I may as well tell you – the previous post, Part 1, was sent accidently. It was incomplete. I hit “publish” instead of “save” – oops! Since it seemed like a fairly good stopping point (I was stopping for the day) I decided to just add some pics and links real quick and let it be. Summary posts, while giving out a lot of good information, can get boring. Here are the links to Year 1 and Year 2 Summaries: Year 1 Part 1, Year 1 Part 2, Year 2 Part 1, Year 2 Part 2
So, ready for some more new numbers?
We put quite a lot of miles on our equipment last year. Let’s break it down.
Total truck miles: 16,565
5th Wheel/Truck towing miles: 9,757
Truck alone: 6,808
Car (leaving FL to today – didn’t include the miles my Dad drove to exercise it): 14,023
Total spent on diesel: $3,657
Average $ p/gallon diesel: $2.53 (includes a few expensive fill-ups in Canada) $2.44 (without Canada)
Average MPG truck towing: 9.9 (this is down from last year – Bill says it’s due to more driving in colder temps)
Average MPG truck alone: 16.4 (see above comment)
Total spent on gas: $1,221
Average $ p/gallon gas: $2.28
Average MPG car: 26.3
Using the above numbers we can, again, make a determination about having the CR/V with us vs not having it, from a cost perspective. If we had brought the CR/V with us this past year we can assume that all the miles that are on the truck would also be on the car. We can assume that because I would have had to drive the car all the miles while towing (getting from one location to the next) and also we can assume all the miles without towing we would have added to the car and not the truck (most of them anyway).
So, we’d need to add another 16,565 miles onto the car. At an average of 26.3 MPG, we would have burned approximately an additional 630 gallons of gas; at an average of $2.28 per gallon that comes to $1,463 in gas. We can take 6,808 miles off the truck; at an average of 16.4 MPG at $2.53 per gallon, that comes to $1,050. At the pumps, it would have been an additional $413 to have the car with us this past year.
Accounting for depreciation, the truck is worth about $1,200 more with 6,808 less miles on it. The car, with an additional 16,565 additional miles it would be worth only $100 less. So, keeping the car from a depreciation stand point saved us $1,100.
Completing the equation, we are
Here is what we spent on maintenance and repairs:
Back lights for 5er: $30
Goodyear “H” tires and 17.5″ rims: $2,350 (we were able to sell the old tires and rims for $450 – so we recouped some of that!)
New TPMS sensors for new tires: $250
Living room air conditioner: $900
Control Board for furnace: $104
2 truck batteries: $107
Car battery: $146
Car windshield wiper blades: $29
Car rear glass wiper: $6
Car rear brakes and calipers: $85
3 truck oil changes (including filters): $107
2 truck fuel filters: $57
DEF and cetane boost (fuel conditioner): $215
This list might seem exhaustive, but if you look back at our Years 1 and 2 Summaries, you will see we had almost nothing. If we average the last 3 years, it isn’t bad at all!
I’d also like to revisit the laundry debate. Lots of people, when planning their full-time adventure, debate whether to have an onboard washer/dryer, or rely on laundromats for clothes washing. I talked about this in my first year end summary here: Year 1 Part 2.
I know many who prefer to, and therefore do have, their own machine(s). It occurred to me just now that this would never have been a debate in a sticks and bricks house – EVERYONE wants and most have machines in their homes. They love the convenience of it, the ability to put in a load any time they want without leaving home, and the desire to have that convenience carries over to their home-on-wheels.
There are many factors when considering having onboard laundry in an RV. The short list is: space, is there a place and hook-ups? and cost, do you have funds available for the purchase?
Do you have space and hookups is the easiest question to answer – there either is or isn’t. A lot, if not all, rigs designed fulltimers have a closet with hookups already there. I’m sure if there is a large enough closet, hookups could be added, although I can imagine that being very costly, over and above purchasing the machine(s).
If there is a space and hookups, the next question is can you spare that closet? Once you put a washer/dryer, be it separate machines or a combo, into the closet, not much, if anything else, is going in it. If you dedicate that space just to laundry, will you have enough closet for everything else you want to bring?
An additional consideration, relating to space is weight. This would mostly be for 5th Wheels, travel trailers, and non diesel pusher Class A’s, and Class C’s. These machines are not light and can take up a lot of your available carrying capacity. This needs to be part of your equation when making your decision.
Now on to costs involved. If you’ve looked back at our year one summary, we discussed this, trying to determine, from a strictly cost perspective, is it worth the investment? In our first year summary, we used $1500 as the number to purchase an onboard laundry set-up, and $25 per month as the cost for going to the laundromat. Our conclusion was that, even without maintenance or repairs, it would take a long time to break even on cost. Don’t forget, onboard washer/dryers, and especially the combo units, are small – so small that when you want to wash larger items, like a comforter, and/or when boondocking (or even just without sewer), you would still need to visit a laundromat, and therefore have that cost.
Our personal choice, not to take up valuable real estate within our 5th Wheel with onboard laundry, is one we have not regretted. I love having that closet for my clothes. We love using those valuable pounds for other items. I generally go to the laundromat twice per month, and it takes about 2 hours, it’s not a big deal. We know many full-timers with onboard laundry, and they do a load every day or two to keep up.
Now on to workamping. Last year we ended our year while still employed at Renfros Lakeside Retreat in Seward AK. I did a full recap about that here: Recap AK. We didn’t work again until we arrived at Country Oaks on April 9, taking about 6 months off. I had spent a good deal of time looking for something for FL for the winter, but I didn’t find anything that was a good fit.
Bill’s job at Country Oaks was all around handy man. He did all kinds of things from helping people park, splitting wood, maintaining buildings, including the bathhouse, game room and rec hall; calling BINGO, filling propane, reset blown circuit breakers, collect garbage, taking care of the pool, helping Bob take out trees. and driving the tractor for the hayride. He was always busy. He favorite parts of the job were the hayride, calling BINGO, and getting to know the campers, both seasonals and transients alike.
My job was less varied, and overall I really liked it. I answered phones, made reservations, checked campers in/out, rang up store purchase, accepted electric bill payments, kept the refrigerator, shelves and freezer stocked, answered any questions (or left messages for Lynn or Bob) from campers. Lots of times, people would just come into the office/store looking to chat. I loved that aspect of the job – meeting and getting to know different people.
As compensation for the above listed responsibilities we were paid $10 per hour for every hour worked, had a HUGE FHU site, and electric up to $150 per month (which we never went over).
Our usual work schedule was 29 hours per week, some were a bit more, some a bit less. Bill only missed one full day of work to attend his brothers annual picnic, as did I, but I also missed 5 other days, one for Michelles Bridal Shower and 4 for my trip out to Michelle’s for wedding stuff.
Bill’s total hours worked: 606
Kelly’s total hours worked: 570
Total hours paid: 1,176 X $10 = $11,760
Value of campsite and electric: $4,000
Summer spent down the Jersey Shore: priceless