Sunday, July 17, 2016

Summer Vacation 2016 - Wrap-up

Winnebago Fuse

We had a great 8 days/7 nights on vacation this year.  This was our first real trip in the Fuse and it went great.  We ran into no issues and everything just worked like it should have.

During the trip we traveled 2214 miles.  And drove a total of 48 hours per the Ford computer.  An average speed of 46mph.   We got between 16-17 mpg.  We traveled through 10 states: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

We found some really nice campgrounds and we found some so so campgrounds.  Not any bad ones so that was good. Prices ranged from $29.00 - $51.00 with the average price around $30.00-$35.00/night.  We wound up spending one night in a hotel since it was way more convenient to my Aunt's house than any campground we could find.

Winnebago Fuse
Fuse on a straw pad

Lesson learned - Pick out a site that is a concrete pad or gavel.  On the one night we parked on a site that was covered with pine straw the next morning we had ants going up and down the side of the Fuse.  Another addition to our packing list and our only camping purchase outside food was ant spray.
Observation - All of the sites we had were level and we did not have to use blocks or scoot around to find a level spot.
Observation - All of the campgrounds had good or better WiFi.  Remembering to get the password was a problem and some had time limits, but all of them had it at the sites we were at. 
We discovered our style of camping during this trip.  When stopping for the night we only connected up the power and Cable TV.  We did not bother with the sewer and water.  Depending on how we were feeling we would put the slide out or not.   We tried to keep the water level between 1/3 and 1/4 and when it went below that we added more in the morning.  When the septic tank levels got above 1/4 we emptied them.  There was no need to keep them empty and no desire to haul around the extra weight when full.   For the black tank we were told you really want to have a slurry when you dump so all of the TP and solids came out which would not happen if the tank was mostly empty.

We cooked in the Fuse 2 nights.  Did takeout 2 nights.  Went out for dinner at Longhorn steak house 1 night and Cracker Barrel 1 night. Had ice cream for dinner 1 night.  Breakfast was a normal breakfast in the Fuse, 1/2 a sandwich for me and granola for Sonya.  Lunch was variable sometimes in the Fuse, sometimes at the museum, sometimes fast food.
Lesson learned - Avoid the cooktop when it is hot.  We used it for cooking rice.  It heated the entire inside of the Fuse.  We shifted to microwave rice and the heat was gone.   I will wait until it is cool out before playing with the cooktop again. 

We stopped for supplies at Walmart 3 times.  Mostly for bottled water and drinks.  We were using about 2 gallons of water a day.  The only other thing we ran out of was milky way bars and had to re-supply.
Observation -  In the South, Walmart is inexpensive.  In Ohio, not so much.  The water we purchased in Florida and Kentucky for $1.00/gal was $1.25 at the Walmart in Grove City, OH.  Soda was also about 20% higher in Ohio than in Southern states.

We had one boo boo.  We went over a speed bump and bent our stairs.  Would only come out about half way after that.  Once I got home I was able to bend the bent part to get it to come out most of the way but it will need a more definitive fix to get it back 100%.   We also added one or two more items to the Winnebago warrantee list we found but nothing major (the black and grey tank levels are swapped).

We also got some answers on a couple things we were worried about:

Driving in the mountains

How would the Fuse handle in the mountains?   -  It did not seem to care no matter the grade, the curves or anything else.  We went on roads that were scary and I am not sure how anything larger than the Fuse would fit.  Milage did not seem to suffer on these roads staying in the 16+mpg area.
Observation - When using Apple and Google maps they will route you down goat paths if you are not careful.  A take away for me is to learn how to use these better or get a GPS designed for an RV.  On the other hand we saw some pretty sights in out of the way locations.

How would the LP generator work out?   We ran the generator most every day to keep the A/C on for the dog.  During the week we ran it 13+ hours.  Determined that we consumed between 2/3 and 3/4 gal per hour of LP gas.  We were able to refill the LP at every campground that we stopped at.  We wound up topping off with 3-4 gal every couple of days when we were down around 1/2 tank.   The one problem is that the generator is noisy and I am going to have to continue to look into this.

How would we enjoy RV lifestyle?  We enjoyed it.  No big issues.  Living this close was concerning but we found several things to help.  Headphones for the TV according to Sonya was a big help so she could sleep while I watched TV. Having separate beds also helped since our schedules are not in sync.  Sirius/XM radio was also a winner.

Beagle in the drivers seat

How would the Beagle do ?   She did fine.  After a few days she was controlling the barking (mostly) and getting wth the program.   She was getting more exercise than normal and was exhausted at night.

Was there enough storage in the Fuse?  Plenty.  We had packed heavy and had clean clothes left over. We fit in our spaces and the closet was mostly empty.  A weeks worth of my clothing (Shorts and T-shirts with underwear and socks and a nice shirt and pants in the closet) fit in the large drawer.  Sonya had her cloths in her drawer and some of the above storage.  I would say we had space for twice as much as we carried.    We also found out in the middle of the trip that the storage under the bed is perfect for storage of water and drinks.  We started buying drinking water 6 gallons at a time.

The last question was could we have gone longer than a week.  Sure could!  We were doing fine and only came home so we could go back to work.


  1. Thanks Don you and your wife are a big help. We picked up our Fuse Saturday Jul 16 cant wait for 1st adventure

  2. Great and welcome to the club. Let everyone know how it goes and any thing interesting you find out.