Some of our lessons learned during our 2014 Adventure are:
- See all my annual expense sheets here
- Other budget related posts are here
- My Annual Expense Spreadsheet is here
- Our Thousand Trails membership was especially valuable on the west coast where there are many nice TT campgrounds (some are excellent, others not so much).
- Having said that, this year I concluded that I had to make peace with camping without a sewer hookup. Way too often we found ourselves picking a campsite, not because we liked the spot, but because it was one of the only spots with full hookups. By buying the macerator pump I increased our campsite potential. That really paid off at places like Ponderosa Thousand Trails where we were able to camp right along the river.
- When one camps in the Pacific Northwest they should probably accept the fact that they won’t have satellite TV all the time. Often the biggest challenge I faced when arriving at a campsite wasn’t parking and leveling the camper but finding a hole in the trees where I could get the satellite. At a few places we had to give up and do without. No biggie, but still an inconvenience.
- On a related note, my Verizon cell and data did pretty good, especially when using the Wilson Sleek booster. We did without a few times but not often.
- From my records both this year and last, it appears I can generally estimate that we will drive the same distance sightseeing/living as we will towing. That’s helpful for future planning.
- I learned that I need to do a bit more weather research as I plan our schedule. I knew it would be cool along the coast but didn’t realize how hot it would be in the Sacramento area!
- I learned that you can’t see it all. No matter how much you sightsee someone will ask you I’ve you’ve been to some feature you didn’t see. I’ve decided that’s a good thing – now I have reason to go back!
- I learned that I did, indeed, have enough pickup for the mountains. In theory I knew I was good to go, but it takes actually descending and pulling up some grades to be fully convinced of it. There were several steeper roads, but I think the New Priest Grade near Yosemite was the biggest challenge we faced. Jackie adds that if one suffers fear of heights they had better be ready to deal with it on this itinerary. She says chocolate helps.
Now we’re ready to start thinking about 2015 which already has a couple of interesting wrinkles – I’ll post about them another time.