Staying Connected

The Finances of Living in a Fifth Wheel Toyhauler!
November 2010

Traveling WITH New Rig

Fall Traveling East

November – Staying Connected

We Are On The Lake Water, beautiful fall day

We Are On The Lake Water, beautiful fall day

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.

November 2010 – In Fairfax, VA and Williamsburg, VA staying with the folks and then in our own rig.

Expenses: Tires, Tires and More Tires, Is the theme of this month!

Expenses for November 2010

  • Food, Food and Household: $206.05
  •         , Out to Eat: $263.45
  • Transportation, Diesel: $330.09
  •                        , Tolls: $9.70
  •                        , Motorcycles, Registration: $248.70
  • Clothing, Sasha: $19.99
  •              , Laura: $24.67
  • Utilities, Propane: $75.44
  • Camper, Maintenance: $11.96
  •              , Tires & Wheels: $1,818.10
  •              , Stuff for Folks: $24.37
  • Communication, Cell Phone (S): $33.08
  •                          , Verizon (2 M) $177.92
  •                          , Postage: $1.90
  •                          , Postage for folks: $83.24
  •                          , Hard Drives (3): $341.22
  •                          , Cases: $27.49
  • Health, Insurance (S): $581.46
  • Recreation, Fun Stuff: $29.00
  •                  , Books: $25.95
  •                  , Charity: $10.00
  •                  , Gifts: $12.58
  •                  , Gardening: $10.49

Total Expenses = $4,915.77

High Expenses While Visiting 

So How Many Times can I say OUCH? But the thing is, if we had to do this over again, I would hope we would be able to do so. AND hindsight is always 20/20, so all I can say is that no one was hurt in this process, just that if you are thinking that you should be able to live for cheap living in an RV, well, take from our experiences and double your budgeted amounts.

Social Out To Eat and Helping Family

First off, the food and household, even though we were living in two households at this time, we still bought food for others. It seemed like the family thing to do. And then the food out, well, we saw friends that we had not seen in a long time, so we went out to eat more often and at more pricey places than we are used to. Yet, the company was the most important thing, so it was well worth it to see folks we hadn’t seen in a long time.

Our Family at Thanksgiving

Our Family at Thanksgiving (only two people not present: Denise and Bo)

Traveling to See Friends

For transportation, we had two fill-ups, once a month after the last fill up (in October!) and once when we were coming down after seeing friends in New Jersey. The tolls were from going up and down into New Jersey. Man there were a lot of tolls, but I already stated my feelings on the toll system in October, and won’t go over that again. We also had registration for the truck and the trailer, and it is due in November. So it was not unexpected.

Home is Where You Park It

Like I had stated in October, we had put our rig in storage to take it out November 22nd when we would live in it until we left Virginia. So on November 6th, they charged us again for the storage. Unfortunately, someone, do not know who, managed to get my American Express number (and we think it was from the campground as they wrote it down and it was available for anyone in the office to see), and was charging for stuff in Canada. So learn from our mistakes, send a check or come in and pay in cash when you have a RV in storage, you will thank me later.

At the time they made the charge, we had called up again to make sure that we had a reservation for a spot from November 22 to December 7th. We realized it was a long stay in a campground and we wanted to make sure we did not have to move.

But back in October, actually the day we came in, we had made the reservation. The girl on the phone told us that yes, we had the reservation. So imagine our surprise when we came in on November 22 and there was no reservation, and supposedly, no space for us (right before Thanksgiving the campground fills up!) However, the person at the desk was able to find us a place. We paid for a monthly charge plus electricity of the price you see above. Yes, the East Coast is much more expensive than being out west.

Onto the big expense: the tire and wheels. Since the blow-out, and even before that time, we knew we would have to get a better system than what we had. The tires when we bought the trailer were old, and we put new ones on immediately.

But the wheels were 16 inches instead of 17.5 inches, therefore not as strong or able to withstand serious driving. At the time, back in November 2009, we did not have very much time to get them changed. So we did not. In hindsight, that was the wrong thing to do. We should have gotten them done. So a year later, and lots of tires later, we got them done. We did not get anything for our other tires and wheels, but at least we bought these. The tires and wheels included shipping and it would take at least a week to get them to us. But we figured we would be in the campground by then, so that it would not be a problem.

When we moved the rig to the spot in the campground and got everything hooked up, Sasha went to turn on the electric hot water heater switch, and it DID NOT switch on! UGG! We took showers in the bathroom at the campground (one thing that was nice was that our spot was right across from the bathhouse.) until Sasha could get a switch and put it in. Fastest turn around I have seen, as he found one and put it in the day before Thanksgiving.

Thrift Store Haven – These Are Great Stores

We bought some stuff for Sasha’s folks, mostly electrical stuff. While we were out helping them find a new bed for the guestroom (went from a double bed to a queen, thank you Mom & Dad J – too hard for two to be on a double!) we went to some really good thrift stores and I found some jeans, leggings, and other pants. Great selection, and I love not having to go to a mall. However, when we went up to New Jersey (no tax on clothing) I was able to get some new stuff and so did Sasha. We went to one of those outlet malls. It was ok, but still, a mall. It took a while to get what we wanted, but ultimately I found the stuff we needed.

Digital Communication 

Now communication is important, and while some of the stuff might not really count towards “communication” per se, it is close enough. We do not have as much paperwork as the next guy, because there is no way to store it all. That is why we are digital and that is why we need hard drives. Having everything backed up is a good idea and having it in several places, just in case is also a good idea. So we do, and it is done. The hard drives are put into cases to keep them safe.

We paid for two months of Verizon, to get back on schedule with them. I am hoping we will not have to do two months again and hope we do not go over the 5 GB per month. We also got an extra two months of cell phone minutes for Sasha as his time would have expired soon. So we tend to talk mostly on his phone rather than mine, as for some reason, I think a promotion long, long ago, I got so many days on my phone that there was no need to expand it. But with Sasha’s we have to.

With Postage (folks) – what that means is this. For Sasha’s parents we put a bunch of stuff up on Craigslist to sell. With my parents we put a bunch of electronics on Ebay to sell. Everything sold but with Ebay you have to ship. So we shipped away, and that shipping ate into the profits of the sale. That is the way it goes of course.

Health Insurance Blahs

Health insurance for Sasha was paid for the next six months. I had already explained my feelings on health insurance…we all hate it but it is a necessary evil. Next subject.

Recreation and Fun Stuff

The fun stuff that I have on here is taking a course to improve my interpretation skills. I consider it fun because training to me is fun. I signed up for a class with Eppley Institute. Eppley works with the NPS to give online classes to learn about all different subjects having to do with interpretation. This class is to learn how to deal with Informal Visitor Contacts, something I will be dealing with not only at Lake Mead, but also at Canyonlands. So it is a good one to have under my belt. I will be working with a coach on the class, which makes it even better as you get an Advanced certificate.I have already taken the basic course and will start working on the advanced (with a coach) in December. Hope to have it finished in March.

I went to the Museum of Natural History and the National Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC. While there, I got a couple of books. I figured that some of the money would go to the museum. That was my hope anyway. The day was beautiful and I got to see amazing flowers and plants and the museum was cool too, seeing dinosaurs and minerals.

Sasha gave money to a company that provides a way to download movies, shows, and music. We now have an unbelievable collection, all because of software and a website. You need high-speed internet, like Cable or Fios to download, but it is pretty good collection for us.

I bought a few gifts for kids that I normally would not buy for, but since we were seeing them, it might be a good idea. And it felt good too, so why not?

Gardening, can’t imagine doing it right now, but found a planter that had three herbs in one, so I got it at Trader Joe’s. If the plants last long enough, then it would be worth it. I hope it is.

Well, when December comes upon us, we will be heading out of the Virginia area to head to Texas, then Nevada where we will spend the winter.

Have you ever experienced a blow-out and what did you do?

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