Our first year of RVing is over, so it’s time to take a look back at a few milestones for 2014. First, some events leading up to our life reboot:
- January: Ordered our Tiffin Allegro 36LA motorhome at the Tampa RV Super Show.
- February: Lots of work to prepare the house for sale, and lots of research on RVing.
- March: Watched Rover being built in Red Bay, Alabama.
- April: Last day of work, sold our home in Virginia, drove to Tampa, completed the purchase of Rover, and became Florida residents!
After moving into Rover, we got to visit friends and family, and explore some great places! Some highlights include:
- May: Visited my Mom in Florida, and watched a Delta IV rocket launch at Cape Canaveral.
- June: Visited Wendy in North Carolina, and lots of friends and family in Virginia.
- July: Squeezed Rover into Bob and Amy’s driveway on Long Island, visited Kris and Jen in upstate NY, and Gary and Dee in New Hampshire.
- August: Attended Dragon*Con (our second time) in Atlanta Georgia with Mark, Gray, and Cindy.
- September: Attended the iRV2.com rally at Myrtle Beach South Carolina, and visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Gray and Cindy in Orlando Florida.
- October: A nice long visit with mom, and swam with the manatees in Crystal River Florida.
- November: Watched an amazing Blue Angels Air Show in Pensacola FL, visited Catherine in Houston Texas, and spent our first Thanksgiving away from “home”.
- December: Our first time dry camping (no hookups), in Big Bend National Park, Texas, and our first time driving Rover through a snowstorm.
Our 2014 Travels
We’ve kept a map of our travels across the east and south, and all the campgrounds we’ve stayed at. Click the map to see our path from Florida to New Hampshire (in blue), then back down to Florida (in purple), and finally west to New Mexica (in orange). All told, we covered 6,829 miles in Rover during the year, camped at 33 different locations (including a few driveways), and averaged just under $30 per night in campground fees.
Speaking of campground fees, they were our largest budget line for the year, followed by health insurance premiums and co-pays (yuck) and then groceries (yum). Happily, we beat our budget plan for the year by a decent margin, at least in part thanks to our meticulous use of the YNAB (You Need A Budget) software. It took a month or two to figure out how to best use the software to plan and manage our spending, but now we love it. It also helps that we don’t have enough room in Rover to purchase many souvenirs, so we do a lot of window shopping and very little buying!
One thing’s for sure about 2014… we have absolutely no regrets! For many months leading up to our reboot, we kept asking each other questions like “are we crazy?” and “what if we don’t like it?” Well, I can’t really weigh in on whether or not we’re crazy, but we are really enjoying the freedom living in an RV affords us. We’ve met lots of great people (RVers are generally a really friendly bunch) and explored so many places. Living in a 350 sq. ft. home has not phased us at all (after living through a few months of bumps and bruises getting used to the smaller space), and out of all the things we used to have, the only thing we miss from time to time is a bathtub, especially in the winter. We have no plans to stop and settle down again any time soon!
So what’s in store for 2015? We don’t know for sure, except that it’ll involve traveling up the west coast through California, Oregon, and Washington once winter starts retreating. We might venture into Canada for a bit as well. We’d really like to visit Utah, since every other RVer we chat with raves about the state. And then there’s Cedar Point in Ohio where some more roller coasters are calling our names. We’ll probably pick a few key locations and then play “connect the dots” to see how we get there and what’s in between.
We would like to be back on the east coast in the fall for an extended visit with family and old friends. One of the downsides of starting out on the road is it can be a little lonely, especially for us introverts who don’t make friends easily. Other RVers we meet tell us it takes a while but you eventually start running into the same folks over and over and making new connections. Time will tell!
Lastly we’d like to thank all our blog readers for your kind comments and e-mails. We set this blog up for friends and family to keep track of us and so we’d have a record of places we’ve visited and things we’ve done. We find it a little amazing (and flattering) that we keep getting comments and e-mails from new readers saying they love our blog! We were closely following dozens of other interesting full-time RVers blogs well before we launched our adventure, but we never really thought ours would interest people too!
We hope everyone has a happy and safe 2015!
Mike & Kat