On 12/1/15 our little one month vacation came to an end and it was time to lift our jacks and make another move. Because we really enjoyed our stay at the Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort we were sort of sad to leave BUT not that sad LOL!!
Without even a thought we rolled out of bed and went right into our usual travel day routine and headed out at our normal 9am departure time. I guess we didn’t get to rusty on our one month stay.
We jumped on I-10 south for a few miles before heading west on I-8 which we stayed on until we reached Yuma. The speed limit was 75 but I just set the cruise at 65 and had a leisurely and mellow drive for our 180 mile travel day. For the most part I could have strapped the steering wheel in one spot and went back to watch a little TV, in other words it was a pretty straight & flat drive most of the way.
We had reservations in place at The Palms RV Resort so when we pulled up to the gate we immediately had an escort to our site and got all set up before walking over to the office to check in.
It was rather cool with a slight breeze so Diane decided to hide inside the RV and read and toss together a new Crock-Pot concoction the rest of the day (which I thought turned out pretty good but she didn’t) and I took a couple bike rides but also wimped out for the most part and fiddled around inside working on our year end budget numbers and our 2016 budget. Dang, we are in Arizona where it’s supposed to be warm during the day!!!
On day 2 (12/2) after our breakfast and a somewhat slow start to the day I went out for a walk around the park and then we headed over to the gym for our morning workout. The gym is much much smaller than the one at Palm Creek in Casa Grande but still has a nice mix if machines and free weights, more than enough for us!! Now that we are sort of in the routine of working out again I don’t want to stop the trend.
After our workout we messed around at the shuffleboard courts and then took a stroll through the park. We have mentioned before that we have been keeping our eyes open for a spot to hunker down during the winter months instead of bouncing around all winter and The Palms is a spot we stayed at some time back and thought at that time it just might be a contender.
We will just splash in some random pictures of sites for fun here.
At The Palms you can either rent sites by the night, week, month or like most parks get deeper discounts for 3, 4, 5 or 6 month periods. Or you can actually purchase a site and it is deeded to you and you can do anything from leave it pretty much bare and park an RV on it, build a shed and park a RV, build a garage and casita plus park a RV or build a full blown small home if you want. And trust me, there are some darn nice places built in the park.
The starting point price wise for a standard bare lot is in the $75,000 range and a super site is in the $102,000 range and then the costs per month would be roughly $165 per month for HOA dues and depending on what you did with the lot roughly $30 to $100 for taxes. The HOA dues cover water, sewer, garbage and basic cable. And you get full use of all of the amenities in the park. So, if you think about it you could actually live pretty inexpensively in a resort type setting with plenty of activities to keep you occupied once you spend the up front money.
Now we are not looking for a place to “live” and the thought of a deeded piece of property at this point almost makes be cringe, that means tied to something again which we are not ready for but we do like to keep an open mind and entertain all options.
For us, because we are really just looking for a spot to hang our hat’s for probably 3 to 5 months during the winter we have to look at yearly cost’s and divide it out accordingly to see what it actually looks like numbers wise. And for us with what we budget for campsites per year we would need to stay put about 4 months out of the year here to make it pencil out.
The biggest deal for us would be taking the money out of our investments to pay for the site to begin with, I just have a hard time forking out that much money, when and IF we do we will damn sure be certain it’s the right thing for us.
On our third day, Thursday 12/3, after our morning routine we jumped in the Jeep and made a run to the local Hobby Shop (Fast Eddies) to have a look around and pick up a certain glue but of course they were out of stock. Once again I say it’s just easier to buy from Amazon any more. But they said it would be in stock by Saturday so I figured if it is I would drive the 8 miles there and 8 miles back to buy a $3.99 bottle of glue, geeezzzzz.
After the hobby shop we stopped in at the huge open air (well they have tents) market that we remembered from our last visit. In fact we bought a couple nice lawn chairs with side tables there. After walking the entire thing we walked away with 2 jars of Pickled Eggs. I was happy but Diane not so much, I really don’t understand why LOL!!
Then we went home, took a couple walks, did some bike riding, Diane hit the library and we played some shuffleboard before heading home to watch the Green Bay Packers and the Loins game (WHAT A FINISH!!!!).
Friday 12/4 was another day of leisure, I went to the gym after breakfast and Diane did resistance exercises at home. As I mentioned the gym here is a lot smaller and she didn’t like the feel as much as she did at Palm Creek in Casa Grande. I guess that’s 1 strike against this spot LOL!!
After our morning routine Diane went to the grocery store and putted around who knows where while I stuck around the campground and took a walk, rode bike and enjoyed the great weather with the temps in the mid 70’s and a blue sky full of sunshine.
After dinner and after it got dark we jumped on our bikes and rode around the park. Some of the folks are starting their Christmas decorating and we wanted to have a look.
Days like this may sound boring after the busy days we had throughout the summer but actually it was pretty darn nice.
Day 5 (12/5) was another day not worthy of blogging about. We have been to Yuma 2 times before so we really didn’t feel the need to venture out a bunch during our visit I guess.
Here is are a few links to our other visits in case you care to take a look. They offer more about Yuma than we talked about in this update that’s for sure. This visit really was to see how we really felt about this park.
And that brings us to day six (12/6/15) and our last day in Yuma before moving on. Once again we don’t have much planned for the day except our normal morning routine and watching football, oh and a trip to Wal-Mart to stock up before hitting our next stop. Our next campground is located about 17 miles from the nearest town and I don’t want to feel the need to make a run to the store as soon as we get there.
I guess we should sum up our feeling about The Palms. First off the negatives. The biggest thing against The Palms is Yuma itself (just our opinion), the population is just under 100,000 people and certainly grows much larger in the winter months. 100,000 people is at the high end of what we like which is 20,000 to 50,000 people. And it seems to be more windy overall here than Casa Grande for example.
Along with the size comes more noise, The Palms is pretty close to a major road in town and depending on where your site is the traffic noise can be very noticeable most of the day while outside AND there is a train track not that far away which creates some noise regardless of being inside or out. But if you choose your site wisely the noise is much less on the back half of the park which backs up to undeveloped desert.
And lastly the upfront cost of a site, $75,000 is steep to just have a lot to spend 4 or 5 months per year it seems (for us). In fact after looking at all the lots and taking into consideration location within the park, size of the site (perimeter sites are deeper), the sun in the sky and everything else the lots we like are $102,000 for an undeveloped lot. And then we would probably spend another $10,000 just creating a halfway nice outdoor living area I would guess.
Now the positives, Yuma is said to be the sunniest town IN THE WORLD!! Yes the world, look it up LOL!! That’s a huge positive!! The park is not a huge park like so many “Resort” type parks and has only 426 sites I think. The sites are pretty good sized and most are in the 40’x70’ range so you have breathing room. The park is as clean as can be and has nicely landscaped grounds which creates that “candy for the eye’s” effect. There are plenty of planned events, classes ranging from a number of dance types to aerobics, pickle ball, pottery, shuffleboard, tennis, pool parties and live bands, a great billiards room, a nice enough gym, a nice library, a small on site restaurant mainly for breakfast, 2 very nice pools and 2 large hot tubs and on and on. Enough to keep anyone occupied as much as they care to be. (Note: not as many activities as Palm Creek Golf & RV resort in Casa Grande).
Another nice thing about the park is that if you own a lot you can either rent it out yourself OR have the park handle the rental (for a slice of the pie of course) if you are not going to be in the area part of the season. Typical rental for 3 months during the winter if renting a bare park owned site is $2493 plus electricity. So, if you figure you are going to be paying $165 for HOA dues and roughly $50 per month for taxes equaling $215 or $635 for 3 months you could actually profit $1858 which is enough to pay for almost 9 months dues for owning the site. And if you have maybe a upgraded patio compared to what the park offers on a basic site it would not be hard to rent out at least for the months of January, Feb and March which is considered “high season”. Like we have said before, it’s all how it looks number wise at the end of the year.
That about wraps it up for us and our stay this time. Diane tossed a Pot-roast in the crockpot for dinner and Monday morning we will lift our jacks and venture off on another 180 mile travel day to our next spot where we will spend a month. It looks like about 50 miles of freeway and the rest will be 2 lane secondary roads.