2014 Year In Review

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:

Rover halfway through the build process.

Rover halfway through the build process.

After moving into Rover, we got to visit friends and family, and explore some great places! Some highlights include:

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.


Click the map to read the annotations

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!


Contemplating the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park

2015 Plans

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

Opie turned five in 2014. This was a particularly chilly evening!

Opie turned five in 2014. This was a particularly chilly evening!

Max turned 12 this year. Here he is relaxing in Rover.

Max turned 12 in 2014. Here he is relaxing in Rover.

Michael Fischer

After a high-tech career spanning software development and systems administration to leading hundreds of engineers across cities and continents, I'm now slowing things down a bit. Traveling full-time in an RV with my awesome wife Kathie and our two big dogs Max and Opie, I'm now pursuing smaller personal software projects while seeing North America up close.


  1. Joe lenz   •  

    Safe travels

  2. John R   •  

    Kathie enjoying the view at Big Bend, Opie warming up in front of the fireplace, and Max looking distinguished and content… These photos are just wonderful. :-)

    • Mike   •     Author

      Thanks! The photo of Opie is a bit over the top, but what can I say, these dogs live the good life!

  3. Jonathan Scharf   •  


    Thanks for taking your time and recapitulating all of last years events with links to each blog. I have been following your travels since July and tonight I just read all of your earlier stories.

    So far to date I have changed all of my 36LA faucets because of you detailing your efforts doing the same. My wife thanks you but it does make it more eloquent let alone more functional than the stock faucets.

    I just started adding glass tile backsplashes to all the sink areas and I will send photos once complete for you. This item is a standard feature for the Phaeton and above.

    I also will be receiving my X4 (again because of your experience) with 5 Star Tuning (http://www.5startuning.com/product/ford-6-8l-v10-rv-motor-home-only-x4-power-flash-device/ ) to help assist with the shifting pattern (damn Ford) that you and I are blessed with. I always suspected the tranny was missing a gear while up-shifting, but 5 Star confirmed that indeed Ford’s stock strategy does just that. Hence the long, long windup. Well, I hope that will be a thing of the past after I load the new strategy. Tomorrow it will be delivered!

    Tonight thanks to your blog I learned about (https://dogvacay.com/). We too are animal lovers and we are very guarded about who Zoe (our Standard Poodle) can stay with. This site will hopefully solve that concern.

    And lastly, my wife thanks both of you for trying to keep on a budget and linking us up with http://www.youneedabudget.com/features . Well she more than me…. I love to spend.

    Good luck on the next leg. Enjoy, and if you are going to loop through LI, NY or get somewhere close to the area give me a holler, we would love to meet you both!

    • Mike   •     Author

      Jonathan, I’m glad the blog’s been helpful to you, although it sounds like we’re just causing you to spend more money! ;-) I think you’ll find that the 5-Star Tune makes a big difference, but once you get used to it, you still realize the Ford struggles occasionally. Still, we love the coach and the Ford engine/chassis so far. Although my brother and sister-in-law live on Long Island (hi!) we’re pretty sure there’s no way we’re driving Rover back onto the Island… it was just a bit too traumatic. We will likely be passing through eastern PA in the fall of 2015. I’d love to see the Smart Tiles… we really want to spruce up the interior and get rid of some of the brown/beige everywhere! -Mike

  4. Kristi Akers   •  

    Love reading your blog. We are the Maryland friends that got our Tiffin just before yous also in NASA color!!

    When you make it back to the east coast and you think about doing Cedar Point, make sure you plan. They stay booked far in advance of most of the summer.

    Can’t wait to see where 2015 takes you.


    • Mike   •     Author

      Kristi, thanks for the tip! We were thinking maybe hit Cedar Point right after school goes back into session in September, hopefully less kids and crowds then. We’ll try to plan in advance though…

  5. timojhen   •  

    Glad to see max is still doing research on his advanced relaxation degree.

    • Mike   •     Author

      It’s a never-ending pursuit.

  6. Vicki   •  

    I loved your coment about having no regrets. In life, we mostly regret the things we haven’t done. Thanks for the update on Opie and Max. Safe travels.

  7. Pingback: Life Rebooted – Favorite Campgrounds of 2014

  8. Pingback: Life Rebooted – 2015 Year In Review

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