The Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler!
Traveling WITH New Rig
Laura @ NPS / Sasha Volunteering
July – Truck Maintenance
July – Maintenance seems to always be there for us, this time with the truck.
If all goes according to plan, we will volunteer in the winter (which ended up being only a couple of months: January and February) and work/volunteer for six months at a National Park. Then head to Texas for some driver licenses and then back East for a couple of months. Then hopefully back to Nevada in the month of December. That is the hope anyway.
July 2010 – Getting Hot in Canyonlands National Park, but still…
Expenses: For the Month of July: Expensive, but not as expensive as June, but for not too bad….
Expenses for July 2010
- Food, Food and Household: $224.01
- , PYO & Farm Market: $2.00
- , Out to Eat: $245.02
- Transportation, Diesel: $165.37
- , Gas: $13.70
- , Moto Vehicles, Maintenance: $1,286.65
- Utilities, Rent: $100.00
- Clothing, All: $28.30
- Communication, Memory: $114.99
- , Internet: $58.92
- , Hard Drive: $24.99
- , Postage: $23.75
- Health, Insurance (L): $0
- , Insurance (S): $0
- Recreation, Fun Stuff: $15.88
- , Books/Topos: $28.32
Total Expenses = $2,547.49
Volunteering Pays in Nice Ways
We were doing pretty good this month, until we went over a curb and had to get four new tires; but I am getting ahead of myself.
Climate Change in 2010
First off, it did get hot, but not as hot as they said it would. Actually, I think that Washington, DC and Williamsburg, and pretty much the entire East Coast, got hotter temperatures than we did in Canyonlands. And we did not have to deal with the humidity! We also did not stay as much in the camper, but started to venture out more, checking out the area and going into the mountains when it started to get real hot.
The very first weekend in July was the 4th of July weekend, although I had to work on that Monday, I did have July 4th off. Amazing but true. So, we had gotten the sleeping bags and tent as well as the air mattress and so that first weekend was one where we tested it all out. Found out we still like tent camping but we were not sure how often we would do that.
Different Foods For Camping
We were buying extra and different types of food, including sodas and bagels because I was not about to make oatmeal while we were camping. So we have some different foods and they seem to be more expensive. Plus we were going out to eat more often (because we were traveling.) Went to some interesting restaurants including Rim Rock Restaurant in Torrey, UT. They had live music and we got a really good pizza with a pitcher of beer.
We also went to, I think, a chain restaurant – but I am not sure. It is called Blondie’s Restaurant. I believe it is like the comic strip, but there really was no mention of the strip in the restaurant. This restaurant was in Hanksville, UT and I mean, nothing, nothing else was there. The town was very depressed, but it looked like it had been depressed for a LONG time, not just from this recession. I could be wrong, but it just seems to be a through town on the way to Capitol Reef National Park. And the big town is Torrey. Kind of similar to Monticello and Moab.
While we were in Capitol Reef, there is a small museum that sells old-fashion ice cream and biscuits (scones) and jellies, jams, and honey so I picked up a scone and honey for an extra treat. We also got apricots (~ 2 pounds) from the orchard for our breakfasts.
On July 31st, we went into town (Moab) and so we went to the Moab Brewery (our favorite place to get food and beer) for dinner, and we checked out the farmer’s market again this time, me hoping that there would be a better grouping of foods. Sasha was a little disgusted with the farmer’s market, as they really don’t have a large amount of food and their prices are still quite high. I was able to pick up some unusual plums, practically cherry size, for $2 a pound. (But we just finished the last of them in mid August, so it was not a bad deal.)
While in Moab, because I tried to get Sasha to go in earlier, he needed an extra kick, so he went to Java Hut sort of place. He said that the guy making the coffee was very particular about it (I guess I need to get Sasha’s Musings in place soon, so that he can comment about it.) And I needed extra tea, so I went to my favorite store in Moab (Moonflower Market) and got some herbal tea. I know, I know, should have had some tea in a canteen, but all of our water bottles are just for that purpose, water. We do not put anthing else in there as it will skunkify (Sasha’s word) the bottle. So we don’t.
I really like Kleen Kanteens water bottles; I have two that I will have to give back to work once I leave Canyonlands. With two containers I have over 2 liters of water, plenty while working the entrance station.
What I really like is the one that is 27 ounces, Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle with a poly sport cap which is similar to a plastic water bottle cap. The only downside is that you can not fill it nicely with ice, neogene bottles do that better, but I don’t put ice usually into my container, so I don’t worry about that much. There are other ones in the Kleen Kanteen series that have a larger neck, maybe we will get a couple for Sasha and me once my season here is over.
Anyway, we spent a bit on food this month, so July was an expensive food month, but it was not just food that made it expensive.
Transportation Good Until……….
Diesel was actually cheaper in the Torrey area than it is in Moab area, so we filled up the tanks, in Bicknell, UT. At $2.98 a gallon for diesel, that is a good price, can’t find that price anywhere where we live so might as well fill up there. As for gas, we have a small container that we use for when we go into town. It only has 1.5 gallons, but great way to fill up our bikes when needed.
Maintenance, well, that was done on the truck. It seems when we were headed into the station to fill up, Sasha went over a curb. That curb incident, which by the way, would have flattened a normal tire, gave a tear in our sidewall of the front drivers’ side tire. We have had these tires since 2006, and thought we would keep them for another year, but that was it. No more G-rated 19.5″ tires for us. We had them because of the truck camper and now we did not need something so very tough. So we went down two sizes to an E rated tire, and back to the 17″ wheels. Sasha will get the wheels sold next month and we will be able to break even with the cost. So the maintenance was for the price of the new tires and wheels, and to get them installed onto the truck.
Same Old Same Old, Yet Not
Rent is the same old, same old as before….We have been very fortunate, as we are only using propane for cooking, so those propane tanks are still going strong. We will see how long they last. Now the camper stuff, most of that is because we stayed at a hotel when we were at the Capitol Reef area.
I had three nights off, but the first night we were in Natural Bridges camping (boy, if you ever get in this area – go there for sure, nice and cool at night) and I took in a program and the campground there was very nice, cool and semi-private. The second and third nights we were at a hotel outside of Torrey, at the Sunglow motel. Nice enough place, we got the last spot by sheer luck. Slightly pricy at $50 a night but they had something going on that weekend and everyone else was booked.
We also are spiffing up the camper, putting in some wall pockets (for magazines and papers needed) that we put above the slide area. This totally helps in the space area, so not as many loose papers all around. And I got a new backpack, pink of course, because my old one was in pretty bad shape. It is part of my everyday wear! We also got a flexible tripod (so that when we want to take a picture and noone else is around, it is easier to do now. You can check out how good the pictures are in the website.
Communication Break Down
Sasha was feeling a little slow, with his computer, and since I had 4 G memory, he felt he needed it too to keep up with me. So we got him that (as part of our communications systems!) It is interesting to note that the new hard drive we got is cheaper than the memory, I guess to keep the memories, we need upgrades.
We were able to sell my computer, and the postage was for that – man, we should have taken a picture of the package job Sasha did, the person who bought it will not be able to complain about any dents or damage, I think you could have taken a sledge hammer to it and the insides would not have been harmed at ALL!
We got another sleeping bag as the one for Sasha was no good, so we could put the two together, of course, that was too hot for someone’s feet, so we will have to rethink the Sleeping situation, but all in all, worked out well for Fourth of July weekend and Natural Bridges National Monument.
Our Days Are Always Fun
Fun Stuff: Since we were going to some very cool geology parks, I did get a couple of geologic maps to study and learn more about the geology of the parks, plus a few postcards and a neat book. Traveling definitely makes you buy more, especially when the information is hard to come by or is in such a large file size, it makes it easier to read a Geo map. Some of these maps are about 44 megabits, which, on a government computer, makes them hard to open. Having the map in your hand is nicer especially when driving in the area.
So an expensive month for good reasons and getting to see the area in Utah – priceless.