Wrapping up 2015 with this monthly report, not to be confused with our separate and soon to come “2015 in Review” which will include additional information such as some of our lessons learned and favorite locations and parks.
The Distance: 753 miles, one of our shorter months, really. Of note is that most of that mileage was in the new motorhome, Serenity. The Big Kahuna remained in Charleston for the transmission rebuild, while we headed south through Georgia and back into Florida. Our annual total distance for The Big Kahuna is distance for the year is 14,926 miles, all but 727 in the old bus.
The Places: We spent the first week at two North Charleston repair centers, WW Williams and General Diesel before buying our new motorhome and continuing south. After a one night stopover at Golden Isles RV Resort in Brunswick, we reentered Florida, crossing southwest to Trimble County Park in Mount Dora. From there we continued SW into the Venice area for a short stay to visit relatives before heading south to one of our favorite parks, Periwinkle RV on Sanible Island. After a full week there we returned to Venice for a week stay at Rambler’s Rest. We stayed with family for two days, in private parks for eighteen, in public (national, state, and county) parks for three, in parking lots for seven, and in a hotel for one. So for the 28 days we lived in our RV this month we had full hook ups for eighteen, partial (power or power and water) for three, and drycamped for seven.
The Budget: We took out a loan to buy the new motorhome, the repayment of which will of course be included as part of our monthly bills. Knowing this, we really started cracking down on our spending, shifting from a somewhat half hazard monthly or weekly accounting to a daily spending limit: Income minus monthly recurring bills, minus 1/12th of annual recurring bills, the result divided by days in the month. All significant purchases must wait until we have built up enough positive balance to buy them.
Tightening the belt allowed us to stay slightly under budget in December despite the expensive private RV resort stays and the usual holiday expenditures. The relatively short mileage, cheap price of gas, smaller tank on the new motorhome, nine days dry camping or in a relative’s driveway, and significant Passport-America discount at Rambler’s Rest and Golden Isles helped a lot as well. The Big Kahuna expenditures will remain in a separate ledger until he is sold.
The Drama: The Big Kahuna’s big transmission failure and subsequant week sorting it out was our biggest incident, though buying a new used motorhome probably counts as drama as well. Once we started south in Serenity, we had very little if any, just the usual process of learning a new vehicle and adjusting to it.
The Improvements: A new motorhome! We hope our 2007 Four Winds Hurricane 34S will result in much less drama, and since it is generally new, we don’t anticipate doing much in the way of improvements to it.