We are into our second year living in an RV full time! Catch our 2015 in review here. And after a flurry of posts over the last ten days we are officially caught up on this blog. After this report we will be able to start posting some less time critical things, such as our plans for the rest of 2016, an analysis of the value of individual services at full hook up campgrounds, discussion of generator use options and how that relates to the decision to install solar power or not, and our experimentation with a new campground membership program.
The Distance: 442 miles, which is in keeping with our plan to slow things down this year. Last year we averaged 1,244 miles per month, or 1,835 if you only count the just over eight months we actually lived lived in the motorhomes. This year we doubt there will be many months with over a thousand miles, and the year will probably have less than 10K.
The Places: After a night at Bill & Momma Bayba’s to start the new year, we stopped by a new (for us) state park in Laurel, FL: Oscar Scherer State Park for a five day stay. Back to the Bayba’s driveway for a couple of nights, then it was another week at Periwinkle RV on Sanibel Island, before cutting across the state to stay with Xavier and Joy for twelve days. Finally, we made the run to the Sigsbee Campground on the Naval Air Facility at Key West where we will spend February and part of March. The Big Kahuna remains in North Charleston for his transmission rebuild. We stayed with family for three days, in private parks for six, in public (state in this case) parks for five, driveway parking for twelve, and on a military campground for five. So for the 28 days we lived in our RV this month we had full hook ups for six, partial (at least 30 amp power or power and water) for five, and drycamped for seventeen.
The Budget: We started the new year off right by staying 11% under budget. As mentioned in our 2015 Review, we have shifted to a daily accounting of all expenditures, and purchase of nice to have items must wait until we have built up enough reserve. So our 11% under was despite having made a couple of mildly expensive purchases that took up roughly 15% of the monthly allotment. Fifteen days staying with relatives or in their driveways for free helped quite a lot, allowing us to keep our campground expense below $19 per day, averaged. February will be a tougher challenge; we are paying a motorhome loan now, and a couple of unexpected medical bills from our various appointments last fall caught up with us and will need to be paid now.
The Drama: A couple of minor problems: I bent one of the awning arms when I brushed a tree limb that turned out to be way thicker than I expected, and the microwave stopped microwaving (it still makes noise and rotates the plate, but no actual heating occurs. Damn science oven.) Since the awning arm still works and microwaves are pretty cheap, we are not particularly worried about either issue, confident we can get them taken care of at a reasonable cost.
Sure, The Big Kahuna transmission rebuild and eventual sale continues to hang over us, but assuming we can at least get him fixed, in a safe storage area, and advertised for sale before we start moving north this spring, then at least we will know things are moving in the right direction.
The Improvements: Again, minor stuff: We made a series of updates and overhauls to our various blog tabs (Geocaching, Where Are We Now, About Us & Our Rigs), found a better way to stow the bikes behind the RV, and we finally got around to purchasing a compact wireless printer. The old Canon printed just fine, but only from Rosemarie’s old MacBook; we couldn’t break the code to get it to connect wirelessly to our other devices, and it took up so much space. Our criteria for a new printer were pretty simple: basic black & white and color printing of regular sized paper, easily connectable to a wireless network, and most importantly, it must take up but a little space. The last requirement basically triples the price, but we now have a fantastic little Canon Pixma IP110. It only takes up about 1/8th of a cubic foot, so it is ideal for RVers.
So that’s it for our thirteenth month. If interested you can read the twelve reports from 2015 via the links at the bottom of the 2015 in Review post. Next up, our plans for the rest of the year.