The year 2018 was all in all, a good one for us. Every year, I like to take stock of the year before, looking at both the good and the bad. As full time travelers, we get lots of questions about our life on the road. This post might answer a few of those questions as we look back on the happenings of 2018.
We get asked a lot if we will ever settle down again in a regular home. At this point in time, we have no plans for that. We have absolutely no regrets. We love our new roaming lifestyle and the fact that as we work-camp across the country, we get to actually experience each area as the locals do.
We have been on the road since the spring of 2015. If you would like to see reviews of our previous years:
2017– We spent a bit of time in Arizona at the beginning of the year, and then a fun summer in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We finished off the year back in Arizona in the Phoenix area. The year 2017 was a year of coach issues, but we rolled with the punches.
2016- The year 2016 brought us our first look at the state of Arizona. We arrived there at the beginning of the summer, with the idea of checking out the Grand Canyon, and then moving on. And then we stayed…
2015- Our journey began with our first work camping job in Bar Harbor, Maine. It was a time to begin decompressing from our city lifestyle and begin really enjoying life.
Many ask about our financials, so I will go into that a bit, along with a few things we have learned and experienced as we traveled in 2018!
Total Mileage this year
We began 2018 working at an RV Resort in Apache Junction, AZ near Phoenix. My job ended there in March. So, we took a scenic trip from Apache Junction to Atlanta to visit a bit with the family and our granddaughter.
Our route took us through the Arizona desert, Amarillo Texas and more. Our final destination was my daughter’s home in Douglasville, GA. A total of around 2800 miles.
Our summer job for 2018 was at the Polson RV Resort in Polson, Montana. Our route to Montana included a fun side trip to the Badlands of South Dakota, Custer State Park, and of course, Mount Rushmore! In Polson, we spent some time at Glacier National Park.
We took on a temporary job at the Sugar Beet Harvest in North Dakota for the fall. Our route from Polson included a side trip to Yellowstone National Park, where we spent a few days enjoying the scenery. We drove into Cody, Wyoming, and then took the Beartooth Highway up into Red Lodge Montana. Unfortunately, there was a lot of fog, but we still saw some amazing scenery.
Our final journey for 2018 was from Grand Forks, ND back to Douglasville, GA. We managed to get out of North Dakota just ahead of the zero degree winter temperatures. Just in time to spend the holidays with family!
Total travel for 2018 was 6,686 miles!
Our favorite campgrounds for 2018
With all the traveling that we did, we stayed at over 30 different campgrounds this past year. Too many to list here. But we want to talk about 3 campgrounds that stood out this year. Our top three…
Not only did we work there, but we had an amazing site with beautiful views of Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountains! There really isn’t a bad site at Polson RV Resort. The campground itself consists of a KOA on the top of the hill and a Class A Motorhome resort right below.
We enjoyed sitting outside and enjoying the beautiful views on our days off, or taking short trips to Glacier National Park or the National Bison Reserve.
We loved Checkers Welcome Campground. We hit this little park on our way south from North Dakota. It is located right near the Minnesota/ North Dakota line. We loved the beautiful trees in this park, the fact that the sites were not super close to each other, the nice long gravel covered sites, and the quaint little town of Welcome just down the road.
On our way from Apache Junction to Douglasville, we wanted to visit with our other daughter in Oklahoma City. We were lucky enough to find Mustang Run RV Park. It is a new park with a huge front office and all sites were concrete pads. Plenty of space available around each site. And a plus- we even had our own tornado shelter located right next to us!
A great, safe place to stay within the city limits of Oklahoma City!
Finances for 2018
The majority of our bills which include RV payment, health insurance, vehicle insurance, phone/internet bill, and all website overhead and taxes are covered by my websites, Suzy’s Sitcom and Daily Holiday Blog.
We use our work camping income to cover our food, gas and spending money.
This year we worked at:
RV Resort Apache Junction – Jan 2018- Mar 2018- This job involved creating a new website for them, social networking and photography. Dave took this time off, while I worked this job. It included pay and a free site. Unfortunately, not all employers are honest or easy to work for. This job turned out to be a learning experience for me.
Polson RV Resort, Polson, MT– May 2018- Sept 2018- Fortunately, our next job was a great experience! I worked front desk and Dave worked Maintenance and Escort. We had great bosses and coworkers. Job included salary and discounted site.
Sugar Beet Harvest- Grand Forks, ND– Sept 2018- Nov 2018- We decided to add a bit to our income with the seasonal positions at the Sugar Beet Harvest. We worked for the sugar company. I was a Piler Operator and Dave worked as ground crew. You can read about our job experience here. Job included salary and free site.
Major expenses this year included:
Aside from traveling expenses this year, our only other major expense was vet bills . Ralph had issues with his eyes (he was apparently allergic to Montana), and Faith had stomach issues.
Mechanical and Coach Issues in 2018
Compared to previous years, 2018 was a great year for the coach. We started out the year with a scheduled maintenance in Atlanta to the tune of $1800. Dave believes in maintenance in order to help avoid major issues.
Wiring Problem in the Steps
When we went to leave Apache Junction, the steps would not go in or out. We had this same issue in 2017. We knew that the motor in the steps had gone bad again. It was just a matter or ordering a new one and doing the ten minute installation.
There is always something….
New Gadgets for 2018
Affiliate links to Amazon below:
Dave is a fan of gadgets and things that make our life on the road easier. This year, he only found one item that he needed:
After dealing with multiple breakdowns of our step motor, Dave determined that while stationary, everytime we go up and down the steps, we put pressure on that motor. The step stabilizer keeps the steps from dropping down when we are on them. Hopefully, that will be the last of that issue!
Favorite sights we have seen this year
We have seen many sights this year and had lots of great adventures. It’s pretty darn hard to narrow it down. Here are a few of the many that stand out this year:
It has been a good year all in all, with lots of great memories!
Looking at 2019
We will be living and working at Vogel State Park in the North Georgia mountains until March 31.
We will be working the summer on an island on Lake Ontario in upstate New York at the Association Island KOA. We are currently scheduled to be there on May 1 and will be working there until October 15. We are really looking forward to exploring the area!
After that, things are up in the air and plans are being made. We are loving the state park atmosphere in North Georgia, and just might take that on again.
You never know what is around the next corner…