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An RV Nightmare


State Park of the Week (1/28/2013)

Lake Ouachita, (Mountain Pine, Arkansas). Read the reviews.

Last week’s park:
Fool Hollow Recreation Area (Show Low, Arizona). Read the reviews.

Also, Fridge Fans added to Projects.

Virtual RVing (or What-To-Do-In-Winter-Before-You-Start-Fulltiming)


Though the allure of the open road ever beckons part-time RVers like Jan & I,  it’s one thing to drive around Wisconsin in the summers and quite another to drive around North America.

We’ve been part-time RVing for 10 years and have driven our motorhome down many roads, but I think full-time RVing will be a different animal — at least in scale.

With the prospect of living on the road 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year . . . how much driving is enough? Too much? How long should we stay at a campsite? What will it cost? Where do we go?

There’s no way of knowing for sure, but I think there’s a way of preparing for this transition . . . Virtual RV Trips !

I can’t imagine that I made this term up, but here’s what I’ve been doing over long Wisconsin Winters. Armed with an Excel spreadsheet, I started with a start and final destination and then planned a trip using actual campgrounds along the way.

After creating about a dozen of these Virtual RV Trips, I learned a few things:

  • I’d rather be taking real trips instead of virtual ones.
  • With each new Virtual RV Trip, the amount of daily driving I did kept dropping. I tended to stay longer and longer at campsites.
  • When I added the average temperature for each destination, this seemed like a good guide for both the Winter and Summer months.
  • I started to get ballpark figures for campground costs.
  • I learned a lot about campgrounds themselves . . . amenities, cost, locations, . . .

We’ll see.

Here’s a sample Virtual RV Trip . . . virtual_rving9

2013 WBAY RV & Camping Show


Went to the Green Bay RV show on Saturday instead of Sunday to avoid the predicted temperature drop — mid-30’s to single digit.

This was our 3rd or 4th RV show and it seemed well attended.

We toured both exhibit halls and it looked like most RVs on display were tow-behinds or 5th wheels. There were very few pop ups and Class As.

Nevertheless, we drifted to the only Class A dealer at the show, King’s Campers out of Wausau, WI, who had three Tiffin Class A motorhomes on display.

Phaeton 42LH

Phaeton 42LH

Two of the Tiffin’s were 4-slideout, Freightliner chassis diesel pushers: a 39-foot, 340HP Cummins 2013 Allegro RED (list $228K) and a 400HP Cummins 42.6-foot 2012 Phaeton (show pice $240K).

Loved the Phaeton.

The rear full bath is a great feature and this Phaeton also features a porcelean-tiled living room that includes a fireplace topped with a large flatscreen.

Phaeton Living Room

Phaeton Living Room

State Parks & other projects

Just finished adding a couple of projects from last year and also was able to finally get up the data I’ve been collecting on all the state parks. Not quite a labor of love, but the info should be useful when we start full timing.

Finally, I’m in less of a panic about how much Verizon 4G data I’m burning up . . . my latest estimate is that I’ll use less than my allotted 12GB/month. However, this is all very tentative. Kudos to Verizon for having a good notification system when you’re at the end of your data rope, and they also have some good online tools for analyzing data trends and downloading your data usage.