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Post Info TOPIC: Miles Analysis

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Miles Analysis

Howards write up about mileage per year had me going back to our own records.  We definately put more miles on both our motorhome and tow car then Howard and Linda do.  Then I watched a YouTube video of a couple driving their big motorhome from a workcamping assignment in Connecticut to the Albuquerque Ballon Festival in 6 days (added the link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpVnrOvZoD0, it is almost 15 minutes long).  These both got me thinking.


I thought it might help others if we posted our numbers from 2004 to 2015 as a comparison.  We started fulltiming in July 2003, so 2003 was not a full year.  We are not done traveling in 2016, so that year is also out. 


From 2004 to 2015 we drove our two motorhomes 136,549 miles or 11,379 miles per year average.  The most miles was in 2006, the year we started in Florida, went to Alaska, then to Michigan and ended in California for a total of 19,464 miles.  The least miles was in 2015, when we stayed on the West Coast and only drove 7,713 miles.  The last few years we have driven less than 10,000 miles each.  This will probably change the next time we go to Alaska, which we intend to do in a couple years now that my mother has passed away and we are free to be out of communication overnight.


During those same years we drove our two tow cars 200,613 miles or 16,718 miles per year average.  The most miles was in 2004, 19,238 miles, when we did a lot of exploring of places new to us.  The least miles was a virtual tie between 2008 and 2013, 15,032 and 15,056 miles respectively.  As you can see, our car mileage per year does not vary that much.  We drive somewhere most every day, it is our nature.  When we were working and had two cars, we would drive each car about 10,000 miles each or 20,000 miles combined.  


We have known people who put 20,000 to 25,000 miles a year on their RV, mostly due to work.  But some do it because they go back to their "home" area multiple times a year, even as fulltimers.  One set of friends drove their RV from Florida to Washington State and back to Florida in three weeks and thought nothing of it.   They could not see why many of us thought they were crazy.  They had reasons, but most of us would have come up with alternative plans.  


On our campground moves, we normally travel under 200 miles a day, but push this to the high 200s a few times a year and about once a year we travel over 300 miles.  We have done 400+ mile days, but they are rare and normally because of avoiding bad weather.  That is true of our longest one day drive, 437 miles, when we were getting away from severe weather.  On those days we trade drivers every 100 miles or so, it is great that both of us drive.  


Each of us has to figure out what works for us.  Some find going more than 200 miles stressful, while others will drive over 700 miles in a day if they find it useful. 


How about you?


-- Edited by bjoyce on Sunday 27th of November 2016 10:36:22 AM


Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing an AWD 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003

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We've only been full time since Aug 2014, so not nearly as long as Bill Joyce (above) or Howard & Linda, but in 27 months we've put 28,000 on our rig. Most of that was this past year, as we traveled from KY to FL then across Rt 10 to CA then north to AK, now in PA. We did not bring our car this year, rather left it in FL and will get it back when we head south after Christmas.

Our current "plan" is to head out west every other year, our kids and my parents are on the east side of the country, so we don't want to be away for that long all the time. This is subject to change if my parents need more in-person attention (they are in mid-70's) or we become grandparents (our daughter is getting married next year).


Bill & Kelly - with Callie along the ride.  

2011 Ford F350 Diesel Dually 4x4 

2014 Heartland Landmark, Grand Canyon 

"All those who wander are not lost" Tolkien

 BLOG:  http://bkamericanodyssey.com/

RV-Dreams Family Member

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In our first 12 months of full-timing, we logged a little over 8,600 miles on the rig and (estimated) another 2 - 3,000 on our tag car. We had several "stay put" periods during the first year, including two months camp hosting at a National Forest Service campground in North Carolina, a two-month stay in Maryland for the birth of a new grandbaby, and six weeks in New Mexico with my family over the holidays last winter. With nine grandchildren between Maryland and Georgia, our mothers (late 80s) in Virginia and New Mexico, and other family scattered from one coast to the other, we'll probably put on a few more miles this next year. Besides spending time near family, we want to increase our "adventure factor" in the future. We've visited 19 states since starting, so we have a lot more to go!



2012 F350 DRW Lariat 6.7

PullRite OE 18K, Demco Glide Ride pinbox

2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes, solar, DP windows

Full-time as of 8/2015



RV-Dreams Family Member

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First, let me emphasis that traveling a lot of miles is not some kind of a “Badge of RVing Honor.”  However, it does provide more insights to RVing as a traveling lifestyle and what is required to travel in addition to residing in an RV.  So perhaps for some researching this information is helpful.

OK, when we started RVing again “in earnest” I started a detailed log of not just how many miles we towed and maintenance / repairs done, but also a record of campgrounds and the “experience” at those CG’s including quality of power, Wi-Fi, etc.  I recommend all do that.  It will come in handy.

Since October, 2006 we’ve towed the rigs (two of them) a total of 127,454 miles.  From July, 2009 when we were really free to travel “at will” till August, 2016 -110,814 miles or an average of 15,800 miles per travel year.

Since we’ve had the second trailer over the past two years we’ve averaged 21,389 miles per 12 month “travel season” as Neil refers to the year.

Do keep in mind that a lot of ones travel miles will truly be determined by where one goes. (Duh)  If you’re going to Alaska, we’ve gone twice, and live on the east coast you’ll rack up more miles then if you live (winter) on the west coast and take the fabulous Alcan trek.  We went to the Canadian Maritimes this year, all the way to Newfoundland.  That trip was “only” 5,127 towing miles.  Far less than our first Alaska trip which was 11,543 towing miles.

FWIW I think this type of travel information gives perspective to new RVers - some kind of reference point.  Not what is “required” much less what is right. But what some RVers, us, consider to be normal for them.  The right amount of travel miles per year, or day, is what is right for you.




Bill & Linda

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We've been FT for 3.5 years and are only averaging 7000 miles a year relocating the rig, mostly because we've primarily stayed on the West Coast due to work / business needs. The first year had the highest mileage when we left from Sequim WA to head to SD to set up our domicile, south to CO for a truck upgrade, back to CA for fall art shows, AZ for the winter until we had an impending death in the family that necessitated a quick 1000 mile journey to DFW. Our first year approached 10K miles in relocation, lowest year was 5K.

2015 was actually the fewest miles traveled, but that was not by choice. 2 major breakdowns, one for the truck, one for the RV that left us "stuck" in one location for 4-6 weeks each time meant our travel plans were altered out of necessity. 2015 also included a couple of "fly away" vacations, cruise and family visit, and for both of those we flew out of Phoenix and had rented a spot in a local RV park for a month at a time each time to make the travel easier as we were both working up to and right after each trip. So, 2015 ended up with the most number of long term stays. In 2016 our vacations both ended up being incorporated into our routing and we put more miles on the truck exploring places on the way, but with way more mileage than if we had just gone from point A to point B, but we had a lot more fun exploring along the way.

We only had my car as a second vehicle for the first 2 months of our journey before we sold it, we've put 50K miles on the truck in 3.5 years including towing, art shows, shopping, site seeing, etc. There are times when we've thought we should rent a car, for example, when we played tour guide to our niece in Western WA and put a lot of miles on the truck taking her to see the sites.

Once we're retired and have the ability to travel at will, I fully anticipate our mileage increasing as we make our way further across the country.


FT - July 2013


2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450


Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!







RV-Dreams Family Member

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45000 in 5 travel seasons. High of 15000 the year we went to Alask, 4700 the first year which was only half of a travel season, all others between 7500 and 10000. Car miles were towing miles plus another about 10000 a year except for this one where the car died and didn't get replaced. Naturally it depends on gas mileage, insurance costs and miles driven but for us the decision to have just the one vehicle appears to be within $1000 a year of having 2 and the not having to drive the second vehicle on travel days is mighty convenient. Parking the truck is a bit harder but not much. 

Don't know if we are going to get another car or not. When ours died Connie had a separated retina and couldn't drive most of the season anyway…we are going to try truck only next season and then decide on another car or not. 


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Our first 6 months we put 11,000 miles on the coach - Dallas to Seattle to Great Lakes to East Coast to Southeast to Dallas and we were EXHAUSTED. After that it was about 10,000 miles a year until the last couple of years. This year, like Bill & Diane, we've stayed on the West Coast so much, much less in terms of mileage. Unless there is some huge storm coming, we really stick to the 200 miles/day or less. That gets us parked early which means a better pick of sites, not as many other vehicles clogging narrow park roads, plus no rush to get parked because someone else is waiting. And since we travel in the summer, getting set up early means that we don't have to rush to get the satellite dish set up before the Ranger's game is on. biggrin


Barb & Dave O'Keeffe

2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2018 Ford C-Max HYBRID

Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net

SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834

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OK Barb, You're a Texan (Rangers) ... that's a good thing! We just really started our full time journey, but what we envision is to arrive in Castroville, TX on November first and stay thru the end of January. Then some years we'll migrate East (Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, then work West thru Colorado, New Mexico then back to TX for winter). On other years, we'll work west thru California, Oregon, Washington, the Dakotas then South back to TX. Intend to be back in Castroville (Alsatian RV Resort) on Nov 01 thru Jan 31 of each year. It's a plan ... we'll see how it goes!

-- Edited by RonC on Monday 28th of November 2016 07:12:31 PM


Ron and Janice


2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016

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