Two weeks in Yuma, new RV friends Pat & Nancy


NancyPat_JulianneGCraneAfter our month along the Texas Coastal Bend, we pointed our truck and Northern Lite camper west … eventually stopping for two weeks in Yuma at the Escapee RV Club’s Kofa Ko-op RV Park.

Across the lane from us, we noticed a 2013 30-foot Arctic Fox travel trailer with Washington state plates.

Always anxious to meet additional travelers from the Pacific Northwest, we were soon exchanging Snowbird stories and favorite camping destinations.

Pat and Nancy, both retired military reservists, have only been snowbirding for one season.  Since retiring from their day jobs in 2010 (Pat as a truck driver and Nancy as a hospital facilities manager) they have been exploring the Pacific Northwest. “There’s lots to see and learn within a 800 mile circle of our home base,” said Pat.  One of their favorite campgrounds in eastern Washington state is very near the Canadian border in the Okanagon National Forest.

“It is our ‘return-to’ spot and we have been going there since 1988 tent camping,” said Nancy.  “It is small, dry camping with running water in one restroom and standpipes for water at several convenient points within the campground.

“The lake is lovely with a Loon Family that is a true delight,” she continued.  “In 1993 we were spending our vacation there and one night there was a HUGE storm.  It nearly blew over our new tent and totally soaked everything we had.  Our lantern was even full of water.  Pat immediately started loading everything in the truck and we began the 7-hour trip home.

“When we arrived we didn’t go home but to the nearest open RV dealer where we bought our 1993 Nomad travel trailer.  After a few added modifications we picked it up the next day and headed to a closer campground to spend the night.  What fun!

“We really enjoy just taking off at the spur of the moment to go wherever the urge takes us.  Pacific Beach on the Washington coast has a wonderful campground overlooking the beach.  The weather is so varied there, from fog to rain to sunshine.  It is the perfect place to reflect on life and enjoy the outdoors in all conditions. From the comfort of your RV watching a winter storm make its way over the ocean and making land fall is something everybody should experience.”

For Pat and Nancy, the “very best” part of RVing “is meeting wonderful people everywhere we go.”

Their advice to everyone thinking of retiring to the RV lifestyle: “Develop an exit plan before you start ‘full timing.’ Many ‘full-timers’ had to come off the road when the financial crises hit.  Many were used to making 5-percent interest on their money just sitting in a bank.   They quickly found themselves digging into their savings just to survive. But by then those people had a 15-year-old RV, no house, and running out of money.  Options become limited without a well-thought out exit plan.”

Julianne G. Crane


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