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Thursday, January 3, 2013

PDD Exposed

Ever since my good friend Sherry hung this moniker on me, it has seemed to get around the RV blogging world.  PDD appears on other people's blogs and I often get emails and comments from folks asking me what "PDD" means.

PDD is an acronym for Paul Dahl Disorder, meaning that I drive way too many miles in a day in our Journey.

I think a little history is needed to explain how I came down with this "malady".  All my working life, I've had to travel some distances to get to work.  Only twice in my career was I close enough to walk to work, the rest of my career I put either some serious miles or time in cars getting to the job. 
I did one tour in Governors Island, NY (an island in New York Harbor where the Coast Guard had a base) where I had to drive 56 miles one way into the New York City, then catch a ferry to the island.  I read a lot of books during those travel days, usually went through a book a week just sitting in traffic in the Holland Tunnel.
My last tour I traveled 165 miles to work (one way) every day for over three years.  Yes, I know that was nuts, but it was better than selling the house and moving when the housing market was at the bottom of the barrel.  If we had sold the house then, it would have been the end for our fulltime RV life, so the sacrifice was worth it. 
So some of this extreme travel has transitioned over to our RV life.  Before I retired, we'd often take trips in our RVs that covered great distances.  One trip we took in 2002 was out west from our Virginia home to the Grand Canyon, Vegas and Carlsbad Caverns, places that Marti had never been to.  We did it in 12 days, because that was all the time we had.  It was a great trip despite the distances we had to drive every day and almost all our pictures were through the windshield.  It was on that trip that I set my all time record for a day's travel:  758 miles.
In later years, it was not uncommon for us to drive several hundred miles on a weekend.  We did a number of trips from Northern Virginia to Disney World in Florida in two days (861 miles).  We wanted to make the most of our limited time at our destination.
In 2008, I drove my son Ryan and his family from Virginia to Astoria, Oregon to his new Coast Guard duty station in twelve days.  Ryan helped with the driving and we actually stopped and saw some things along the way.  My dad flew out to Oregon to ride back with me for the return trip as Marti was working. 
Unfortunately, I got a call from my Coast Guard unit that I had to be back earlier that originally planned for an important meeting that had been scheduled.  So PDD kicked in and we covered the distance from the Oregon coast back to my home in Virginia in five and a half days (about 3000 miles).  It just seemed that all I did was put diesel fuel in the tank and drive.  My dad got some great naps in, though. 
Of course the "important" meeting turned out to be a bust.  Figures.
We started our full time travels in the dead of winter with our destination being back to our  Oregon son's family in  time for Christmas while traveling across the Northern states.  We were going to stop in South Dakota to register our vehicles and get our licenses when our plans changed.  An alternator failure knocked three days off our travel time and we had to kick PDD in again to make it to Oregon in time for Christmas, all the way being chase by or dodging winter weather.
We tend to be destination travelers at this point.  We'll put long travel days in (using Walmarts or Flying Js to overnight) to get where we want to be so we'll have more time to enjoy our stays.  We've found that being retired does not slow down your life, it speeds it up.  Our calender is filling up just like it always had and we wonder how we ever did things when we both were working full time.
Right now, we're slowed down a bit.  We're here in South Carolina for a month, with a car trip North to Pennsylvania mid month for our Coast Guard son's promotion ceremony and party.  We're going to have to hotel it a night each way (yuk) but it is more cost effective than taking the Journey into the colder winter weather.
We may be extending our stay longer due to some medical issues that I'm working with at the Veteran's Hospital here.  Right now I'm at Camping World having the broken awning motor repaired, it is 8 miles from our campground and it felt good to be behind the wheel again.  :c)
Hopefully, this new year will find us not traveling as many miles as last year (18,500).  That calender may be filling up, but the destinations are closer together.  Maybe all those oil companies that earned a windfall profit last year from all the diesel fuel I bought will see a dip in their earnings.
Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Thanks for the great story clarifying your moniker. Sounds like you have the disorder in check now--for the most part. Wishing you the best regarding your health issues.

  2. I think that's the trick. Having your destinations closer together :) We've been full-timing for a little over 2 years and just reached the 17,000 mile mark. I can't imagine doing that in one years time. I think I'd need a very long nap!
    Hope your medical issues are minor and that you're good to go shortly.

  3. We've never really suffered from PDD. The only time we came close was when I needed to get back to Montana for my Dad's funeral. And we aren't destination travelers. We want to just enjoy the journey in between. But having your destinations closer together is a great way to travel. Good luck with the medical issues. We don't like those any more.

  4. I think you need to submit "PDD" to wikipedia. Then others will know how to properly diagnose their ailment.

    Hope to see ya on the road this year.

  5. I think we've had PDD even before the rest of us knew what it was. We've done a few non-stop trips to Phoenix from Portland in years past. We've also done a few trips from there to San Antonio Texas and returned in less than 2 weeks. Those are travel times we have no plans of repeating. However, when we want to go someplace now, we do have trouble holding back the reins.

  6. I'm certainly glad I was able to give a name to this apparently long standing disorder. Now that I see how long you've had it, I dispair of your ever being "cured"! Those numbers had me in shock! BUT however it works for you, you are certainly doing a great job of enjoying your "free time"!

  7. Yup! I have always been a destination person. When living in California, I would drive from Salinas to Bakersfield (and back!) in one day just to visit friends. That is a 4 hour, one way trip. Everywhere in CA is a long drive! It is one of those things, that when you are used to it, is hard to cure.

  8. At least you're retired now and have the freedom to choose how many miles you want to drive.

  9. I use to be able to travel those kind of miles in a day, but not anymore with my lower back challenges...hope your medical and mechanical challenges are solved quickly so that you can get on to PDD again.

  10. Well, I guess we had PDD during our first go round of full-timing...245 campgrounds in one year;o(( We found out that didn't work for us and this time we are doing much better;o))

    Hope everything gets fixed that needs to be fixed and we get to see you sometime this winter in Florida!!!

  11. Man you travel a lot, don’t you? That's one thing I'd really love to do when I finally retire: Being able to go to places with my family. Only on weekends though because for sure some family members will not be free on weekdays but I will surely maximize our time traveling just like you do. Get well soon. :)

    Tobias Thrash

  12. PDD is a very useful malady when needed in emergencies. Mo and I have had that one, too, sometimes. Other times we work hard to keep our daily miles to 300. We can do 6 if needed. Daughter Deborah and I did almost 800 in one day on the way to Texas but we were driving a Uhaul. not an RV. Darn!

  13. Excuses, excuses. But seriously, the benefit of fulltime RVing is to travel the way you want to. You have your priorities and they make you happy. (I hope the medical issues are small.)

  14. well apparently its contagious..because we've had PDD travel days also...glad to see your resting up tho..even if it is for medical appts...hope to catch up this winter...its going by soooo fast...

  15. great explanation of your 'disorder'!

  16. That's quite a story about your ailment. It sounds incurable to me though. I think you should just change the 'R Sanity' licence plate to 'In-Sanity'!

  17. We did that Oregon to Virginia run to bring the Phaeton home in 2010 -- had just a week of vacation to do so and we averaged 500-mile days .... wasn't fun, but you do what you have to do when time off from work is limited. Close destinations is the trick ... and that's what we hope to do once we get Red Bay behind us. The dilemma is ... which close destinations to pick ;-)

  18. Paul I think the best thing about FT RVing is that you're free to choose how (and how far) you wish to travel. I say, if PDD works for you, then that's great. I know it doesn't work for me and that's great too.
    Hopefully, your medical problems will be taken care of quickly.
    Be safe!

  19. We had a family friend when I was growing up. He was a truck driver by trade and when he was "off" he spent all his time driving. I don't think PDD is curable.

    It's good that both you and Marti like to travel long distances in a day and whatever works for you.