We had a bright idea!!

As those of you that follow our blog know, after over 6 years full-timing in a Class A motorhome we have decided to switch to a New Horizon 5th wheel.

All clean

All clean

With that in mind I started thinking about how many times I see people asking on different forum’s “which is better for the full-time lifestyle, a Class A or 5th wheel” and how many times the people answer that question have only owned and actually lived in one or the other and can’t possible give a well-rounded answer.

The reason for this video is because one of the ongoing debates we hear and read about when it comes to fulltime Rving is the question of what RV is better suited for the fulltime life style, a Class A or a 5th wheel.

And in those rare times that people have owned both it seems they had maybe a older motorhome with few or no slides and older technology whether it’s suspension or appliances or just general construction and they switch to a newer 5th wheel with slides and all the new technology and of course it would be night and day when comparing because they are not comparing apples to apples so once again the response can be pretty lop sided.

That’s where I got thinking about how we will be switching from a newer well-appointed Class A to a very high quality 5th wheel and how in time we might be able to share some information that might be helpful to those trying to figure out what might be best for them.

So, I figured we would do a intro video that talks a little about our RV experience’s so far, then do a video about our likes and dislikes about our fulltime experience in a Class A. After we get our 5th wheel we thought we would do another talking about our first impression‘s about the switch and the challenges we might have and then a 4th video that would come after a number of months or maybe even a year talking about our experience in a 5th wheel and some of the differences we find news worthy.

Even though we are not very tech savvy I thought it might actually be fun but Diane on the other hand was harder to convince and after actually doing out intro video I may NEVER get her in front of a camera again LOL!!!

Anyway, here is a link to the video on our You Tube Channel in case you care to have a look.

 

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6 year report

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Our 6th year yearly analysis

We have now gone past our 6th year of fulltime RVing !!! Can you believe we are well into our 7th year!!?? Actually July of 2018 marked 6 years of “living” in a RV but November 2018 marked 6 years actually traveling fulltime. We celebrate the actual traveling part as our full-timing Anniversary but do our budget update on a Jan. thru Dec. basis.

While we researched the possibility of living a fulltime RV lifestyle we found it very helpful looking at what others experienced cost wise while on the road. So we try to pay the favor back by sharing some of our expenses and changing thoughts while on the road in hope it might help others that are researching this way of life.

You will notice there is no real talk of insurance costs,, health or auto listed in the update because they can vary way too much from person to person. Lucky for us we have not experienced high medical costs to this point (even though this year we have seen more doctors than previous). But that certainly needs to be taken into consideration.

You should note that the categories we have listed we consider areas that most everyone will have while on the road. But you should think about storage fees, a maintenance fund, License and registration fees, clothing and entertainment, vet bills and pet food if you travel with a pet and the cost of any hobbies you may have. All of these are also way to variable from person to person so we won’t talk much about that in our expenses for this update.

 

RV Fuel, First year = $3787 or ($315.58 per month on average)

Second year = $3287 or ($273.91 per month on average)

Third year =  $2908 or ($242.33 per month average) you just have to love the lower fuel costs!!

Fourth year = $2056 or ($171.33 per month). Hmmm, getting lower each year but I think that will change again in 2017 (higher).

Fifth year = $2956 or ($246.33 per month)

Sixth year= $3967 0r ($330.58 per month) Our spur of the moment run to New Horizons in Kansas then Oklahoma back to Kansas and back to the west coast certainly added roughly $1500 so if we take that out of the equation we were pretty much on track with previous years). We will have to think about how we want to keep track of fuel expenses next year with a truck and 5th wheel. I will probably just keep it simple and not separate towing from casual driving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeep Fuel, First year = $2310 or ($192.50 per month on average)

Second year = $2109 or ($175.75 per month on average)

Third year = $1822 or ($151.83 per month on average)

Fourth year (part Jeep & part F150) = $1487.49 ($123.95 per month on average)

Fifth year (all F150 ) = $1669.62 ($139.13 per month on average)

Sixth year= $2049.22

Larry, Jan, Diane & me (Dave)

Larry, Jan, Diane & me (Dave)

 

Food in (groceries), First year = $4420 or ($368.33 per month on average) we budgeted $350

Second year = $4893 or ($407.75 per month on average) we budgeted $350 per month

Third year = $4829 or ($402.41 per month on average) once again we budget $350 per month

Fourth year = $4603 or ($383.58 per month on average) this year for budgeting I raised the budget to $375

Fifth year = $5189 or ($432.41) we have noticed over the years that food prices are higher in touristy towns and in towns where maybe the average income is higher. We are probably stating the obvious here LOL!!

Sixth year=    $5657 or (471.41 per month on average) This year it seems we started buying a little heathier foods and unfortunately by doing so also means paying a premium price for many things. It’s easier and cheaper to eat unhealthy which is just wrong. But because we bought a little less junk food it evened out nicely, not as enjoyable in front of the TV at nights however LOL!!

 

Eating out,, First year = $2639 or ($219.91 per month on average)

Second year = $2890 or ($240.83 per month on average)

Third year = $2677 or ($223.08 per month on average) we budget $300 per month

Fourth year = $2707 or ($225.58 per month on average) our budget this year was $2950

Fifth year = $3041 or ($253.41 per month on average). With the amount of new towns we visited this year it makes perfect sense our eating out amount was so high because we love to try at least 2 restaurants and new breweries at each location.

Sixth year= $2332 or ($194.33 per month) we ate out less this year than any other since hitting the road. I think a lot of it was my dieting and staying away from Breweries a little, well a lot actually. Those beers add up money wise and calorie wise.

We were $239 over our combined eating in & eating out budget for our 6th year.

Campground fee’s,, First year = $8515 (1 month at Lazy Days with no campground fees)

Second year = $6487 (3 months at Lazy Days with no campground fees)

Third year = $10,511 (DANG, we need to be better during our 4th year. When we hit the road we set a budget of $25 per day which makes our yearly budget $9125. That makes us $1386 over budget for the year.)

Fourth year = $7753 (well under our $9125 budget. Hey we are $1372 under budget and almost      negated the overage we had last year to the dollar LOL!!)

Fifth year = $11,024 (WOW!!! 2 different years we have been east of the Mississippi and both years we blew our budget out of the water. But in fairness we stayed at some of the top rated resorts in the country this year).

Sixth year= $11175 (crap, once again our highest since hitting the road. But we make absolutely no effort at all to stay and the least expensive spot in an area, in fact I think it is safe to say that we probably stay at the highest priced campgrounds in all of the areas we visit)

 

Average cost per night,, First Year = $23.32

Second Year = $17.77

Third year = $28.79

Fourth year = $21.24

Fifth year = $30.20

Sixth year= $30.61

All years combined = $26.87 (I guess we can’t complain because this number is just above the $25 budget we set when we hit the road a little over 6 years ago.) We certainly notice that prices at campgrounds are a lot higher the farther east you go. And prices have gone up everywhere since hitting the road period. And to be honest I think we have gotten a little pickier when there are options to be had and we tend to gravitate toward the nicest in the area and don’t concentrate on price like we did when we first hit the road. I think for us it was a novelty to see how cheap we could live when we first started our venture but that has changed, we lived comfortably before we retired and see no reason not to after retirement.

 

Direct TV,, First year = $760

Second year = $1014.89 (We switched to HD plus lost a $10 per month discount we were getting in 2013)

Third year = $1197.27 (We were getting so tired of paying this much for TV that I made a call to Direct TV mid-November and had a chat with them. By the end of the conversation I had our monthly bill dropped from $108 per month to $73 AND kept the same programing for the next 12 months. That will be a savings of $420 for 2016 from our $108 per month cost and should drop our yearly cost to $876. It all adds up.

Fourth year =  $880.59 (Looks like that phone call last year worked out as planned. Still too darn much to watch TV but I think this will be a number we will just have to deal with. The only way I can see it getting any lower is IF we find a spot to hang out for a couple months at a time that has free cable and we can put our account on “vacation mode” if that’s even available. I guess it’s worth checking out).

** NOTE!! If you will not be using your DIRECTV service and would like to temporarily suspend your account, you can do this at no charge by calling us at 1-800-531-5000. You can say “suspend services” at the voice prompt and the automated system can complete your request.

Requirements for putting your service on hold.

  • Zero balance on your bill
  • Customers with only 1 account are allowed a maximum of 2 suspend requests every 12 months
  • Customers with 2 or more accounts are allowed a maximum of 4 suspend requests per account every 12 months
  • Total time with service suspended per 12 month period cannot exceed 6 months
  • The minimum time for an account suspend is 30 days

Fifth year =  $987.52 (I really wanted to put Direct TV on hold for a couple months during our winter stay this year but Diane didn’t want to lose the option to record shows on our DTV box so we didn’t).

Sixth year= $1042.53 (this will be our last year with Direct TV, when we get the new 5th wheel in April we will be switching to Dish. We have pissed and moaned enough about DTV, it’s time to give someone else a chance to piss us off LOL!! To be honest it looks like we will save a little money each month, at least for the first couple years) by switching to Dish, not a lot but a little.

 

Phone & internet,, First year = $1764

Second year = $1873.80

Third year = $1937.87 (this is another expense that really should be lower and I hate to pay this much for. We took advantage of a special offer Verizon had over a year ago and have a 30GB data plan plus voice and unlimited text and have a Verizon Jetpack for our internet access which we pay a $20 line charge for that makes our total cost per month $161.47.

Fourth year = $1778.63 (I hear Verizon has come out with a few new plans so maybe we need to revisit what they have to offer. We sure would like to trim this back a bit. If we stopped or cut back on the blog we could certainly cut our plan back and I have honestly pondered the idea the last few months).

Fifth year = $1596.02

Sixth year= $1692.68. We did need to get a new phone this year so a small fee was added to our bill for a few months to pay for it. And as of late November we switched to the newest Prepaid “True” Unlimited plan offered by Verizon which from the sounds of it will save us about $20 per month AND give us unlimited and un-throttled  data (the jury is still out on this but so far so good). If this turns out to be a good switch it just might be a way to save a little on our Direct TV bill (well Dish) in the future but we are not just going to jump right in to that.

 

Mail service,, First year = $210

Second year = $200

Third year = $210 (and we will roll about $20 of remaining postage into next year). Next year our base fee will raise from $120 per year plus postage to $150 per year plus postage. If we were wanting to save pennies we could stop a couple magazines we receive and lower the postage cost and just view the magazines on line I bet).

Fourth year = $190

Fifth year = $230

Sixth year= $210

 

On the actual spreadsheet we keep for all of our expenses we have columns for storage, Prius Insurance (was in storage the first 3 ½ years on the road but was traded in for a new pickup toad and the Jeep went into storage. But now the Jeep has been sold and next year we will work on condensing to a smaller storage unit), pickup maintenance, Jeep registration (sold now), Jeep maintenance (sold now), Jeep fuel (sold now), RV/Jeep insurance, RV registration, RV maintenance, RV fuel, Health Insurance, Propane, Direct TV, Food in, Food out, Phone/Internet, Campground Fee’s, Campground Electric, Misc. Health/laundry, Mail forwarding, RV clubs, Motorhome goodies, Clothing, Entertainment, Household and Other.

You can see why we don’t share the numbers in some of those areas because they are so individual. For example we spent $343 in 2013 on clothing, $564 in 2014, $970 in 2015 (new hiking boots and sandals each) and $855 in 2016 (we each got new tennis shoes to the tune of $110 each) in 2017 we spent $1321 (I never should have visited the 2 Duluth Trading stores LOL!!!) and in 2018 we spent $703.93 and if it wasn’t for going through Pickleball shoes we could have been a couple hundred less than that for 2018.

Taking into account ALL of the categories we keep track of (not just what we share) we were over our budget in a number of areas for the year of 2018 with the biggest culprit once again being campground fee’s. But we were under in 11 other categories so it helps even things out a little. In fact if we take away buying the new Ram 5500 and the deposit money on the new 5th wheel we were only $165 over our total budget for 2018.

 

A few comments

1st year comment: We have a washer drier on board our RV so that helps with laundry costs. Even though I didn’t list the cost of soap ECT. Some of the laundry mats are pretty proud of their machines and charge accordingly. Plus they are a hassle in our book.

2nd year comment: No change here either. We would not own a RV without a washer and dryer (while living fulltime in it). But that’s just our personal preference. A lot of people would rather have the added storage space and less weight. We would rather have the freedom to be taking a walk, watching TV, chatting with friends or anything while cloths are washing rather than going to a laundry mat and being tied down. Plus the thought of using machines that have been used for who knows what is not appealing to us.

3rd year comment: Our feelings will never change on this topic. It is so nice to be able to do a load while sitting around home instead of planning time at a laundry mat. And we know what’s been in our machines.

4th year comment: Still wouldn’t be without our washer & drier. Hours not spent at a laundry mat = PRICELESS!! We do however take advantage of laundry mats now and again when convenient to wash large things like blankets.

5th year comment: Our feelings will never change. For us having a washer & drier on board is priceless and I think we would be miserable not having them on board, but that’s just our opinion.

6th year comment: Still love having a washer drier on board, in fact the new 5th wheel we have being built will also have a stacker washer drier.

 

 

1st year comment: We treat this as a life style and not a vacation. If we treated it like a vacation I’m afraid we would be broke pretty fast and our fulltime RV lifestyle would come to a premature end.

2nd Year comment: No change here. We don’t go,, do things,, every day. We have our share of stay home days. If we are in a place we find interesting for a week we might tour for 3 or 4 days and stay home the rest. But staying home always include walks and bike rides and the occasional social hour. And touring does not always have to cost much money, there are lots of things to do for free.

3rd year comment: We feel we were in vacation mode a lot more than we were the first 2 years and it sure showed expense wise. We had far fewer “kick back at home” days and even though it didn’t bother Diane as much it started to burn me out a little. I couldn’t keep this pace up and enjoy it year after year. But because we spent a lot of time in areas of the country that were filled with National Parks and Monuments it really did make sense to take advantage of it. I think we will slow down a little in year 4.

4th year comment: It seems we slowed the pace down a little compared to 2015 just like we hoped and didn’t have the constant vacation mode feel we had most of 2015. Yet we still saw lots of new country. I think we could slow down even more and still be very happy but I don’t think that will be the plan for 2017.

5th year comment: We were right in our comment last year concerning this year, we went back into vacation mode 100%! But we are happy we did, we sure covered a lot of ground “for us” and saw so many things. I’m pretty sure we will slow down some in 2018, at least as far as how long we stay in each spot.

6th year comment: Other than our crazy fast and on a whim trip to Kansas to visit the New Horizon factory we did in fact slow down our pace. And our plan for 2019, other than our trip to Kansas to pick up our new 5th wheel and a trip to Indiana to pick up our new truck, will be to slow down a bit as well. Thinking about it as I type going to Kansas, Indiana and to Texas for a rally slowing down may not be a good description for 2019 LOL!!

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0592.JPG

 

1st year comment: We travel pretty slowly. We feel it allows us to really experience an area while we are there. So our fuel costs may be a little less than those that like to cover a bunch of miles each month. When we hit the road we budgeted 1 tank of fuel in the motor home per month on average and have not gone over that. In fact we are well under that on average.

2nd year comment: We still prefer to travel 100 to 200 miles and spend a week however after leaving Florida we did pick up the pace a little in order to reach Oregon by June for doctor appointments. And we did stay put longer in one spot while visiting family and friends while in Oregon and only moved 5 times between June and October.

3rd year comment: Once again our travel days were pretty short all year. We did have a few more stops that were in the 5 day range rather than a week but miles between the stops were still short, normally well under 200 miles and a number of them under 100 miles. And once again we were well under our yearly motorhome fuel budget. When we hit the road diesel was in the $4 per gallon range so we set a budget of $400 (1 tank per month) and even though prices have dropped we just stick with the $400 number but as you can see we never come close to the $4800 budget number for the year. We really just keep the 1 tank per month in the back of our minds mainly so we don’t fall into the “drive to many miles and in turn right by things of interest” trap. Plus being under budget on fuel builds in a buffer that helps offset the line items we go over budget on like FOOD LOL!! It’s all about the bottom line.

4th year comment: Even though we had our share of short travel days it seems we have turned it up a notch and traveled a few longer days (to us) and far fewer travel days under 100 miles. I think we started to think more about destinations rather than just stopping at any old small town along the way.  At one point this year I told Diane we better put pen to paper and decide what things we want to see in each state so we can focus on that a little more because at the rate we have been traveling over the last 4 years we may not be on the road long enough or have the life span to hit them all LOL!! Even with that statement in mind we stayed under our fuel budget for the year and we even lowered the budget for 2016.

5th year comment: Last year’s comment was “we better put pen to paper and decide what we want to see” and we did that this year and went into vacation mode. What does that equal, well we were able to check a number of things off our bucket list, we saw some great country, we stayed at some top notch resorts, we ate some great food, we covered a bunch of miles, we had some long travel days, we met some great people, we spent too much money, it plum tired us “me mainly” out AND we had a GREAT YEAR!! But we (I) could not keep that pace up year after year.

6th year comment: If we take our crazy and fast trip to Kansas and Oklahoma to visit the New Horizon 5th wheel plant and a DRV dealer out of the equation we did in fact slow our pace this year compared to our 5th year and it felt pretty good and we still enjoyed seeing plenty of new territory.

 

1st year comment: Just like while living in a house and working you can only spend what you have so budgeting is important unless you are one of the lucky ones with unlimited income,,, we are not LOL. And we only live on the income we have each month. We have made the decision to not touch any of the money we have in investments and to leave them in place for when we want or need to get off of the road.

2nd year comment: No changes here. We still have not touched our investments to support our traveling life style yet.

3rd year comment: Once again we have not touched our investments to support our life style. But we did dip into our savings account to buy our new bikes this year. When we first hit the road we set aside about 2 years living expenses in a saving account separate from our investments as an emergency fund. Up until this year we had not touched it but did this year for the bikes and new tires for the Jeep.

4th year comment: We still have not dipped into our investments to support our life style (the stock market itself does its share of dipping however without any help from us) but again this year we did make a small dint in our savings account to buy the truck.

5th year comment: Even though I felt we went a little crazy in some categories this year spending money we still lived within our means and did not dip into our savings or investments. BUT, we did decide it was time to have some dividends start coming our way from one of our accounts so that we could increase our budget just a little each month. That started in October of this year. Is that a smart move, we don’t know, was it necessary, no but there is no guarantee of a tomorrow so we decided what the hell.

6th year comment: Living within our budget still held true this year but with our decision to switch to a high end 5th wheel and buying yet another truck I’m positive we will dip into the bucket a little during our 7th year. Well we can’t take it with us as they say. But by selling the Jeep, our motorhome and eventually the F150 it won’t be too bad.

 

Here are some interesting tid-bits.

* The 1st year on the road we stayed at 57 different camping spots.

**   The second year on the road we stayed at 36 different spots. Between being stuck in Florida until April of 2014 and staying in Oregon as long as we did visiting family and friends the number went down some but felt good.

*** Our third year on the road we stayed at 49 different spots and have a feeling we will try to cut this back just a little in 2016.

**** Our 4th year we stayed at 41 different locations. I guess we did stay a few less places than we did in 2015 like we thought but not by much.

***** Our 5th year on the road we stayed at 52 different location. Considering we spent the month of March in Casa Grande, the month of May in Grants Pass and Nov. & Dec in Casa Grande again we moved a lot the rest of the year. In fact too much.

****** Our 6th year we stayed at 42 different spots. This also includes 7 1 night stays while traveling which we hadn’t really done in previous years. If we take those 7 1 night stays out of the equation it shows that in fact we have slowed down a little.

 

* The 1st year our shortest stay was 1 night and our longest stay was 17 nights.

**   The second year (not counting our stay at Lazy Days while buying our new coach), our shortest stay was 1 day and our longest was 60 while visiting friends in Oregon.

*** Our third year our shortest stay was 1 day and our longest stay was 30 days.

**** Our 4th year our shortest stay was 2 days and our longest stay was 78. The 78 days is part of our 3 month stay in Casa Grande Arizona. 15 days of our 3 month stay will roll into 2017.

***** Our 5th year our shortest stay was 1 night and our longest was 60 (which was the last 2 months of year 5 at our winter spot in Casa Grande. 30 of our stops this year were less than a week.

****** Our 6th year our shortest stay was 1 night and our longest stay was 64 days (which was part of our stay at our winter spot that will roll over into our 7th year).

* That makes our average stay in one spot since hitting the road 6 years ago 8 nights. And if we take our extended stay at Lazy Day’s out of the equation our average stay would be even less.

 

* The 1st year our cheapest stay per night of course was while boon docking at $0 cost and our most expensive was 60.96 while visiting Nashville. And it wasn’t even the nicest park we stayed at (location, location, location).

** The 2nd year our cheapest stays per night were boon docking at a $0 cost (I guess that goes without saying). And our most expensive was $65 in Borrego Springs, Ca. (Our New Year’s treat to ourselves) and the second highest was $51.55 while visiting New Orleans. And once again neither were the nicest place’s we have stayed (location, location, location holds true yet again).

*** The 3rd year of course our cheapest stay per night was boon docking at a $0 cost (We should just stop stating the obvious but we won’t LOL!!). And our most expensive was $73.14 at the Polson Motor Coach Resort in Polson Montana (our 4th of July treat to ourselves). And the second most expensive was $56.23 at the Portal in Moab Utah where we stayed 2 weeks. Both Polson and the Portal were pretty nice spots but still really too much money and we shouldn’t be paying that much.

**** Our 4th year our cheapest stay per night was $0 while boondocking and the most expensive was $65.58 while staying at Tiger Run in Breckenridge Colorado. The second highest was at the Portal in Moab Utah.

***** Our 5th year our cheapest stay was $0 while boondocking and the most expensive was $81.42 at Traverse Bay RV Resort in Traverse City Michigan.  Traverse Bay RV Resort has now jumped into the top spot for the most expensive spot we have stayed at and that is even with it being a weekly rate.

****** Our 6th year our cheapest stay was $0 while boondocking of course and our most expensive was $61.76 at the Bend/Sisters RV Resort in Oregon.

 

* 1st year comment: At the end of 12 months our average cost per night was $25.52. We are pretty happy with that I guess. We budget $25 per night. Campground fees in the eastern states are way more expensive than the western states.

** 2nd year comment: The average cost per night of our second year on the road was $17.84. And our overall average cost per night for the 2 years on the road is $20.69. When we first hit the road we set a budget of $25 per night so I guess even though we have certainly been over budget many months our primary goal is to be at or below our budget at the end of each year. And we have so far been able to do that with a mix of boon docking, staying at the average campgrounds and throwing a few resort type spots in for the now and again pampering LOL!!

*** 3rd year comment: Our average cost per night for our third year was $28.79. And the overall average cost per night for 3 years in $23.29. Hmm, I just realized that I elaborated about this above so we won’t repeat ourselves here. But we are happy that after 3 years we are still under the original $25 per night budget we set when first hitting the road.

**** 4th year comment:  Our average cost per night our 4th year was $21.24 and the overall for all 4 years is $23.04.

***** 5th year comment: Our average cost per night our 5th year was $30.20.

****** 6th year comment: Our average cost per night our 6th year was $30.61

 

* 1st year comment: We have found state parks to be our favorite places to stay. And they are best mid-week when most everyone has gone.

** 2nd year comment: We still like state parks the best but we have certainly found a couple privately owned parks scattered around that have been very very nice. And we do like a good mix of little or no creature comforts and the more plush parks. If all we did was one or the other I think we would get tired of the life style pretty quickly. Variety is the spice of life they say. And if they don’t we do LOL!!

*** 3rd year comment: We still like a mix of State Parks, boon-docking and private parks. But state parks are still our favorites for the most part. We did find a new admiration for at least a couple larger parks that we stayed at this year by taking advantage of classes they offered and tons of activities and will more than likely keep them in the mix now and again.

**** 4th year comment: It seems we stayed at fewer state parks this year and we only boon-docked 47 days in 2016. Hmm, I wonder what can be read into that.

*****5th year comment: Even though we still like to mix it up some I think we have both started liking the active 55 & older campgrounds or resorts a bit more. I think we have found there is far less common courtesy in “campgrounds” as well as fewer things to keep us occupied if we feel like sitting in one spot for any length of time.

****** 6th year comment: Our 5th year comment hold true.

 

* 1st year comment: Large RV parks with all the bells and whistles mixed in with the park model type structures have been our least favorite places to stay. We just don’t use or need all that stuff. And being mixed in with all the park models takes away from the feel and look we like. We are talking places with 400+ sites with the lap siding type park models (No offence meant to anyone, it’s just not for us). But we have found that we like the more pampered feel now and again of a resort setting. When we first hit the road we just wanted to boondock and live as cheap as we could. But we have decided that variety is a key factor to our happiness.

*** 3rd year comment: We still feel the same way about the really huge parks but have found a couple that are very nice and after moving so often over the last 3 years have started thinking about finding a park with all the amenities to hunker down for longer lengths of time during the winter. In fact we did stay at two parks this year for a month and had a pretty darn good time.

**** 4th year comment: State Parks are still our favorite places to stay but as we mentioned in our 3rd Year Comment we have found an unexpected admiration for a couple larger parks. In fact this year we actually stayed 3 months in one location at a LARGE resort in Arizona during the winter and must admit we enjoyed having a little structure during that time and bonding with people longer than one week at a time was a nice change. Could that grow into longer stretches, maybe. Can we see ourselves settling down in one location again long term, LETS NOT GET CRAZY HERE (just yet)!!!!

***** 5th year comment: Our 4th year comment still holds true. We still enjoy the travels but I think we are starting to think more and more about having maybe 2 spots in different parts of the country that we can sit for longer periods of time to break up our year and those spots will have to have activities like Pickleball and other activities to make us happy. Neither of us at this point still have any desire to own another “traditional” home. When we say 2 spots to sit for longer periods we are thinking maybe 3 months at each and travel the remaining 6 months of the year.

****** 6th year comment: Our 5th year comment holds true again. Except maybe we are thinking more like 4 to 5 months at a winter spot and 4 months at a summer spot and travel the remainder of the year. I’m sure our thoughts will change with the wind on this topic. Now we just need to find that perfect summer spot.

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* 1st year comment: In our 1st year we found our food budget to be the hardest to control

** 2nd year comment: In our 2nd year we continue to find that our food budget is the hardest thing for us to stay within LOL!! It could be that we simply didn’t set a realistic budget from the beginning. Or it could be that Diane buys too many name brand products, or it could be I buy too many expensive snack foods LOL!!

***3rd year comment: That darn food budget is STILL hard to keep in line LOL!! But this year the campground fees were way out of whack and took the number 1 spot on the hardest to control. Staying in campgrounds around National Parks made it hard to find places we wanted to stay at without costing an arm and a leg. Maybe we are just too spoiled and refuse to stay at dumps I guess. But the food budget was over again this year. We are wearing the same sized cloths so we are at least working off all the food we eat LOL!!

**** 4th year comment: Yeah!! This year if we combine our food in and food out budgets we were $140 under budget. This year we were a little over on motorhome maintenance because of a front window blind motor going bad and our HDMI splitter for our entertainment center. It will always be something.

***** 5th year comment: This year our campground fees were by far the biggest thing over budget. But to be fare I set the budget before we decided to head towards Michigan so I didn’t take into account the cost of campground fee’s over there and didn’t change the budget number once we decided to head that way. Once I set a budget and it’s under way for the year I choose not to make changes on the go.

****** 6th year comment: Campground fees are starting to be the biggest culprit in our going over budget category each year. We know we can control that by doing more boondocking or staying at lesser quality campgrounds but we live this life to enjoy it and we tend to enjoy the nicer campgrounds so we will just need to adjust our budget numbers and deal with it. With that said we have certainly noticed campground prices going up. And with the increase of people “living stationary” at more and more campgrounds and in many cases bringing down the appearance we choose to gravitate more to the higher priced places to avoid that look and feel.

 

*1st year comment: It’s easier to say “follow the weather” than it really is. But within reason,, doable.

** 2nd year comment: No change to this comment. You’re still going to get caught in some rain or a storm now and again but just knowing that overall you can stay in areas with good weather is priceless.

*** 3rd year comment: It’s simply impossible to not get stuck in some sort of bad weather now and again. But in this life style you can sure decrease your chances of being in long stretches of it like being in a sticks & bricks in tornado alley or some place you are sure to get snow for months on end every year.

**** 4th year comment: What can we say, how can you really predict the weather. But we do know we ended up in Arizona to early this year and will maybe postpone getting here by a couple weeks in 2017, assuming we do Arizona again next winter but I’m sure we will.

***** 5th year comment: We learned our lesson and arrived in Arizona 2 weeks later than we did last year and even just that short amount of time made a difference. Another thing that came to mind this year was the amount of storms places like Florida and Texas went through and got us thinking about just how bad we really want to see more of those area, maybe not so much.

****** 6th year comment: Weather is so unpredictable that all we can do is try our best and use whatever tools are available to stay in warm & dry areas but it’s literally impossible to always have the weather you want.

 

* 1st year comment: we don’t miss all the,, stuff,, we had while living in the house for the most part. Diane does miss working in the yard,,, WHATS WITH THAT!!!

** 2nd year comment: the same holds true now but I certainly do not hear Diane say she misses the yard work as much now.

*** 3rd year comment: we still don’t miss all the stuff but I have picked up a couple new toys along the way, we still need hobbies. But the things now are smaller and cost less.

**** 4th year comment: We still don’t miss all “the stuff” but we are talking more about having a spot for a home base where we can set up a few more things outside while we are there. What does that mean about our long term future fulltime life style, we don’t know. But nothing will change for at least another year I’m sure or at least until we get the northern states under our belts.

***** 5th year comment: Our 4th year comments still hold true even though we might see something like maybe a nice classic car or even a nice larger RC plane and say, “if we had a house again I could see owning one of those” but nothing to the extent that it bugs us at all. It’s nice to know that if we ever really wanted those things we could get off the road and do it, which in some way makes it easier just knowing we could I think.

****** 6th year comment: Our 4th and 5th year comments still hold true.

Take that picture already so we can eat!!!

Take that picture already so we can eat!!!

 

* 1st year comment: we packed way to many cloths to bring with us.

** 2nd year comment: Even after purging a few times since we have been on the road we STILL have cloths with us that we have never worn. How can that be??

*** 3rd year comment: as amazing as it may sound after 3 years we STILL have cloths that we just don’t wear. But everything we do have fit’s in our closet and drawers so no harm no foul. No clothing is stored in totes in the belly of the coach any longer.

**** 4th year comment: Same as our 3rd year comment.

***** 5th year comment: Once again the same as our 3rd and 4th year comment but it seems the closet and drawers are starting to bulge a little so a contribution to Good Will might be in order. I went a little crazy when we came across a couple Duluth Trading stores and Diane followed suit at a couple other stores it seems and we have not worn anything out or outgrown anything (which is a good thing).

****** 6th year comment: We still have too many clothes with us and I think that will always be the case. But as long as they all fit in the closet and drawer space we have allotted I guess it really does not matter.

Here's Diane

Here’s Diane

 

* 1st year comment: we like small town America compared to larger cities.

** 2nd year comment: this is probably even truer after spending some time on the east coast.

*** 3rd year comment: No change, I just don’t like large cities. Diane is more open to them than I am but she is not a huge fan either.  A town of 50,000 to 60,000 people is about the max in size but even smaller is our preference. There are tons of towns out there with populations far less than 50,000 that have everything a person could possibly need in the way of shopping, restaurants, activities and medical care without the craziness of large cities. Life is too short to spend it being pissed off at traffic every day.

**** 4th year comment: Same as our 3rd year comment. The only change might be that the first 3 years we were very content stopping in very small towns with really nothing to offer and I think we have grown a little bored with the extremely small places for the most part. But still have no desire to tour large cities.

***** 5th year comment: We broke the golden rule by staying in a couple large cities this year like Milwaukee Wisconsin and Madison Wisconsin which just fortifies our comment’s in previous years that big cities are NOT OUR THING!!!

****** 6th year comment: We did a good job of avoiding big cities this year. Looking back I think every town we stayed in had a population of less than 100,000. Most of the towns were well under 30,000. I think the largest town we stayed in was Yuma Arizona with a population of 95,000. There are a couple places we have pondered visiting that have larger populations like Colorado Springs that we hear good things about for summer fun but we just can’t seem to make the commitment.

Hmm, after loosing the weight I have I see my shorts are starting to look more like skirts. Might be time for some new cloths LOL!!

Hmm, after loosing the weight I have I see my shorts are starting to look more like skirts. Might be time for some new cloths LOL!!

 

 

* 1st year comment: we put too much stuff in storage. Need to purge some.

** 2nd year comment: after our 1st year we condensed down from 2 storage units to one. We probably STILL have too much stuff in storage but we are content with it at this time.

*** 3rd year comment: We still have one storage unit and don’t really see that changing in the near future.  I guess that will change when and if we ever decide to get a winter home and we move stuff to that location.

**** 4th year comment: Same as our 3rd year comment. And we did receive a notice that our storage unit costs will jump about $20 per month for 2017.

***** 5th year comment: Ok, we have spent $7515 for storage fees since we sold our home in mid-2012, JUST HOW STUPID ARE WE ANYWAY!!! Granted, we had 2 storage units for the first 18 months we were on the road until we knew for sure that we liked this life style and then condensed down to 1 but still we are paying $1250 per year to store (other than the Jeep) stuff we may never use again. I don’t see me getting rid of the Jeep so because of that we will need to keep a storage unit at least until we do something like lease a RV site in a park someplace where we can store it while not there, so I guess we will just keep paying and complaining LOL!!

****** 6th year comment: Things change, in our last year’s comment I made mention that I didn’t think I would ever get rid of the jeep yet this year I did in fact sell it. I think our plan next summer might be selling a few more things out of the storage unit if we return to Oregon this year and condensing to a smaller unit and saving a little money each month. But no doubt we will still have some sort of storage unit.

 

* 1st year comment: we don’t seem to,, want,, stuff like we used to. We don’t just buy because we can.

** 2nd year comment: Still holds true even though we seemed to loosen our belts a little and not be so tight with our money. For example we bought our new motorhome, we bought the Quad-Copter, we purchased new tire and front windshield covers and we bought our new Keurig coffee maker.

*** 3rd year comment: This year the new bikes come to mind, that sure blew the “not just wanting stuff” statement LOL!!

**** 4th year comment: This year the truck comes to mind but that was partly a comfort thing (with the intention of possibly buying an ATV to toss in the back). Other than the truck the only things we bought were the Instant Pot and the Breville Toaster Oven and a new RC plane. We certainly could have done without the Instant Pot and Toaster Oven (and plane I guess lol!!) but boy have we enjoyed both and use them often so money well spent in our book.

***** 5th year comment: No big purchases this year other than the new Camp Chef outdoor stove, a new point & shoot pocket sized camera for Diane, 2 new higher priced kitchen knives and we had lights installed under the motorhome which none are really “big” purchases. Reading our 5 years’ worth of comments concerning purchases makes me chuckle when thinking back to our previous life, now kitchen knives are big purchases worthy of mention when before it might be something like a $50,000 sand-rail. Boy things have changed LOL!!!

****** 6th year comment: No big purchases again this year. When we look back at what we noted as larger ticket items things like a new Pickleball paddle, a pair of earrings for Diane, a new pair of glasses for Dave and 2 new pillows were noted LOL!!! Hardly earth shattering purchases. Even though we do have a new 5th wheel and truck coming those items were not actually paid for this year but will certainly be huge purchases next year. Well, the truck was paid for on second thought.

 

* 1st year comment: we meet some great friendly people while traveling. We have met less grumpy people in the year we have been on the road than I would deal with in just one month while I worked. Or maybe we just don’t pay the grumpy people any attention now LOL!!

** 2nd year comment: Still holds true. Most people we meet in campgrounds are like minded and are just trying to enjoy life and are not wound so tight.

*** 3rd year comment: No change here. People in campgrounds for the most part are just out to have a good time whether they are traveling the country or just getting away for the weekend.

**** 4th year comment: Again no change from previous years, we just continue meeting great people along the way and adding to the snowball effect of friends that we bump into along our travels that we have met during our journey. I will say that while living in a house in one location we all tend to run in circles of friends that are like minded and while on the road and meeting people that isn’t always the case, this election year really was what made me think about this. BUT if you are smart and can keep politics, religion and a couple other touchy topics out of conversations OR be willing to just shake your head and keep your trap shut when topics wonder off in the direction of those topics it does not need to be an issue. Of course keeping my trap shut is not my strong suit and I DO like to stir the pot now and again just for fun.

***** 5th year comment: It’s nice that amongst all of the crazy s*#t that is going on in this world that as we travel we just keep meeting great people that seem to always be willing to lend a hand when needed to fellow rver’s which in most cases are complete strangers.

****** 6th year comment: Our comment is a repeat of our 5th year comment.

 

* 1st year comment: I wish I had left work sooner instead of waiting around trying to make life easier for others. The world moves on with or without you.

** 2nd year comment: No change of heart here!! I will say that even though I was plagued with thoughts of my old job far longer than I thought I would be once we hit the road, I very seldom think about the place now. And when I do I don’t think my blood pressure rises as far as it used to LOL!!

*** 3rd year comment: What??? I had a job?? Hmmmmm

**** 4th year comment:  I don’t really think about the old job any longer. It’s much better to live in the present and not the past. We started this journey to make memories, if I wanted to live in the past we could have pulled up a rocking chair and sat on our porch the remainder of our lives staring into our back yard just reflecting. I’m not saying we don’t ever think about or bring up the past but really not that much.

***** 5th year comment: The trend on this topic continues. As 5 years of being retired has now come and gone I find it hard to be enthused when someone asks me what I did in my working days. When I first retired I found myself getting all pumped up talking about the challenges and rewards that I was so passionate about back then. Now it’s normally a short sentenced answer and I move on. In fact I don’t think I will even comment on this topic in our future yearly updates LOL!! Diane has always had it right, her job was not her life, rather just a means to live her life.

****** 6th year comment: Our 5th year comment hold true except now it has been six years since I (Dave) retired. .

 

* 1st year comment: we miss our family and friends but think they are all happy for us.

** 2nd year comment: This still holds true and it was great getting back to Oregon for our visit after being gone for 18 months.

*** 3rd year comment: Of course we still miss the friends we had while living stationary in the sticks & bricks but with social media it really seems like we have never left in certain ways.

**** 4th year comment: All of the comments from previous years still hold true and in fact during our last visit to Oregon everyone was so busy that we hardly had a chance to all get together but with social media we still knew what everyone was pretty much up to. However we did feel a little more “outside the circle”. Maybe we were holding onto the thought of things staying the same a little too much. I know we are not alone with this happening, we have talked with a number of full-timers that feel the same way when they return “home”.

***** 5th year comment. We are so thankful for social media, sometimes I think we stay closer to friends with us being hundreds if not thousands of miles away than some of our friends do that are just a few miles apart.

****** 6th year comment: Our 5th year comment hold true.

 

** 2nd year comment: If you are a recycler and travel around you could become frustrated with the lack of recycling in some parts of the country. And if one person of the pair is more of a recycler than the other be ready for the possibility of conflicts LOL!!. Diane is the big recycler between us. I will recycle but it needs to be convenient. If a park does not participate in recycling I have no problem tossing stuff in the garbage. Diane however is more inclined to bag things in hope that our next stop may recycle. So if I start finding recyclables hidden I get frustrated which in turn creates tension. It is what it is, I don’t like clutter and Diane wants to save the earth.

*** 3rd year comment: I have actually seen Diane walk to the garbage and recycling area with 2 bags and come home with one just because they didn’t recycle a certain material. If it were me I would have just tossed it in the garbage. I just shake my head and shut up, I’m sure there MIGHT be something I do that she just doesn’t get, MIGHT be I say.

**** 4th year comment: Not much more to say on this topic. I don’t mind recycling if it’s convenient and Diane does not mind packing recyclables around for weeks until we find a spot to drop them off. It’s just a topic we disagree on and deal with on a regular basis and I’m sure always will LOL!!

***** 5th year comment: Our 4th year comment holds true.

****** 6th year comment: Our 4th year comment hold true. But since China no longer takes our plastics it has gotten even worse trying to recycle. I think we will purchase a Berkey Water system setup for our new 5th wheel in an effort to cut back on plastics.

 

* 1st year comment: I don’t think, no I know that we could only live this life style as long as we stay in motion. Meaning we keep traveling like we have and not staying put in any one spot for extended lengths of time.

** 2nd year comment: I could see us spending a month or maybe even 3 or 4 in one spot during the winter when the nice weather (we consider nice weather as warm) is restricted to the southern states. Or even 2 or 3 months while visiting family and friends back in Oregon. But if we had to stay put any longer than that I’m afraid we couldn’t do it. That feeling might change in the future, who knows.

*** 3rd year comment: This still holds true but we did stay put in one location a couple times this year for 30 days and did just fine. We have even tossed around the idea of maybe 3 months in one spot next winter to test the waters but have not committed to it yet.

**** 4th year comment: We still feel there would be no way we could stay put in one spot long term and live in an RV but we are starting to talk about finding a couple spots around the country ( 2 or maybe 3 in different areas) we can stay put for 2 or 3 months at a time and travel the rest of the year. In fact we DID stay for 3 months this winter in Arizona and didn’t have much trouble but the place had lots of activities. If we had not gotten involved with activities we would have gone bonkers I’m sure.

***** 5th year comment: Our 4th year comment still rings true and we continue to keep our eyes open for those 2 or 3 special places we would feel comfortable staying put for a couple months each during the summer and a spot we might stay 4 months at during the winter. We thought we found one of the summer spots in Michigan this year but I think we both feel staying more on the west side of the country when the time comes to have those spots might be best if we continue spending winters in Arizona.

****** 6th year comment: Our minds are still thinking as we did in our 4th & 5th year comments. But we still have not found those perfect places.

 

We are pretty happy that we really for the most part have stayed within our planned budget since hitting the road. But I’m afraid if we didn’t keep a spreadsheet keeping track of expenses like we do it would be very easy for us to get carried away. It’s a simple tool that keeps us in check and one we didn’t use while still working so it didn’t come naturally.

Before we hit the road while talking or reading about people that had been on the road fulltime for 2, 3, 5, 8 or even more years we thought, how the heck could you do that!! But now that we have been on the road for over 6 years we understand how. Time really does go by quickly and there are so many great things to see and experience that we would have NEVER seen just going on vacations 2 or 3 weeks a year.

And while planning the life style we thought long and hard about being away from friends and being loners while traveling but it is amazing how many new friends you make along the way. And it’s even more amazing at how often you run into the new (traveling) friends in different parts of the country. And it’s a snowball effect, the longer we stay on the road the more and more friends we gather which in turn increase the chances of seeing them where ever we are. We have used the term, it’s a small world, more times over the last 6 years than we ever used it in our previous life style.

Yep, it’s a pretty darn good life. You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. You can stay put, live off of solar power in the middle of the desert, eat cheap and stay away from people if you want. OR you can move around all the time, stay in high end resort type RV parks, drink expensive wine and eat steak every night and attend every type of social event known to man. Or do as we have and mix a little of everything in. I’m sure this life style is not for everyone, and we are darn glad it’s not because we would have one heck of a time finding a spot to camp LOL!! All I can say is don’t knock it if you have not tried it.

To put it simply, if you have a desire to fulltime and the means we would certainly recommend giving it a chance. You only live once with no guarantee just how long that will be so you may as well enjoy it.

We hope this format of reporting our year end results isn’t too long and drug out but I find it interesting to read our own thoughts from one year to the next and we hope you do as well.

We are really pretty much an open book so if you have any questions on topics that we might not have covered in our update please feel free to ask and we will try to give any insight we can.

[DK1]

[DK2]

Posted in A little about us, Yearly Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Holiday season on the road

I thought we would do a short update to get us caught up before posting our yearly year end analysis which will be pretty long and might remain on our main page for a couple weeks.

Let’s start with Diane’s shoulder issue. First off yes she is still having as much pain and has as little mobility as she was having in our last update and yes she did go to her first and second physical therapy session’s here in Casa Grande and it looks like she will be going once per week.

This says it all and is the first thing you see when you enter the office. TURN AND RUN!!

This says it all and is the first thing you see when you enter the office. TURN AND RUN!!

Even though she knew there would be some pain involved with the therapy I don’t think she thought there would be nearly as much as she ended up going through on her first visit and time will tell just how many she will end up doing.

Even though restricted to using her left arm she has still been out trying to play Pickleball. If you have the bug you have the bug.


She dropped down 2 levels of play and is trying to master playing with her left hand but as you can imagine that’s been a challenge. But she is doing much better than I would I’m sure and at least she is out trying and getting some exercise doing so as well as having a few laughs, even if at her own expense LOL!!

Playin with the guys. GIRL POWER!!

Playin with the guys. GIRL POWER!!


And during our perimeter walk around the park we sometimes stop off to play a little Hillbilly Golf and as bad as I hate to say it Diane beat me one day while she was playing left handed and I was playing right handed. Dang, that stung a little LOL!!!

Working on her left handed toss.

Working on her left handed toss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diane is also still playing Mah-Jong one day per week and Mexican Train one day per week as well as our walks and bike rides and she is talking about taking a Gourd class soon. She hasn’t had to do any volunteering at the Pickleball Sign Up desk over the holiday season but will resume that right after New Year’s. Not nearly as active as last year but still doing her best to enjoy our time down south.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as me, well I’m an old broken record, Up around 5am, do a few exercise’s while waiting for the coffee to finish, planks, sit-ups, crunches ect, then spend an hour or so in front of the computer with my coffee, then breakfast and off to the Pickleball courts for around 3 or 4 hours followed by a trip to the gym and 30 minutes on the Elliptical, then lunch and couple mile walk or bike ride along with whatever else pops up. It’s almost like that movie Ground Hog Day LOL!!

A small group that gathered on Christmas morning for some Pickleball.

A small group that gathered on Christmas morning for some Pickleball.

Even though we are never around our families during the holiday seasons we are very lucky to have so many friends here at Palm Creek that we don’t spend holidays alone. On Christmas I went to the Pickleball courts in the morning and played a festive Round Robin with about 30 other people and we were invited to our friends Clair & Stan’s where 10 of us enjoyed some great company and had a fantastic Christmas dinner later in the evening.

Unfortunately even though I did think about it once I didn’t take any pictures during dinner, it was just one of those evenings that the right time never seemed to present itself and phones where just not thought about.

I think we need a flag like this.

I think we need a flag like this.

And we are still going out on average 1 time per week with our friends Drew & Becky for dinner. Normally we head to Buffalo Wild Wings for Two for One night on Tuesday nights but we did try a new hamburger spot once that we heard about but to be honest the burgers were nothing special so no need to go back as far as Diane and I are concerned.

Normally the temps here in Casa Grande are pretty nice during the winter but we sure are in the middle of a cold snap right now with temps dipping down to freezing at night and only reaching the mid 50’s during the day. Luckily the sun comes out each day and I still find myself on the courts in shorts and a tee-shirt but dang, this cold stuff needs to stay farther north.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also about now Diane’s and my approach on the 2 P’s (Proactive and Procrastination) are shining through, I have started taking one drawer or compartment at a time to start going through and throwing away stuff that we have accumulated and don’t need to transfer to our new rig and Diane says “we have plenty of time, it’s not like we live in a huge house” LOL!!! Both of us are right so we just do what we do. And hey, just because we live in a RV does not mean we don’t accumulate “junk” and hang on to stuff we don’t use. Just like in a house, if you have space odds are you will fill it up with something.

And as far as the new 5th wheel goes, well there have been a couple hiccups getting started but we will wait to see if things calm down.

We were told that we would be moved up in the production schedule a couple weeks back because of a couple cancelations but so far as it turns out the only thing that got moved up was our sending money and the actual production of the rig didn’t get the memo it seems. I’m a little leery about the rig being completed on time at his particular moment but will stay optimistic right now, at least until after the holiday season is over and everyone gets back to a normal flow.

This might be a good time to touch base on a little insurance issue you might have if you ever find yourself wanting a larger truck like the Ram 5500 we bought to pull our new 5th wheel.

When buying a truck like a Ford F550 or a Ram 5500 we found that some insurance companies consider them to be commercial vehicles and will only insure them as such which increases what you would normally pay. We also found that some insurance companies will insure a F550 or 5500 as a normal noncommercial vehicle if and only if the policy is combined with a RV policy, and only if the RV is large enough to require a truck of this size to pull it.

It seems that some commercial business insured a large truck for personal use and then use them for business use which obviously the insurance companies cought on to and created the rule of having to have a RV also on the policy in order to be classified as a personal use rig.

Then those trying to beat the system would buy a cheap little camper that even a Toyota could pull and tie it to the larger truck’s policy and could still save money by doing so but of course the insurance companies caught on to that eventually as well and now they make sure the RV tied to the truck policy is a monster worthy of a larger truck.

Now for us this caused a bit of an issue because we have bought our truck but will not take possession of our 5th wheel until April and we want insurance on the truck even though it will just be sitting until then but we certainly didn’t want to pay the commercial prices and didn’t want to start insurance on a 5th wheel that’s not even built yet just to save on the truck insurance. Do you get the dilemma?

It took some time and research but we finally found that State Farm would insure the truck as a personal use vehicle without the policy being tied to a RV. So keep this in mind if you ever find yourself running into this type of situation.

It’s still up in the air if we will keep the insurance with Sate Farm once we get the 5th wheel, we will be doing some comparisons again at that time no doubt but for now it works. I have a suspicion that we will end up insuring everything through Progressive when the time comes who we have used for the last few years for our full-timers RV insurance. We will report on that later.

Well, New Years is just around the corner and we have no real plans for the evening like normal. Not being dancers or big party people we just plan a good meal and watch the east coast ball drop in bed LOL!! Of course I guess we could have attended the New Year’s Eve Party here at the park this year, after all it ends at 9PM LOL!!! We better be off the streets to avoid all of the drunken golf cart drivers headed home. Or on second thought it might be fun to watch the couple hundred or so golf carts play bumper cars while leaving the party.

Anyway we wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Posted in A little about us | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

A little golf cart parade

 Boy, it sure feels like its colder here is Arizona this year than in previous winters but in reality I think we are just getting less and less accustomed to the cold. Regardless of the reason we find ourselves running the heat in the mornings more and even some late evenings and I find myself wearing sweat pants and a jacket on my bike ride to the Pickleball courts in the morning where I remember just being in shorts and a tee-shirt (maybe a light pull over) last year.

 But we are not complaining too much, it still warms up to shorts and Tee-shirt temps quickly and there is no white stuff in any forecasts. As of late the night time lows have been in the mid 40’s (with a couple dipping into the high 30’s) and daytime highs have been between 68 and 75 with mostly sunny days.

 Even on the coldest mornings all we have to do is take a look at some of our friends Facebook pages or look at the national weather around the country and we are ginning ear to ear almost immediately. Grinning because some people just plain like those winter conditions but mainly because we are not in them LOL!!

It’s been pretty mellow since our last update with our normal routine in place. For me it’s Pickleball almost every morning for 3 hours or so followed by about 30 minutes on the Elliptical followed by maybe a bike ride or couple mile walk with Diane and then whatever else pops up. And for Diane its reading, playing Mexican Train and Mah Jong with a bike ride or walk tossed in and of course exercises to help free up that shoulder of hers then whatever else pops up.

I have had more flat tires on this bike than any other one I have owned LoL!!

I have had more flat tires on this bike than any other one I have owned LoL!!

 What pops up you ask? Well it’s not uncommon to get together with friends for a meal out and of course almost every Tuesday night is two-for –one wing night with Drew & Becky. This last week we went to the Thirsty Donkey with 2 other couples for dinner & drinks. Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures from our evening at the Thirsty Donkey.

 What else pops up? Well how about a Christmas Golf Cart Parade!!

Getting ready to line up.

Getting ready to line up.

 There are two Golf Cart Christmas Parades scheduled this year. A bunch of people decorate their golf carts with Christmas lights and ornaments then gather for hot chocolate and cookies and typically get judged before lining up and driving a pre-determined route through the resort spreading Christmas cheer.

Santa directing people to the hot coco and cookies.

Santa directing people to the hot coco and cookies.

This cart won 1st place.

This cart won 1st place.

Our friends Jack & John with their wives safely seated in the back. Hmm, safe with Jack at the wheel, maybe not LOL!!

Our friends Jack & John with their wives safely seated in the back. Hmm, safe with Jack at the wheel, maybe not LOL!!

 We like to go down to the gathering spot so we can grab a cup of hot chocolate and see all of the carts together but I think most people gather along the route in groups and have a happy hour while watching the parade go by.

This cart took 2nd place. We felt it should have gotten 1st but what do we know.

This cart took 2nd place. We felt it should have gotten 1st but what do we know.

See the foot prints on the roof. Nice attention to detail.

See the foot prints on the roof. Nice attention to detail.

 Even though it’s still a little over 3 months away we have started to make a conscious effort to start using up things we have on hand before we turn over possession of our current home and head out with all of our stuff in a U-Haul trailer behind the pickup.

 Just like when we had a sticks & bricks home we still “like many of you I’m sure”  have stuff in our freezer and cupboards that we just sort of forgot we had or just ignore having that never gets used up. Well because of that we are planning meals around what we have and trying to get a jump on not getting into a crunch time situation and have to simply throw things away at the last minute. In an odd way I find it sort of fun, I don’t know why but I just do. Diane on the other hand seems to be totally indifferent about the task. Maybe because I have taken it on.

 It is very likely that once we turn over possession of our motorhome that we will be living out of a hotel room for maybe close to two weeks between driving to Kansas and then to Indiana and back to Kansas so having things that need refrigeration or need to be kept frozen is just not an option. And there is no reason to pack any more stuff into boxes than absolutely necessary. This might be another good time to make a drop at the local Good Will, in fact I know it is.

 As far as our new home on wheels, well the last I knew was that we had been moved up on the production schedule which I think we talked about in a previous update and our rig was going to hit the frame shop this week. BUT when I called New Horizon to remind them that we wanted the EZ Lube axle setup instead of the Never-lube they normally install the comment we got back was “thanks for the reminder, I will check with the girl that does our ordering to check stock”. WHAT!! In my mind if we have already given them around $50K to get our rig going and we are scheduled to be in the frame shop and the suspension certainly has to be installed while in the frame shop all of the darn parts should have been sitting ready by now.

 We have read and were warned by almost every New Horizon owner we have talked with to stay on top of New Horizon and make sure everything was on paper and every I was dotted and every T was crossed because things had a way of being forgotten during the process and to take the build time frame with a grain of salt because they almost never meet a deadline and I hate to think that we are already going to experience that before even the first weld has been done.

 You know how they say a doctor makes the worst patient, well I worked far too many years in a customer service related line of work to be a good customer if basic customer service procedures are not followed. But it might be a little premature to start barking just yet LOL!! But rest assured, we will give a true and honest report as we go along. If we are going to fork out money for one of the highest priced 5th wheels on the market today it damn well better come along with good service, and I’m not talking lip service.

 Along those same lines of thoughts we have to give a shout out to Tom at Classy Chassis who built our new truck, they stayed on top of every little detail and stayed true to the build schedule almost to a T, in fact they finished a little ahead of schedule AND they kept us up to date with photos and progress reports.

 Although it’s true we have not seen the truck in person and we still need to hold out on our final opinion we feel very good about the way things went and have very little doubt we will be very happy with the outcome.

 That’s it for now.                      

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Still kickin around in sunny Arizona

 It always seems hard to muster up a update while sitting still at our winter location in fear of just repeating the same old thing over and over again. You know, got up, went to the Pickleball courts, went for a bike ride, went for a walk, went to the gym, played Mah Jong, played Mexican Train, went out for wing night, went to happy hour and on and on. We are sure it just turns into blah blah blah on your end LOL!!! But it really does not feel that way on our end, we are having a great time, well I am anyway.

A great evening out with friends.

A great evening out with friends.

A few brand new people trying out a orientation class on Pickleball.

A few brand new people trying out a orientation class on Pickleball.

After a few hours of Pickleball this is where I go to get 30 minutes or so of cardio in.

After a few hours of Pickleball this is where I go to get 30 minutes or so of cardio in.

 Diane on the other hand is still dealing with her arm issue and it just gets worse instead of better. We have written about the 4 or 5 appointments we have already had between the orthopedic surgeon and the neurologist and the run around with different tests and the length of time between the tests and how for some reason what we are being told just doesn’t settle well in our heads. Well, we decided to get a second opinion.

Diane, are you thinking about fish tonight for dinner?

Diane, are you thinking about fish tonight for dinner?

 After a little research and by asking around we learned about an organization in the Phoenix area called the “Core Institute”.  They are recognized as the number one orthopedic group six years and running and are chocked full of orthopedic and neurosciences specialists.

 The Core has 20 different locations in Arizona so for us the location in Mesa works best so Diane gathered up her x-ray and MRI information along with whatever other information was gathered from her previous appointments and made an appointment to get the ball rolling.

We will need to go back and check this one out again.

We will need to go back and check this one out again.

 When it came time for the appointment the Core seemed very efficient, we arrived ½ hour early for her 1:30 appointment so Diane could fill out whatever new patient paperwork there would be and amazingly we were ushered into an exam room by 1:40 and a nurse was with us doing her initial routine within minutes soon followed by the Dr. who I’m sure was reviewing the MRI and x-ray before coming into the room. Pretty darn impressive from what we have been going through lately and what usually happens at doctor offices.

 The doc asked a few questions, had Diane move her arm the best she could on her own, touched different areas on her shoulder as she moved (at times with his help) her shoulder and with a very short time said without hesitation that she does in fact have bone spurs but more importantly she has Adhesive Capsulitis of the shoulder, better known as Frozen Shoulder. (I told her if she kept giving me the cold shoulder something bad would happen, you know like when your mom would say “if you keep making that face it will stay that way” or “if you keep doing that you will go blind” oh wait, forget I said that LOL!!!)

people are getting into the spirit around here.

people are getting into the spirit around here.

 At that point he suggested a steroid injection and asked if it was ok if his sidekick could give it (a nice young lady obviously going through training) to which Diane answered yes. Once I saw that long ars needle I think I would have changed my mind but Diane hung right in there as the girl in training stuck that sucker into her joint and started moving it around as if having a hard time finding the correct spot.

A great place to catch a meal and enjoy a little down time. So we hear anyway, we have not eaten here yet this year.

A great place to catch a meal and enjoy a little down time. So we hear anyway, we have not eaten here yet this year.

 After a few seconds I saw Diane’s eyebrows raise a little and I’m sure the doctor did as well because he calmly took control of the needle and completed the injection.

 He then said he would like to set her up for physical therapy and wants to see her again in 6 weeks. If he is correct in his diagnosis he told us and did more in that 1 short visit than the original doctor did in all the visits combined. Time will tell.

Old farts practicing for a game because you know once we reach 55 and older we just lay around the pool and drink beer right?.

Old farts practicing for a game because you know once we reach 55 and older we just lay around the pool and drink beer right?.

Just how some of the old farts spend a afternoon.

Just how some of the old farts spend a afternoon.

A good spot to get a burger and watch a baseball game.

A good spot to get a burger and watch a baseball game.

 Other than what we have already mentioned we also spent an evening with our friends and neighbors Dave & Jenny at the 23rd annual Casa Grande Electric Light Parade.

 After a good chili feed at Dave & Jenny’s we all jumped in their truck and headed downtown with our lawn chairs and blankets to take in the festivities. 

 This year if I heard correctly there were right at 100 floats involved and to our surprise not one from Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, the largest RV Resort in the area even though there were floats entered by much smaller resorts.

 Not to fear, even though the huge and powerful resort owners don’t seem to feel the need to have a float in the parade the Palm Creek Pickleball Club announced that next year they themselves would put a float together to have it in the parade!! That’s the spirit!!

 

 On another note along with my Pickleball partner John we entered a tournament in Tucson. Even though we didn’t medal we made it into the 4th round before getting knocked out which in my mind wasn’t bad for our first tournament together and it being the 2nd tournament either of us had ever been in (the 1st real USAPA Sanctioned tournament).

 Even though I think we could have put on a better showing we left with high hopes of doing better in the 3 “possibly 4” upcoming tournaments we plan to play in between now and April.

 And our new truck is completed and will be stored for us until we make our way to Indiana to pick it up in April.

 I’m sure we will do a update on her once we pick it up and spend a little time with it so you truck people might look forward to that, or maybe not LOL!!

 As far as our 5th wheel, all of the decisions have been made and signed off on and we were told it should start in the frame shop next week. That will give them just over 3 months to get it built in order to stay within our original plans of picking it up the 1st week of April. Time will tell.

 In reality if we leave Arizona April 1st as planned it will take 3 days to get to Kansas pulling a U-Haul trailer and then it will probably take us 6 days or so to get to Indiana and back with the new truck without pushing it to hard so mid-April would work for us. As long as we can get it and make it to a rally 700 miles south in Texas by May 4th we are all good with pretty much whatever happens.

 That’s it for now, stay warm if you are one of those crazy people tromping around in the snow and don’t forget your sun block if you are enjoying the sunny areas.

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Things are coming together yet still in turmoil

 Time for another update.

 Things have calmed down a little from our last update yet we still have not been able to get into the routine we had envisioned like we did last year.

 Starting with me, my bout with vertigo has seemed to have gone away and so far is staying away.

 We read and have talked with people that had reoccurring episodes with vertigo for sometimes a couple months before it totally went away so even though I don’t feel lucky that I had to deal with it at all I do feel fortunate that compared to many my experience did not linger, so far at least.

 So, I’m pretty much back to my old routine of Pickleball every day (well almost, we have had a couple interruptions and most of them worthwhile which we will touch on in a bit), bike rides, walks and whatever else pops up. One thing I have not gotten back into yet is hitting the gym on a regular basis but my plan is to start that right after a Pickleball Tournament I’m signed up for in Tucson on December 8th. I don’t want to start working muscles that may not be used to being worked that might hamper my play, I’m hampered enough as it is..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diane on the other hand is still dealing with pain daily, well all the time as far as that goes, with her arm / shoulder ordeal.

 In our last update we left off described how the suggested visit to a neurologist went and that Diane decided to heck with that and made another appointment with the Orthopedic surgeon to inform him she wanted to bypass any testing with the neurologist and to take care of the known bone spur issue first and go from there instead of chasing possible ghosts. We have this appointment scheduled on Wednesday (12/5)

 On to another subject, here is where we stand in the selling process of our current motorhome. First off before we reached Casa Grande I placed an ad on Facebook and we had a number of hits on it but as you can imagine by us being a moving target as we bounced around every week it made it hard for anyone to really have a look. Plus we advertised that we wanted to maintain possession until April 1st so I’m sure that turned a few off as well.

 Once we reached Casa Grande we placed an ad on RVT.com and RVtrader.com as well as on Craigslist in the Phoenix, Yuma and Tucson Arizona areas.

 From our experience the Facebook ad certainly got a lot of attention and a lot of requests for more information and pictures but nothing solid ever came from them mainly because people were from all over the country and not necessarily near us at all. But exposure is exposure and you just never know. And of course it was fun to have that “glimmer of hope” moment now and again LOL!!

 RVT.com and RVtrader.com each generated a couple leads but nothing that seemed very solid but no doubt both were to be credited with the call’s we started getting from a few RV dealers around the country wanting to take it off our hands for a “fare” price LOL!!! Of course we are being facetious.

 Even though the numbers they were throwing around were not overly attractive a couple of them were not downright horrible and were numbers that IF we found ourselves in need of selling it when it came down to the wire of picking up our new 5th wheel, we could live with. Even though we could buy the new truck and 5th wheel and put the motorhome on consignment somewhere it’s not something we cherished the thought of.

 Craigslist on the other hand generated more local leads and leads that turned out to be much more solid, even though a couple turned out to be flaky as well of course.

 One lead in particular turned out to be a pretty good one, Jack and Lisa initially contacted us through Craigslist which turned into a couple emails which turned into a phone conversation which turned into 2 visits to tour our coach (each visit roughly 3 to 4 hours, (these are the worthwhile things we talked about that took us away from Pickleball and our normal routine lol) and to haggle on just what would come with it and price and then a 3rd visit after we agreed on a price for an actual test drive and to drop off a deposit check.

Whew, this selling stuff while full-timing is a hassle. Now I remember why we just did the trade-in thing when we bought this coach. I sure wish New Horizon would have taken it as trade because it certainly would have been much easier.

 Because we will keep possession and live in the motorhome until close to the 1st of April we will not be totally cashed out so now it’s just a moving money game to pay the timed out installment’s for the new 5th wheel during the build process and to pay for the new truck sitting in Indiana which has to be paid for by the end of the year. We probably have our financial advisor climbing the walls about now LOL!!! But everything is penciled out and has gone as planned so far so we are just rolling with the flow and he will need to as well.

 Oh, did I mention truck, well I guess that’s a perfect lead in to talk about where we are on it right now.

 Because this entire truck purchase and build out has been done completely over the phone and internet Tom, the owner of Classy Chassis, has done a great job supplying pictures and keeping us up to date on how things have been progressing.

 Buying a truck and having all of the things done to it that we are without ever seeing or touching it in person is completely out of character for me and I myself can’t believe we are doing it but Diane on the other hand was ok with it from the get go and she has kept be from going bonkers a few times.

 We had done a ton of research before going through with it and with all of the research and all of the people that we have talked to either in person, over the phone or via e-mail not one of them had one single negative thing to say about Tom, Classy Chassis or the product they put out which also was a huge deciding factor for us to move forward like this.

 Anyway, the truck and conversion is basically completed at this point and we just have to fork over the remaining balance by mid-December and Tom has agreed to keep it safe & sound for us until we go pick it up in April. LOL!! A new truck and conversion totally paid for sitting 1800 miles away that we have not even seen or touched in person, are we flippin crazy!!! Well our moto is “Throwing Caution to the Wind” after all LOL!! I think we are still living up to that.  

 That’s it for now, we have been here in our winter spot for just over a month and still have 4 months remaining before moving on (probably with all of our worldly possessions in a U-Haul trailer behind the pickup LOL!!) Truly homeless.

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