Wednesday, October 29, 2008


This is the time of year when the "snowbirds" begin arriving in Arizona and other points south. Some of them own a house or condo in Sun City or Scottsdale. Others come in their RVs. And still others spend the winter in a park model—like an RV but also like a regular house. The park model can be moved but is not made for traveling.

A park model in Mesa

We have stayed at parks that have 800 and 1716 spaces this year. We were there just off season and most of the RV spaces and park models were empty. They must be very busy places in January, February and March. Most of the residents in the parks that have mainly park models seem to be in their 70s, maybe even 80s. Often they leave a car in Arizona year-round, then fly down for the winter. Most come from places like Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, as well as Canada, where winters are every long, cold and wet.

After two days in Tucson while we had some warranty work done on our new 5th wheel, we spent a week in Benson, a town east along I-10. We recently joined Escapees, a club for RVers. They have RV parks around the country, as well as offering discounts at many other parks. We wanted to see what the parks they own were like, so we came to the Saguaro Co-op Park in Benson. We Love It!!! And a bonus was to find that a couple we have known for over 25 years, Del and Pat, lives in the park.

Each site, which measure 52 ft by 70 ft (huge by RV park standards), has hookups for an RV or Park Model and owners may build a Casita, a small building with plumbing, storage and space for visitors to spend the night. (Owners must sleep in their RV or Park Model, not the casita.) Unlike the parks that contain mainly park models, many of the folks in the Escapees' park are full-time RVers and all of them are or have been RVers. Most seem to be in their 60s or 70s. We really feel at home there.

One of the casitas

A site with no casita, just an RV.

Two more good-looking casitas

We are considering putting our name on the waiting list for a space in this park. The waiting list is long enough it will be at least three to five years before we can lease a lot. By then we may be tired of volunteering. The Casita would provide space for storage and maybe a workshop for John and a sewing room for me, as well as room for our family to come visit. Perhaps in a few years, this is where we would like to spend the winter. The park is quiet, filled with the most friendly people we have every encountered. There are numerous activities, but not as many or as elaborate as the other parks we have visited. Escapees are about living on the road inexpensively, so these parks don't have all the bells and whistles we found elsewhere. And we really appreciate that.

In a few years we might become snowbirds. It would be nice to be outside every day of the winter without worrying about ice or snow, don't you think? Until then, we will look for volunteer positions in the south where we can enjoy the warmth and keep busy.

1 comment:

  1. Benson is our favorite of the Escapee parks - we have our name on the waiting list. I figure at least five years.