45 Months Fulltiming: September 2018 Report

The Distance:  2,270 miles!  The most of any month this year, one of our biggest ever.  We made our great casino run from Michigan through Wisconsin and into Iowa, then turned east through Indiana before shooting due south all the way to Georgia.  Total for the year is up to 8,286.  Pretty sure we will crack 10K before New Years.

Google route maps only allow ten points, which made creating this screen shot a bit challenging.  That’s a lot of movement for us!

The Places:  We spent our last night at the Marquette Tourist Park before making our casino run, which finished with a one night stay at HoChunk Gaming in Nekoosa.  After another one nighter in a Walmart lot, we had five days at Hickory Park outside of Ames, Iowa to visit daughter Andrea.  We had another one night stay, this time at Condit’s Ranch, before beginning our eight day window repair stop in Elkhart, Indiana.  We turned south to meet up with Dad and Marcia in Brown County, Indiana before Rose flew to Virginia and I took the rig south.  I had a relaxing few days at the Arnold Air Force Base Family Camp in Tennesee before pushing on to Snellville, outside Atlanta, to pick up Rosemarie and hand out with cousin Marissa and family.  We finished the month with a four day stay at Wanee Lake Golf and RV Resort.

Saw an awful lot of asphalt this month.

All told this month we spent 9 days in a public parks (6 county, 3 state,) 6 in private parks, 3 at military bases, 9 in parking lots or repair facilities, and 3 in the driveway of family.   Some of that was just me while Rosemarie stayed with family in VA for five days.  We had full hook ups for 5 days, partial for 18 day (surprisingly, 15 was electric only, and three with power and water) and dry camped for 7.

Lakefront site at Hickory Grove outside of Ames, Iowa.

The Budget:  Sadly, almost 28% over budget.  The amount of miles we put in meant spending a whole lot at the gas pump this month.  That combined with $570 on tires for Serenity and our new Captains Chairs left our finances a bit stretched.  We are still under for the year, but since we have some significant repair and upgrade work in mind once we reach Florida, it’s going to be a real challenge to stay that way.  We only had one market this month, right before we left Marquette, but will pick up the pace with weekly events starting in late October and continuing on until just before Christmas.  Hopefully that will get us back on track.

My high tech planning and budgeting tool.

The Drama and the Improvements:   Oh yes, we had some of this.  If you read this post, you already know the story.  It started with excessive wind noise inside the rig whenever we got up to speed, the investigation of which revealed a large gap between the top right corner of the windshield gasket and the frame of the motorhome.  This is the same spot that had come loose previously, with that windshield repair less than a year old.  We duck taped the gap until we could be in one spot long enough to arrange for a fix.  We were relieved to find that Duncan Systems, the company contracted by our insurance agency (Progressive) to do the previous windshield accepted this as warranty work.

I’ve pulled part of it down, but you can still see some of the duct tape above the windshield.

On our last day in Ames, Iowa we drove to a glass shop, thinking this would be a relatively easy job.  Unfortunately, Duncan Systems had not adequately explained the scope of the work, and upon arrival this local shop said it would be at least a half day job and they could not fit us in until after the weekend.  We skipped it and made arrangements with Duncan to do the work at our next destination, Elkhart, Indiana.

Looking out the front of our rig, windshield removed.

There began our eight day fiasco at Master Tech RV.  We parked overnight in their lot so as to be ready for inspection first thing in the morning, as arranged.  Upon examination, they informed us that the gasket needed to be replaced to do this right, and it took Duncan two days to get it to us, even though it was only 15 miles away.  Once installed, the left half of the windshield cracked!  It took Duncan systems three days to get us a replacement, but once received was installed the same day, and we were able to be on our way after a few hours of cure time.

Morning fog outside of Master Tech RV’s warehouse repair facility.

We also had tire issues.  Back in Ames I had purchased a used tire to replace the inside right rear, very bald tire, thinking that a one year old used one would better match up tread-wise with the one year old outside tire.  Less than 800 miles later this tire completely failed, requiring me to nurse the rig up a back road for 9 miles to a truck tire shop, where, $350 and one hour later they had me back on the road.

Beefy new drive tire.

In the area of upgrades rather than repairs, while in Elkhart we stopped by the RV Furniture Outlet and purchased new captain’s chair to replace the horrific looking ones we have been living with.  This was badly needed, but had we known about the amount of repair work we would be facing in the coming months we might have skipped this improvement.

Our monthly reports so far this year:

January Monthly Report

February Monthly Report

March Monthly Report

April Monthly Report

May Monthly Report

June Monthly Report

July Monthly Report

August Monthly Report

And here are our 20172016, and 2015 annual summaries which include monthly report links.

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