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-   -   Thanksgiving with an RV (https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=93594)

Don 11-28-2012 03:14 PM

Thanksgiving with an RV
 
I?ve seen a number of posts about Thanksgiving vacation RV travel. My travels were pretty modest by RV standards but I broke a little new ground. It was the first XC flight in an RV for Wife, and the first ever plane ride for our Sheltie Merle. I also got to check two items off my ?RV bucket list? - visit my granddaughter and visit good friends in North Carolina.

We departed Tappahannock, VA (KXSA) around noon on Wednesday are arrived at Elizabethtown, NC (KEWY) about 90 minutes later. The air was glassy smooth at 6,500? and Wife noticed the stop and go traffic on I-95. I wasn?t watching I-95 traffic, I was noticing the fuel burn was 6 GPH (confirmed at the pump later) and our ground speed ranged from 155 to 160 knots. That was unexpected economy - a bit better than my Camry actually.

After spending two days with Steve and Elaine, and doing some joy rides to look at some interesting lakes in the area, Wife and I departed for Lake Norman (14A), just north of Charlotte. Steve was floored when I told him it was 55 minutes away by air. I forget how many hours he said it was by car. My oldest daughter picked us up and Elizabeth (our 4 year old granddaughter) recognized my voice making calls on the radio. Granddad was impressed!

We had a short but lovely visit with family and departed on Saturday for home so Wife could go back to work on Sunday. I ran into an RV-6 pilot at Lake Norman and had a great time talking RV?s with him. He was full of useful information. As anticipated, we had tail winds again but not as strong as on the way down. When we dropped below the cloud layer at 6,000? approaching Richmond, the air was no longer glassy. In fact is was bumpier that I figured Wife would tolerate (she gets air sick) but she and the dog did just fine. Merle slept and Wife did some sight seeing.

Like others have said - we had tail winds both ways and the visibility was 30 miles or more all weekend. That?s rare on the East Coast. I figure we turned 15 hours of driving (assuming no delays) into 5 hours of very enjoyable flying. By my calculations, the total trip cost about $50 more in fuel than driving and the time savings was more than worth that little bit of extra. The folks at both Elizabethtown and Lake Norman airports were great to work with. It was great to see Merle is going to be a good flier - he watched the first take off with some trepidation and then went to sleep. On every other leg he decided to go right to sleep. The photo below shows him waking up after the last leg.

For us, it was a shake down trip. We?ll be doing a lot more traveling now that we?ve got an RV to take us places quickly.


tkatc 11-28-2012 03:23 PM

So, is the rumor true? Are you going to sell your project?

Nice report. :)

Vlad 11-28-2012 03:24 PM

Glad to see grown Merle. Not that jumping little pup anymore a flying buddy :D

kjowen 11-28-2012 03:27 PM

Beautiful Dog!
 
Great story! Really enjoyed it.
We decided to drive to High Point, NC this year from Atlanta and for five hours, wondered why in the world we didn't fly.

Don 11-28-2012 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tkatc (Post 720399)
So, is the rumor true? Are you going to sell your project?

Nice report. :)

My cousin wants me to sell the project but I plan to finish it. The plane I'm building is my dream aircraft. The plane I purchased is very nice but I didn't build it. It is day/night VFR (the project in the basement will be IFR equipped). The plane I'm flying has an O-320 and the one I'm building has an IO-340 and 20 odd hours into my new 9A and I'd say 160 HP certainly makes for a very capable plane but I'm not convinced another 30 HP is either unreasonable (as in dangerous) or undesirable (more on this later). The 9A I'm flying has a fixed pitch prop and I'd like a CS prop. And there's also a little bit of ego involved - I want to fly a plane I built.

At this point though, I have to say the 9A is a spectacular XC airplane. It is the epitome of speed with economy.

humptybump 11-28-2012 07:54 PM

Nice update Don! These RV's are time machines! Back in September I did Stowe VT as a day trip! That would have been 30 hours of driving.

Glad the "whole family" likes the RV-9A !

MauiLvrs 11-28-2012 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Don (Post 720395)
By my calculations, the total trip cost about $50 more in fuel than driving

Are you sure you didn't save $50?

Azemon 11-30-2012 07:32 AM

Fun!
 
Great Post. Conrats!

Andy

Subwaybob 11-30-2012 09:14 PM

Life on the cheap...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don (Post 720395)
I figure we turned 15 hours of driving (assuming no delays) into 5 hours of very enjoyable flying. By my calculations, the total trip cost about $50 more in fuel than driving and the time savings was more than worth that little bit of extra.

Great post Don. I look at things a little differently. The way I see it you purchased 10 hours of life. It cost you $50. People think we are crazy "spending all this money on airplanes", and you just purchased an extra 10 hours of life with your granddaughter. One day on our death bed we can all look back an think of the time we got on the cheap with family and friends. $50 for an extra 10 hours with my 19 month old baby? I'll give 50 million. Take those trips every chance you get and tell us about every one of them!


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