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.