The Distance: 1,154 miles, our least amount of movement in a month yet, obviously because we left the bus in the repair shop for three weeks. Our total distance since the start of fulltime RVing at the beginning of the year: 6,556 miles. Of course, if you count our plane flight to Hawaii…
The Places: Since leaving Death Valley on April 1st we had a night of mechanical failure induced stealth camping behind the gas station in Barstow, a short and unfortunate day in Joshua Tree National Park followed by a pleasant but expensive night at an RV Resort in Indio, and then three nights at Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield. The bus then spent three weeks between two different repair shops, Bay Cities Diesel and Coach Maintenance Company, while we stayed at Rosemarie’s sister’s house, interspersed with a eight day trip to Hawaii. Of the five nights on the road we had hookup sites for four and boondocked one. So in terms of “cool RVing,” April was a bust, but in terms of family visits and vacations, it was a great month.
The Budget: Totally, completely blew the budget due to the Hawaii trip. Though we paid almost nothing for the plane tickets, it was the hotel and entertainment expenses accounted for 56% of our expenditures for this month, and resulted in us being about 75% over our planned monthly budget. Inexcusable and unsustainable. We have resolved that come hell or high water we will be under budget in May and June to get our annual expenditure rate back on track.
The Drama: So much of it. Clearly, the complete loss of reverse gear on April Fool’s Day after a morning of dead battery stress and a failure to secure an RV spot in Joshua Tree makes that day the worst of the month. Things improved from there even as The Big Kahuna’s battery charging worsened. We stumbled into a perfect stealth camping site, put out the urgent word on Busnuts.com for a mechanic in the Bay Area, and nursed the bus all the way to San Francisco.
The Improvements: Major power steering fluid leak fixed, reverse gear restored, and top gear (overdrive) transition significantly improved. Those are big, though perhaps only the last one is an improvement since the first two were simply repairs of things that broke that month.