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by Ron
It Ain't Cheap

We have always known that the northeastern states need to be on an RVer's agenda. We visited the eastern states in our early years of full-timing and wanted to do it again this fall. I am glad that we did. Barb has already described the quaint villages in Vermont; the fall foliage; historic Philadelphia; the excitement of New York City and the mountainous areas of the Adirondecks and the Catskills. The east offers much to the RVer and you don't have to travel long distances to see it all. 

Now before you all set your compasses or GPS for the eastern states, this old accountant has to note that it can be expensive at times. Yes, Barb, someone has to keep track of the dollars, even when it's something that we both want to do. I am not complaining.

First of all, be prepared to pay more for campgrounds, especially if you have a big RV and need to stay in the designated "big rig" campgrounds. They are few and far between and when you find one that will accommodate your rig, you will be glad to pay the going rate. I never thought that I would be happy to pay $30 a night at a lovely campground in northern Vermont. It had long level sites and was in an area that we wanted to be. So I rationalized that we were on vacation. I'm not cheap, just frugal. That $30 campground was nicer than the one in Virginia where I paid $32.50, but the extra $2.50 was for a phone hook-up at the site (I like to treat Barb once in awhile). The campground situation is not a conspiracy by the easterners. They are located in populous areas where property is at a premium. Like much of east the campgrounds where developed years ago when RVs were not so big and 20 amp electricity was a luxury because the tenter really didn't need it. Many of the power systems are old and electricity can be iffy on busy weekends.

Let's  talk about tolls. We avoided the toll roads, but encountered a lot of bridge tolls. One bridge outside of Philadelphia cost $12 for the motorhome and car. I was tempted to tell the toll collector that the five mile Mackinaw bridge in Michigan only cost $1.50, but decided that she was only doing her job. If you are going into New York City (obviously without the RV) keep a pile of money on your dash because every few miles you will need to pay an attendant or feed the coin collectors. Sister Linda guided us into NYC while I drove her car. Since she lives nearby, she has an E-Z pass that clicks the computer as you go by thereby accumulating charges that go on her credit card at the end of the month. In turn I paid for lunch (street vendor hot dogs) and parking just off Broadway. Parking was only $15 because we got the early bird special. 

We even went to a Broadway show after standing in a discount line for an hour in the morning. Aidia was a matinee and the discount tickets were only $50 each. The souvenir program was $10, but who's counting. We were still on vacation mode.

Surprisingly, fuel was not a major item on our trip. The prices were on a par with other parts of the country and the distances are not great. New Jersey had the best fuel prices of all the states. This completes the financial perspective from the frugal partner, but as you can see I am actually a big spender. 

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