Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wow has it been two months…

071So here we are still in the Aberdeen-Pinehurst area and we are still boondocking in the front of a friend's five acre tract. We only planned to stay here a couple of weeks but we have been here 6 weeks and are going on seven. I am worried we have overstayed our welcome but our friend doesn’t share that thought it seems. What have we learned in these last two months?

  • driving a motorhome isn’t as hard as it sounds
  • living with the person you love 24/7 isn’t as tough as it sounds
  • boondocking isn’t as bad as it sounds
  • keeping within budget is harder than it sounds ;)

031So we have been at this for two months and although we blew through the budget the first month we got a lot closer the second month. You would think that when you boondock you save a lot of money but with propane and diesel at $4.00 plus per gallon even boondocking isn’t cheap if you have a four door fridge sucking down propane and only two 12 volt batteries to boondock with requiring at least two hours of generator time a day. But the second month was close to budget. So the moral of this story for future full timers is to plan on the first month to cost about twice what each successive month would cost.

049We just filled with propane today and got about 50 bucks worth of diesel to get us through the week since we leave for South Carolina next Tuesday. Why only 50 bucks worth you may ask? Well, it is only 140 miles to get to South Carolina and diesel is at least twenty cents a gallon cheaper there than here in North Carolina. Not much of a difference but when you buy 80 gallons it adds up so we plan to refill just across the border…

Gotta save those nickels and dimes where you can… because we are starting to get that hitch itch that we have heard about…


  1. So, what did you do about your grey and black water tanks for six weeks?

  2. Time does fly when you are retired. How did we get everything done when we worked? You are very smart to look ahead at gas prices. We are doing the same thing. Safe travels.

  3. I'm also curious about the holding tanks

  4. What size propane tank(s) do you have and how often do you need to fill them? We are thinking of getting a rig with a big refrigerator, I never thought about the propane usage when boondocking. You think boondocking is free, but I guess it does cost something. Maybe you can estimate how much it cost per day to boondock considering diesel for the generator, propane, dumping fees, etc. Thanks! I enjoy your blog as we are preparing to full time next year (fingers crossed the house sells).

  5. Can you tell me what kind of Internet service plan you're using now?

  6. We have found in 1 1/2 years of fulltiming, we have spent much more than we anticipated. Checkbook is no fuller than when we started. Still, happy we made this decision.

  7. The months will turn into years before you know it.
    We have been full timing 5 years and find a large solar panel keeps the batteries topped up most of the time eliminating generator use. Plus our membership camping gives us mostly free camping with full hookups all over north America. Especially when we keep wanting to move a bit every few weeks or sooner, just can't stay still, gotta keep those wheels turning. The budget evens out, then suddenly a few thousand dollars for tires, or shocks, engine repairs maybe a windshield, body work from a minor ooopppps, or whatever repairs come along, still cheaper and a lot more fun than a stick house.

  8. I've never met a budget that I lived up to! Although he is frugal most of the time, budget is a dirty word for Craig. So with that in mind, I have set a pretty high number as a theoretical spending limit, and hope to come under it as often as possible. We shall see!

    Even in sticks and bricks refrigerators can suck up a lot of energy.

    glad all is well otherwise, thanks for letting me know.

  9. Boondocking doesn't sound bad!

    Just to chime in on the other side of the budget chat, we're finding fulltiming to be much cheaper than anticipated, and that's including some unexpected repairs.

  10. with so many questions to answer I will write a blog with some responses... but I will mention that being over budget just means we may run out of money before our 90's if we don't make a dime so we won't let budget dictate our journeys entirely...

  11. It's not just the frig but the water heater and furnace that eat into propane. We added a wall vent-free propane heater and it says a ton of propane and will heat us right out of the rig. LOL!

    We realized early on that when traveling overnight with temps below 40 or above 80, it's more cost effective to get a campsite, especially a 50% off from Passport America.

    Needless to say, after adding solar and more batteries, that means not running the generator at night and that helps.

  12. We are the same way when it comes to buying fuel. We use gasbuddy.com to find the cheapest fuel in our area and then buy gas accordingly. Should we need it right now we buy only enough to get us to where we can purchase it cheaper, then we will fill up or again get enough to take us to the next spot where it may even be cheaper. As you said you gotta watch the nickles and dimes.

    Kevin and Ruth