Wow, we are putting up this report only three days after the end of the month, our last post was about Sanibel, and we only left that location this morning. Which means we are caught up to the day on this blog; I’m not sure that has ever happened!
The Distance: 977 miles, not exactly a slow month as we bounced around Florida visiting relatives for the holidays, but at least a slow down from last months’ more than 1800 miles. December will see further reduced mileage as we settle in Central Florida for a few weeks before working our way towards Key West. We are up to 9208 for the year, and I doubt we will even break 10K.
The Places: Basically, we repeatedly ran along two legs of a triangle between SW, SE, and Central Florida, starting with a one night stop over at Club Naples RV Resort en route to Coral Springs. From there it was up the east coast, pausing for a couple of nights each at Port St Lucie RV Resort and Patrick AFB’s Family Camp before hitting a new county park, Lake Monroe, north of Orlando. We took a side tour up to Silver Springs State Park in Ocala before returning to what may be our new “go to” campground in the region, Lake Monroe again. Then it was back to Coral Springs for Thanksgiving, across the state to Club Naples RV to participate in a couple of markets, and finally up to one of our favorite RV Resorts, Periwinkle Park on Sanibel Island.
We have gone four months straight without drycamping. Partly this is because there are so many park options in Florida (and November is not yet peak season so there are openings,) but also because we found a great deal in Central Florida at Lake Monroe Park: less than $17 a night for power and water. Oh yeah, also because its Florida, and its too damn hot to go without AC. We had full hook ups for 13 days, electric/water connections for 9, and stayed in relatives houses for 8. We were in private campgrounds for 8 days, public parks for 12 (9 county, 3 state), military facilities for 2.
The Budget: A great month for our finances, supplemented as they were by five farmers markets. We closed out 11% under budget for the month, which gives us a reasonable chance of being under for the year, depending on how December goes. This was a mostly hick-up free month: only two full fill ups for Serenity, one reasonable medical bill, and a taxpayer subsidized low cost vet bill for PKM’s annual check up and shots while at Patrick AFB. In addition to the five markets, our budget was assisted by the eight days of free parking at Xavier and Joy’s, and nine days at the very affordable Lake Monroe Park.
As for December, well, its gonna be tough. We already have a $150 medical bill as part of our annual deductible (on the fiscal year calendar.) We also expect to pay at least $250 when we take Serenity into the shop for various electrical work, and it might be more since the house batteries may need replacement. And of course, there is some sort of minor holiday this month that involves expenses. This is why we decided to go “all in” on markets until Christmas, hoping to offset some of these expenses. We shall see!
The Drama: Well, our electrical problems are back with a vengeance. The 120 volt system doesn’t seem to work on a 50 amp shore power circuit and our 12 volt system doesn’t work at all when we are disconnected from power and not running a generator. But these sort of problems pale in comparison to what we experienced in The Big Kahuna, so we are not worried, particularly since we have an extended warranty. And speaking of Kahuna, I have had two people come out to look at him and several other calls or emails, so here’s hoping hes with new owners by the end of 2016.
The Improvements: Nothing specific to the RV to report, but we have beefed up our vendor display kit for the various markets at which we sell Rosemarie’s jewelry. We are using two full tables for display racks with more hanging from the tent frames.