When I was a poor sack that traveled in a mini-van, sometimes tenting it, I used to bag on RV’s. “RV’s are so…wasteful. Their mileage sucks. They take up so much of the road.” Well…..that was then, this is now. Granted there are things that are practical for some and ridiculously impractical for others. I would never be able to afford a Class A diesel pusher with 3 slides, but there are plenty of choices for people to improve their racing lifestyle without looking like a rock band cruising down the interstate.
Jenn and I just finished what we refer to as Summer of Fun III. Summer of Fun (that’s part I) consisted of a POS pickup pulling a Coleman pop-up camper. We spent the entire summer on the road and even put in a full month in Crested Butte. That was sweet until it got super hot and the black flies announced their presence. Our poor dog got waxed by fly bites while we were killing ourselves on the high altitude trails around the Butte.
We decided that pop-ups sucked. They are basically a giant suitcase on wheels which you must unpack anytime you want to sleep, cook, or whatever. Sucked.
Summer of Fun II consisted of the purchase of a used Lance Camper and a kind of new big ass truck to haul it around. We spent 63 days in it and did the entire norba national series. I won’t even try to total up the expense, but we never had to use credit. And California sucked because we hit it during a horrendous heat wave….that stretched to Idaho where we tried to escape it. No luck there.
So then came Summer of Fun III. Not quite as fun as I and II due to me being in school. So we planned a full month on the road to do the National Championships and a couple other races. I did some math on this one and it is turning out to be a good investment. Several years ago we flew back east for Snowshoe and Mt. Snow. For the two of us, it ended up costing about 2 g’s. And the condos we got….sucked monkey sack. I almost cried after my first night in Mt. Snow. Horrible beds. If it weren’t for some stellar results, I would have been pissed. And that was only a nine days of travel.
So SOF III consisted of about 5,000 miles of driving. Our truck does better than 10 mpg, but for easy math sake, well say it gets 10. At $3 a gallon average for diesel, we ended up spending $1500 on fuel. We spent the night in a couple of campgrounds so we could have AC. Our total for that was under $300. Well under. We visted to parental units…..free food there. One of those units donated about half our fuel costs to our hedonistic cause….but I won’t count that in the final balance.
Here’s the bonus…In and RV, you’ve got a fridge, a freezer, a shower and toilet (yea….you don’t poop in the woods and bury it halfway you nasty tent/car campers), a sweet bed that you know has clean sheets or if they are dirty, it’s your own fault, and you can let your dog hang out without having to pay any sort of security/cleaning fee. That means no nasty hotels or condos. No disgusting restaurant food. Our food bill is outstanding because it’s the same as it is when we are at home. This summer is actually cheaper because our parental units allowed us to maintain our normal weight instead of losing it due to all the riding we were doing by stuffing our faces with homemade goodness.
So our total ends up being a bit over 2 g’s…..there were race entries in there and our food was a couple hundred dollars. That’s for an entire month of travel. And I never had to shit in the woods and hope that I got it buried deep enough so my dog wouldn’t dig it up an snack on it.
If you are a serious mountain bike racer, I would suggest spending money on a good camper BEFORE dropping assloads on a bike. If you are a pro, you should be getting a bike for free or almost free. Think about the RV thing. No sense giving some clown who pays an illegal cleaning crew minimum wage your hard earned money. Join the chuckwagon circle and be in control.
….oh yeah…today I bought a truck camper for my dad. Well….he paid for it. I did the shopping and closed the deal.