A day in the life: why we plan our travel days conservatively

Earlier this week we reached the 14 day limit (stipulated by the rules of the national forest) at the spot we were camped in.  We had no intention of staying that long but the weather could not have been more perfect.  The spot was gorgeous and peaceful, and the nearby hiking trails offered some fantastic swimming and hiking opportunities.  It was a great stay.

The beautiful view we enjoyed for two weeks in Coconino National Forest.

However, with temps steadily rising we were ready to get to Utah, and were looking at 275 miles to cover to get from where we were to where we wanted to be. On our last night we hashed out a game-plan for the move.  

Moving days in an RV can be stressful if they aren’t thoughtfully planned.  And 275 miles was at the edge of our comfort zone for how much we prefer traveling in one day.  It doesn’t sound like much until you factor in packing, finding a dump station to empty tanks, getting gas, finding and refilling water and propane, and finding a campsite.  Mark & I hate being rushed so we decided to break the trip into two days.  

Twenty minutes into our drive, and just prior to merging onto the interstate, Mark tells me he’d like to pull over and look some things over.  Driving your house down the road at 75mph gets my nerves all tangled up so I’m always in full support of Mark keeping a close eye on things.  Upon inspecting our tires he finds a tear on the inside of one of the trailer tires.  

“Come look at this tire.”  he says
“Do you see how it’s bulging slightly in the middle?”
I look closely and just barely sees what he’s pointing at.
“Feel this.”

He guides my hand to the back of the tire where I’m able to feel a crack and the tread breaking free.  

Mark removes the tire, puts on the spare, and decides that we should probably head to a tire shop for new tires.  Again, I was in full support of this.  In 2020 the tread came off of one of the trailer tires while driving down the interstate.  Mark noticed immediately thanks to our tire pressure monitors but it managed to put a gaping hole in our floor.  The force of impact was so great it even dented a metal canister that was sitting on the floor where it broke through.  We weren’t looking to repeat that incident.  

The hole that was put in our floor after tread came off of one of our trailer tires in 2020.

A short hour drive brought us to Flagstaff where we found a tire shop and spent most of our day waiting for four new tires to be put on the trailer.  The national forest where we originally planned on spending the night was only fifteen minutes away so our unexpected detour was only a minor inconvenience.  

Mark and I tend to not get worked up over these kinds of things and I think it has a lot to do with our life goal of never being in a rush.  If we had planned to complete the 275 mile drive in one day we may have gotten frustrated when the tire shop ended up taking hours longer than the original quoted time.  Feeling rushed may have skewed our decision-making or even prevented Mark from ever pulling over to look things over.  All things that could have led to stress, expense, and potential damage to our rig. All that to say, slowing down our pace in life has proven to be a really effective way of reducing stress, improving our decision making, and increasing our overall enjoyment of life.  

If you live on the road full-time, expect for the unexpected, add some buffer time into your travel days, and don’t forget to check your tires.

Related post: How we plan our travel days

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We’re Mark & Michele, modern-day nomads perfecting the art of slow, full-time travel.  Our tiny home on wheels and slow-paced travel style allows us to minimize our expenses while maximizing our freedom.  May our unconventional way of life inspire you to design a life that you love.


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