If you remember giggle-snorting over my 2018 compilation of Top 20 True Tales from the Laundromat, you are not alone. It has endured as one of my most popular posts, clinging to the top of the list like an acrylic sock to a fleece jacket.
And guess what. I’ve continued to collect these stories since then, and I’m giving you a quarter’s worth more — no scrounging for actual coins required!
One of many “You Do You” facets of RV life is that some folks go for the in-coach washer and dryer, and others don’t. Although we’ve got dedicated hookups for them in our bedroom closet, we opted against installing our own machines, and here’s why: We didn’t want to sacrifice the storage space, weight allowance, or power & water usage, when we can do our laundry elsewhere — in a facility that someone else has to maintain and repair.
Wondering about the cost comparison? Well, we’ve been on the road for 6+ years, paying to do laundry nearly every week. Sometimes a nearby friend offers up their machines, or we get free facilities as part of a workamping gig, but we still probably average about $6/week.
A new RV washer-dryer combo would have paid for itself by now, with enough green left over for new wardrobes for both of us. We do not care. The entertainment value alone is worth it to this girl, and since Tim only does laundry if he absolutely has to (like if I’ve recently given birth, or had cancer surgery, or happen to be located several hundred miles away), he does not get a vote. We like this system. It works for us. End of discussion.
But one more thing before I get to the final spin: you cannot force True Tales from the Laundromat. They must rise organically from the lint trap, and reveal themselves like a stain you forgot to pre-treat on your favorite hoodie.
So are you ready to get sudsy? I’m starting with the one and only heart-warming story, and then you should prepare for the load to become a little more… unbalanced.
Author’s note: Just like last time, these posts came from my personal Facebook account. I don’t think it’s plagiarism if I copy & paste my own work, but I thought I’d better explain myself to those of you who are thinking, “Hmmmm. I’m pretty sure I’ve read this before…”
We were originally thinking it would be a one-year thing. Maybe two? We certainly didn’t imagine it would be a two-RV thing. But we were quite happily wrong, and we’ve now got enough events planned for Year 5 that there’s no way we’re giving this up yet!we’re now almost 3/4 through a year in which almost every planned event has been cancelled, so we’ve had to punt.A lot. And we’re too skittish at the moment to put much of anything on the calendar for Year 6.
We are grateful that we’ve managed to see as many friends and family members as we have — in very small groups, and mostly outdoors — in 2020. But the coronavirus pandemic has caused an indefinite delay on our biggest plan for this year, which was to begin an annual vacation tradition with both sons and their girlfriends. Sigh. Maybe next year.
We did get bonus time with one set of ’em, and yes, it now seems ridiculous that I was worried when Austin/Travis County was at 90 confirmed cases. They have since surpassed 22,000.
So to celebrate our nomad-versary, I shall regale you with our Amusing Tally of Miscellaneous Statistics, updated for 2020.
In fourfive years, we’ve used, purchased, worn through, or replaced for any number of reasons ranging from the mundane, to the catastrophic, to just not getting the right thing the first time around (or second, or third…):
How many states have you visited in the RV, I mean like, for more than just a rest stop?
By my count, 3739: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
My criteria for counting a state as visited are a bit fluid, which I know will drive some people a little nuts. Did we stay overnight? Long enough to do the weekly laundry? Go on a hike or visit a national park? All of those are valid to me. Just driving through on the way to elsewhere, with a potty break at a gas station? Not so much — otherwise, we’d have counted Mississippi about 8 times by now, instead of zero.
And the RV has to have stayed inside the state border too, not just us. Otherwise, we’d have been able to add Hawaii and Rhode Island last year.
What’s next?(entire section updated)
After another week here in Montana, where we are happy with lower population density and temperatures than we were enduring in Texas, we’re going to spend some time in Wyoming and Colorado as we make our way back to Texas in September.
It wasn’t our original plan to go back this fall (am I the only one detecting a theme here?) but we’ve been able to schedule some non-critical yet important medical and dental appointments that were impossible to nail down when we were there in June/July.
So it’ll be San Antonio from mid-September until Halloween or so, and the course of the pandemic will determine where — or if — we go after that.
Other updates: We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format for the where-we’ve-beens and what-we’ve-dones.