Our Next Chapter
First snow in River Falls, WI, on October 27, 2017

Failure!

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Photo of snow in River Falls WI on October 27, 2017
October 27, River Falls, WI

We failed to meet our goal of being south of the snow line this year!

October 27th and in River Falls, Wisconsin, there is measurable snow on the ground and it is getting deeper. The RV is doing well with the mild temperatures in the mid and lower 30’s.

Screenshot of LP Gas Tank Level
LP Gas Tank Level

Our electric heat works fine most of the time but the LP gas furnace occasionally kicks in to help it out.  We are watching the gas levels with the Mopeka’s bluetooth based monitoring on the LP gas tanks and it is easy to run to the local Ace Hardware to get them filled.  These are little devices you magnetically stick on the bottom of the tanks and measures the depth of the liquid propane in the tank. They have great coverage from anywhere in the RV using the free app and you can set an alarm for when a tank gets to a certain percentage or below.  While it may be cold outside, the RV does pretty well as long as we don’t have 40 MPH winds for 3 days.  It got a bit chilly inside with this latest cold snap because of the winds.

To analyze this recent failure we need to understand the plan.  We do have one!  Mostly ready to go, with the plan to depart Wisconsin on November 4th for first destination of the Cedar Rapids, IA, area!  From November 4, 2017, to March 31, 2018, we will be south of Wisconsin. We will be moving toward Bushnell, FL, over the course of six weeks at a pretty even pace each week.

Our weekly destinations are driven by two major factors.  First the goal is to travel about four to six hours per week and the second is strong AT&T connectivity is required so Jason can work at that location for the week.  Internet connectivity is the most critical part of this plan and the most worry for Jason of everything related to this lifestyle change.  No internet = no work.  Our AT&T service is an unlimited gigabit plan, but our Verizon is metered and we pay by the gigabyte so it is only an emergency backup. We use a number of different resources to plan out the trip and to check for cellular coverage. Somewhere between factor one and two is the price factor in selecting a campsite for the week.  The price per night can range quite dramatically depending on the locale.

Fall 2017 Travel Plans
Arrival Date Location
November 4 Cedar Rapids, IA
November 12 St. Louis, MO
November 19 Bowling Green, KY
November 26 Pigeon Forge, TN
December 3 Savannah, GA
December 10 Bushnell, FL

Our goal is to have campsites at or below $25 per night, with electricity.  We are already members of the Xscapers RV Club for the mail and domicile service.  Xsccapers is party of Escapees and Escapees RV parks are very affordable with full (Water/Electric/Sewer) hookups usually available for about $15-17 per night. We will be spending four weeks alone at our “domicile” park Sumter Oaks RV Park in Bushnell, FL, which is an Escapees park.  We also found that in the Southeast US that a Thousand Trails membership would pay for itself pretty quickly, especially with the introductory price we got through a deal they sent us.  You pay one flat rate per year and can use as much as you want with some minor limitations on days in and days out of the system.

Since selling the house there have been a number of other activities to prepare and transition. Insurance of vehicles and the RV have been tricky since we are still physically in and titled in Wisconsin. Working with American Adventures Insurance we got a great rate on our RV and are covered as full-time RVers, similar to a home insurance policy more than a trailer. They are an agent of Progressive Insurance, so we hope that means worry free service when we need it.  Since they support full time RVers, we had no issues with getting Florida insurance issued to us through the “domicile” address there.

While there hasn’t been a blog post here since we returned to River Falls, we have been busy preparing, continuing to work on the boxes that are still around the RV from the house, refining Jason’s work setting, improving on the RV’s livability with little tweaks and mentally preparing for  Our Next Chapter.

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