It surely can’t be the end of ’15 and the beginning of ’16 yet, can it? This year has flown by with exceptional speed. Even in the middle of our extended stay in Milwaukee I kept thinking how can the year be passing so quickly.
The year of Waiting
For us ’15 was undoubtedly the year of waiting.
In a colder than usual S. Texas winter we waited for the warm weather. Then we waited to get out of there when I was feeling poorly and the heat and humidity finally spiked. Then we arrived in Oregon and ended up waiting a month on RV repairs. When we headed East we got as far as Idaho, slipped and fell, then waited for my ankle to heal sufficiently to move on. We arrived in Minneapolis and waited on family to show up. Most of the summer passed without undue waiting, but then we waited all the way through Sept, Oct, and November for the release to travel. It surely has been the year of waiting.
Has all that waiting changed how we feel about RV’ing? Not really. Much of the waiting could easily have occurred if we were living in sticks & bricks. I used to wait for the seasons to pass every year— having always hated winter and not gotten much Spring in Wisconsin either.
The biggest changes this year were two fold.
- While we continued to ‘camp’ pretty much as we usually do, we did have two long stays in RV parks. One of those was by choice, the other was because there weren’t good options. But the rest of the year we did our thing at smaller and federal/state properties.
- We made physical changes to the coach.
- In the spring we changed out the old toilet and replaced it with a newer one.
- This fall we swapped out the NeverCold absorption fridge for the residential Whirlpool unit.
- And also in the Spring we changed out our old narrow sofa for a recliner chair and small table.
Moving forward into ‘16
Our plans for ’16 are pretty simple.
- check out Florida for three months — or as long as we can tolerate the humidity. We aren’t sure if that is something we’ll enjoy or not but the only way to find out is to try it.
- We head towards Wisconsin in April, making a stop in Milwaukee for a quick (we hope) 24 hours on the heart monitor.
- Then the Summer spent camp hosting in Spring Valley for the Corps of Engineers.
- Late September we run back through Milwaukee for what we hope will be a much shorter annual physical and meds-re-up before heading — most likely — to the SW to see if we like that any better than we like S. Texas or Florida.
It’s possible we may end up ’16 with fewer stops than this year — we’ll see. And the mileage could possibly be lower as well. But never say never and take each day as it comes.
We spent the entire year in our coach with the exception of the +/-2 weeks it took us to drive to and from Milwaukee last March for Peggy’s back surgery. We love our coach and it’s comfy; just right for us.
We drove 6921 miles in the coach. That works out to about 19 miles a day worth of driving. I did way more than that in Milwaukee before going mobile — though not in a diesel pusher.
For the entire year we stopped overnight in a TOTAL of 33 different campgrounds/places. Of those stops, 11 stops kept us in one place more than 7 nights. That averages out to 11 nights per stop (even if some of those stops were overnighters and others lasted several months). And that includes the 7 nights spent with Uncle Wally (after adding in the lasts two unexpected nights this week).
Our towing miles are now up to about 23,000 miles on our CR-V over our 4 years as full-time RV’ers. All of those coach miles were accompanied by tow miles on the car. Old Betsy is starting to show her age (she’s a 2004 with almost 130,000 on the odometer) but she’s still a faithful companion.
I did not track $ / night this year. This would probably be our most expensive camping year thus far. We spent 3 1/2 months at Palmdale paying commercial monthly rates, and then 3 1/2 months in Milwaukee paying commercial monthly rates. Most of the remaining nights were at state park and Corps of Engineer rates. Still, it was a more expensive year for us.
We’re holding pretty close to our self-imposed budget, which is good. We continue to go where we choose. We travel as much (sometimes more) than we really want to. So far RV’ing has been as good and better than we expected.
I have to admit that because of the medical issues we faced this year we have discussed (without taking any action or making any decisions) how long we want to do this. When we first started full-timing the subject of coming off the road was related to long-distant-health-eventualities of which we were having none, zero, bupkiss. This year that changed and it’s prudent for us to at least get the topic out on the table so that if something changes dramatically (or suddenly) that we’ll have a game plan in mind to put into motion. But, we have no intention of getting off the road and we have actually had at least one or two pending discussions about ’17 already. We aren’t making firm plans but we have a sort of objective.
RV’ing is still too good to be true. We are enjoying ourselves (often) so much that we (almost) feel guilty. Certainly, retirement is turning out better than we ever guessed it might.
Is everything perfect. Obviously not. The events of this week speak to that directly. You can make plans, but plans don’t have to make reality! And so far we’re still happy enough to have our plans change and to be able to flow with the changing tides of circumstance.
I hope you have a great year. I have never been one to make resolutions, or such, and holidays come and go often before I know it. So, remembering to wish people Happy New Year isn’t something I always remember to do. But Happy New Year.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.