Instead of sending out a Christmas letter, I put thing together as a summary of the past year. Here are some statistics:
- I started 2017 in Florida, and then headed to Ohio in April. After visiting with family and friends in Ohio and Michigan, I headed west to California, via Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and finally Grand Canyon in Arizona where I met my son and his family for a few days. Next was Utah, and finally back to Colorado to find some cooler temps in higher altitudes. After several weeks at elevations from 7,500’ to 9,600’ in western Colorado, I headed north to Oregon and then down to northeast California to meet up with some other solo women RVers.
- I ended up driving 17,581 miles in 2017, about 4,000 miles less than in 2016. I have been trying to save money by staying in places longer and staying at more federal campgrounds where I get a discount. I used 2,234 gallons of gas this past year, which cost me $5,734. Expensive, but it is not cheap to haul your home and all your belongings all over the country. I also spent a lot of money on campgrounds, but camping fees averages out to about what you would spend on a mortgage for a home.
- I spent only $299 on propane this past year to heat water, run furnace, cook, and run my refrigerator while driving. That compares to $218 in 2016, $230 in 2015, and $365 in 2014. A tank of propane costs me about $30 and lasts about 6 weeks unless it is very cold outside. Since I spent a lot of the fall and early winter in cold places, the increase makes sense.
- I thought I spent a lot of money on maintenance last year, but I ended up spending even more in 2017—a total of over $6,000. The biggest expenditures were for slide roller repairs and all new brakes. And, I broke my own record for replacing the house water pump once a year—this year, I had to get it replaced twice. Most people have no problems with water pumps lasting several years, but mine seem to be constantly failing.
- Water use stayed the same. I average about 10 gallons of water per day for a hot shower and washing dishes once a day, so that totals about 3,650 gallons per year, which is a lot less than the average person uses. You tend to conserve water when you have to drive to a dump station and empty it down the sewer yourself.
While all of this sounds horribly expensive, remember that I have no other vehicles other than my motorhome. In addition, I do not pay property taxes or utility bills, and I don't own a house or condo with maintenance costs. Since I am retired, I don't need clothes or shoes for work, nor do I have to commute to an office. And I have not bought winter clothing for years!
I am still very much enjoying this life and have no intentions to quit. I visited with some cousins in Florida this winter and also got together with some other RVing women in Tampa, Arizona, Eagle Lake in northern California, and in San Diego.