Several readers have asked for an idea of what something like this costs. As you might imagine, I kept rather detailed records of what we were spending. While I am not comfortable sharing exact dollar amounts here are some final percentages:
We spent 6.5% more than I had budgeted. Almost all of that over-spending went into the gas tank of the RV and car. About a year ago when I started planning this trip I had not anticipated the significant increase in gas costs, the full effect of towing a car behind the RV, and the difference in fuel costs in different parts of the country. Frankly, I though gas in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain areas would be cheaper than in Phoenix, but not so. Prices approached $4.00 a gallon in several areas we visited, making $125 stops at the pump not uncommon.
Of the total amount spent 43% went right into the gas tanks. In fact, our trip was shortened by about a week because of the cost of fuel. 26% of the total paid for our nightly campsites and 13% for food in the RV. The rest was spent on gifts, mementos, stuff for Bailey, occasional meals out, and admissions to museums and parks.
We spent somewhat more than $115 per day for this 5,160 mile trip. A decent hotel, meals, and gas costs for a typical vacation is usually more than that so the RV approach is less expensive, but not substantially.
Importantly, Betty and I agree that this time away was worth every penny. We grew as individuals and a couple. We saw things that enriched our lives and gave us a new appreciation for the beauty and vastness of this country. We gained a renewed love for where we live and the blessings of our life. We not only survived being in a very small space together (with a dog!) but enjoyed it tremendously.
Disappointments? Sure. The weather was not cooperative for most of the trip. The first three weeks were spent in places having heat waves that almost rivaled temperatures in Scottsdale. That was followed by cold snaps that meant we had to wear sweatshirts and coats, plus run the RV's furnace while we slept. We were able to set up our outside grill only twice. The bugs and flies were so thick that eating or sitting outside to read and relax, became the exception rather than the norm. As I mentioned in an earlier post, too many of our roads and Interstate highways are falling apart.
But, none of those irritations was enough to cause us to question the trip. The friendliness of the people we met, the beauty of the countryside and the thrill of each new discovery made the journey one we will cherish forever. The planning for next summer's trip to Oregon has already begun.
Betty took almost 14,000 pictures...an amazing average of 230 a day! Many of them are stunning and awe-inspiring. Several will eventually make it onto our walls at home.
I will have posts over the next several months that highlight many of the best. But, to whet your appetite here is just a handful of some of the RV parks that we called home or places within a short drive
|Putting dozens of patches on the RV spare wheel cover|
|See the finished wheel cover!|
|Devil's Tower as seen from our campsite|
|The Falls at Sioux Falls were just 10 minutes away|
|Yes, a Las Vegas RV Park Pool|