Mar 262020


To see the entire road trip visit

The total trip, counting side trips and assorted nonsense was 7108 miles.

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My initial plan for the total driving portion of the trip was 6600 miles plus maybe an additional 10% for misc. That would make about 7300 miles. I planned to leave 2/13/20 and return 4/13/20 for being gone a total of 60 days. While it didn’t last as long as expected (33 days), the distance is within shouting distance of the plan and I learned a great deal.

I’ve talked about some of them but what were my takeaways from the trip? (in no particular order)

  • Financial disaster (due to circumstances beyond my control)
  • Keep in close touch with partner is essential!
  • Successful proof of concept
  • Eliminating some of my romantic notions of RVing
    • If you fill up all of your space with perfectly packed stuff, you will find it doesn’t go back in the real world of RVing.
    • RVing in cities SUCK!
  • More carefully defining trip that would make it more successful in the future
    • Stay out of cities as much as possible
    • More capable vehicle
      • RAV4 can do it but strains
    • Slightly bigger RV space
      • Standing is important
      • At least two zones (bed and eating/writing/cooking)
    • Bathroom and shower NOT requires but N2H
    • Built in heating/cooling are almost essential!
  • Truck Stops are the BOMB for RVing
    • Flying J/Pilot for the win
  • Take more care with planning and distances between shows
    • Make sure there is down time or it becomes a grind rather than a joy
  • Don’t do it in the middle of a pandemic 😛
  • Comfort on such an trip is essential
    • Or it becomes a grind rather than a joy (yes, I’m repeating myself)
  • Think three times before bringing something.
    • Many items I had were moved and shuffled around and never used
  • Be prepared for being sick
    • Be ready to jettison a show to give you time to heal!
  • General Delivery works if well planned!
  • Take photos of sales and sign-up sheets in case they get lost
    • First time in 8 years this happened… lost two shows worth of data L
  • Shows that DON’T provide tables are few and far between
    • Maybe skip taking tables?
  • Travel pulling a trailer takes longer than expected
    • Make time for the important items
  • Listening to movies really makes the miles melt away
  • Doing non-show business on the road is possible, if a bit more difficult
  • Spares of essentials like keys and glasses are REQUIRED

So, bottom line, would I do this again?  Drumroll….. Yes! Despite all of the headaches and heartaches of this show I think that this is a viable thing, assuming a natural disaster doesn’t interfere.

Despite my intense need to be home at the end of The Great Road Trip, I attribute more than three quarters of it to my cold, and the stress of the pandemic and issues around it rather than just the rigors of the trip itself.

In fact, I’m so sure I’m going to do this again (when is still a question mark because of the reach of the pandemic), I’m already planning on selling my RAV4 and have decided what pickup truck I will buy (I do a great deal of research before any major purchase and it has already been done – Ram 1500 Classic for anyone who cares… Looking at a 2 year old model).

I’m still unsure about the trailer, however. I have two conflicting ideas, modifying current trailer to support my thoughts (dealing with the small size), and two, trading it in on a slightly longer, taller trailer that has more space inside. The first one is cheaper but more time/effort consuming with many potential issues (including the likelihood of being unable to resell it ever). Leaning toward buying a new trailer but sometime in the future.

I believe this is a final all on The (not so) GREAT Road Trip. Thanks for reading!

Tom Gondolfi

 March 26, 2020  Uncategorized  Add comments