The Quest

In my never ending quest to find an inexpensive, clean and safe place to live, I found an "RV lot" listed in the Missoula Craigslist for under $300 a month. In my mind, a spot to park an RV should not cost more than $300 a month; after all, we are talking about a reasonably flat piece of property at least 20 feet wide by 60 feet long with an electrical box, a water faucet, and a hole in which to connect a sewer hose. How expensive can that be????

Missoula does not offer a lot of options when it comes to long-term RV spots. We have a reservation at what appears to be our best option in Missoula. The park has all the basic needs and is going to cost us over $1000 a month. There are two other RV parks in town. One has no long-term spots available and the other is very child oriented. The child oriented park has Yogi and BooBoo, a pool, a playground and a lot of other "amenities" not offered by the more expensive park. It also comes with lots of kids on bikes running through everyone's tiny little campsites. The child oriented park is over $200 cheaper per month but…. Yogi, BooBoo and kids everywhere… We decided the more expensive park was our best option. We made a reservation and a few weeks later I found this under $300 a month "RV lot"

I told Mary I had found and was contacting someone on Craigslist about an RV spot in Missoula - with no more information than that she said, "I'm not living there." Mary reminded me of other less expensive options that I had thought might be a good idea until we saw the actual spot in which we would live.

I received a response to my inquiry pretty quickly. The lot had sewer hookups, 50 amp electric, water, and garbage pick up - in other words, all the necessities. It also included a storage building where we could keep bicycles and kayaks. Sounded pretty good so far. I wrote back asking for an address and photo.

The next morning, I recieved an address and a photo. With the address, I was able to determine that an irrigation canal bordered the back of the lot (a wonderful swimming hole for Moxie), and it was a one and a half mile bicycle ride on back roads to REI (where Mary will work part time). The photo showed a wooden storage building, some privacy fence, a concrete patio, a grassy yard area and a level parking pad. While it wasn't the most beautiful RV lot I have seen, it was less than 1/3 the cost of the RV Park.

This was beginning to sound too good to be true. I decided to check out the neighborhood on Google Earth and the crime map for the area. Google Earth is a great tool for checking out neighborhoods. The "rv lot" was located in an area of older single wide mobile homes and small houses. In general, the yards were neat. Vehicles were mostly older pickup trucks. The road it was on ran alongside a main road. It was not as nice of setting as the RV park, it did not have a laundry onsite, there did not appear to be a good place for me and Moxie to walk, but I still wasn't ready to rule it out.

The Missoula crime map, showed that two violent offenders lived in the neighborhood. The crime maps gives names and other pertinent data. I googled both names. One was a sixty year old habitual DUI offender. The second was a little more interesting. His crime of choice is arson. Last week he was caught with homemade pipe bombs in his vehicle. Based on our past experience with people who want to blow things up, I was no longer as excited about my find.

When Mary got home from work, I showed her the photo and told her what I have found. Mary's interest was a little peaked when I told her about the storage building and the irrigation canal. But when I mentioned the habitual DUI offender and the arsonist / bomb builder neighbors, her slight interest turned to, "absolutely not" and her comments about living near someone who wants to blow things up were not the least bit nice. If you have not been following this blog for several years, you can find out why Mary's response became so heated by checking out The Very Long Very Bad Day Gets Worse.

Looks like we will be living in the expensive, nicely landscaped, safe RV park. Once again, my effort to save us money seems to have failed.