Category Archives: Trip Planning

Better News Today…

Today is a definite step up from yesterday. I got more good news than bad news today, but mostly better news, all things considered.

Bad News about the YarrVee

  • Nobody in the Denver metro area has the power steering pump I need in stock. There’s one for $99 on Ebay, but it wouldn’t be here until Monday, anyway.
  • It will be Tuesday before one arrives.
  • My employer got backed up with Year End Finance activities, and I wasn’t paid today.

Good News about the YarrVee

  • I spoke with the manager at Highpointe Park, and they haven’t yet booked any cleaning, etc. services, and can extend my stay until as late as Sunday, the 18th of January.
  • With some internet research by yours truly, the shop has a power steering pump for a 2005 Avalanche 2500 in their hands. The guts look the same, but the fittings are different. They’re going to research to make sure that there will be enough pressure output from the Avalanche pump, and if there is, they’ll see if they can put the guts from the new Avalanche pump into the housing from the Workhorse pump, and they may have the YarrVee back underway today or tomorrow. Maybe. With a little luck.
  • I am definitely getting paid on Tuesday, and it may well be the first two invoices, since the terms are Net 30 days, and if they don’t pay both at once, my second invoice will go over 30 days before they pay on the following Tuesday.

I’m most thankful to the staff at Highpointe Park for having the flexibility to accommodate my situation – I was REALLY stressing out about my housing options given my limited funds at the moment. “Let’s tow the RV across the street to (the ever so conveniently located) Dakota Ridge RV Park” was starting to sound like a viable (read: crazy) option. I’m really glad that I have some flexibility, even if it means that I won’t be hitting the road this week the way I was hoping.

Unplanned Adventures!

It’s only when you’re on a tight timeline that you have unplanned adventures, right?

Today’s plan was to go to Camping World, pick up the RV, drive it back to the apartment, load what little stuff I have left here into the RV, then wait until tomorrow to see if my invoice was paid. If it was, awesome, we can move forward with preparing to go to Florida. If not, we’ll hang out in the RV, work this week, then go to Florida when the invoice is paid next week.

No plan survives first contact with the enemy.

In this case, the enemy was…the power steering pump.

I caught a Lyft to Camping World, and waited for them to get the YarrVee pulled back around front. When they did, and I got in it, I had no power steering, and no brakes. I took the keys back to Lonnie, my service advisor, and told him I couldn’t accept the coach back in the current condition. Nobody had commented on it being difficult to drive until this morning. A little internet research while I waited for them to do some diagnostics turned up one (and only one) reference to the Chevy Vortec 8.1 losing power steering and brakes…and it didn’t look good. The indication was that the shaft on the power steering pump had sheared off inside the pump – because the brakes are hydraulically assisted, when the P/S pump goes out, so do the brakes. It’s apparently not an uncommon failure. Bryan Flanagan, the service manager at Camping World (same guy who refused to reimburse me on the tire that failed and cost me $825) was kind enough to help me line up a shop that could get the YarrVee in on my timeline. Stevenson Chevrolet couldn’t even look at it until late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Fortunately, the other shop that Camping World deals with frequently said they could get it in today. That was good news. More good news – after an hour on the phone, the $6300 Good Sam warranty I have on the coach said that they’ll cover the $2500 repair.

The bad news: They’ve estimated the repair at 20-25 hours. That jeopardizes my on-time departure from the apartment. And to top the day off – back in December I left my Galaxy Tab 4 in the drawer next to the bed, and I forgot to get it when I dropped the coach off at Camping World on Christmas Eve. Guess what was missing when I went to get it today. Apparently, “We are not responsible for customer valuables left in your RV” is code for “We are completely free to steal from you without repercussion”.


Why Full Time? – Jon’s tale

What made us decide to live in an RV as our Primary Residence?

* Pat Flynn’s SmartPassiveIncome podcast with Jessica and Cliff Larrew.
* Sean Ogle’s LocationRebel community, which I joined at the start of 2012.
* The Tropical MBA podcast – These guys are great, and hugely inspirational to me.
* Receiving 3 corporate emails over a 6 month period mourning the unexpected death of retired coworkers…
– they were all between 55-62.
– they all died within 18 months of retirement,
– one of them retired, and then kicked it within 8 weeks.


I’ve got 7 more years here before I could retire at 55 with a retirement of about $32,000/year. ¹

I am the Captain of my own life. It’s my journey, and not anybody else’s.
I’ve been ready to stop trading my time for a fixed pittance of cash while working for someone else and work for myself since I was 19 years old. I lacked the technology and the know-how, and to a certain extent, the chutzpah to do so before now.

I *could* stay here at this City Job, comfortable apartment, etc. It’s quite a nice life I have here…and I could warm the chair I’m sitting in for another 7 years and be rewarded with $32,000/year until the day I die.

Which might be 6 months after I retire.

No thanks.

That’s not to say I don’t have fears…

* I’ve still got debt – that scares me, and is why I’m keeping The J-O-B (for at least part, if not most of) 2015.
* I’m still spinning up the side business(es) to something more than “poorly paying part time hobby” – that scares me.
* I’m still trying to figure out how to run a proper business, but “poorly paying part time hobby” doesn’t really cover the services of an accountant or other advisor-type professional. That scares me.

But I also don’t want to be my mother.
She’s always dreamt of traveling around the country, seeing the sights.
She’s 71, and will probably not ever get the opportunity to do so. She doesn’t trust herself to be able to handle the physical aspects of setting up and breaking down a campsite, so she wants to do it with a Full Time Travel Partner – which I don’t know that she’ll find…presuming, of course, that she can afford a reliable RV with the sum that she could get from selling every other thing she owns.

I’m really hoping she can – I think she’d love the hell out of life on the road. =)

So…that’s the (quite long) explanation of why I, personally, have made the decision to get out of this chair, leave the safety and comfort of an apartment, and figure out how to make money on the road – until the day I drop dead.


¹ Adjusting my current salary for 7 years of predicted inflation, by looking at inflation from 7 years ago; presuming I don’t change job title in a manner that results in a substantial pay increase between now and retirement, and multiplying the total by the “40% of the highest average pay in the last 3 years” that I could retire with at that point.

Supernatural Trip Planning

So, one of the things that Audrey and I are considering doing is travelling the roads traveled by Sam and Dean Winchester in the WB/CW series Supernatural.


Alana is Reading on Tumblr created maps to the best of their ability, and I wanted to draft a post on what that would look like. Prices are from August 2014, and the Calendar presumes starting the first week of 2015, both of which are fairly unlikely targets.

Season 1 – If we start from Season 1, Episode 1, we’ll want to pick up an RV in Northern California. This is OK with us, as our current plan is to establish residency in South Dakota, and that’s along the way…

29 December, 2014
Season 1, Episode 1 (and a half)
Palo Alto to “Jericho”, California – 200 miles, 4 Hours
Wikipedia says that Jericho, CA is a ghost town near Moores Flat, CA. I think I found the spot on Google Earth, and it looks like it’s no more difficult to travel to than it would be driving up Rampart Range Road here in Colorado – Plenty of pavement to the last couple of miles, then broad graded dirt. There’s not a lot to see here, but it is public land, so woohoo for free boondocking on the first night of a very long  and strange trip!

5 January 2015
Season 1, Episode 2
Jericho, CA to “Just outside of Grand Junction” to “Blackwater Ridge, CO” – 887 miles, 13.5 hours
“Blackwater Ridge” is the first fictional destination in the series. There is a “Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness” just outside of Grand Junction, and the location is 39.1 N by -108.9311 W. The road is gnarly as hell going out that far, and it’s a Wilderness Area that we’ll have to hike or horseback ride into, though, so it’s likely we’ll wind up staying at the Saddlehorn Campground at the Colorado National Monument, instead…

12 January 2015
Season 1, Episode 3
Grand Junction, CO to Omro, Wisconsin – 1317 miles, 20 hours
The location used by the Supernatural Fictional Places Wiki Page is near Wausau. I think I’d rather see Oshkosh, on the shores of…Lake Winnebago. Also, there’s a lake connected to Lake Winnebago called Lake Butte des Morts, or “Hill of the Dead”. That seems VERY appropriate for the setting.

19 January 2015
Season 1, Episode 4
Omro, Wisconsin to Kittaning, PA – 659 miles, 10h 44m

26 January, 2015
Season 1, Episode 5
Kittaning, PA to Toledo, OH – 251 miles, 4h

2 February, 2015
Season 1, Episode 6
Toledo, OH to Tucumcari, NM or St. Louis or Austin, TX – 471 miles, 7h

9 February 2015
Season 1, Episode 7
St. Louis, MO to Ankeny, IA – 347 miles, 6 hours

16 February 2015
Season 1, Episode 8
Ankeny, IA to Oasis Plains (Atoka County), OK – 579 miles, 9h

23 February 2015
Season 1, Episode 9
Oasis Plains, OK, to Lawrence, KS – 350 miles, 6 hours

2 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 10
Lawrence, KS to Rockford, IL – 518 miles, 8 hours

9 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 11
Rockford IL to Burkittsville, IN (Near Scottsburg) – 389 miles, 6 hours

16 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 12
Burkittsville, IN to “Nebraska” (North Platte) – 951 Miles, 15 hours

23 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 13
“Nebraska” to Cape Girardeau, MO – 770 miles, 11.5 hours

30 March 2015
Season 1, Episode 14
Cape Girardeau, MO to Saginaw, MI – 628 miles, 9.5 hours

6 April 2015
Season 1, Episode 15
Saginaw, MI to Hibbing, MN – 682 miles, 11.5 hours

13 April 2015
Season 1, Episode 16
Hibbing, MN to Chicago, IL – 542 Miles, 9 hours

20 April 2015
Season 1, Episode 17
Chicago, IL to Richardson, TX – 912 miles, 15 hours

27 April 2015
Season 1, Episode 18
Richardson, TX to Fitchburg, WI – 970 miles, 15 hours

4 May 2015
Season 1, Episode 19
Fitchburg, WI to New Paltz, NY – 965 miles, 15.5 hours

11 May 2015
Season 1, Episode 20
New Paltz, NY to (Peyton) “Manning”, CO – 1800 miles, 27 hours

18 May 2015
Season 1, Episode 21
(Peyton) Manning, CO to Lincoln, NE – 488 miles, 7.5 hours

25 May 2015
Season 1, Episode 22
Lincoln, NE to Sioux Falls, SD – 236 miles, 4 hours

Total for Season One:
14,912 miles, 235 hours driving.
1491 gallons of diesel @3.87 = 5770.17 or $1049.12/mo.