Lessons Learned on the Road

Niagara FallsWhen you are driving, people tend to stop or slow down ahead of you rather randomly at construction sites and when there is someone on the road, oblivious to the fact you weigh 13 tons and can’t stop on a dime.

We had counted on the fact that the Ohio Tpke had RV spots for the trip out, but when we go there, we saw a sign that said max length was 40 feet. We figured out WHY after we had already set up, disconnected from the truck, leveled and put the slides out. The electrical cord wouldn’t reach! And, no, we don’t have a 50 AMP extension. Argh! But the next stop had pull through, so there we only had to worry about width. We made sure NOT to disconnect from the truck until we were sure our slidouts would fit.

Niagara Falls was nice, but we just didn’t get enough time there. We DID get to the Canadian side (they don’t stamp your passport!) but we didn’t stay for the light show or the fireworks. It was our first long day of traveling and we were tired.

We are getting better at the traveling part. We used to stop every hour or so – now it is more like two. I wouldn’t do that driving a car, but pulling a trailer is harder – on the vehicle, on the person holding the steering wheel, on the dog.

Rocky the dog is doing great, the two cats not so much. We gave up on the crate and that has cut down the crying but increased the fur. Buddy hides under a seat until we get there, but PC roams the cab. I put his harness and leash on him so I could keep him out from under the drivers feet, but that means he is on my lap quite a bit. No matter how much I brush this cat, he is still losing fur so rapidly, he should be bald.

He had tried to escape at truck stops twice. Thank heavens for that leash! I think the sounds really scare him. We leave leashes on all three now, just to be safe.

The truck might be meant for hauling, but the cab is not! I am covered with map books and our itinerary plus snacks, water, and cat. There are four pieces of electronics and their electrical cords on the dashboard or windshield. The dash cam, the backup camera we are using it as a rear view mirror, the tire pressure monitoring system and a truckers GPS, plus the EZ Pass. Which is almost universally accepted, by the way.

The TPMS needs an extender to reach the back tires, which we don’t have installed yet, so it beeps from time to time when it loses track of a tire. The truckers GPS talks, but I have it on mute because it keeps telling us to watch our speed. For the most part, we are doing 62, that’s almost always under the speed limit. That sounds slow, and it is, but it is safe and our fuel mileage is *really* good. So far we are averaging just under 11 miles per gallon while pulling the trailer. And diesel out here is about $2 a gallon, so we are figuring our cost per mile of about 20 cents per mile.

I am keeping track of our costs so I can average it out at the end. We have had a couple of Walmart stops for food and stuff for the trailer that were very high, but other than that we are doing good staying away from the fast food places. We did go to Lamberts for their throwed rolls but that’s about it.

Our average nightly rate has been just over $22, although that will increase as we get further west and we switch from campgrounds to resorts. We REALLY LOVED Branson, by the way, and plan to go back next year. Think Lake George NY crossed with Las Vegas and subtract anything not family friendly. There was so much to do and see there!

We are in Oklahoma City right now. And I do mean the city. I make reservations based on reviews so I don’t always realize where we are going to end up. This campground is smack in the middle of the city – no trees – but there is grass between the sites. Its actually quite nice, just a little odd to look out your window and see skyscrapers.

Amarillo tomorrow and then Albuquerque for a week. I am looking forward to sleeping in. We do plan on going to Roswell while we are there, and an Animal Rescue place that hires workcampers. Just to check it out. We aren’t planning on leaving home forever.