Just over a year ago, on August 31, 2012, we hitched up the RV and drove down the driveway of our home for the last time.
We’ve been fulltime RVers for a year now, and we travelled about 10,000 miles, added 14 states to our map,
and visited 21 of our nation’s National Parks.
What have we learned and experienced this year??
The #1 adventure . . . Jeeping in Moab, hands-down!
We also enjoyed salt-water fishing, kayaking, fly-fishing, hiking, exploring caves, and incredible scenery – from dry, dusty deserts to lush green meadows, rivers, mountains, and everything in between!
We learned that deserts are beautiful, but we prefer green!
We learned that mountains are awesome, but the altitude is brutal when you’re not used to it!
We learned that we love to explore new areas and see as much as we can, but we also need some downtime!
How did we do on our budget??
When we factored in 4-1/2 months of volunteering/workamping, we did really well on campground fees. We averaged $415/month, with July as our most expensive month at $908 (and that included 7 nights of boondocking!). Passport America really came in handy, and paid for itself several times over.
Our fuel expenses were higher than expected, although that can be attributed to us travelling further than we originally planned. We only paid over $4.00/gallon once this past year – that was in Wall, SD. We put twice as many miles on the car as we did the truck, so having the extra vehicle (which gets about 2.5X the fuel mileage) really paid off.
Our grocery and restaurant expenses were quite a bit higher than we expected . . . those boys just eat WAY TOO MUCH! We were surprised to find that the grocery prices we are used to in Michigan are actually pretty low – we paid more in almost every state, but especially Florida and Colorado.
We should have budgeted more for entertainment/activities, but definitely got our money’s worth out of the National Parks Pass. We could have also benefitted from having a Zoo/Aquarium Membership, but never did buy one.
What did we miss about Michigan??
We stayed at the ocean, and on a few lakes, but none of them could compare to the salt-free water and sugar sand of Michigan beaches!
Of course we also missed our families and friends, but that’s why we’re back here now. Besides taking care of the business of doctor, dentist, orthodontist, and financial planner appointments, we’re also spending lots of time getting caught up with our friends and families before we hit the road again!
There’s still so much for us to see, and we can’t wait, but next year we’re going to plan on getting back to Michigan a little sooner so we can enjoy some of the summer “up north”!