Monday, September 22, 2014

A Most Welcome Anticlimax: Almost Nothing Went Wrong!

During our three months and two weeks on the road this year, we covered 5,905 miles towing our 5th wheel, and 2,725 miles with the truck on its own, for a total of 8,630 miles.  Given last year’s troublesome fiascoes, and this year’s run up to our departure, who could blame me for being nervous that many other shoes would drop during our travels?

To my sheer surprise, delight, and relief, I am happy to report that the truck and 5th wheel performed close to perfection!  Only two things went wrong the whole time, neither of which was a big deal. Three weeks into the trip, one of the tires on the RV had a valve go bad, causing the tire to lose air while we were on the highway.  Fortunately, the tire pressure monitoring system alerted us to the problem, and we were only a few miles from our destination for the day when it happened.  We proceeded slowly, and as luck would have it, just down the road from the RV park was a tire service center.  One hour, and a mere $35 later, the problem was solved.  (Hmmm, didn’t I pay $200 in February for RV tire service?  This was now two of four tires that had a problem the service was supposed to address!)

The second problem did not occur until the middle of August.  I heard strange noises coming from the hitch and the 5th wheel’s king pin assembly.  A friendly mobile RV service guy adjusted the hitch and the king pin assembly, putting an end to that problem for only $60.  That’s it.  No show stoppers, no breakdowns.  We spent a total of $95 on repairs for the whole 8,630 mile trip!  HOORAY!  Someone pinch me; I must be dreaming!

So, what do you think was the largest expense category for the trip?  If your answer is fuel, that would be a good guess, but you’d be wrong!  We spent the most on RV park and campground accommodations, averaging a bit over $33 per day.  I realize that’s way less than the cost of a cheap motel, but come on, we’re providing the furnished rooms, toiletries, linens, towels, and meals, as well as the maintenance and cleaning staffs.

Now it’s time for a look at where we went, as shown on an interactive Google map, complete with zooming and panning (see link below).  If you click on a location marker, the name and address of the RV park or campground at that location will be shown.

There are 36 individual locations, starting with the green location marker at our old home base in Fort Myers, Florida, and ending with the red location marker at our new home base in Matlacha, Florida.  Each RV park or campground we stayed at is indicated with a numbered or lettered blue location marker, in order from 1 through 10, then from A through U.  There are three location markers with a red dot under them, denoting a place we were at twice during our travels.  (We stayed at our old home base in Fort Myers a second time, between locations 3 and 4.  We stayed at location I a second time on our way back from Maine, between locations N and O.  We stayed at location 4 a second time on the way to our new home base, between location U and Matlacha.)

Upcoming installments of Going Mobile will feature highlights of our trip, including lots of photos.  Stay tuned!

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