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Little Log

Subject: Escapees RV Club (Revised 09/20011)

Joe & Kay Peterson (Founders of SKP's)

[Ed Note: Since this was first written, Joe Peterson -- a true pioneer for
the RVer cause -- has passed away. He leaves behind a wonderful wife Kay, a
daughter Cathie Carr, and a grand-daughter Angie that now heads the
organization. Much has changed since these "class notes" were first written; and it has been updated as of September 2011. SKPs is, in our opinion, unique in its genuine representation of RVer interests, and the benefits of membership are many.]

When Joe & Kay Peterson founded SKPs in 1970, there was only one book
about RVing. At our conference today, there are more than 19 different
titles. SKPs is a club dedicated to providing a total support network for
serious RVers. It was originally for full timers, but now is also for those
who are considering a transition into the RV lifestyle.

SKP is an acronym, standing for "Support, Knowledge, Parking". SKP also stands for "Escapee", as that’s what it sounds like if you say the letters quickly!

Its purpose is to meet the needs of Club members. Membership today is 32,00
active member families. 52% are full timers, and the balance are extended
timers or those who aspire to the RV lifestyle.

Headquarters for Club is Livingston, TX. Texas has no state income tax and
is centrally located. This is the site of the first Clubhouse, which offers
100 acres for RV visitors.

One of the key programs offered is the Escapees mail service. It is designed
to meet the needs of RVers with no fixed "home address". 10,000 members now
use this automated mail system. It has its own zip code. 150,000 pieces of
mail are received each week. RVers can either schedule regular forwarding,
or it can be "on demand". The "demand" can be either "only first class", or
everything, or "first class plus my FMCA magazine", etc. Can be sent by
regular mail, FedEx, UPS or certified mail. The only thing they cannot do is
registered mail.

Rainbow's End is the name of the RV park at SKP headquarters in Livingston
Texas. Space is always available, even if you need to have first night w/out
a hookup. This is the "First in First Out" rule, and it means that when
you've been there longer than all other RVers, your name goes to the top of
a list. When new arrivals come, they are relegated to dry camping for the
first night, but guaranteed a hookup site the following day, and the
person(s) at the top of the list may be required to leave.

A portion of the SKP property in Livingston is deeded property that can be
purchased by members who want to have a real home base. Some park an RV,
others build a small house, and others construct a shelter, called RV
Chalets, to provide shade/protection for an RV.

When SKPs started building their own parks, they first used the "co-op"
format. RVers would own one share in a non-profit corporation, and would be
assigned a lot. Ameneties (hookups, etc) were actually built in by the
owners. The 120 owners required to build the first park sold out
immediately. Eventually 11 coop parks were constructed. The 11 original
coops are individually owned. They all have waiting lists. Because the parks
didn't provide enough flexibility for travelling SKPs, the "coop" format was
abandoned, and all subsequent parks are owned by a "for profit" corporation
and managed by the club. These are the "Rainbow" parks. A typical fee is
$10-$12 night plus electricity. FIFO (explained above) rule ensures you'll
never have more than one night boondocking, as others will have to leave the
day after you arrive.

Some Rainbow Parks have ERPU sites available. Sites can be leased for 5
years by an individual who then has exclusive rights to use that site in the
park. There will be a monthly maintenance fee assessed to cover the cost of
security and management. If a person wishes to withdraw before his 5 years
are up, he can get his money back if there is someone willing to take his
lot. After the 5 year period, withdrawal equals a full refund.

As a full timer, you need an address. It becomes your "home". That's one of
the main purposes of the mail service -- i.e., to help satisfy legal
requirements of full timers. To get TX drivers license, need to physically
go there for the first license issue. Thereafter, by mail is okay.
Registration of vehicles in TX usually requires presence of vehicles, but if
done through SKPs, the headquarters in Livingston, TX can help arrange for
registration by mail -- i.e., without requirement that the vehicle be
brought into TX.

[Note: Other courses which have focused on issues of "residency" for full
timers suggest that this issue is extremely complex, with issues of state
law differing among various jurisdiction. We believe each full time RVer
should review carefully all circumstances which bear on a determination of

Every year, SKPs hold "Escapades". These typically run from Sunday mornings
to Friday mornings, and are full hookup camping. Here you can attend
seminars, or shop in a craft market for items made by individuals. Craft
sessions are very popular -- they average 400 people a day in crafts. In
addition to individual SKP chapters, they also have something called Birds
of a Feather (BOF). At an Escapade, if someone thinks of an area of common
interest, it will be posted. If 6 persons or more sign up, the area will be
hosted. Existing BOFs range from birdwatching to nudism!

Escapees CARE Center
The Escapees CARE Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (tax-exempt) corporation
formed in 1992 and is under the guidance of a volunteer board of directors.
The nonprofit designation means your donations are tax deductible.

CARE was designed for the full- or part-time RVer when he/she/they cannot
take care of their own or their spouse's needs following an illness, injury,
surgery, or the progression of a long-term health situation. It is located
in Livingston, Texas, in an area adjoining the Rainbow's End campground, and
it is called CARE (Continuing Assistance for Retired Escapees). Its mission
is to provide a safe haven with professional assistance at affordable prices
for members whose travels are temporarily interrupted because of health
problems, or are permanently ended because of age or lessened capacities for

CARE is a place where you will receive professional help for the things you
may no longer be able to do. It is not a nursing home. Its goal is to delay
or eliminate the need for a nursing home. Escapees Care Inc is also a state
licensed adult day care facility for the RVing and Livingston communities.
There are some social services and programs for seniors, with Alzheimer's
day care, and has a program nurse on site during the week.

The program is on a month-to-month basis, so no long-term contracts are
necessary. Pets are allowed under 50 pounds, as well as certified working
dogs. The current (June 2010) cost is $800 a month for a single person and
$1200 for two, for full hook-ups, transport to doctors and hospitals and
three meals per day at the modern activities center, which also has
large-screen TVs, meeting rooms, a full kitchen, and showers. There are 35
RV spaces.

Volunteers help make the program affordable - much of the cooking, cleaning
and driving services are performed by teams of volunteers, who get free
parking for their month or more assignments. Yes, please volunteer!!!

Read more at http://www.escapeescare.org/Questions.asp

CARE holds an Annual Health Fair, with blood testing and general physical
evaluations done by local doctors. This is especially beneficial to those
who are still on the road, providing a place to go to get a routine