Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Workamping Forum: Preparing to Camp Host
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billd99

Bend, OR

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Posted: 09/12/20 07:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello Fellow RV'rs and Lovers of the Great Outdoors,

My wife and I are in the process of retiring and moving to a life outdoors. Starting in Spring 2021, for the next 3-4 years we plan to Camp Host in paid positions until our social security kicks in... then we will start taking volunteer positions with public agencies (State Parks, Forest Service, ACOE, etc), ultimate plan is to find an interesting home as Docents and "settle in".

We'd love a shout out from anyone with experience as Camp Hosts... both positive and negative feedback are appreciated... we will reach out to establish contact... maybe you can help guide us thru some of our many questions.

Saludos,
Bill & Laurie O'Doyle

Lwiddis

near Jawbone Canyon, CA

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Posted: 09/12/20 07:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In addition to a campsite, what pay are you expecting? Have you run the numbers of not working those last few years and the effect on your SS monthly benefit? See...https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/stopwork.html

“If You Stop Work Before You Start Receiving Benefits

If you stop work before you start receiving benefits and you have less than 35 years of earnings, your benefit amount is affected. We use a zero for each year without earnings when we calculate the amount of retirement benefits you are due. Years with no earnings reduces your retirement benefit amount.

Even if you have 35 years of earnings when you stopped working, some of those years may be low-earning years. When you file for retirement benefits, those years are averaged into your calculation, creating a lower benefit. However, if you had continued to work, your low earning years are replaced with your high earning years. Higher earnings increase your benefit amount.”


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#1Flyboy

California

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Posted: 09/12/20 08:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have done camphosting for about 6 seasons; there’s of course the good things & good people that make it enjoyable & rewarding ....But this year when wife started crying I told her “ we’re done.” Fortunately we’re financially stable....The camping crowd mentality, attitude & life choices have changed ....The pluses are waking up in a nice location ( you might also wake up to a domestic altercation, after hours generator, party, horns, drunks, forest fire, & people banging your door at some unusual hour with an “issue”... Free camping is a plus, but, then you find it necessary to go to a lot of campsites as they are to busy to deposit the $$$, or they think it’s FREE, or they only have a rubber check, or they will pay when they leave,...Anyway a lot of time spent collecting and then the paperwork... And cleaning the bathrooms is a whole different topic we could talk about all day long & into the morning...But some campgrounds are easier than others and some are a pain... Personally I’d say give it a go ; you can always say adios....

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 09/12/20 09:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where are you finding all of these 'paid positions' that pay enough to live on before SS kicks in????

Most prime Camp Host positions are filled by previous Hosts or on the 'LIST'


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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WNYBob

Tonawanda, NY

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Posted: 09/13/20 06:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here in NY Camp Hosts are "State Positions" so politics and paper work to get a spot.
On a plus side, toilet cleaning is responsibility is on SP employees not hosts.

rhagfo

Portland, OR

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Posted: 09/13/20 06:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Where are you finding all of these 'paid positions' that pay enough to live on before SS kicks in????

Most prime Camp Host positions are filled by previous Hosts or on the 'LIST'


X2, mostly
We have been volunteer host for going on seven years, the first three while working full time at our jobs, now as Full Time Host. Never had a paid position.
We still enjoy it, though we are seeing a few more less than desirable campers.
If you are a paid Host, sometimes you also need to pay for your site or at least for the power to your site.
In Oregon three months is the normal max stay in a park, then you need to move to another location. We try to keep booked between 12 months to 18 months out or longer.
It isn't a bad way to live, but I would not depend on the income to live on.


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jdc1

Rescue, Ca

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Posted: 09/13/20 08:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The biggest concern being a camp host would be access to healthcare. Some places are a long distance from a cardiac unit, ect.

billd99

Bend, OR

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Posted: 09/13/20 12:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Have you run the numbers of not working those last few years and the effect on your SS monthly benefit? See...https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/stopwork.html


Lwiddis: Really great feedback. I have not spent near enough time researching our SS options, didn't realize the penalties of stopping work. Thanks for the link... sounds like I have some homework to do.

We are in good condition financially... no debt, lot's of liquid investments, lot's of clear-owned rental property... the SS is really icing on the cake, but you are right... it would be irresponsible if we did not seek to max our benefits.

Earnings have been very good for the last 4 years... maybe we should take benefits now?

billd99

Bend, OR

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Posted: 09/13/20 12:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

#1Flyboy wrote:

...you might also wake up to a domestic altercation, after hours generator, party, horns, drunks, forest fire, & people banging your door at some unusual hour with an “issue”... Free camping is a plus, but, then you find it necessary to go to a lot of campsites as they are to busy to deposit the $$$, or they think it’s FREE, or they only have a rubber check, or they will pay when they leave,...Anyway a lot of time spent collecting and then the paperwork... And cleaning the bathrooms is a whole different topic we could talk about all day long & into the morning...But some campgrounds are easier than others and some are a pain... Personally I’d say give it a go ; you can always say adios....


Yikes, a few "gotchas" there I hadn't considered. Any suggestions on where to look for campgrounds where people are more likely to behave? (specific agencies, or areas of the country, etc)

As for bathrooms/vaults, I've always questioned why Hosts don't get their own portable pressure washer... would make the work easier, faster, and produce a cleaner biffy.

billd99

Bend, OR

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Posted: 09/13/20 12:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

...Most prime Camp Host positions are filled by previous Hosts or on the 'LIST'


Hey Old Biscuit.. what is the "LIST"? Yeah, we know we'll have to establish ourselves for a year or two to get the good spots... that is as it should be.

BD

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