Catch Our RV Journey on YouTube!

The journey itself might be over, and our “A Year On The Road” RV adventure is officially in the books, but you can still catch up with all the excitement and intrigue on our YouTube channel, which now has almost 100 snapshot videos of different aspects of the trip in the bag.

Javelinas! Jevelinas! Finally, we get to see Javelinas!

From Pictured Rocks National Seashore in Michigan to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, plus dozens of fascinating places and experiences in between, this is our chance to wow you with the visuals of this epic RV journey across 23 states.

Our latest contribution is all about those elusive Javelinas in Texas, but you’ll also find recent videos that highlight the vibrant Historic Market Square in San Antonio, Big Bend National Park and a stunning tequila sunset in New Mexico.

Check it all out on this link:

The stunning Natural Bridge Caverns just north of San Antonio featured in a recent snapshot video

What We Learned During Our Twelfth Month On The Road

Today marks one full year (plus two days) since we locked the door to our house in Florida for a year-long adventure in an RV. Here’s what we learned during the past month:

Humidity = sweat, and when you’re covered in sweat for three days because you don’t have sewer hookups so you can’t dump a gray tank full of shower water, air conditioning cannot penetrate the sweaty build-up. When you do have full hookups again and you take a shower, that layer of pure, unadulterated evil is wiped away, and you are once again kissed by the cooling breath of your sweet, sweet A/C. This is what bliss is made of.

But you’re in Florida now, so that feeling doesn’t last long.

At 50 weeks into a 52-week trip, Simon JUST discovered his laptop has a built-in editing program. All those videos he’s done that could use editing, but our expensive editing program is back on his computer at home? They could have been glorious viewing comparable to the stuff of Spielberg and Scorsese.

To be fair, he’s only had the laptop for a few months, but still.

We prefer not to be camped near unhappy tiny-humans who wile away their entire three-day vacation screaming things like, “I don’t WANT the sand washed off my feet!” and “I don’t WANT to go inside now!” Usually,we love kids. Adore them, even. We have discovered, however, we always love 55+ campgrounds where the only whines are spelled “wine,” and it’s a pleasure to hear your neighbors suggest you join them for some.

When you hit I-75, an interstate you know so well you could drive it blind, tears will flow. When you remember your final four days of this grand, exciting, confounding, eye-opening adventure will be spent at Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campground, happiness will be restored.

We’ve learned we could happily live in the mountains if not for the snow. We could happily live in the desert if not for the sand storms. We would be thrilled to live along the Gulf coast if not for the hurricanes. There is so much we love about each state we’ve visited, but always there is “one thing” that doesn’t make them a strong contender for a move away from Florida. Florida has that “one thing” (two really; horrible humidity and…well…politics) that makes us want to move. Everything else – literally everything else – makes us want to stay. And we didn’t know that before this month, and this trip.

It’s true. Home is where the heart is. Over the course of a year, we came to feel that Fati is our home, and everywhere we have visited now holds a special place in our hearts. Connection, appreciation of differences, and a deeper understanding of yourself; these are the priceless gift of travel. We will treasure these lessons forever.

Thank you for making this journey with us!

The Month 11 Travel Map

As keen-eyed blog readers will know, we have just hit the 11 month mark in our grand “A Year On The Road” RV trek across the US. After Louisiana, we arrived in coastal Mississippi, our 23rd state in this epic voyage.

The story so far – 11 months on the road (NB: The pin-points are not our only stopping points – there are more than 60 of those so far!)

Since our last monthly update, we have covered another 181 miles – a totally sedate travel distance at this stage of our journey (especially when we covered more than 2,200 in the first month!).

In the last month we have moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Biloxi, Mississippi, and our traveling has been a lot more focused on the areas close by, rather than trying to cover vast distances quickly. Even including the last two months, we have only gone a total of 672 miles in our trusty Winnebago, Indefatigable (or Fati for short).

The last two full months of our journey, from Port Aransas in Texas all the way along the Gulf Coast to Biloxi via Louisiana

Mind you, we have still covered some territory in our trusty tow car, Nippy, putting an additional 2,534 miles on our little Ford Fiesta (and 3,991 in the past two months), which shows that we’ve completely changed the balance of our touring – going shorter distances in Fati but doing more exploration in Nippy.

Now, with just a month left of our travels (but still more than 550 miles from home), it definitely feels like the end of our grand adventure is firmly in sight, which is very hard to contemplate after such a prolonged – and intense – period of traveling.

In total, we have come 9,225 miles in Fati since leaving home, and another 24,604 in Nippy, for a grand total of 33,829 around this amazing country. Eat your heart out, Hardest Geezer!

What We Learned During Our Eleventh Month On The Road

Today marks eleven months since we locked the door to our house in Florida and set off for a year-long adventure in an RV. Here’s what we learned during the past month:

When you’re crouched down in front of the outdoor water spigot getting ready to do your final hand-wash, make sure you know whether the lever goes up or down to turn it on. If you get that wrong, you’re going to walk away with your shoes, your T-shirt, and the crotch of your jeans soaking wet. It’s way worse, too, when your neighbors are out there watching you.

There are times when the weather is forecast to be so dangerous that your only smart choice is to bug out and stay in a hotel until the threat passes. Sometimes, that means driving 300 miles to get past the storm’s reach, which is too far to get an RV out of the way in time. When that happens, you’ll get all teary as you say goodbye – out loud – to your rig, and assure her you’ll be back. It’s truly like leaving a friend, and you’ll worry about her until you get back and know she’s okay. It’s an awful feeling.

When you’re staying in that hotel overnight to ride out the storm in safety, don’t freak out the first time you turn on a water faucet. You haven’t seen that much water come out of a faucet for a long, long time, and it’ll look and sound like a fire hose in action. Remind yourself this is normal.

When you return to your rig after the storm passes, and you find she’s okay, there is a sense of euphoria that reminds you how precious your traveling home and this lifestyle really are.

PJ’s Coffee. Specifically, their Strawberry Rose White Chocolate Latte. This is what coffee should be, and from this moment on Starbucks should be ashamed of themselves.

There are towns where some roads are called “historic,” but what it really means is, the road itself is history. Drive it at your peril.

If there’s a beach road you can take instead of an interstate, and your GPS doesn’t have an almighty conniption about some terrible fate that will befall you if you take it, take it (we’re looking at you, glorious Highway 90 between Waveland and Biloxi!).

We’ve reached the point in our adventure where our Florida license plate isn’t the furthest state away. It feels weird and sad and just a little bit exciting to realize we’re getting so close to home.

Equally, it is impossible to believe we have one month left in this incredible journey. How? How is that possible? (Insert loud crying here.)

The moment may come when you meet brand-new RVers who are trying to find their way back to sanity, having endured one setback after another. Now is your moment. You’ve been there, you understand, you got through it, and you can talk them off the ledge and assure them it’s normal and it’s going to get so much better. Your reward is the relief on their faces. Their reward is, they don’t feel so alone anymore. How perfect is that?

A Year On The Road – Month 6 in The Independent

The latest instalment of our exclusive series for The Independent newspaper in the UK is now online, highlighting our travels through Nevada and Southern California, including the Mojave National Preserve, Valley of Fire State Park, and Greater Palm Springs.

This section of our Year On The road adventure took us deep into desert territory – both the Mojave Desert of much of Nevada and the Sonoran Desert that runs from Mexico up into Arizona, including part of SoCal.

Our view of the Hoover Dam from our travels around Las vegas

We spent much of the month in Nevada, either from our base in North Las Vegas (the fab Hitchin’ Post RV park) or further south in Laughlin, where Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort & RV Park provided the perfect base to explore along Route 66 and down into California, where Joshua Tree National Park was another highlight.

There were scenic wonders aplenty, and a chance to see why both one of the Star Trek movies and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall were filmed here and, for as bright as it shines, we honestly felt the scenery around Las Vegas actually glittered brighter than the city itself.

Read all about it here:

The superb Joshua Tree National Park

We also want to offer our sincere thanks to both Travel Nevada and Greater Palm Springs for their help in ensuring we saw the best of their areas, as there was a LOT to see!

A Year On The Road – The 9-Month Map

Somehow we’ve reached the three-quarter mark of our grand RV adventure, and we’re looking at another month of travel that completes nine full months on the roads of America.

The full scope of our 9-month journey to date, starting from our Florida base, then heading north and west, taking a loop from Yellowstone National Park (G) to Glacier National Park (H), then down through Montana and Wyoming (I) before heading west again to Twin Falls, Idaho (K) and south through Utah and Nevada. We’ve then headed east and south through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas

January was very much a “rest” month, in which we were largely in one place, down in the southwest of Texas, but we got back under way again at the beginning of February, turning north and east to skirt along the Gulf Coast of the Lone Star State, a part of Texas we’d heard a lot about but had never visited before.

Setting out from Donna, close to the Mexican border, we drove due east to beautiful South Padre Island, part of the barrier island system along the coast that is laced with wide, open beaches. Here, we were lucky enough to find accommodation at the KOA Journey close to the long stretch of SPI Beach.

The long-distance view of Month 9, down in the southwest corner of Texas

From there, we back-tracked slightly and then headed north for more coastal experiences, first at a tiny but lovely spot on Baffin Bay called Riviera (and the wonderfully natural Seawind RV Resort, part of the Kaufer Hubert Memorial Park), then it was on to the busy port city of Corpus Christi, where we were lucky enough to stay at the Colonia Del Rey RV Park, ideally situated between the beaches and the city itself.

Finally, the last week has brought us to another idyllic spot on the epic Texas seashore, Pioneer Beach RV Resort, where we are only a few hundred yards from the unbroken 18-mile stretch of gorgeous beach hideaway.

The close-up view of Month 9, showing our route from Donna to South Padre Island and then north to Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, truly a lovely part of the state

It is a total of 294 miles, which is barely a day’s drive under normal circumstances, but we’re looking to stay out of the way of all the winter weather immediately to the north and explore an area we’ve never been to before, hence the slow pace and the chance to really savor the journey at this stage.

That compares with 928 miles in Month 8, and takes us to a grand total of 8,536 miles since we left home.

However, we have managed an additional 945 miles in the past month in our little Ford Fiesta, Nippy, exploring the state parks, small towns and wonderful open countryside of this part of the world. Our extra mileage in the car is now at 20,653, and the grand total of miles covered in both Fati and Nippy has reached a whopping 29,189 across the USA, or enough to fly back and forth from Orlando to London almost four times!

We still have at least another 1,500 miles before we get back to our Florida base, and another three states to visit, but we can safely say at this stage that our grand RV adventure has definitely lived up to our expectations, and more besides!

A Year On The Road in The Independent (Parts 1-5)

Catching up on the first five months of our Ultimate American Road Trip, being serialized in The Independent

Keen readers of our road-trip blog will know we are also serializing the whole trip, month by month, in The Independent newspaper in the UK, and you might like to see the story so far, Months 1 through 5.

It all started back on May 14 with our departure from Orlando and then a month heading north as far as Minnesota…

In Jay Cooke State Park, Minnesota

Part Two saw us travel from Minnesota west to the Big Sky state of Montana, where the magnificent scenery REALLY kicked in…

The astounding Earthquake Lake in Montana

After arriving in Montana, Part Three of our year-long epic saw us focus on Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park for two of the undoubted highlights of the trip…

Taking time for the geothermal marvel of West Thumb Geyser Basin in Yellowstone

Part Four of our big RV adventure took us back through Montana and Wyoming to soak up more of those epic views and vast, open spaces…

Mountains – big, dramatic mountains – were a constant feature of this leg of the journey

Once we reached Idaho and Utah, we were always in sight of spectacular scenery, and it gave us plenty of material for Part Five…

Utah served up the mind-boggling views of Arches National Park

In Part Six, we’ll be writing about the wilds of Nevada and Southern California, but also including Las Vegas and Palm Springs. Stay tuned….!

A Year On The Road – The 8-Month Map

Here we are at the two-thirds mark of our grand ‘A Year On The Road’ RV adventure, and we have reached deep south Texas. We are currently in Donna, TX, and we have traveled a full 928 miles in the last month from our December base in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Our route from Las Cruces took us down through El Paso to Van Horn, and then on to Alpine (for the magnificent Big Bend National Park), before heading further south to Del Rio and then Castroville for Christmas (just outside San Antonio). The New Year then took us southwest to Donna via Kingsville.

All safely set up at our RV resort in Donna, Texas. We could end up being here a whole month!

Our total RV mileage since we left home is now 8,242 and Texas is our 20th state (not counting Florida). That 928 miles probably doesn’t sound like much, but it is more than the total for months 6 and 7 combined, as we had started a significant slow-down in favor of being longer in one place and exploring further by car.

The story so far. The full track of our trip in Fati is in yellow, and our multiple side-trips in Nippy are shown in pink. We still have another 1,500 miles or so to get home!

Our little Ford Fiesta, Nippy, has put in an additional 1,558 miles in the past month, giving her a total to date of 19,708. Combined with Fati, we have driven a grand total of 27,825 miles, or basically enough to have gone right the way round the world, plus an extra 2,924 miles!

We had to make sure we didn’t arrive too early at our Donna campground, so we paid a call to the local Post Office (which had a nice empty parking lot!)

In all honesty, we are not looking to break any long-distance records at this stage. We knew we had to get some miles under our belt by January as the weather becomes a major factor at this time of year, and we need to stay as far south as possible. RVs are not built to travel far during the depths of winter and, even being this far south has had its challenges, with temps dropping below freezing several times this month. Including the wind-chill, we hit 15F/-9.5C at its coldest and, living in what amounts to a glorified tin can, that gets REALLY cold, really quickly!

Our route from here will hug the Texas coast all the way to Louisiana in March, and we should just be warming up again by then!

Simon, Susan & Ruthie

Snug as a dog in a rug!

The Ultimate U.S. Road Trip – Part 5

The latest instalment of our excusive series for The Independent featuring our “Year On The Road” RV adventure is now online, highlighting Month 5 as we reached Idaho and Utah, and the incredible scenery of places like Craters of the Moon National Monument and Bryce Canyon State Park.

You can see the whole story on this link:

The glory of Arches National Park, one of 12 national parks, monuments and historic sites we visited in stunning Utah

A Year On The Road – The Half-Way Map

May 14, 2023 seems like a long time ago. In fact, it is just 7,053 miles ago. That’s the 6-month distance we have covered in our “A Year On The Road” RV adventure since leaving home in Florida.

From that original departure point to November 14, we have traveled through 18 states and totaled a mind-boggling 22,319 miles when you add in the mileage we have covered in our little Ford Fiesta, Nippy, as well as that 7,053 in RV Indefatigable (or Fati for short).

This isn’t quite 6 months, as Google won’t allow additional destinations after Lake Havasu in Arizona, but it should show the most recent part of the trip, to current spot Tucson (see below)

The last month has added 545 miles to Fati’s total but also 1,927 to Nippy’s. That means Nippy has now piled up a whopping 15,266 miles to date, so she is proving a real workhorse.

Of course, we should have gone even further afield, as we scrapped plans to head out to Washington and Oregon after reaching Glacier National Park in Montana, but we think that is still a pretty respectable total.

Below are two maps showing just the last month of our travels, from Kingman in Arizona to Tucson, via sparkling Lake Havasu City, Hope, Goodyear and Mesa (with 3 weeks in the greater Phoenix area in all):

From Kingman in northern Arizona, we traveled down the extreme west part of the state before reaching Interstate 10 and heading east to Mesa and then Tucson, with a week in between in Goodyear
And this shows the more detailed version, highlighting an overnight stop in tiny Hope and the (rather confusing) route through and around Phoenix before reaching the chic Voyager RV resort in east Tucson