G has a "swell" time kayaking

G has a "swell" time kayaking
G has a "swell" time on Lake Michigan in an inflatable canoe

Dawn on the Gulf of Mexico

Dawn on the Gulf of Mexico
Dawn on the Gulf of Mexico

Warren Dunes Sunset

Warren Dunes Sunset
Warren Dunes Sunset

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Trekking 2021

 


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With the arrival of Spring, winter campers are living our winter resort location.  

We have been discussing our 2021 trekking ideas. I'm in no hurry to leave.  I'll let the snowbirds depart and give them some time to get home.  It does seem that the camping season may be more normal in 2021 than it was in 2020.  However, I suspect there is a lot of "pent up demand" as newbies and those who were locked down in 2020 seek to use their RVs.  I understand a lot of RVs were sold in recent months.

Houseless in 2021

I think we'll be houseless in 2021.  I have no burning interest in being a landlord and I can't move forward until I dispose of the "house" we never live in.  G and I have discussed this at length.  Neither of us are attached to the sticks and bricks.  

This does create a need to determine where to legally domicile. There are a couple of services which can assist us in making a decision.  We are Escapees members and we do use their mail forwarding service. Escapees does provide some data on several states. However, a lack of a permanent. legal address will need to be corrected.

"The only constant is change" is an old expression.  This does apply to US States, which are changing. Some recent possibilities are being over-run by escapees from nearby mis-managed States.  Californians are leaving the paradise they ruined and are moving to Arizona and Texas.  Illinois residents have been escaping for a decade, moving to Indiana and Wisconsin, and now farther to Michigan and Tennessee.  The east cost is migrating to Florida.

Frankly, if I wanted to live in California or New York I would move there. Nor do I want to domicile in a state that the escapees will ruin as they did their home states. As a consequence, Texas and Florida are not as desirable to me as they were only a few years ago. 

To the Plains?  

We have never trekked to South Dakota or visited Yellowstone.  This may be the year, On the other hand, we are concerned about a crush of RVers in 2021.  We have the option of driving to Yellowstone and going elsewhere if we note that the place is over-run. We'll have contingency plans.

A friend in the southeast is wanting to leave Florida and the recent onslaught of New Yorkers for a while. We're discussing linking up in a nearby state.  That is a work in progress.

One of the few states I have not visited is Idaho.  A Idahoan suggested recently "Buy 5 acres on a stream and at least a tank of gas distant from the cities".  I suppose that should also be at least a full charge away for electric cars. LOL.

Back to Michigan

We'll spend a lot of time in MI this summer.  I'm looking forward to kayaking, hiking and bicycling. Also to return to some of our favorite spots.  



 Original material http://roadtrek210.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Cold Weather - Reducing RV Condensation

Reflectix in the windows


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With the departure of Winter and arrival of Spring we will continue to experience cool to cold nights.  To reduce heat loss at night and improve comfort there are some things we can do. A side effect of cold outdoors is condensation on windows. We have trekked and camped overnight down to near 0 F with minimal or no condensation issues. Here's how we avoided or minimized condensation.

Most condensation in our Roadtrek occurs on the glass surfaces. Class B RVs have a lot of single pane glass windows, which have almost no insulating properties. I understand the R-value is about 0.1.  For comparison, the R-value of a sticks and bricks house with 3-1/2" fiberglass batting in the walls is about 14 if the total wall construction is included in the rating.

Without getting into all of the science, the condensation occurs when the humidity in the interior of the RV is above the dew point temperature of the glass windows or other cool-cold surfaces. Normal comfort humidity in winter and cold spring nights will be above the temperature of single pane glass window and condensation will occur. That condensation may freeze on the windows, or just drip.....

In the winter the problem we have is adding moisture to the air inside the RV.  Cold surfaces condense moisture that is in the air. IMHO the solution is:

  1. Reduce the moisture released into the air in the RV,
  2. Improve the insulation on cold surfaces and the primary offender is glass windows which have almost no insulating properties,
  3. Vent excess moisture via a fan, but that also vents heat, so it is my approach of last resort. 
Where does that moisture come from? When we exhale our breath adds moisture. So does cooking if steam is released, and burning propane on that stovetop does the same (a byproduct of burning propane is water vapor).

To reduce moisture release into the interior of the Roadtrek I don't use the stove top which uses propane. There is an added bonus as I then conserve propane for the hot water heater and the furnace.  

I use alternative electrical resources for cooking and avoid using propane; I add insulation:
  1. For cooking, I use the convection/microwave and an induction portable electric burner with cast iron skillets, etc. When cooking I keep a lid on it to reduce moisture release into the RV.
  2. For boiling water we prefer the microwave.  It heats faster and releases less water vapor into the air. 
  3. I add insulation to the windows. I use pre-cut sheets of "Reflectix" on all of the windows. This not only reduces condensation it makes the van more comfortable. It is possible to use two thicknesses of Reflectix in the sleeping area. When travelling in winter we roll up the cut sheets and store under the bed. 
  4. As a last resort I use the rooftop vent fan to vent moisture laden air. However, I avoid that because it not only vents moisture, it sends that warm air into the outside. That warmed air is replaced by cold outside air which gets in via door seals, etc.  That cold air needs to be heated with energy.

We have done the above at temperatures near zero F and we generally don't have winter condensation issues....

  Original material http://roadtrek210.blogspot.com/




Saturday, March 27, 2021

Resort or Campground - Recent Budgets, etc.

 

Sunset at a Mega-Resort

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This post is primarily about some pre- and during covid expenses, finding longer stay opportunities, tools, etc.  For finding short-stay locations we use Good Sam's, FMCA & the Roadtrek International Chapter, KOA, Allstays, etc.  We also have some older, printed Woodall Guides from AAA (we are AAA RV members), G marks these with our experiences about campgrounds, resorts and so on. 

The Allstay people abandoned the Android platform a few years a ago, so it is no longer our first choice.  However, it does get good reviews and if you are an Apple user it might be a good choice.

Social Media - Fakebook, etc.

I'm not a fan of social media for a variety of reasons.  However, there are a number of groups which are focused and are not public; i.e., to post questions or replies one has to be a member and the administrators screen the membership. That type of group keeps the trolls at bay and may also reduce the number of voyeurs and casual, bored internet surfers.  I do like the Roadtrek International Chapter-FMCA.  One has to pay a small annual fee to join and one has to own a Roadtrek.  The cyber-rally email system is very helpful to Roadtrekkers. One can post an email and all sorts of Roadtrek owners will quickly reply.  May not be the best choice during real emergencies.

Reservations

I should add that we always make reservations, even the morning of, if our itinerary changes. We have been doing that since we began RVing in 2013.  It is surprising how many think they can just drive up and get a spot.  Based upon our discussions with  other RVers and personal experience, the larger the rig the more difficult it may be to find a campsite.  With the 21 ft. Roadtrek we have called for a reservation, been told that there are no openings. But, after explaining the small size of the RT (no slides, etc.) we were told, "Oh, we can accommodate that" and were given a small pie-shaped site, or whatever. 

Our Approach to RVing - longer stays with in-between treks - Costs

Our approach to RVing is to stay at a few sites for longer periods, and connect those stays with shorter treks of a week or a month.  In this way we are, for all practical purposes "full time RVers". Doing this requires a financial commitment to a resort or campground, or several. We get the same site each year. This approach may not be the cheapest; we seldom boondock. However, we reduce our daily costs because most campgrounds and RV resorts offer discounts for long-term campers. Check the quarterly or semi-annual and annual prices to the daily or weekly rates and you can make  a cost comparison.

For example, our annual lease at a "mega-resort" which includes a covered site, shed, etc. is about $15.60 a day. We do pay an additional amount for electricity consumed at about $0.1329 per kW including taxes. 

Our other long-term location is about $14.75 a day.  It includes a large deck and a pond location.  Electricity is extra at about $0.14 per kW including taxes.

Doing a little arithmetic, using this approach and $16 a day which includes an allowance for electricity,  our annual cost for a nice site throughout the year is about $5,840.  For a six month stay in one of our campgrounds the cost would be about $2,900 plus electricity. In other words, the rents are about $490 a month.

Of course, most campgrounds do include electricity in the daily or weekly rate for short stays.

We do pay additional for in-between treks.  This is in the budget.  I'm not sure what the actual daily amounts will be in 2021.  I budget $40 a night.  Some campgrounds have been less, and some more.  As KOA members we get a discount and a few free nights each year. As Good Sams members we also get discounts.


CCP Covid Experience

We began doing this "long-term base" approach in 2014.  It was really nice to be in a full-service resort when the CCP Covid occurred in 2020.  We were prepared and we could stay for as long as we liked.  The summer site in Michigan experienced issues with their demagogue of a Governor "Whitmer" or "Witless" as I  prefer.  In campgrounds in which everyone lives in a completely self-contained rig I considered Gov. Witless' onerous rules to have been completely and utterly stupid. The campground owner petitioned and was finally "granted" the ability to open.  Oh, and it was reported that Gov. Whitmer did send her husband to get the boat at the "closed" Marina.  Closed to the rest of us, that is! 

We normally head to the North in April or May.  But in 2020 we simply stayed at the annual site for another month or so.  We didn't have to travel until the CCP Pandemic had begun to wane.  The issues were primarily confusion with a myriad of rules in states and the "fear factor" of other travelers.  Some campgrounds delayed opening until June 2020. We simply stayed put, took more bicycle rides, hikes in the nearby National Park and so on.  

We missed the museums and live entertainment opportunies.

We have internet wherever we go so we were in great shape.  We're both good cooks and bakers so we did a lot more of that, and restricted our restaurant visits to a few which had stable customers and staff. In other words we took the approach that:"the higher the number of transients, the greater the covid risk".

We both did a lot more writing.  G got her book published and I doubled my "creative writing" work which is related to finance.  So, we had a lot to do.  What's that old expression?  "When life gives you lemons make Lemonade". 

On the other hand, I reduced my blogging because there simply wasn't anything new going on because of the closure of various venues and our reduced trekking.  I don't think it is all that useful to post a sunset photo each day.  LOL.  I did spend more time at a social media site I administer.  This was in part a consequence of Roadtrek's bankruptcy, closure, re-opening and the termination of the Chevy based 170, 190 and 210. We had all been cast adrift.  I gathered a lot of PDF files and uploaded them for the group.  For a time, Roadtrek's website was down and there was limited support.




Summer in MI was pleasant but the beaches were over-run with escapees from Illinois.  Chicago was a mess.  We avoided weekends at the beach and frequented some of our favorite restaurants.  They call it the "Michigan Wine Trail" for a reason and the beer and wine flowed freely. 





Dining and Grocery Expenses - 2019 versus 2020

As would be expected, comparing 2019, a pre-covid "normal" year to the 2020 covid year, our dining out budget was reduced but the grocery bill increased. I've compared 2019 to 2020.  Here is the difference in our out-of pocket expenses for those categories:

Total Dining + Grocery (includes some household): 2020 is 0.46% greater than 2019, no real change..

Dining:  2020 is  40% less than 2019. 

Groceries: 2020 is 50.30% greater than 2019.

Gasoline Expenses - 2019 versus 2020

The total of all gasoline expenses, comparing 2019 to 2020 was less in 2020 than it was in 2019. This is attributable to the average price of gasoline and fewer miles traveled via RV in 2020,

2020 was 23.4% less than 2019. 

Budgeting and Finance Tools

I'm a Quicken Premium user.  We use it to track all of our finances and to construct our budgets.  I've got data going back to 1994.   The Quicken data was the source for the Dining, Groceries and Gasoline expenditures for 2019 and 2020, above.

I suppose I could expand the budgeting into a long post. 


 Original material http://roadtrek210.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Covid Cookery

 


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That's an "Ugly Steak" from Dickman's Deli in Tucson, AZ.  I'm not sure what cut of meat it is, but it seems to be the equivalent to a marbled flank steak.  Great with fajitas, or marinated and then grilled, cut into thin slices and served with Fettuccine Alfredo. 

Short RV cooking video:


With Limited Dining Choices, we Cook

This post includes some cooking we have done. With the CCP covid lockdown in most blue states, travel has been difficult.  Certainly, going to a restaurant has been impossible in certain locations such as NYC, Chicago and so on.

We decided to spend time in a resort in a state with less onerous rules.  It isn't perfect because local politicians can ruin everything and seem inclined to do so. Nevertheless, we have been able to dine in the resort restaurant or on the restaurant patio throughout the season.

With reduced restaurant choices cooking becomes more important. We enjoy cooking and our site is set up for that.  It is true that the Roadtrek is small for certain types of cooking.  But we do a lot of outdoor grilling and we use cast iron on a portable inductive cooktop.  Baking or oven cooking in the Roadtrek is determined by the dimensions of the convection microwave. However, our AZ site includes an air conditioned shed with hot and cold running water.  Cooking within is definitely okay.

We did visit nearby restaurants which remained open despite the best efforts of some Pima County Demagogues. We did our best to support smaller, local businesses. And, we did a lot of cooking. We are currently in a city which was named by UNESCO as the first city of gastronomy in 2015.  That's a good place to be for good and varied food and a variety of grocers.

UNESCO - creative cities - Tucson

 “Located in the Sonoran Desert, Tucson has the longest agricultural history of any city in the United States of America. It has a 300-year tradition of vineyards, orchards, and livestock ranching that have forged the wide array of the local heritage foods, a source of identity and vitality for the local population of 1 million inhabitants. The distinctive cuisine of Tucson has developed from a culturally layered history, a variety of heritage food ingredients, and a continuity of traditional food preparation techniques. To maintain its thriving culinary sector, the city focuses particularly on innovative programmes and regulations for food security and sustainable local food production and distribution.“

Don’t take my word for it, Fodor’s Travel agrees.

fodors - Tucon UNESCO city

This was but one reason why, after purchasing a Roadtrek 210P in December 2013 we visited Tucson in and spent some time there in early 2014.  It is also why we made an annual commitment at a resort and have a spot waiting for us throughout the year in this wonderful city.  In that manner we can come and go as we please and stay here for a few weeks, or months each winter, or throughout the year.  This became essential in 2020 when the CCP covid-19 shut down large portions of the U.S. economy.

One of the advantages of staying planted in a location for a few months is the opportunity to really get to know the neighborhood.  That also means we can find good places to purchase all manner of things to cook.

The Tucson site includes a 10 ft x 10 ft air conditioned "shed" with running hot and cold water.  It can accommodate a larger refrigerator, a washer-dryer etc. That means we can cook inside using electric cook top, inductive cooktop, crock pot or whatever (we use them all).  A shelter even allows grilling in inclement weather, and the resort has a central area with gas BBQs.  

However, baking is limited by the size of the convection oven in the Roadtrek, G recently made Eggplant Parmesan, which would not be possible but in very small quantities in the Roadtrek convection oven.  The issue is not simply the size of the oven.  It takes as much time to make a 9x15 inch pan of this dish as a 10x10 inch pan.

 With a little cool weather, an opportunity was created to use the 15 inch wide x 15 inch deep oven in the larger RV.  But first, G had to make the sauce.  Crushed tomatoes, mild and hot Italian sausage, homemade meatballs and spare ribs, all seasoned and cooked in three different skillets and then combined.  Several days later she made the Eggplant Parmesan.  Really good!  Here it is fresh from the oven.


For  fun, G bakes all kinds of cookies. 

Being good neighbors, we share all of the above.

Of course, there is the day-to-day cooking of shrimp & rice, steak fajitas, BBQ chicken, BBQ steak, baked ham, roasted potatoes, roasted asparagus, roasted sweet potato, grilled sausage, mac-n-cheese with chili, grilled cheese sandwiches, fried rice, baked ham, roasted chicken and so on.

We cook using cast iron on a portable inductive top, or over propane.  We cook outside the rig for most meals, from bacon and eggs to BBQ. Outdoor BBQ is a frequent approach. We like the convection oven in the Roadtrek, but can't cook the larger quantities we prefer. For pasta, etc. we boil water in a pot on a resistance electric two-burner range-top we purchased for about $29.  We like propane cooking, but in the Roadtrek we conserve it to heat hot water or for that occasional use of the furnace.

This year I have not yet made my famous cinnamon buns.

It has gotten so ridiculous that over breakfast we discuss what to cook for dinner. LOL.

We recently went to the Viva Cars and Coffee and we like to support local businesses.

 https://www.facebook.com/VivaCoffeeHouse

 A few things cooked recently

Marinated Steelhead Trout, ready for the grill:


Ham ready for the electric roaster:


Grilled steak with rapini, grilled squash and baked potato:


Crock pot chicken soup:




French Toast:



 Original material http://roadtrek210.blogspot.com/




 

 

Saturday, February 27, 2021

This COVID Life

 

 

From the book "Everybody Dies - a Children's Book for Grown-Ups" by Ken Tanaka with David Vry

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The past year has been interesting, to say the least.  One thing we learned, where we hang our hats is important.  

I've reduced my posts in part because I don't want to steer people to our favorite locations. Call me selfish, but I and my neighbors don't want to ruin a good thing.  

We spend about 6-months of the year in each of two campgrounds.  One is in Michigan on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.  The other is in southwest Arizona.

The Challenge in the Spring of 2020 was getting from Arizona to Michigan.  Campgrounds opened late, and each state we traversed in the Roadtrek had different “rules”.  Governor Whitless of Michigan decided on onerous and draconian measures, in her bid to get a seat in the Biden Administration.   

Small businesses in AZ and MI were the hardest hit by the stupidity of local governments.

The Mayor of Tucson panicked and went on local TV and gave her version of doom and gloom. The resulting panic emptied all shelves of toilet paper. Pima County put up a “Wall of Shame” on its website, in which unverified complaints by mask shamers allowed attacks on small businesses by woke mobs. LOL.

 

After the Tucson Mayor's TV Broadcast

We aren’t stupid, so we avoided certain municipal areas entirely.  Chicago, for example, preferring to keep away from the hell that Mayor Lightweight had created with Gov. Pritzker’s assistance.

If there is one expression that sums up the last 12 months, my vote goes to "You can't fix stupid".

Supporting Small Businesses

One thing we have done has been to support small businesses that merited it.  As we did during the financial crises of 2008 we increased our tipping at the small restaurants we have frequented for the past year.

Frankly, we do avoid places which attract transient groups.  I consider that to be an exercise in common sense.  So, we spend more time in a few select establishments in AZ and MI. 

 

An early breakfast

 Disgruntled Newbies

One challenge is coexisting with dissatisfied newbies in campgrounds.  These include escaping New Yorkers and Californians who abandoned their home states, rushed out and purchased a Class A or whatever, and then discovered that about a million other RVers have been living this way of life before COVID-19 was even known.  

When a complainer shows up, after my patience runs out I interrupt their speech with "Let me tell you about my life in hell".  It's all tongue in cheek and I launch into my"Joy of RVing" perspective.  That usually shuts them up.

The newbies sometimes think an RV is like that car they tow and then discover the reality.  They never consider the wear and tear on plumbing and appliances like that residential refrigerator as they go bouncing down the road. They may not think about the parking implications for that 40+ ft. Class A, and so on.  They are chagrined to  find that campgrounds are full, reservations difficult to be had, and they are living in “a parking lot” as a couple of Manhattenites who decided to “just do it” described their “adventure” in a Wall Street Journal article.

The author of that WSJ article said after visiting this blog “Your way of doing things certainly sounds a lot more enjoyable. It must be so wonderful to camp your home inside the national parks…..I took a look at your blog and it was fun to see the photos.

I asked the author to consider a follow-up article in a year. 

Before anyone goes ballistic, I want to remind the reader that the attitudes we run into and as expressed by some of these new RVers are precisely why their states, the ones they are abandoning, are such a mess.  Like locusts, they are moving on, bringing their failed ideas with them, and messing up some of our favorite playgrounds.  LOL.

 

Aerial View -A Large RV Resort

 Reduced Travel

Because of the uncertainty of the past year, we have reduced our travel, preferring to stay close to the “lily pads” we created.  Doing so has reduced our exposure to the infected, and with it, we have  reduced our risk of infection.  Reduced, but not eliminated.  We do carry sanitizer with us and use it before entering the vehicle. We do wear a mask, although I don’t trust the musings of Biden or Fauci. I go by reputable and consistent information from websites which are not peddling political blather or soft porn “news”.  Common sense seems to be in short supply.

We do our venturing during the week, and avoid the “crowds” on weekends.  For example, during the summer of 2020 Chicagoans decided to escape from Mayor Lightweight and Pritzker’s lockdowns. So, on weekends the hoard flooded the public beaches of Whiting IN and Southern Michigan.  Hapless Hoosiers found themselves outnumbered and joined us in MI.  It would have been worse, but the State Parks in MI levy a vehicle charge.  We moved further to a nearby private “city” run beach.

I expect the summer of 2021 will be more of the same. 

Carrying a mask in pocket is de rigor these days.  The county we are currently in does not require mask wearing at all time when in a variety of establishments if 6 feet of separation is maintained.  However, most grocery stores do require a mask, as do restaurants indoors when not seated.  Having  a mask visible will keep most, but not all, mask-shamers at bay.  However, I have noticed a placebo effect. As neighbors are vaccinated some become more relaxed and approachable.  They apparently don't realize or care that the vaccines aren't 100% effective. Go figure!

 

Mask at the ready. Biden would be proud.

 

We are having a good time

I’m pleased to say that overall we have been having an enjoyable time. Why? Planning and Location.

Our decision to become “annuals” at several campgrounds has paid off. Well, OK, one is technically a “mega resort” but with reduced activities it is less like a resort.  But we have National and/or State Parks nearby, and because we frequent certain establishments and tip well, we are treated as “regulars”.  There is an old expression “There is no free ride” and this past year has certainly proved it to be true.

What do we miss?  Certain “live” entertainment is what we do miss the most.  So, we spend more time in nature and that is certainly possible, year-around, where we hang our hats. 

 

A desert Oasis



 

   Original material http://roadtrek210.blogspot.com/

 

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

How We Made our Adventure - Finances

 

Summer Lily Pad

Roadtrek - our travel machine

Mondo-Condo

Our winter lily pad

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 Finances and related decisions

Nothing in planning is automatic. When we began designing our plan more than two decades ago, we had to put together "the framework for the plan" and we had to determine how to finance it. We also had to pay the bills for the two decades in the interlude before we could hone and execute the plan.

There were all kinds of constraints. Income limitations, work, kids college, paying off debts, saving, and so on. We had obligations to meet, and that included retirement financial planning.

To meet all of the obligations,  it did require that we take steps to live below our means. The financial obligations were at cross-purposes. So G and I lived for a time in a small apartment at about $650 per month; we then went "upscale" at about $770 a month; heat included. We then bought a small condominium which was half the price our "friends" were buying.  WaHoo! Living Large!  But we also had lower debt,  lower real estate taxes, lower heating and cooling costs, lower HOA fees, and so on.

We did want our own place (my home was surrendered in an earlier, nasty divorce, and it was promptly sold at a large discount and then torn down to make room for two homes). But, there were the current realities to deal with. We scrimped and saved so we could buy a small, inexpensive condo; we needed somewhere to live for 10-20 years prior to retirement.  That decision allowed G and I to devote a substantial amount of our time to productive, income producing work with minimal time devoted to home maintenance and related expenses.   When the children graduated from college I gave each a $5,000 "grubstake loan" to get them started in their road to independent living. G and I continued to work, and save and plan.

13 years after beginning the formulation of our plans G and I had began putting the major pieces into place. That included 1) What we were going to do, 2) How we were going to do it, 3) When we were going to do it, 4) Where we would do it and 5) How we were going to pay for it.

Some of our friends and acquaintances were quite surprised by our speed, once we began to execute.  But because of the years of planning the gun was "cocked and loaded" and in December, 2013 when we pulled the initial trigger, the pieces fell rapidly into place.

Looking at Costs

Here are the 2020 numbers. The costs of each of our "lily pads" is in percentages. These numbers don't include health insurance, cell phones, website fees, etc. which are not directly attributable to any specific location.

Each year we live about 6 months in Arizona, 5 months in Michigan and a few weeks at the condo.  Our contractual agreements allow us to live up to 6 months each year at our site in Michigan, and 12 months in Arizona. Keep in mind that we maintained the condo as our legal domicile and primary storage location.  We are fully aware that it is time to jettison it.  We could rent it, but I've had previous experience as a landlord and I am not inclined to take that path.  Local and our national governments, and the courts tend to manipulate landlords, to the disadvantage of the landlords.

The numbers for each location include any real estate taxes, fees, rent, utilities, insurance and repairs attributable to each location. The numbers do not include the cost of purchasing the abode, be it the purchase price of a condo or RV, or any condo mortgage.  For the Roadtrek, it includes repair costs and insurance, but does not include gasoline which is dependent entirely upon miles traveled.  The Roadtrek costs include new tires purchased in 2020 as well as other maintenance  including oil changes.

These are rounded numbers which will not add up to 100%:

Condo 38.9%

Arizona 38.7%

Michigan 13.5%

Roadtrek  9.0%

If I were to ignore the annual costs of the condo, then this is the actual distribution of costs for the lily pads we visit via the Roadtrek:

Arizona 63.2%

Michigan 22%

Roadtrek 14.7%

It is obvious that we can reduce our annual "out of pocket" location living costs by more than 38% if we jettison the condominium.  Which is exactly what we intend to do.  

We are currently looking at which state we will "domicile" in. So long Illinois!


  Original material http://roadtrek210.blogspot.com/


 

Monday, January 18, 2021

How we made our adventure - Part 10

 

 

G's broken finger required 3-pins

 

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 Our first year with all the lily pads in place

We think of the "year" as beginning with the fall season; that's when we trek to the Southwest. Our first year with all of the pieces in place was the Fall of 2016 to the Fall of 2017.

However, there were some bumps.  G experienced a fall which resulted in a concussion and broken bones.  Recouping in Arizona was a plus. Once G was feeling better we did a lot of sight-seeing.

When she was healthy I continued my work and did a few related trips. 

Another airline ride

I did also fit in a few projects with the RV and the site.

I did add shelving to make the 5th wheel bunk area a small office/hobby room. The room was also suitable for a guest with a tinted glass door to the main living area, couch-sofa bed, dresser, and private 1/2 bath.



Bunk area rear wall, ready for our tech.

Bunk area rear wall, shelving and tech added

Stairs and porch, added

At the end of the season, we took the "shortcut" via the Florida Keys and visited friends:

Islamorada

Sunset in the Florida Panhandle, from the RV site

We trekked to Michigan and began to enjoy the warming Spring weather and the lake. The hummingbirds, swallows, and herons had returned.




Three Oaks Sesquicentennial Play

Cormorants migrating - October 2017

We had decided to add a deck on the MI site.  The campground allows this.  Our site is sandy and slopes toward the pond. That's a good thing. We did some planning and settled on an approximate 12 ft x 16 ft dimension.  I was considering the project for the fall, at the end of the season.  As luck would have it, a site was being vacated and the new tenant wanted that deck removed. I discussed with the existing tenant, the new tenant and the camp ground owner. All agreed I could remove it and relocate it to my site.  On the last days of October, with the site vacated I did just that.

It was easier said than done.  The decking was nailed in place with more than 600 rusty nails. To make the work more difficult, it was very wet, the wood was damp and had expanded, tightly gripping the rusty nails.  This was a project for a dry August, but no such luck.

With a Wonderbar and hammer I removed all of the deck boards then cut the support framing into three sections. G and I carried these with the help of a maintenance worker to our site.  In the Spring I would re-assemble on our site.



Stored for Spring, ready for tie-down

   Original material http://roadtrek210.blogspot.com/