We left Arizona on May 13th and headed to the Grand Canyon. Since then, we’ve been to Lake Powell, Goosenecks, Grand Junction, Grand Lake, Denver, Scottsbluff, Lincoln, Kansas City, Lake of the Ozarks, St Louis, Columbus, Ohiopyle, Rocky Gap, Annapolis, and many more. Whew! As you can imagine, we’ve learned a lot!
1Our biggest learning is that we WAY UNDERESTIMATED the number of miles we’d travel. Yes, we used Google maps to determine routes and miles, but we didn’t account for all of the road closures due to flooding, backtracking, and miles to and from local sites. Our original estimate for miles was 7,000. We’ve already gone 6,000 and we just arrived on the East Coast. Thank goodness, diesel has been at least $.50 per gallon less than we estimated.
2You have to REALLY GET ALONG to live in such close quarters, travel with each other all day, and do everything together. We really haven’t had any alone time in 6 weeks. We get along incredibly well, but we’re very thankful we turned the garage in our toy hauler into a second living area. It’s really helped to have a second place to chill out. Carter can work on his laptop in the garage while Holly is cooking and watching TV in the kitchen/living area.
3We can’t deny it…we need internet. As much as we want to be cool and not need internet…we just do. We’ve stayed at a few campgrounds in the boonies and regretted it. We just got behind on everything. We now check cell phone coverage to ensure our MiFi will work. And, honestly, the first thing Carter does after we’ve finished leveling the trailer and hooking up to electricity is turn on the MiFi and check internet speed!
4Electric hookups are a necessity when it’s hot and humid. We’ve turned into complete wimps after living in Colorado and Arizona for 20+ years. Once the humidity gets up to 70%, we need the air conditioner on to help get the humidity out of the trailer. Without electric hookups, we’d have to run our onboard generator all the time, and that’s not the best alternative.
5We prefer Sam’s Club over Costco when we’re on the road. The bottom line is that more Sam’s Clubs have cheap diesel and propane refill stations. We paid for our Sam’s Club membership fee with savings from just 2 diesel fill-ups. The other thing we like about Sam’s Club is that you don’t have to buy in big bulk. Everything is a little smaller at Sam’s Club, which is key when we’re using an RV fridge and only feeding 2 people. Otherwise, we’d end up eating chicken for 2 weeks straight.
6Mail has been a bigger challenge than we thought it would be. But, we’ve made it work. The biggest issue was getting our truck registration mailed to us. Thankfully, our friends in Ohio let us use their address and we had a family member forward the registration to us. When we’ve had to buy things on the road (e.g., sewer hose, second Roku, storage bins), we’ve used Amazon Lockers (when available) or free Home Depot and Wal-Mart store delivery. We just look at the map, estimate our arrival, and have everything delivered in that window.
7Keto sucks while you’re traveling. We’ve been low-carbing it for 2+ weeks, and it’s terrible. There are so many times we just want a sandwich or to stop at that cute little bakery in the middle of nowhere, or try the best Italian restaurant in town. Nope. No go. Nadda. I guess the one good thing is that our food budget has been super low. We eat in most meals and have lots of salads and burgers on the grill.
8We love our new F350 truck (a.k.a., Vern). He’s a beast. Our last truck was under-powered, we struggled to get up steep grades, and we ended up going <25 MPH over mountain passes. It’s so nice to not have to worry about any of that with our new truck. Vern can go anywhere and he’s worth every penny!