Year 1 By the Numbers 4


Our first year on the road is over, and what an amazing year it was! We are so fortunate to be able to travel at this point in our lives; travels that have allowed us to meet so many great new people and to reconnect with family and friends we hadn’t seen in years. I’ve already done a post with musings on our first year, so this post is all about the numbers. We knew that trekking to Alaska in our first year would make it epic and the numbers don’t lie: we actually drove more miles in Canada and Alaska than we have driven altogether in the lower 48, and we changed campsites a lot. Like an average of every 3 days “a lot”. Whew! We don’t regret a single second of it but are looking forward to slowing way down in 2016. To offset our gas consumption last year, we did spend exactly half of our nights in campsites without any electrical hookup, living “off the grid.” I had hoped to be able to give you some concrete fuel consumption and cost data as I started tracking it back in July; however, I completely destroyed my phone in October, at which time I discovered that my Fuel Buddy backups had not been happening. At all. So I’ve started over with fuel and propane cost tracking for 2016.

I was hoping to get new maps done showing our entire year of travel at a single view, but at the rate I’m going it’ll be next year before I get it done! I have some great new software that I’m using for 2016. It’s all a learning process!

TOTAL DAYS ON THE ROAD: 378 (Dec. 20, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2015)

TOTAL MILES DRIVEN in the RV: 13,015.71

  • 6,381.51 in the lower 48
  • 2,734.50 in Alaska
  • 3,8899.70 in Canada
  • At an average of 6.5 miles/gallon we bought 2,002.42 gallons of gas.

NUMBER OF DISCREET CAMPING STAYS: 117

  • This means we moved an average of once every 3.23 days!
  • Our longest stay at a single location was 31 days.

NUMBER OF NIGHTS WITH NO POWER CONNECTION: 189 (50%)

NUMBER OF NIGHTS OF FREE CAMPING: 126 (33%)

TOTAL PAID FOR CAMPING: $6,345.93

  • Avg cost per night: $16.79
  • Avg “monthly rent”: $528.83
  • Cheapest paid site rate: $5.00/night
  • Most expensive paid site rate: $42.00/night

U.S. NATIONAL PARKS & MONUMENTS VISITED: 11

  • Gulf Islands National Seashore
  • Guadalupe Mountains NP
  • Mesa Verde NP
  • Denali NP
  • Kenai Fjords NP
  • Wrangell-St. Elias NP
  • Olympic NP
  • Mt. Rainier NP
  • Mt. St. Helens NM
  • Golden Gate NP
  • Redwood NP

EPIC HIGHLIGHTS/BUCKET LIST ITEMS CHECKED OFF IN 2015

  • Quit our jobs, sold our house, and began living and working from the road! (both)
  • Mardi Gras: doing the whole week with some locals in-the-know (Eric)
  • Loving our first serious boondocking experience (in Wyoming) (both)
  • RV’ing to (driving the AlCan) and through Alaska (both)
  • Walking around on a glacier (both)
  • Summer Solstice where the sun never sets (both)
  • Crossing the Arctic Circle (Eric)
  • Seeing the Northern Lights! (Jeanette)
  • Boat trip to see whales breaching, Dall’s porpoise, seals/sea lions lounging on the ice pack, and puffins! (Jeanette)
  • Close encounter with grizzly bears (that did not involve injury or death) (both)
  • Got to lay hands on an actual Tucker and hang out with Doug LeMay (Eric)
Map Phase1 3516_3 miles

Phase 1

Map Phase2_1 2562_ 5miles

Phase 2

Map Phase3 2098_2 miles

Phase 3 – north through Canada

Map Phase4_2 AK all 2734_5 miles

Phase 4 – Alaska

Map Phase5 AK_WA 1791_5 miles

Phase 5 – south to the Lower 48

Map Phase6

Phase 6


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4 thoughts on “Year 1 By the Numbers

    • Eric

      Those maps are screen captures from the online Good Sam Trip planner software, which is free if you’re a Good Sam member. Future maps will likely be done with Mapify Pro, which was suggested to us by the Wynns.
      The balloons are actually keyed to more details on the Trip Planner page, which isn’t shown in the screen capture. We couldn’t figure a way to display a key, which is one of the reasons for a future map source switch.
      Each balloon is a stop of at least one night.
      We’ve mostly stopped using the Good Sam planner, we’ve had some issues with it as an actual travel planner which have largely been solved by less planning and more vague seat-of-the-pants travel. I expect that will change as we head east.
      Thanks for commenting – I like your blog!
      Eric

  • Dan

    Hello Jen and Eric!
    I love this post. Great to have an idea of what we are getting into, and what great experiences can fill a year as we start out on our RV adventure. Thank you for sharing. Especially appreciate your insight about the apps you used in the comments. If you plan to head into the Northeast and need some help or advice or a friendly spot to boondock, feel free to drop me a line. Angie and I live in NH, grew up in Massachusetts and know quite a bit about the area.

    FYI : I came to know about you via Jen’s cameo in the Wynn’s Alaskan fishing trip.

    Happy Trails,

    Dan

    • Eric

      Hi Dan!

      Thanks for the kind response and congratulations on starting your own RV adventure. We had a ton of fun with the Wynn’s and other friends in Alaska, it was a really special place and we’ll be back at some point. Our big plan is to be on the East coast for fall, though we’re not sure just how far North we’re going to get this year. If we get up there, we’ll look you up. Please feel free to friend me on FB – https://www.facebook.com/airmon

      Safe Travels,
      Eric