Our 5th year summary

We have now gone past our 5th year of fulltime RVing !!! Wow, time has flown by. And DOUBLE WOW, what a great year we had.  Actually July of 2017 marked 5 years of “living” in a RV but November 2017 marked 5 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. 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.

This is what our map looks like for all years

This is what our map looks like for all years


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)


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)


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!!


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.


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).


Average cost per night,, First Year = $23.32

Second Year = $17.77

Third year = $28.79

Fourth year = $21.24

Fifth year = $30.20

All years combined = $25.02 (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 5 years ago.) We certainly notice that prices at campgrounds are a lot higher the farther east you go. And prices have gone up 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.


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).


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


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



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 while we are away from Oregon), pickup maintenance, Jeep registration, Jeep maintenance, Jeep fuel, 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) and in 2017 we spent $1321 (I never should have visited the 2 Duluth Trading stores LOL!!!)

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 2017 with the biggest culprit being campground fee’s. But we were under in 7 other categories so it helps even things out, a little.


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.




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.


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.


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.

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.


* 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.

* That makes our average stay in one spot since hitting the road 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.  


* 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.


* 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.


* 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.


* 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.


*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.


* 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.


* 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).


* 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!!!


* 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!!


* 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!!!   


* 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.  


* 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.


* 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.


** 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.


* 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.

Our 2017 map

Our 2017 map

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 5 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 5 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.


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Our road to outdoor cooking

 We mentioned in a prior update that we made a switch in our outdoor cooking equipment by changing from the Green Mountain Davy Crockett Smoker/BBQ to a Camp Chef Explorer 60X Pro so because we have been asked a few times about it I thought I would yack about that a bit.

 **we will scatter a few pictures in to keep it interesting***

 When we first hit the road we carried a Weber Baby Q which did a good job for what it was but just wasn’t versatile enough for me (it probably would have been if we didn’t fulltime and just did short trips in the RV) and I really missed being able to do meat low & slow so when we ran across the Green Mountain Davey Crocket pellet smoker/bbq we made a change.

 The Davy Crocket even though a little awkward getting in and out of the cargo bay was a great unit and I had a lot of fun with it and made some great meals. Heck I even made cakes in it!! 

 But after carrying it for 2 years we decided it was time for another change for a couple reasons, the main being that Diane isn’t a big fan of smoked food and even when I cooked at temps above 250 (which is above the real smoking temperature) she would still complain of a smoky taste to the food. The other reason was because even though the Davy Crockett is a portable unit it was a little bit of a hassle for 1 person to mess with the leg system during setup and take down and because we typically make a move every week I started finding myself just not wanting to take it in and out which cut back on our cooking outside, and that’s not good.

 That leads us to where we are today, after some research and knowing that quality, versatility and portability were at the top of the list of importance we decided on the Camp Chef.

 What we liked was being able to start with a sturdy 2 burner unit (burners are 30,000 BTU each) with folding and collapsible legs (and built in levelers) and electronic ignition and build or modify if you will from there with what we want.

 Right from the start Camp Chef offers options of a 1, 2, 3 burner units to choose from and the option of going with the most basic model called the Explorer X or with the Explorer Pro series. And the option of 14” or 16” in depth units. And you can even go with a “high output” series that comes with 60,000 BTU burners, WOW!! To put the BTU’s in perspective the well-known Weber Baby Q has a 12,000 BTU burner so just one of our burners puts out more than twice the BTU’s of a Baby Q (not that a person would run it on high very often).

Everything stowed and ready for travel

Everything stowed and ready for travel

 We opted for the Pro series because of the boxed in burner’s which we felt would be a benefit on windier days (plus we like the look) and because it comes with features already built in that we would have needed to purchase and add to the X series like the folding side tables and electronic igniter’s and leg levelers. Plus the folding legs are not even an option on the X series and we really like them.

Bacon wrapped sirloin and asparagus

Bacon wrapped sirloin and asparagus

I roll the tortillas in foil and let the heat from the burner under he griddle warm the BBQ box and tortillas

I roll the tortillas in foil and let the heat from the burner under he griddle warm the BBQ box and tortillas

Chicken fajitas

Chicken fajitas

Just a couple steaks & taters

Just a couple steaks & taters

 Once we decided on the starting unit we had options of cooking surfaces. You can simply use pots and pans or Dutch ovens if that’s your thing or opt for things like BBQ boxes, griddles, pizza ovens OR any combination of the things mentioned because it’s all modular which takes care of the versatility feature on our “things of importance” list. We chose a BBQ box and a griddle to begin with and liked our choice however I found myself using the griddle the most and after 7 months decided to make our system even more versatile by purchasing a second griddle, this one covers both burners and gives a much larger griddle area to work with.

We love bacon and I like taters with eggs mixed in for breakfast.

We love bacon and I like taters with eggs mixed in for breakfast.

 For example, if we wanted just a 2 item breakfast the single griddle worked just fine but if we wanted maybe pancakes or French Toast and bacon & eggs for breakfast it got pretty tight on the single griddle and I would end up using the BBQ box as a warming oven which really wasn’t a big deal but not perfect.

Those little silicon things around the eggs are a great tool. I didn't think I'd like them but I do.

Those little silicon things around the eggs are a great tool. I didn’t think I’d like them but I do.

Diane does not like eggs and no, I didn't break the yoke on accident, I like my yokes hard.

Diane does not like eggs and no, I didn’t break the yoke on accident, I like my yokes hard.

 And because everything is modular it only takes a matter of minutes to change out cooking surfaces.   

  We also like that each piece has carrying cases available that helps keep everything organized, neat & clean. And of course I measured everything to make sure they would fit neatly in the cargo bays before buying anything.

That egg is to go on my hamburger. If Diane even saw that egg touch her burger she wouldn't eat it LOL!!

That egg is to go on my hamburger. If Diane even saw that egg touch her burger she wouldn’t eat it LOL!!



Swordfish & yams

Swordfish & yams

We have had the Camp Chef for 8 month’s now and have used it a lot so far. I’ve made numerous breakfasts of bacon & eggs, hash browns, pancakes, French Toast, Stuffed French Toast, ham and sausage and dinners ranging from Pork Chops, steaks, chicken, chicken fajitas, asparagus, Tri-tip and on and on and on and everything has turned out pretty darn good if I say so myself.


 Heck I even threw some peaches, pineapples and broken up donuts on the griddle which made a great topping over a couple bowls of ice-cream LOL!!!

Time for some stuffed French Toast

Time for some stuffed French Toast

 We like to do vegetables on the griddle so to aid in the outcome of our dishes we purchased a steam dome. Now when I do things like asparagus or potatoes or maybe hamburgers (especially if you want to melt cheese over the top) I place he dome over the top of the food during part of the cooking time and it holds steam inside and helps keep moisture in.



  When doing certain things like asparagus I will squirt a little water under the dome and that really creates a lot of steam and it helps keep things plump and softens while still getting a little char on the outsides. Let’s face it, we have all done asparagus on the grill and ended up with crispy little spears at one time or another LOL!!!

Pork chops & Brussel sprouts

Pork chops & Brussel sprouts

This Tri-tip turned out sooooo good!!

This Tri-tip turned out sooooo good!!



 I have even used it while doing pork chops if we are doing a thick cut or if you like a sunny side up egg it helps as well. And the dome would work well even on a regular grill for melting cheese on burgers.

I used to use this foil pan as my melting dome.

I used to use this foil pan as my melting dome.

Tuna & taters.

Tuna & taters.

A couple steaks, taters & zucchini

A couple steaks, taters & zucchini

Steaks & wedged sweet potato's

Steaks & wedged sweet potato’s

 I have always been a bit leery about cleanup and care while cooking with cast iron but after using the griddle I have changed my thoughts 100%. You may already know but the longer you use a particular cast iron item the easier it is to use with just a little upkeep because as it seasons it becomes more “Teflon” like and sticking becomes a non-issue. And with just a little water and a scrapper followed by a light coat of oil things clean up very easily. Now I wish I had tried cast iron years ago.

Shrimp fajita's

Shrimp fajita’s

We love us some French toast in the morning. That little pan works great to warm the syrup. This is why we went with a double griddle.

We love us some French toast in the morning. That little pan works great to warm the syrup. This is why we went with a double griddle.

 Ok, the list of model #’s we bought

#Pro60X 2 burner stove (check tip below)

#BB30L Deluxe BBQ Box

#SG30 Professional single burner griddle

#SG60 Professional 2 burner griddle

#CB60UNV Universal 2 burner stove carry bag

#SGBMD Medium griddle carry bag

#SGBXL Extra Large griddle carry bag

#BB30BAG Acc. Bag that hold the BBL30L BBQ box

*(TIP) when looking at the stove itself be sure to check for the unit with fold down shelf supports. We found that even though stores carry the same model number when it comes to stoves they are not all created equal (I contacted Camp Chef directly and found this out). We found that some carry a unit that has stationary side shelf supports which created 2 problems for us. #1 it makes the unit longer while trying to store for travel, and #2 it did not allow the shelves to drop down flat to the sides when not in use which made it more awkward to cover when not in use. This may not be an issue for you but was for me. 


 We hope this answers some of the questions we have been asked and opens up another option for you outdoor cooking.

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I spent a little time at a Fly-in

Things have been pretty much status quo since our last update. About the only thing that has changed is that I made my way to the Fly In & Breakfast at the Coolidge Municipal Airport the other day.

 The Fly In is held the 1st Saturday of each month through the winter and for $8 you can have an all you can eat breakfast of pancakes, sausage, bacon & eggs and coffee.

 I rolled in about 7:30 and was one of the first few there and they were already serving breakfast so I grabbed a plate, found a spot at a picnic table and watched about 30 planes land while eating.

 After eating I walked out onto the tarmac to get a close up view of the planes while more planes kept landing one after the other until roughly 60 planes had flew in for the short event. The scheduled time is 8 to 10:30 but a few planes fly in a little early and of course a few hang around longer but for the most part you can go out, have some breakfast, watch planes land, get a close up view of some pretty nice planes, shoot the bull with like-minded people, watch some planes take off and still have most of the day free to do whatever else.

 Diane opted to not go with me to the fly-in and went golfing with 3 friends at 9:30 and then played Pickleball in the afternoon. Once we finally got together that day we had a light dinner and then headed to the courts to practice a couple particular shots for about an hour before heading home for showers and some relaxation. Another great day.

 In our last update I mentioned that we got off to a slow start this year here at Palm Creek but it seems we have both fallen into a pretty full schedule now with Diane’s Pickleball and taking up Mahjong and golfing one day (talking about 2) days per week.

 It’s sort of funny, we normally always go grocery shopping together but now that our schedules have filled up and our activities are almost always at different times when we need a few things from the store we have a hard time finding time to go together.

 Well maybe it’s not that funny but it was to us when we found ourselves looking at our calendars together to find a time slot suited for shopping and we ended deciding we would just have to make do with what was in our cupboards for the next couple days LOL!! OR become late night Walmart shoppers.

 On another note we have 2 sets of friends that have sent us there travel itineraries for 2018 so that in case we are in the same areas we can get together, heck one even has the travel time between each stop figured out along with check-in and checkout times. They both asked what our year looks like and we just don’t have the heart to tell them we have not even scheduled our next trip to the grocery store not alone any travel plans for 2018 LOL!!! I guess we should at least start talking about what part of the country we want to hang out in this summer.

 I have done a little research about where I have been wanting to spend the winter in Texas (Mission Texas) but have found that there is very little Pickleball there. Now it may sound funny that we let Pickleball dictate where we go but we have mentioned in previous updates that in spots we plan to spend any length of time we want to have activities (physical activities) like Pickleball available to occupy our time because if you stay put for say 3 months there are only so many trails to hike and sights to see and we don’t want to feel like we have to be out and about every day, yet sitting on our asses at home does not work for us either LOL!! So with that said I think we have crossed spending next winter in Texas off the list for now unless we come across new information that changes our minds. That puts Arizona back at the top of the list for our winter stay again next year, and that’s ok. Where in Arizona we have not figured out yet.

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Our stay at Palm Creek continues

 We have been settled in at Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort for a month now and things are clicking right along after what we consider a slow start this year. Even though it will not be the normal that we fell in love with last year because of the ongoing construction, the new rules and regulation’s at the Pickleball courts (maybe we didn’t talk about that because it’s pretty new) and lack of the RC airfield we talked about in our last update it’s still pretty ok.

 Construction on the new Pro Shop, Bistro, Ballroom, sewing Room and added RV sites still continue and some if not most simply will not be completed during our stay this year but I think we have come to grips with the fact that temporary fences and heavy equipment will just be part of the experience this season.

This will be the Pro Shop when it's completed

This will be the Pro Shop when it’s completed.

The unfinished sewing room

The unfinished sewing room

The sewing room used to sit here but now you see the unfinished ballroom.

The sewing room used to sit here but now you see the unfinished ballroom.

 The Nationals Pickelball Tournament is over and was fun to watch but as much as we appreciate the amazing talent that came here from all over the USA and Canada that we were able to witness we are (as well as many others) darn glad they have packed up and moved on so we can get to OUR normal routine around the courts. Well, not as normal as last year but we may or may not get into all that hoop-la in another update.


One of the Gold Medal matches.

One of the Gold Medal matches.

This is where some of the media were stationed during the matches.

This is where some of the media were stationed during the matches.

 We attended a general Pickleball meeting the other night and was informed that this year’s Nationals at Palm Creek became the largest Pickleball event ever held in the country hosting 1,400 players from 42 states and three Canadian provinces. That’s pretty amazing.


PIckleball courts and you can see the softball field in the background.

PIckleball courts and you can see the softball field in the background.

You can see the 32 Pickelball courts in blue & green and the vendor tents set up. This was taken right before morning play so the crowds had not gathered yet.

You can see the 32 Pickelball courts in blue & green and the vendor tents set up. This was taken right before morning play so the crowds had not gathered yet.


 From what we gather the Nationals will NOT be held here at Palm Creek next year so IF we come back we should be able to get right to business and start play as soon as we roll in instead of having to deal with temporary courts at the tennis courts and with luck the Round Robin organized play will start earlier as well as the clinics. But time will tell.

 There is a slight buzz going around that the USAPA is pressing Palm Creek to host the event again next year and if they decide to that will be one more thing that might deter us from coming here next year. It seems those little “push us away” buttons keep getting pushed.  

 Unfortunately the airfield situation will never be the same again but I have joined the Casa Grande Fliers club and have gone out to the city airfield a few times to fly but it’s just not the same and it’s far from a great field.

Casa Grande City Fly Field

Casa Grande City Fly Field

 The club president has spoken words of grandeur since last year talking about things like resurfacing the runway so that it’s not so rough, adding a battery charging station and even a weather station that members can hook up to remotely before making the long drive to the field and adding some sort of cover that would allow members to get out of the sun a little but nothing has happened except the raising of dues LOL!!!


 I guess he did have someone from the state push a little more dirt out of the way (the land is leased from the state) to increase parking space a bit and there are a few new tables available but heck they were donated by our old club at Palm Creek so really no noticeable improvements have been made that really make a difference. If only they would smooth out the runway I think most would be happy.

Gun range across fro the airfield.

Gun range across fro the airfield.

 And it’s just not the gathering place the field a Palm Creek was, very seldom is anyone out at the field at the same time it seems and half the fun is the camaraderie which is now lacking. Oh well, enough about that.

 Diane and I took a drive to a spot about 5 miles north of town in the middle of the desert where some go fly to have a look but dang it’s just a dust bowl getting there. The routine would be, pack up your own table and shade and head to the field, fly, drive back through the dust bowl to the main road, go directly to the car wash so you can tell what color your rig is again and head home LOL!! Not so great.

A runway etched out in the desert

A runway etched out in the desert

 And there is a chunk of land across the street from the park that is owned by the state and like BLM land you can get a use permit for $15 per year that would allow us to fly there, and some have done that, but it’s nothing more than a narrow dirt and gravel road with a concrete drainage ditch right next to it that is far from perfect so I may or may not take advantage of that spot.

 On a brighter note like we mentioned the Pickelball play for us is going strong again and I sign up for at least 5 different Round Robin Matches each week (Round Robins consist of 6 games) and I have signed up for the Men’s Shootout which is a step up in competition and sort of a rating or ladder system to really see where I stand compared to men in my current level.

 Diane’s sign up habits are a little more scattered at this point but I’m sure she will find a routine that works. She moved up 1 skill level this year and was a little apprehensive at first but is feeling better about it now. And I understand how she feels because I have felt the same way each time I have moved up. She however has added golf and Mahjong to her activities.


Diane with a few of her friends on a social night at the Pickleball Courts.

Diane with a few of her friends on a social night at the Pickleball Courts.


 On top of the play mentioned above it’s not uncommon to get together with another couple or even a few others and just go have some social play in the evenings as well. And now and again we just go over to practice certain shots with just practice in mind.

 As you can tell, Pickleball is pretty addicting to us and its great exercise and a great way to meet people.

 And yes, there is more to our life down here than flying RC planes and Pickleball (even though they take up the majority of our time). We get out for some sort of bike ride pretty much every day, there was a Art’s & Crafts fair that we attended and there was a Blue’s Band playing in the park that we went and listened to for a while one Saturday. And we get in a few games of Hillbilly Golf now and again. And of course there is a happy hour or two tossed in.

There were a few vendors outside and dozens more inside.

There were a few vendors outside and dozens more inside.

There were a few vendors outside and dozens more inside.

There were a few vendors outside and dozens more inside.

 And we drove to Chandler (just outside of Phoenix) for a Costco run in preparation for Thanksgiving which we spent with our friends & neighbors Dave & Jennie (from Kansas) and Jennie’s brother Jeff (who lives fulltime here at Palm Creek).

 Dave smoked a turkey and we had plenty of sides to feast on followed by some visiting before everyone waddled off.


















It’s funny, we normally go out to eat 1 or 2 times per week but we have been here for a month and have only gone out to eat twice. The same thing happened last winter, we just seem to stay busy and don’t think much about going out to eat and we tend to just stay home and eat healthier while here. I think I mentioned last winter that we treat this like a “club Med” lol!!! Heck I have only drank 1 beer and a little wine on Thanksgiving and Diane 2 beers and a little wine since getting here. Hey, we feel free to abuse ourselves 8 or 9 months of the year so I guess it doesn’t hurt to take care of ourselves a little more 3 or 4 months of the year, in fact I have lost 10lbs since we have been here and that’s after a huge Thanksgiving feast. Oh, do I have a goal in mind, yes LOL!!

Coming in for a landing

Coming in for a landing

They can make ANYTHING fly

They can make ANYTHING fly

See the prop behind it's head?

See the prop behind it’s head?

 There are a couple restaurants in town that we like so I’m positive we will hit them a few times during our stay so we won’t be deprived by any means.

 I guess that’s it for now, we have plans to drive south to Tucson within the next 2 or 3 weeks to take a look at 2 or 3 other RV Resorts in case we decide to make a switch away from Palm Creek in the future because of all the changes and to visit friends in that area so we should have something other than Pickleball and RC Airfields to talk about LOL!!!

 We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!       

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Which way do we go!!

Ahhhhh, what a summer!!! We traveled and camped in 18 different states and stayed at 52 different campgrounds and we covered more miles this year than any single year since hitting the road in late 2012. We said early on that we were going to treat 2017 like a vacation and in our minds we sure did, we saw some great country and picked a few things off our bucket lists for sure!!

 Now that the years travels are pretty much done we need to kick back and give some thought to what 2018 will bring. While we were leaving Michigan (which we loved) we were freely and openly talking about returning again next summer but after working our way all the way back down to Arizona (in a zig zag fashion) for the winter I started having second thoughts, not because of Michigan but because of the travel involved in getting from Arizona to Oregon and then all the way back over to Michigan for the summer months and then all the way back to Arizona where it seems we like to spend winters.

 It’s not just the distance even though it is a bunch of miles and a bunch of fuel but it really involves having travel days that are FAR longer than we like to travel in a day. We had days that were pushing 400 miles this year when for the first 4 years on the road we averaged more like 80 to 150 miles per travel day which was perfect in my mind, we didn’t just drive by things. And we had a lot more 3 and 4 day stays this year instead of the 7 day stays we have grown accustomed to and like.

 We have a few thoughts flying around in our heads like just stop thinking about it and make the loop with a different route across the top of the US over to Michigan, or taking Oregon out of the mix and just angle up to Michigan from Arizona which would save a bunch of miles and maybe even head to southern Texas after Michigan and avoiding Arizona for the 2018/2019 winter months (southern Texas is on my bucket list anyway but not Diane’s so much) or say to heck with it and just hang around the west coast and do a short loop (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and back to Arizona) this year slowing the pace a little which sounds like the best idea to me right now (only because I’m still dragging a little from this year’s venture but after a couple months of rest and sitting in one spot I’m sure my feeling s will change).

 The down side to taking Oregon out of the loop is that we have a bunch of great friends we would miss seeing and our “real life” stuff like doctors, financial advisor, buying larger ticket items without sales tax (lol), and a few other odd ball things are all in Oregon. But our thoughts are that doctors could be skipped a year and the other stuff we would just deal with over the phone.

 On the other hand the down side to staying on the west coast this year is that my driver’s license needs to be renewed in Feb. of 2019 so we need to hang around the west coast next year which would mean 2 years in a row out west, not that that’s a horrible thing either. I’m glad that renewing drivers licenses in Oregon is a once every 8 year thing. 

 So as you can probably tell, we have some thinking to do and at this point we have no clue what we will do in 2018 and have decided to give ourselves until December to figure it out because if we decided on Michigan we will need to start making reservations right after New Year’s and I’m guessing the same would be true if we decide on certain parts of Texas.  

 Decisions decisions, who said this life style is so easy LOL!! We are so fortunate that we are in a position that we CAN make these type of choices in our life.     

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Time to head to Casa Grande

Wednesday (11/1) we woke up (that’s always a good start to a day) and prepared for what we think will be our last travel day of 2017. Yup, we lifted our jacks and headed a whole 55 miles south to where we have called home the last couple winters at Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande Arizona.

 We didn’t even bother hooking up the pickup to the motorhome for this travel day, Diane just tossed in her favorite Bruce Springsteen CD and rocked out while following behind.

 We rolled in at about 11:30 and while checking in we immediately started bumping into friends that we have made here at the park over the last couple years. And that trend continued throughout the day. In fact we just got backed in and hadn’t even lowered the jacks yet and Drew & Becky came riding up on their bikes to say hello LOL!!

 Once we were all set up we jumped on our bikes to take a quick tour of the resort. As we were leaving last year we were told of a bunch of changes that were to take place over the summer and be completed before the busy season hit this year and at that point we thought it sounded like a lot to get completed in one year so we had to check it out.

This will be the new clubhouse for the golf course. Tis is what you are greeted with now when you turn the corner to the check in area.

This will be the new clubhouse for the golf course. Tis is what you are greeted with now when you turn the corner to the check in area.

 Well we were right, there are so many things not completed that I’m sure the resort will be taking some heat from visitors and rightfully so. And to be honest, because of the way they did away with our airfield without much of any notice I’m going to take great enjoyment in hearing about the crap they get lol.

 As soon as we turned the corner and headed towards the check in area we were invited with the view of heavy equipment and narrowed roads next to the new golf clubhouse that was supposed to be completed.

 And right next to that were we used to walk through to get to the pool & hot tub is still all torn up and the little Bistro coffee shop is closed down because it’s going to be part of the clubhouse that is still not completed so the bistro is now being ran out of a cargo style makeshift trailer and all of the food is being stored in a refrigerated trailer.

 Then there is the new Ballroom that is still not completed. Of course the old Ballroom is also in a shamble because it’s going to be connected to the new ballroom so I don’t know what the plan is for dance lessons and bingo nights and other gatherings that are held there until they get everything finished.

The sewing room used to sit here but now you see the unfinished ballroom.

The sewing room used to sit here but now you see the unfinished ballroom.

 Then to go along with all that there is the attractive temporary fencing and work site garbage containers set up around all the construction areas that certainly take away from the eye appeal that we enjoyed when coming here.

 And we can’t forget the big multimillion dollar expansion that took away our RC Airfield, RC Racetrack and all of the RV storage that was once there, it’s just a bunch of heavy equipment and people still working on all of the underground utilities that looks like is close to being complete so they can start grading for roads I would guess.

This is where RV storage and the RC airfield used to be. Next year this will have streets and more RV parking sites but I think mainly park models will line the outside.

This is where RV storage and the RC airfield used to be. Next year this will have streets and more RV parking sites but I think mainly park models will line the outside.

 Then there is the big sewing room move that had to happen so the ballroom expansion could take place that’s not completed.

Heck that was the first thing they did to get everything moving and they don’t even have that done. Boy howdy, I wouldn’t want to be the one that answers to a bunch of woman that can’t use their sewing room!!! That’s going to make us guys who lost our flying field look like a basket of freshly born kittens.

The unfinished sewing room. I guess the city said they needed to have a bathroom that was not in the original plans.

The unfinished sewing room. I guess the city said they needed to have a bathroom that was not in the original plans.

 What a cluster it all is but of course I’m lashing out a bit because of our airfield being taken away in such an abrupt manner and yet on the other hand everyone is still paying prime dollar for their stay even though things are messed up and not completed as promised when we all left last season. A small discount at check in would have gone a long way to offset a bunch of the ill feeling we hear people talking about in just the few short days we have been here.

 OK, how did we do, did we paint a gruesome picture of a horrible start to our season LOL!!! Well good, I meant to LOL!!!

 Alright, in all reality (OTHER THAN THE AIRFIELD and the eye appeal factor) everything that’s going on really has very little effect on us. We hardly ever went into the ballroom except for Line dancing lessons a couple times and I think we both agree that wasn’t our thing anyway, especially me. And Bingo which I think we have gone a whole 2 times to. And I think we stopped in for coffee and a breakfast burrito twice at the Bistro so no big deal there either. But we still feel a little discount for the month of November would have gone a long way.

 Our main focus here are the friends we have made, Pickelball, the gym and bike riding and none of those things are effected by the construction so we are just going to do our thing and enjoy our stay.

 On our first day here we must have ran into close to a dozen friends and on our 2nd day I was at the Pickelball courts at about 7:30 and was involved with about 40 other players in my first Round Robin of the season and Diane rolled in about 10 and got involved with her first round Robin of the season. On day 3 I found my way to the gym and spent some time on the Elliptical which I love to toss into our daily routine a few days a week. And I assembled the largest plane we carry with us and am ready to head out to the airfield soon so we are off and running.

You can see the 32 Pickelball courts in blue & green and the vendor tents set up. This was taken right before morning play so the crowds had not gathered yet.

You can see the 32 Pickelball courts in blue & green and the vendor tents set up. This was taken right before morning play so the crowds had not gathered yet.

 The Pickelball Nationals started at the park on Saturday (11/4) so our routine has been and will be hampered a bit while that is going on for a week but it’s fun going over to watch some of the best players in the nation battle it out. There are some temporary courts taped out on the tennis courts so we can still go over and play if we want, and I have.

PIckleball courts and you can see the softball field in the background.

PIckleball courts and you can see the softball field in the background.

 This is the last year the Nationals will be held here at Palm Creek we are told so IF we come back next year we will be able to take advantage of the courts without having this one week interruption but again, we enjoy watching so it’s a tradeoff. I bet we spent over 15 hours watching matches in just the first 3 days of the tournament.

 OK, that’s it for now.          

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A little time in Gold Canyon “2017”

 Wednesday (10/25) we lifted our jacks and rolled away from Juniper Ridge and headed 148 miles south to Gold Canyon Arizona. We basically took HWY 77 into Show Low and then jumped onto HWY 60 and drove it all the way to Gold Canyon.

 We drove this same route last year and really enjoyed the scenery, there are two or three 6 and 7 % grades you have to descend and a couple are on some fantastic motorcycle roads but nothing the engine brake on the motorhome doesn’t handle with ease, I love that thing!! Plus the views while winding your way down the canyon are fantastic, I envy Diane for being able to really to take in the views from the co-pilot seat at times.

 The last couple times we visited the Gold Canyon Area we have stayed at a RV Resort called Superstition Views and have enjoyed it pretty much but this time we decided to try Gold Canyon Golf & RV Resort which is pretty much next door to Superstition Views for something different.

 Once we checked in we were lead to our site and got set up, well set up enough because I just did the basics and then we hid inside with the AC running until the sun went down and it cooled down a bit, I told you in our last update that I would be whining because we have been so used to cool temperatures all summer so let the whining begin LOL!!

 By the time it started to cool down it was time for the World Series game to come on and at that point there was no way in the world I was going to pry Diane away from the TV so I jumped on my bike and headed out for a ride to check out the resort. Once I returned she sat outside to watch the game while I set up the BBQ and a couple other things and we called it day with the intent of waking up and hitting the Pickelball courts at 8am.

They have 5 Pickelball courts and there is talk of adding 1 more.

They have 5 Pickelball courts and there is talk of adding 1 more.

 Once Thursday rolled around we were right back in the “Resort mode”!! We were up, had breakfast and on our bikes headed to the Pickelball courts at 7:30 and by 8 we were engulfed in a game.

 The RV Park isn’t very full yet but there were still about 20 people at the courts and everyone was very inviting and had us feeling like we had been coming here for years in no time at all. I don’t know how many games we played but we played pretty solid for 2 ½ hours. Even though Diane and I have dinked around and practiced whenever we find ourselves around a court we have not been in any hard played games and I will admit that I was huffin & puffin a couple times during our play. In our defense the temps where in the high 80’s by the time we stopped playing and we were both feeling the heat from the sun, not just the competition LOL!!

Shuffle Board

Shuffle Board

Silver Smithing room

Silver Smithing room

 Once we finished play we headed home for showers and some lunch before heading back out to investigate more about the park. We headed to the clubhouse and toured the woodshop, stained glass shop, Lapidary room, wood carving room, pool hall, weight room, library, shuffle board courts and the pool areas. Like so many of the resorts down south they have every activity under the sun available to keep you as active as you want to be.



Wood Carving

Wood Carving

It's early in the season so the Activities Board isn't full yet but you get the idea.

It’s early in the season so the Activities Board isn’t full yet but you get the idea.

Pool and 2 hot tubs

Pool and 2 hot tubs

Good sized weight room.

Good sized weight room.

Small library.

Small library.

A nice pool hall.

A nice pool hall.


Look at all the concrete around those horseshoe pits!!

Look at all the concrete around those horseshoe pits!!

WHAT THE!!! That is as about the most dangerous looking horseshoe pit I have ever seen.

WHAT THE!!! That is as about the most dangerous looking horseshoe pit I have ever seen.

After touring we headed back home for a light dinner and then hit the Pickelball courts again at 6 and played under the lights until 8PM. And that my friends set the pace for our stay at Gold Canyon Golf and RV Resort LOL!!!

Diane & Diane taking on the guys.

Diane & Diane taking on the guys.

I thought this shot was funny. Everyone is looking at the ball as if to say "are you ever going to come down". LOL!!

I thought this shot was funny. Everyone is looking at the ball as if to say “are you ever going to come down”. LOL!!

 Oh sure, we did more than just play Pickelball, we put a bunch of miles on our bikes, we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant in the area called Chens for a meal, we went to the Mesa Marketplace that we hit every time we are in the area and we headed out to the Apache Junction RC Airfield to see what was going on. But we did play Pickelball every day and on some days we played at least 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.

There are at least 6 or 7 rows full of everything we didn't need.

There are at least 6 or 7 rows full of everything we didn’t need.

 We partly stopped in at this park to see if it might be a viable option other than going to Palm Creek during the winters. Because Palm Creek has now done away with the airfield some of the attraction has faded even though it’s a top notch park otherwise and has every type of entertainment available known to man and is pretty eye appealing, but we do not take advantage of most of the things available and the things we do take advantage of we can find in most of the larger resort type parks and at a lower cost.

 Gold Canyon Golf and Rv Resort is really just a smaller version of Palm Creek in about every way. Gold Canyon has about 1/3 of the spaces which means less people and every activity room is far smaller than those at Palm Creek but probably pretty proportional with the people each resort can hold.

 Palm Creek would certainly gets the nod for eye appeal and at this point has more sites that are actually used for RV’s and not filled up with park models but that is changing every year. Plus even though Palm Creek has its share of older park models Gold Canyon’s percentage of older (but still nice looking) park models is much higher. And the RV sites that are available at Palm Creek are a little larger which we most certainly like if we plan to spend any real time at all, we want to spread out and feel at home and not crunched in.

 Cost wise if we compare the 4 months that we will spend at Palm Creek this winter to the same 4 months at Gold Canyon, Gold Canyon is 13% cheaper (just comparing “published” standard lot prices to standard lot prices). We pay a little more each month at Palm Creek over standard site prices because we opt to have a premium site which gives us a corner site and even a little more room. After touring around Gold Canyon RV Resort I’m not sure we would be able to upgrade because from what we could see all of the premium sites are filled up with permanent park models so that is a ding as far as we are concerned.

 You might have noticed we said “published” prices, Palm Creek is pretty slick at nickel and diming. Palm Creek adds $30 per month for septic and garbage fee’s. We asked in the office at Gold Canyon and they said the published prices is the price you pay, no extra charges. Of course both charge for electricity for monthly stays. So with the added charges it makes Palm Creek roughly 15% higher than Gold Canyon.

 As we mentioned, both Gold Canyon RV Resort and Palm Creek are full of activities and both have some charges involved with some of these activities to cover material’s which makes perfect sense but during our comparison research we found that there are a few activities at Gold Canyon that are free compared to the same activities at Palm Creek having charges.

 For us if we look at the activities that we get involved in the charges don’t make a bunch of difference but for some it could certainly add up and increase the cost difference between the two. 

 By now you are probably asking, what are you guys, campground critique’s?? LOL!!! Well no, but this blog is a big part of our memory and in the future when making choices of where we might want to stay we will no doubt refer back to refresh our memories but if it helps give others a little insight it’s a plus.

 Besides, it’s not just about the money, it’s about the overall experience and we will see how we feel about Palm Creek after this season is over. Heck, we may skip Arizona all together next winter and head to Texas which makes being able to refer back to this info even more important after a year or two go bye because we probably won’t just remember LOL!! Sad but true.

 Ok, that probably sums it up for this area this year. We really enjoyed our short stay and really enjoyed the people we met while here, they all made us feel so welcome. Heck they even let us win a few games on the Pickelball court LOL!!!


 Wednesday (11/1) will be another move day and it will be a biggie of 55 miles

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