When we first started planning, it looked like once we got done with Allison’s races, we would be nice and slow. We’d spend a full week at each stop to really get a chance to see all the things nearby. We wanted to take our time and check out some of the towns and minimize our driving to save money on gas. We were thinking that spending a full week at each place would be pretty slow and a nice pace for us. And while this pace is much better than the 15 hours of driving we did between Salida, CO and Victor, ID, I do sometimes wish we could spend longer in one place.
The biggest reason that we have to move along after a week is that six to seven days is about as long as our water tank lasts (we have 36 gallons of fresh water on board). We could probably make it to nine days if we were really stingy with showering (we already choose hot springs and yoga studios based on if they have showers we can use) and if we were diligent about getting another few gallons in a jug every time we went into town. But even with all that, our grey tank would fill up eventually.
A week also works out just about right for laundry. Before we left, we were really nervous about laundry. We got a hand washing dry bag thinking that would help us extend our stays between laundry stops but really, it just uses water which is our most scarce resource. We’ve ended up doing laundry either at a laundromat or sometimes we’ll dump tanks at a campground that has washing machines and we’ll use those.
Our food supplies also last about a week because that is all we can fit in our refrigerator. Our fridge is only about 6.5 cubic feet. Most household fridges are usually between 15 and 21 cubic feet. Another way to compare is ours is about the size of two short apartment fridges. So once we’ve added in two six-packs of beer and a bottle of wine, we’re basically half full 😉 . We could obviously just go into town and buy more groceries but it has been working pretty well to just do big travel days where we do laundry, buy food, and dump tanks all in one day. This makes for a big day of traveling and chores- part 2 will describe travel day in more detail.
Some Most full-time RVers get around these limitations by just staying at RV parks with full hookups (water, sewer, electric), laundry machines, and sometimes even general stores all the time, but we can’t justify the cost. The cheapest we’ve seen full hookups is $30/night on the side of a parking lot. When you compare that to the zero dollars we’ve paid for sites the past five weeks, it becomes much less appealing. That’s $1000 we’ve saved! (Note: We have learned about a few memberships that would take our cost per campground stay down to far lower, and we are looking into that.) We also just like boondocking. It’s pretty and secluded, and you don’t get the “sardine can” feeling you get in some RV parks.
Given our needs, we generally pack up camp once per week at least to dump tanks and refill water. From there we generally just move along to our next site because, well, we have already broken camp!
So yes we could probably make some changes to extend our stays in places, but all of those changes would involve either even more of our time or a lot of money. So we move once a week. And that is, for the most part, ok.