Our first full month as full time RV’ers was a jam packed adventure. We put 3,359 miles on the Mighty Thor, and drove through 14 states, and stayed in 8 of them. All those miles taught us a lot.
Try to limit your daily drive to 4 hours according to Google maps. Once you add in gas and meal breaks, and slow driving up mountains or traffic jams, 4 hours will turn into 6 hours. There were a few days when we had to get in a lot of miles to get from one job to the other in time. Hitting the road at 6am, we thought we had a 6 hour drive ahead of us, but once you add those necessary and unavoidable delays, it quickly turned into 9 or 10 hours on the road. Tough on Al’s nerves, tough on my back, and just really bad for our overall health. We would take the time to find campsites that appealed to us, but we’d be too tired when we got there, or it would just be too dark to take advantage of all its amenities and hiking trails. And then we were on the road again the next day. No time for fun.
Find time to exercise. We’ve both lost more muscle mass than we care to admit. You will have to change your exercise routine and step out of your comfort zone to get in some fitness.
Take extra steps to have healthy food ready to eat on travel days. Boiled eggs and healthy snacks help cut down on the restaurant food (aka. Salt and cholesterol bombs). And you may arrive at some campsites in the middle of nowhere pretty late, without an open restaurant for a 10 mile radius. Have easy fix dinners available.
I’ve yet to master cooking with the induction plates and convection oven. Practice makes perfect, I hope. But I have learned to manage the small counter space in food preparation.
We’ve learned how to clean differently, using less water when doing dishes and taking showers.
Plan ahead, but be flexible. Your plans can change. When looking to stay at prime locations during peak season, it is good to book in advance so that you know you have a place to stay. But be aware of the cancelation policy so that you can change your plans as need be. South Florida is very desirable in the winter, especially January and February, and reservations can be hard to get.
Call the campground if you see limitations on their booking sites that don’t fit into your schedule. Broward County Parks (South Florida) website will only let you book 7 day stays, but if you call them, you can book stays for up to 6 full months. This could be the case at other camp sites as well.
If staying at a campsite you’ve never been to before, call ahead and find out the best entrance to use. Our rig was too big to fit into the main entrance at TY Park and we almost got stuck. We had to block the entrance while unhitching the tow dolly and car from the RV. At another site in New Jersey, the RV navigation took us through the back entrance and we were once again blocking traffic as we tried to figure things out.
Driving your RV is the equivalent of putting your home through an earth quake. As such, you’ll need to do more repairs the more you are on the road. To date, the following repairs have been needed:
Automatic steps stopped working – repaired
Inverter that lets the residential refrigerator run off the generator while driving stopped working – repaired
Gouge in sidewall of tire – needs repairing
Check engine light came on – needs repairing
Sewage drain hose busted while pumping black tank – I don’t want to talk about it
Trim came off the windshield – needs repairing
Emergency window came off its hinges – repaired
Bottom of a kitchen drawer collapsed – repaired
Oil Change needed – will be done soon
One of the toilets keeps clogging – we keep unclogging
Pipe under bathroom sink came slightly loose and caused a small water leak - repaired.
Bunk above cockpit keeps coming down slightly on one side – live with it