Today marks our first anniversary of our full time life on the road, and Marti hasn’t even smothered me with a pillow (yet). It’s been a whirlwind of traveling for us, but we knew we’d cover some distances this first year. To say we’ve had fun is an understatement. This is working out very well for us and we’ve been able to see and do some wonderful things.
For a recap, we started off when I picked Marti up from her office completing her last day of work.
We headed North for a visit with our son Corey and DIL Amanda in NJ for a few days to organize the inside of the Journey.
Then off we went on our way to Oregon to see son Ryan and DIL Amber and the girls. In no time we hit our first speed bump, an alternator failure resulting in our staying at a Freightliner shop in PA for three days.
Once the repair was completed, we drove on through great scenery and some snow, fortunately none was on the roads as we traveled.
We arrived in Astoria, OR and spent three weeks and Christmas with Ryan’s family, parked in his driveway.
After leaving Oregon, we headed down the West Coast to San Diego and visited some of my cousins whom I hadn’t seen in years.
Rolling again we went on to Quartzsite for the January RV show and meeting some fellow Escapees and blogging friends.
We then traveled East, and spent what seemed like weeks driving through Texas (that’s one BIG state) to Florida and then up to South Carolina for a “rest”.
During our “rest” period, we took the grandsons to Disney World,
then a trip to Sioux Falls to get our South Dakota residency taken care of.
A visit to Marti’s sister Gail in August found us parked (?!) in her driveway in Rhode Island for a month, then back and forth to visit the kids in NJ, PA and SC. September we were off again to Branson with my dad and Marti’s sister Gail.
This year, we also welcomed two new members to our family, granddaughters Rebekah,
It’s been an amazing year! There has been so many thing we’ve seen and done, so many cool places we visited, so many great friends we’ve spent time with. I won’t bore you with those details, but here are a few statistics. We knew we’d be doing some serious traveling this first year, so they are not going to be the norm for us all the time.
We covered 18,100 miles around the U.S., traveling in and/or staying in 23 states, some several times. We used 2586 gallons of diesel fuel for an average of 7 mpg and spent approximately $10,085 based on an approximate average cost per gallon of $3.90. (You’re welcome, JB, my retired oil executive friend).
We budgeted $750/month for diesel and we averaged $840/month, so we were not too far over budget despite all the travel. For campgrounds, we budgeted $750/month and we came in well under that for our monthly average. We took advantage of boondocking in AZ, some overnights at Walmarts and Flying Js, as well as family driveways, military campgrounds and Passport America campgrounds, all which helped reduce our camping costs.
We had three unanticipated repairs on the Journey, the alternator and the dash computer failure, both covered mostly under our extended warranty. The awning motor is still awaiting repairs. Scheduled maintenance ran about $500, an oil change and chassis service at Freightliner, Gaffney, SC. The Element needed a new starter ($750) and radiator ($450), paid for out of our miscellaneous fund.
We’ve pretty much stayed to our budget, with one category that we’ve blown over every month: Food. We eat out often and that skewed what we thought we’d be spending. It is a controllable expense, now that we’re slowing down our travels, we’ll not eat out quite as much.
Now, on to the next year’s adventures. We’re looking forward to heading to Florida in January, Key West is in our sights for a month or two. Where else will we go? We’ll let you know when we know, so stay with us.
Full time life is working out well for us and if all else fails, Marti still has that pillow handy… ;c)
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