Sunday, November 28, 2010

9 weeks on the Road... Lessons Learned

OK... sitting here in the Kaibab... not moving for a few days... thinking about the last few months...

So... I gotta go clear back to July... long about the middle of the month... We started with a roll down to Mark and Bobbie's for the wildflower celebration... broke the truck... had to replace the radiator when we got back... as I prepared to leave on the Raider for my Alaskan Highway run.

Ran from Fort Collins to Denali... 9,000 miles give or take in 28 days... got back from there... did some more work on the truck to prepare for the final "Leaving" and pulled out on the 24th of September... for who the hell knows where!

Now, here we sit in the Kaibab on the 27th of November, having rolled on two wheels or 8... something over 16,000 miles since July.

Now... that ain't really a "goin' slow" sort of travelin'... is it? :o) I guess I had a terrible Itch built up that needed scratchin'.

So... what has all that Gypsy runnin' learnt me?

 Well... one is that though I don't regret movin' along... reality is, we can't sustain that sort of mileage, and so, the past few weeks we've been slowin' down considerable. Moving fewer miles 'tween camps... and stayin' put a mite longer. Neither our wants or our wallet can keep that earlier sort of movin' goin'.

From the diesel to the tires... rollin' that much is gonna cost. I know for some, it ain't no big deal... just cut the check... but not so for us... Those blown tires, broken brakes, and even the generator addition... put a kink in the budget... so... we'll be slowin' up considerable... till Christmas... and then after.

Like I said, I don't regret the miles... not even a little... just... can't keep that rate goin'... and don't really want to. Time to set some really long camps... and roll the Raider more!

#2 in my Lessons learned, is the rig itself. Though some have voiced the question to us "How could we even live in a rig the size we have"... we've discovered... having had the seeds of such thoughts sown by Mark and Bobbie! :o) that we'd really like an RV that's considerably smaller than our 30' Fiver.

Now... I don't know that, that is gonna happen any time in the real close up future... again, with a banjo tight budget, we can't just run out and get it done... but it's something real clear in our thinking... for if and when the opportunity presents.

Along the way on this jaunt, we found several spots, we'd have liked to pull into and stay... but they just wouldn't allow me to squeeze our modest sized fifth wheel in... That and let's face it... a lighter RV rig, goin' down the road translates into easier... and easier is called less stress... and ain't that one of the biggies a lot of us are after? ... so we'll just hang that lil' stickie note in our brains... and wait to see what happens...

#3 on the list is maybe the camps we've used... We're full up Boondocked now, here on the Kaibab National Forest... but on through Utah, Washington, Oregon and California... we mostly used National Forest Camps.

... and we used camps we'd NOT use, in the summertime. Hit those suckers then and they'll be wall to wall people... But, in the off season? besides often better prices... that I get to cut in half again with my "Access Card" :o) ... you get the camps all to yourself! Much of the time we've had camps where the only other rig in the campground was the Camp Host... They may be 100 site locations... but when there's only two rigs parked... it's pretty dang private... and for the $3.50 to $8 bucks they were costing... it put us well under budget...

Now... we're catching the budget back up $6 a day quicker...'cause dispersed camping/RV Boondocking on the National Forest don't cost Nuthin'! :o)

#4... The hard ALLURE floor I put in last winter... has worked super. Got a few scratches in it... learning to make sure it was swept well... and properly positioning the support slides I built, before bringin' the slide in... but the ease of cleaning up after the dogs... and us... is so HUGELY easier with a simple sweeping and swifter mopping... then trying to clean a carpet...

#5... and... the Generator is a BIG one. Trying to go without one was a mistake. The solar panels we have, being only part of the original number planned are just insufficient to keep up. Adding that Champion Generator was a GOOD, Stress relieving choice!

I'm sure there's other things I've learned in the last 9 weeks... that escape me just now... but... it's kind of nice to know... I still can be taught... sometimes...

Boondocked on the Kaibab


gumo said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and observations about your travels so far. I would like to do what you are doing and your notes will help me to make wiser decisions if and when I do.

Happy trails!

Brian said...

Thanks Gumo; that's really the best way I think... just let people know what's worked... and what didn't... for me... and as much of why, one way or the other as I can sort out... and then let anybody who wants take from it whatever they find useful, and whatever fits into their idea of livin'... Kinda cool, really...

Sharlotte said...

Yipee can't wait for the newest book to be published. I want the first one. LOL

Ad said...

Reality Show on Wheels and the Internet. All of us in the boomer group face lot's of reality from time to time. The key is knowing that we can learn and adjust. The 2nd key is knowing when to adjust. You seem to have at least those 2 keys in hand. Good luck Ad

Anonymous said...

Hey Bri, Welcome Home!! Can't wait to see you two. Ordered up plenty of sunshine for you, with cool breezes. Looking forward to seeing your "remodeling" in person. Later, Dude

Brian said...

Thanks Sharlotte... though... I don't know... this next one is a lot... uh... grittier... Set in current time... it's got some rough, modern "Reality" in it... but in the end... there is one upstanding good guy :o)
... then... I've also got a 'Sequel' to "A Matter of Honor" working! :o) I'm wearin' out the buttons on this laptop... Two books workin' at once? I think maybe I'm a lil' bit NUTS! :o)

William. Sheesh... I'm blushing! Many Thanks... though I must say, there's plenty of times I'm not so sure, my self! :o)

Sis... hmmm... we'll be rollin' that way, the end of the week... I wish the "Remodeling" was done... that's one thing that kind of got moved to the rear burners the last few months of "STUFF" :-)