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August 21, 2019

Road Trip 2019 - Hot/Squat and the numbers

First the numbers:

Days on the road: Budget – 84; Actual – 74
The trip was cut 10 days short, skipping West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.  There were issues at home that required our attention and once pointed west … there was no reason to delay.

Miles driven: Budget – 8916;  Actual – 8401

Diesel Fuel: Budget – 595; Actual – 555.52 gallons
Both the miles driven and fuel consumed reflect the shortened trip.  I expected better mileage than the 15.35 we actually had.  I underestimated the hit we’d take on the mountain roads and the headwinds.  For several reasons we cut the trip short and returned home via the I-70 freeway. We take a hit at freeway speeds.

Fuel cost: Budget 2229; Actual – 1775.27
I am always way off trying to budget fuel costs as fuel in California is more expensive.  I do not shop for the least expensive diesel, but rather the one with the least bio content.  We found 5% diesel #2 for $2.76 in North Dakota and $4.80 in South Lake Tahoe, CA
.Campgrounds:  Budget -  1130.60 ; Actual – 1294.83
Considering 24 of our 74 days were free this is way high, even for us!

Dining out: Budget – 750.00; Actual – 1025.06
We lunch eat out often and then there are those 6 Marion’s Pizzas…. Four of them made it home!, of course we did travel fast, or a couple more might have been eaten along the way.

Misc: (laundry, haircuts, showers): Budget – 50.00; Actual – 36.50
A surprising number of campgrounds had free showers. Only Michigan offered free laundry and I did treat myself to a haircut.

Museums and entry fees:  Budget – 150.00; Actual – 97.25
This includes the $65 fee to drive the Ice Fields Parkway.

Entertainment: Budget – 250.00; Actual – 460.08
We enjoyed concerts at the Fraze, but having Kg performing at DCI we just had to go for both days  The Pictured Rocks cruise was a lastminute $90 splurge, and I think worth it for the memory.

RV Misc:  Budget – 500.00; Actual – 320.10
Repairs on an RV are never easy, nor inexpensive.  The Kiwkee steps I could do myself, but took it to a shop to recharge the AC.

Overall:  Budget – 4200 (50/day for 84 days) ; Actual 4680.57 (63.25/day for 74 days)

The Hot and the Squat:
My Hot/Squat list is purely hedonistic, it is what we experienced when we were there.  Your experience, and tastes, will vary.

Best RV Park (value):
Sandy Lake Minnesota at $13/nite.  We had a W/E lake front site, with free showers and free laundry

Worst RV Park (value):
Bad River Casino at $20 nite offers a cramped corner of their parking lot with 30 amp electric.

Best Free Overnight:
Inyo National Forest near Mammoth Mountain.  We’ve enjoyed the area many times in the past and will again when we travel 395.

Worst Free Overnight:
A Colorado rest stop on I-70. We were literally tucked under the I-70 eastbound lanes.  OK most states, including CO, do not officially permit overnight parking in an Interstate Rest Area, but I tend to consider sleep a part of driving safely and have never been asked to leave.

Best Scenic Drive:
Ice Fields Parkway, hands down the most ‘obscene beauty’ continually along the entire drive.

Worst Scenic Drive:
Eastern Colorado on I-70.  It is flat, dry, hot and windy.

The Wildlife Headcount:
Black Bear: 13 including cubs
Grizzly Bear: 1
Elk: 2
Mule Deer: 4
Big Horn Sheep: 5
Rocky Mountain Goats: 0;zip;nada – even in Glacier NP noted for them!
Bison: 1 up close in our campsite!  Others at a very safe distance :)

Damage report:
On our last travel day the water pump failed momentarily.  I could smell smoke in the kitchen, where the power distribution is located.  But not in the bathroom, where the pump is located.

Once the order cleared the pump again began working.  ARG!  There was a short somewhere, and it may be hard to find.  I hope I can find it without burning up the RV.

It’s good to be back home to SoCal and the ocean.


  1. That was a lot of miles. I am sure home feels sooo gooood. Great animal sightings.

    1. We're, at least I am, pretty excited about seeing our first grizzly in the wild. We 'saved' the mountain goats for our next trip :)

  2. Welcome home again. That w as a fun trip thanks for taking us along. Good luck with finding the short.

    1. The short is at the top of my ToDo list. But a bath and a wax will done today. Thanks for following along!

  3. Appreciate your statistics very much. You are my idol for RVing.


    1. Our rigs are similar enough you might be able to use the stats in planning out your next adventure.


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