Yeah yeah, I know, it’s already 2016 and we are just getting to November’s report. But aside from these tedious reports our last post on Rambler’s Rest pretty much caught us up in terms of our actual campground stops.
The Distance: 1916 miles, a pretty solid month of cross country progress, especially considering that The Big Kahuna was stationary for nine days around the Thanksgiving holiday. We continued south and east in accordance with our ever-evolving route back to Florida. We also had our 550 mile round trip journey to Virginia. Our annual total distance for The Big Kahuna is distance for the year is 14,173 miles.
The Places: We finished up a three day stay in Clinton State Park in Kansas followed by two days at Roaring River SP in Missouri, a far too short one day stop in Oklahoma’s Natural Falls State Park, four days at Hot Spring National Park, an overnighter in Tennessee before crossing into Kentucky to see Mammoth Cave National Park. We had two unfortunate days in Pigeon Forge, TN, before finally reaching the eastern seaboard with three day stay in South Carolina’s Sesquicentennial State Park, during which we picked up Pad Kee Meow and visited Congaree National Park. We turned slightly north headed for Wilmington with a two day stop at Carrollwoods RV Park in Tabor City, NC, after which The Big Kahuna needed a tow into TTT Truck Repair in Wilmington. During that week we took Loki to visit Linda and Jayson in Chesapeake, VA before returning to NC for my mom’s Big Red Wine Birthday bash and Thanksgiving. We closed out the month with a stop in James Island County Park outside of Charleston, SC. We stayed with family for nine days, in private parks for seven, and public (national, state, and county) parks for 14. During the 21 days in campgrounds we had full hook ups for eleven days, partial (power or power and water) for eight, and drycamped for two.
The Budget: With our continued acknowledgement that it is artificial, discounting repairs to The Big Kahuna we came in 6% under budget. Yeah us. Now that we have purchased a newer motorhome, we will begin maintaining a more realistic and honest budget that incorporates repairs and upgrades, but since we will be selling The Big Kahuna all expenditure related to his repair will go in a separate ledger. Otherwise, we kept on budget this month due to limited expenditures on entertainment, only having to fill the huge diesel tank once, staying at the incredibly affordable state parks in the midwest, and using that passport America rate for all four of the private RV parks
The Drama: It wouldn’t be Shell On Wheels without bus drama, now would it? We managed to avoid it with our hill climbs getting out of Roaring River and Sesquicentennial State Parks, but they were close run things with The Big Kahuna really struggling to get up both grades. We didn’t know it at the time, but thi was a symptom of degraded internal transmission pressure which would come to full failure the next month. We had our nearly catastrophic stuck tire in Pigeon Forge. And, of course, we had a combination of starter and transmission problems crop up again in North Carolina, leading to another tow and a starter replacement.
The Improvements: Well, we have a new starter, and that’s it.