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Published: November 21st 2009
Here's Grace laughing at our new accident. You can see the pipe on the fence to the right of the picture that dented the ladder in right above Grace's finger.
Off the Road - for a week
I'm working from a hotel this week in Atlanta, so I'm not really RVing, but I can still write about what is going on related to my RV.
I've been wanting to give you some stats on the trip so far so here goes:
mpg without trailer - 16
mpg with trailer - 11
Some people said that hauling a 13,000 lb trailer wouldn't affect my gas mileage. It does. We're losing about 5 mpg by hauling our home on our backs like a turtle.
Others have accused me of not being green by traveling around the country with my home. The truth is that I'm not very green because I fly about 100,000 miles a year. Flying leaves a huge carbon footprint. If you concede that I need to travel for my job, there are ways to do it more efficiently.
Here's why I'm more efficient now.
I'm a little lucky in this comparison because I have several meetings in a row that are close together and I can drive to. The meetings are in North Carolina, Atlanta, New Orleans, New Orleans and San
Here's a flower from the Biltmore conservatory that I missed in the last post.
Antonio. To drive my truck to them takes about 1,300 miles or 3,576 lbs of CO2 according to this calculator and this website:
If I would fly to each of these cities and back to KC, the planes would generate 4,750 lbs of CO2. So by driving I'm saving about a 1/2 a ton of CO2.
I'm cherry picking here because I should have included the gas it took to pick up my RV in southern Florida. But at least for a few months, I am burning less fossil fuels.
The bigger difference in my mind is that we're saving much more money by not heating a normal home in Kansas City throughout the winter. Our heating bill to heat our 2,000 sq ft house last winter was about $200/month for 5 months. In our 400 sq ft RV, we went through about $50 worth of propane in the last month - mainly when we ran the heater in North Carolina for the last two weeks. We've headed south now and will probably use much less than that heating water, the RV and cooking. So by being mobile and staying south this winter, we'll probably
This old-style KFC was pretty funny. We were in Marietta, GA when I snapped this. What this doesn't capture is the beak of the blocky chicken opening and closing. I've never seen this version of the KFC sign before.
save about $750 (5 months * $150) this winter. Then in the summer, we'll head north or up in elevation so we won't have to use the AC as much. So it can pay being a bird - plus we get to enjoy much better weather - the real reason.
I hadn't thought of how I was saving the environment until I was questioned about it. It wasn't my motive to lower my carbon footprint, but I think I am. I will leave a big footprint when we migrate to California later this winter.
I went on this trip to see the country and have some fun. I am meeting this goal.
Others have asked about how the Internet access is working. Verizon's coverage has been great and even better than their cell phone coverage. The access speed drops in remote areas, but it still downloads emails and webpages better than my cell phone. Many of the campgrounds have had free Wifi with even faster speeds too.
The Money Pit
Here's an update on what we've spent on the RV:
Here are some cool elephant ears? from the Biltmore.
$751 Trailer hitch and electrical bakes
$7 Trailer Adapter
$270 RV Gear
$90 Hoses and miscellany
$77 Mirror Extensions
$45 Travel Books
$48 Steam Cleaning
$15 Toaster Oven and trays
$600 4 truck tires
$220 RV Handyman
So we're under $45,000 for the RV and we had a goal of $50k, so we're doing pretty well. We'll need to add another $500 for the insurance deductible for the accident. The brakes also started making a loud squeal on the trailer last night, so we might have some brake work in our future.
For gas, we've probably spent about $900 for travel over 4,000 miles. Several hundred $ were just spent getting to the RV, so that could be added to our expenses of getting the RV. My company is compensating me to drive to the meetings and covering most of my gas expenses for a while.
For RV parks, we're spending about $35/night for 25 nights/month or ~$900/month including utilities. We only paid $200 for one week in Asheville and will hopefully pay less in
Entertain me while I eat with your pulsating hips.
Nawlins where we'll negotiate a monthly rate. 5 nights a month are spent in hotels that my company pays for. So compared to our mortgage payment of $1800/month + utilities, we're saving over $1,000 per month than for our home in KC. Some people at my work are starting to bet how long this journey will last. This simple fact of saving money every month might prolong it considerably because I'm so tight.
We have been spending several hundred $ more in this first month (we started October 17th) than usual by eating out quite a bit. This will probably continue because we want to experience the local cuisine. Food is always a huge part of experiencing anywhere as Grace can attest.
So we're saving more money every month.
This wreck or accident isn't nearly as interesting or devastating as the last one.
We were putting our RV in storage for the week outside of Atlanta next to other RVs and boats on Lake Allatoona. Grace's heartbeat rises about 10 beats/minute when were parking the RV. She always runs from one side of the truck to the other waving her arms around to signal me like one of the guys on the tarmac parking a 747. I need to get her an orange vest and glowing flashlights to guide me in and look official.
When I finally got the RV aligned in about 10 minutes, she was in front of the truck and saying to go back. I went back slowly and then she said, "Stop! you're hitting the fence!". I've had to tell her before that she's not much help to me when she's in front of me telling me to back up. She's over 50' away from the back of the RV and I'm even closer to the back than she was. So she went back and had me pull forward a couple feet off of the fence.
I went back and saw how the ladder to the roof of the RV was pushed in from hitting the fence. Grace was laughing hysterically about it and just like after the other wreck, she said, "Take a picture! Take a picture! The bloggers will want to know!" So I did - see the results. I was able to pull the ladder mostly back into place with my super-human strength. The bumper of the RV was also pulled out an inch, but I don't know if this just happened or not.
So now Grace and I are even with each of us causing one accident. OK, maybe my accident was a little worse with several feet of metal scraped and sewage on the ground.
We'll be staying at our lake house this week. We'll let you know how it goes....
The teaser for next week - belly dancers in Cordele...
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; mem: 1.3mb