In reading a lot of blogs by RV full-timers, it seems a standard practice to look at the year just finished in some fashion or another. I thought it would be fun look back and see what I did in 2016 as far as travel and campsites and mileage.
Where did I go?
Easiest one first, a map showing the states where I camped in 2016. Amber states means I spent 1-2 nights (mostly just passing through from Quebec to Seattle), while green means I spent a *lot* of time hanging out there. From June through the end of the year, I didn’t get out of the green states.
How many places?
- 12 campgrounds getting from Quebec to Seattle
- 12 campgrounds while I was in/around Seattle finishing up the job
- 25 different campsites from the end of August until end of the year
That’s 49 different places that I figured out how to set up camp, find power and water, and survive the night. It definitely got easier after the first few weeks but showing up at a new campsite is always an adventure. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes not so much.
How much money?
Most of the time I stayed in state parks, with costs somewhat lower than RV parks and definitely higher than boondocking or free camping. My average monthly cost was $958, with a daily average of about $31/night.
This first year, I chose to stay in parks rather than go off-grid and far from the madding crowds because I was new to this RV stuff and figured I would learn a lot by meeting other people and seeing their rigs and equipment. In 2017, I hope to do boondocking on BLM land and other free spots and save a bit on campsite fees. I also spent a lot staying in Santa Cruz the month of December (the priciest parks in my year, with an average cost of $53/night), choosing to splurge a bit so that I could see friends and have a good holiday season. Totally worth the extra money.
Don’t ask me about gas cost. I have no idea. Well, I have it all in a spreadsheet, but I’m not going to pull it out and look at it because I might just die of shock.
How many miles?
The Alto traveled 8070 miles in 2016:
- 3450 miles from Quebec to Seattle
- 1520 miles banging around Seattle while finishing up the job
- 3100 miles from end August till end of year
When I left for Quebec in May, the Subie had about 10,000 miles on it after one year of ownership. It ended the year at 25,000 miles, so I racked up about 15,000 miles on the car this year:
- 3500 miles from Seattle to Quebec
- 8070 of towing the Alto
- 3430 miles of driving around, everything from commuting to Seattle from campgrounds to driving down Titus Canyon (a trip my car and I will remember for a looong time!)
No wonder my baby needed a new set of tires this month!
For fun, you can check out the 2016 Travel Log page, where I’ve also linked blog posts to locations.
My favorite campsites?
In no particular order, here are my favorite campgrounds in 2016:
- McLain State Park, Michigan (Keweenaw Peninsula FTW)
- Kalaloch, Olympic Peninsula, WA (beaches and light)
- Fishing Bridge RV Park, Yellowstone (because, well, Yellowstone)
- Bullards Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon (endless beaches and agate hunting)
- Stewart NRA, Oregon (big sites, half empty, nice showers, Crater Lake)
- Jedediah Smith Redwoods, Crescent City, CA (redwoods near beaches)
- New Brighton State Park, Aptos, CA (my hometown beach)
- Furnace Creek, Death Valley, CA (but only in cool weather)
Honorary award for best bathroom/shower:
Coquille River RV Park, Bandon, OR. Honestly the nicest showers ever, and heated floors!
Now it’s on to 2017 and more adventures for Bella, The Breeze, and me!