Home at Last

Home at last.

We headed out from Albuquerque on I-40 and were going to spend another night in either Snowflake AZ, if we were going south thru Show Low, or Flagstaff if we were going to stay on I-40 then I-17 to Phoenix. In the end we kept watching the weather in front of us and decided to go to Flagstaff. When we go to Flagstaff, having gained another hour we were too early to find a place so we just motored on home. We saw some snow on the ground just south of Flagstaff, in September!  In all we did about 496 miles that day. Longest day we drove and I don’t recommend it. We stopped several times at rest stops and lunch, etc. but it was still a 10 hour day. Ugh.

So what did we learn on the trip you ask? Lots, especially at Spartan Chassis. We even were able to teach our RVing friends back in Sun City Festival how to check your ABS brakes and adjust your air brakes, all from the driver’s seat.

One thing we learned is most campgrounds have lousy or non-existant Wi-Fi. We only found 2 that had decent Wi-Fi. Ft. Amarillo and KOA Indy.  Looks like we will be getting new iPhone 6’s and a MyFi for 4G internet access via Verizon cellular in the future.

Another thing we learned is many campgrounds have lousy fresh water. Lots of iron. A 2 or 3 filter system is a must to set up every night.  Bring plenty of filters. We went thru at least 2 a week.

It was fun being with the grand kids, Francis & Claudia, for 3 plus weeks, practically every day doing miniature golf, museums, villages, ice cream runs, day camps, ice hockey practices, more ice cream runs, etc.

Between buying the coach, getting it ready to travel including maintenance and tires, driving to Joplin / Branson, Spartan Chassis Class, grandkids, blown turbo in the motor it was over 2 months of non-stop every day get up and go. We didn’t have any real downtime until Hot Springs and Albuquerque. We have unloaded the coach and ready to clean it from top to bottom, again. 40’ is a big thing to clean!

What did it cost you ask? Being a former CPA I can’t help myself and keep track of most everything.  (As our friend Mary Yaconelli says, “do another spreadsheet Chuck!”)

We drove 5,530 miles in 64 days or 86.4 miles per day on average. We paid $2,833 for fuel, or $44.27 per day. 726 gallons or about 7.62 mpg.

We paid $1,691 in campground rentals, or $36.78 per night (we spend 17 nights at Sandy’s dad, Carl’s pace, (he has a 50amp hookup for when he had motorhomes,) or Ron & Patty’s home while the coach was being repaired, or at Spartan for training.)

Excluding the cost of the coach, maintenance & repairs, the per night total was $81.05. And you get to eat your own healthy food, have your own Cappuccino every morning and sleep in your own bed without packing and unpacking every night for a hotel and eating salty food at every meal.

 

So, would we want to travel like that full time? The jury is still out but, probably for a while.  We will see where the road takes us. Hopefully to Alaska next summer. Stay tuned.

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