I had one of those “Oh, shit!” moments while driving down I-75 on the way home. It was when my phone rang. I’m in the habit of just automatically putting every call through on the speaker, so when the caller asked if I had sold my fifth wheel yet, it was too late to mute the call, and the damage was done-my wife had heard it.
We drove for the next 15 minutes in stony and foreboding silence before she asked me how long I had the ad on Craigslist (2 days) and when I planned on telling her, which, I was thinking, was when the stupid POS got sold or never, whichever came first, but I didn’t say that. No, instead I said that we should double down and buy a class A motorhome instead, since obviously we were never meant for the fifth-wheel lifestyle, which I still didn’t get and never would.
She then asked me (several times) if I was crazy, and insisted that a larger, more expensive toy was not the answer for abnormal and poverty-stricken children like us, and so it is that I still have the 5’er in storage, ready for our next folly, and in fact I have decided to affectionately name it henceforth as Peos, as in POS.
But the day started out nicely enough in a great park in north Florida near White Springs. It was the last day of our trip, so we didn’t even disconnect Peos for just the one night. I didn’t really expect much from the Stephen Foster Folk Culture State Park, but I was surprised to find that it was definitely worth a visit to the eponymous memorial home and the (now inoperable) carillon tower, if for no other reason for the “Old Florida”-style photo op. The actual town of White Springs was once a thing for rich northerners to visit in the winter but a devastating fire and the vicissitudes of time and neglect unfortunately took their toll on the city and not much is left to see from its days of grandeur.
Now is the time to total up the expenses from this part of the trip:
- Fuel $214
- Camping $22
- Tolls $21
The total expense for my whole trip was $3183 for the 22 days. That is a burn rate of $144/day, which is very cheap by most vacation standards for two people unless you just rented a cabin somewhere and stayed put.
OK, my last few observations:
On tolls- They charge by the axle in Florida, so you pay twice as much if you’re towing Peos. I found that the best way to handle it was to wordlessly hand the toll collector a large denomination bill hoping they wouldn’t notice the trailer and just charge for the truck. It worked once. Yes, I’m that cheap.
On parks-State parks are far cheaper than private parks, and they generally give you way more campsite space. However, they don’t provide Internet or sewer hook ups. Pick your poison.
And did I mention that you have to be nuts to do this? Hope so.