A look at the stats after 4 months. 6

After 134 days on the road, we are currently boondocking at Grayrocks Reservoir near Wheatland, WY. We have driven a total of 5,347.2 miles in the RV through 13 states and have stayed in 35 different “campsites”. Whew! We have spent $2,207.20 on our campsites, which averages out to $16.47 per night of camping or about $552 a month for “rent.” Not too bad!

Big Pine Key, FL to Guadalupe Mountain National Park, TX. 88 days: 3516.3 miles driven.

Big Pine Key, FL to Guadalupe Mountain National Park, TX.
88 days: 3516.3 miles driven.

Guadalupe Mtn, TX to Wheatland, WY. 46 days: 1830.9 miles.

Guadalupe Mtn, TX to Wheatland, WY.
46 days: 1830.9 miles.

We have been in everything from 7 degree cold, to 85 degrees warm and have experienced rain, snow, frost, sleet, hail and have even learned a new weather term: graupel, from our time in Colorado Springs. Our campsites have ranged from 2′ below sea level at Bayou Segnette State Park outside New Orleans to 8,600′ above sea level at Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO.

I also thought I’d clear up a few misconceptions about our life on the road. Lots of folks seem to think that we get up in the morning and plot our day of exploration over our morning coffee & bagels, and then we spend it hiking and taking pictures to post for you. Oh, if only! But we are neither on permanent vacation, nor are we retired. Instead, we spend a lot of our time just like you: chained to a desk. We just have better views out of our windows most days! Eric is working part-time as an IT consultant but, unlike some IT jobs, he is working with the IT team at Monroe County and must available during their work hours. Some weeks he can get everything accomplished in 3 days, but he is often working at least some part of 4 days during the week. Most days he logs on at 8 AM our time, but occasionally has to get up early for an 8:30 AM eastern time meeting. Those will get more interesting as we move further west and the time difference gets larger! We have also tried to stick to a work-week schedule of always blocking out Wednesday as a travel day. This does restrict our movement a little but it makes it easier for his colleagues to know when he is & isn’t generally available. While Eric is working, I’m doing all sorts of glamorous things like blogging, cleaning, paying bills, grocery shopping, going to the laundromat, etc., and most of those things take a little more planning than they used to due to time zones and constantly changing geography.

So it’s not all glamping and play time, but we do feel extremely fortunate to be full-timing. Eric is usually finished with work in the late afternoon which leaves us a little time for taking a short hike or drive, or some fishing if he’s lucky! We usually travel 2 days a week: either Wednesday & one day on the weekend, or sometimes we’ll take Wednesday as a play day and travel both days on the weekend. We knew we wouldn’t be able to let moss grow on our shoes and still make Alaska this summer, but our pace hasn’t been too taxing. I suspect we’ll slow down a LOT once we’re back in the lower 48 in September or October!

All in all, life is extremely enjoyable. We haven’t had a single argument brought on by living in a small box. We are finally getting to travel and see all the great sites we’ve been dreaming of. The cats are ecstatic because they get to go on walks all the time and they are continually entertained by squirrels, chipmunks, prairie dogs, and birdies right outside their window. Life is just darned good.

Our work stations

Our work stations

Office view, St. Andrew's Park

Office view, St. Andrew’s Park

Guadalupe Mountain office view

Guadalupe Mountain office view

Kitty Chillin

Kitty Chillin

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6 thoughts on “A look at the stats after 4 months.

  • Mark Stephens

    Awesome “Office” view. Envious to get an IT gig from a Home Office space. Moving to our North Carolina mountain spot in the next few weeks.

    Enjoy the sites. Keep the updates and photos coming. I know I personally enjoy all the posts.


  • Cammy

    So excited for you! My husband and I are planning for full-timing. He works as an electronics technician, and I am an LPN. Both our professions prohibit us from working on the road. He still has 6 years until retirement, and we are just in the beginnings of planning for the change. The biggest obstacle is previous debt we need to take care of. He wants to wait until closer to retirement to begin serious planning, my thoughts are to start now to give us plenty of time to be prepared financially and with all we will need to do this. Any advice you can give regarding how long it took you to “take the final plunge”?
    Thanks! You guys are an inspiration!

    • Jet Post author

      Thanks Cammy! Glad to hear that you are taking steps to live your dream! Our dream of full-timing began in 2002 when Eric’s brother and sister-in-law hit the road in their Lance truck camper and we began to read all about their adventures (at http://www.where-rv-now.com/ ). We were already avid camping/travel fans but we hadn’t really given much thought to living on the road until we started reading other adventures. The bug grew from there until it became not “if” but “when” we would go. We are not yet at retirement age and so figuring out an income source was the last piece of the puzzle for us.

      My advice is to start actively working toward your goals now because, if you’re like most people, life has an annoying habit of getting in your way and your departure date will sneak up on you no matter what! We thought we were making good strides toward emptying our house of clutter in the months before we left but at the end found ourselves struggling to complete home improvements and deal with paring down our belongings. Moving and selling a house is stressful no matter what, and adding exhaustion from long days and physical labor doesn’t help anything.

      The same advice applies to getting your financial house in order: starting now means you will have that much less to worry about when you finally hit the road. Even if you can’t deal with all of your debt prior to departure, having a plan of action worked out will give you peace of mind and paying some debt off now means you’ll worry less about costs associated with being on the road. Here are a few things to get you thinking about your plan:
      -If your debt won’t be paid off in full before you begin your full-timing life, think about how and where you plan to travel and how that will affect your ability to continue paying on time.
      *Are you comfortable with online banking and bill pay? This is by far the easiest option IF you have secure internet as you’re traveling. If you plan on utilizing public wi-fi for internet access it may not be a safe one though.
      *If you’re going to utilize internet banking and bill pay you’ll of course need to make sure you have data coverage. It’s a given for most people in a “sticks & bricks” house/lifestyle but not necessarily for travelers. Eric and I tend to gravitate toward remote, less populated areas where reliable cell phone/internet coverage isn’t a given. Many of our friends however tend to stay in more metropolitan areas or in RV parks which provide wi-fi so it isn’t as much of an issue for them.
      *If you’re not comfortable with internet banking then you need to think about how you’ll receive mailed statements and payment coupons.
      *And lastly, it sounds silly but make sure you stick to your payment schedules! We find that it’s very easy to lose track of time now that we’re not “punching a clock” and if you’re fully retired I think it would be even easier to do. You may need to set reminders for payments and you might also need to move to a location with data coverage or take a drive to the nearest post office to post your payments.

      Best of luck working toward your escape! We don’t have a single regret.