61 Months Fulltiming: January 2020 Report

The Distance: One mile as we moved from dry camp to the “Hollywood” section of full hook ups.  This brings out 2020 mileage to (checks notes) one mile.

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This is our four year old Weber Q1000 grill, which gets heavy use; i”m talking every other day or so.  Rather than a typical cleaning, I decided it needed a full breakdown, ultra deep cleaning.

The Places: All 31 days we were at Sigsbee Campbround in Key West.  We spent 17 days in dry camp with no services, and 14 days with full hook ups.  And obviously, all 31 days were in a military campground.

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Total disassembly, which allowed me to really get in places I would not otherwise be able to reach.  I used Grill Cleaner (mostly useless) Grate Cleaner (decent) and Oven Cleaner (the best for unpainted surfaces.)

The Budget: Almost 21% under budget; a great way to start the year.  Parking the rig in one spot for the month means reduced gas expenditures, plus the rate we are paying for our campground spot is quite low.  We didn’t deny ourselves much during this month, so if not for a successful market and a refund from our cancelled April international trip, we would have been over budget.

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About 90% done with the grates at this point.  Took a lot of elbow grease and multiple applications of grill and oven cleaner to remove the carbonized layers.

The Drama and the Improvements:  Just getting a little something off my chest: Ever since Hurricane Irma devastated the Lower Keys in 2017, rules and patterns have been changing at NASKW as the base adjusted to new conditions and new leadership enacted their preferred policies.  I’m not gonna pretend to be objective on this; I think nearly every change has been for the worse, and significantly so:

  • For the winter of 2018-2019, they changed the “first come, first serve” policy to a reservation system that was disastrously implemented and almost completely unnecessary; at the absolute peak season you might have to wait one or two nights for an opening under FCFS, but now we are stuck with an incompetently run reservation system.
  • For 2019-2020 season the reservation system had barely improved, e.g., you could call and be told they simply did not have a 30 day, much less a 90 day availability, hang up, call back immediately and get a different person who magically found a 90 day opening.  They also added the wonderful feature wherein multiple RVers were assigned to tent only sites.
  • The base Community Center, a heavy use facility supporting many weekly events for both active and retired personnel, was handed over completely to the base chaplain, who implemented rigorous restrictions on the use of the building for events other than his Sunday services.  Disgraceful.

As for improvements, we got the RV washed and waxed, and, as you can see from the pics, did a complete breakdown and cleaning of our wonderful Weber Q1000 grill.

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Ready for reassembly.  About the only thing the Grill Cleaner was good for was the plastic pieces.