The distance: 1299 miles since leaving Key West, and we haven’t even gotten out of the Florida! Based on one full tank calculation, we seem to be getting 8.8mpg, but I will have the opportunity to recheck that within the next week since we are getting down close to a quarter tank of diesel.
The places: 14 stops throughout Florida, gradually working our way North, visiting friends and family in nearly every location. The frequent moves from park to park have allowed us to narrow down the list of places we will use when we return to Florida next winter for what we think will be a three-month stay.
The budget: We are under budget! Well, sort of. In December of 2013 we took a stab at a monthly budget, establishing some baseline numbers for things like RV park fees, diesel, entertainment, etc. As predicted, we are way over the planned for $450 per month RV Park line item, having spent $996, an average of over $32 per night. This includes the four different change reservation fees and one national park entrance fee. Of course, we did a lot less dry-camping/boondocking than we plan to do in later months, and Florida parks in the winter are quite pricey, so hopefully this line item will come back into budget as we move West. We kept our other items sufficiently conservative to make up for busting the park fees: diesel prices having dropped so much that we are well under the planned $450 per month there, we kept our entertainment expenses way down, and have not yet established a satellite TV subscription. We are fudging the budget a bit in that we don’t count any preplanned bus renovations or repairs (all fo which were supposed to have been completed before we started!) for which we set aside money last year, such as the new set of tires.
The drama: Our six new Michelin tires are fantastic, but we could have done without the post install problems involving the nearly missing hub cap and deflated tires. We have completely emptied and reorganized the underside storage areas at least three times, fought with light plumbing leaks, learned a few hard lessons about drycamping, and most recently discovered, after hours of trouble shooting and time spent on the phone with the manufacturer, that our satellite TV antenna will probably require a “newish” receiver (newer than the unsupported model currently installed, but old enough to still be compatible with the 14-year-old antenna) in order to get it working at all. All in all those are pretty small problems, so we hope that our drama level remains that low for the rest of the year.