I have no idea what the future holds, but I am sure it will be something to write about.