Infiltrating the RV Full-timers’ Cult Compound

Man, this Escapees RV park (it’s called Rainbow’s End) is very, very strange to me. It is definitely an isolated bubble, a world all its own.

Campsite Types

There are 495 sites on the compound, and I think I can categorize them like this:

  • regular camping spots (but close together and pretty crappy: here is the gully we had to back the trailer over without bottoming out to get in our spot):
  • long-term lots with storage sheds and/or decks beside the spot where you park your RV,
  • lots that have been sold to people who RV as a way of life but want a permanent location, for whatever reason, and a teeny weeny house beside their RV:
  • the occasional RV hidden way back in the woods that you see only when coming round a turn, certainly the home of the next person we should be afraid of,
  • dry camping sections (that means no hook-ups) but just randomly in any green spot left open with a sign stuck in the ground saying, “Dry Camping,”
  • super-duper fancy RVs spots (pull-throughs so the drivers don’t have to maneuver at all),
  • kind of normal-looking houses where people must have retired because they love the RV life but can’t participate much anymore but still want to feel a part of it:

People Types

  • folks who are danmed proud of being full-timers:
  • folks who are damned proud of Trump,
  • more Airstreams than you can shake a stick out, including this one parked across from us that’s our identical make and model (which is unusual) and adds a Twilight-zone feel even more than I already have because no one’s in it:
  • folks advertising their social media channels about full-time living, like The Nomadic Fanatic here, with a billboard out in front of his RV, a huge sticker, and yes, that’s an inflatable hot tub we’ve seen him in twice yesterday. And a motorcycle and a life-size skeleton sitting at his picnic table.

What They’re Doing

  • climbing on ladders to clean off the tops of their rigs,
  • using power tools for projects on the picnic tables,
  • picking up enough mail to put Karen and Doug to shame,
  • doing laundry at the two laundromats on the compound,
  • staying in their RVs otherwise and watching TV (fox news, as I’ve heard)

In other words, they’re doing all the things we’ve been doing lately on our housekeeping tour of Texas (except the TV-watching; we sit in our tent and play music and cards and read more often than not).

What They’re Not Doing

  • having campfires,
  • letting children run around willy nilly (I’ve seen maybe five children here),
  • setting up elaborate outdoor decorations,
  • spending time outside their RVs at all, other than to walk their ubiquitous dogs.

Who Are These People?

They’re our new cohort, apparently. They live in their RVs or spend more time in them than anywhere else. They come through the Escapees compound to take care of annual business, like us, and some stay for a few months because it’s cheap or because they’re fleeing a hurricane.

A few are our age and athletic (due to dubious vitamins I heard them picking up at the mail window; anyone heard of Thrive?). Mostly they’re older, on the road, getting shit done, taking a break from traveling.

Finding the Nature

I did get off the property yesterday morning while walking Banjo, at least before a neighborhood off-leash dog spied us.

This house across from the field seems to be typical middle-class rural Texas around here: a fence around the yard because who knows who might steal your yard junk, a gate (gotta pretend you have a ranch), an RV under the carport with multiple trucks, and a huge meat smoker on a trailer.

I’ve been here just one day when it wasn’t raining. and I’m looking forward to exploring the approx. 600 sites, two dogs parks, weigh station, mail center, pool, rec hall, and even care center where elderly or disabled RVers can park their rig and get help with self-care.

At least four more days here (as long as we can get our drivers licenses and the truck can be fixed in a couple of days). I expect to be surprised during each one.

7 thoughts to “Infiltrating the RV Full-timers’ Cult Compound”

  1. I have Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” in my head as I read this.

    But a minor-key dystopian version.

  2. I don’t know what to think. It’s all too much contradiction: RV and a house? Jesus and Trump? And an inflatable hot tub? I thought water was a scarce resource in RV World? Wow.

    1. What’s duper funny is that the folks with the big RV and the tiny house (so many of those) have the lights on in the RV in the evenings. The house is for storage, maybe?

      And oh you betcha Trump and Jesus.

      Here we have water hookups, but I doubt the managers would be excited about the amount of water that hot tub uses. I have to admit I am envious.

  3. I do like the skeleton at the table. Thats actually kinda cute!The jesus and trump sign just makes me cringe, although I have heard people making the connections to that like “They (the liberals) are coming for our statues of jesus , after the confederate statues” crazy thoughts out there.

    1. This guys travels with his skeleton full-time by the way; riding on his motorcycle he has strapped to the back of his rig. I can’t wait see to him on the road!

  4. Huh…who knew “America” was in C maj? I always thought it was in A minor? Then again what the hell do I know about music? You learn something every day…