Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Budgets and Vacuums

I think the rain may have moved on out of here.  It sure has been a drab and wet couple of days.  We’ve gotten a lot done inside, though.
Our little Christmas Tree

Last week I got a new vacuum.  Since moving into an RV 6 years ago the vacuum cleaner, a mundane thing that I really never gave much thought to, has been an ongoing issue.  In our first 5th wheel (Montana) I brought my house vacuum with me.  There was a real coat closet right by the door and that’s where I stored that huge upright vacuum.  I liked that vacuum and it did a good job of cleaning the carpets, but it was large for an RV.  Plus, it was heavy to lift of the steps to the bedroom and cumbersome in tight corners.  But, I had attachment galore that would clean every nook and cranny.

When we moved into our Everest 5th wheel, I didn’t even wait to be asked.  I ordered a central vacuum.  I thought I’d love it, but that affair never got off the ground.  My main objection was the lack of suction.  Then there was the hose which was about a mile and a half long.  It plugged in at the steps to the bedroom and would reach all the way to the back wall.  While I vacuumed, the hose banged into everything, cabinets and furniture alike.  I didn’t have a coat closet in the Everest, either, so I stored that massive hose in the basement.  That was a pain to get in and out two or three times a week.

Then we moved into the Class C.  Now, there’s really no space to store a vacuum.  I asked around of other Class C owners and finally purchased a small hand-held, cordless Shark vacuum.  It worked great for vacuuming the upholstery, but crawling around on hands and knees to vacuum the carpet got old quickly.  Being cordless it had to be charged all the time.  That vacuum was out in the way more often than not.  It finally got to where it wouldn’t hold a charge, so we were in the marked once again for a new vacuum.

Friends told us about a Shark hand-held with an electrical cord.  That sounded better than cordless, so we searched around until we finally found one.  It had a powerful motor and a larger beater brush and was far superior to the smaller shark.  I liked it better, but I was still crawling around on the floor.
My new Eureka Quick-up

For several months I’ve been thinking about a tiny upright, but we really don’t have a place to store even a small upright.  Nevertheless, that thought has been in my mind.  Last Friday, the motor in the second Shark burnt up.  We headed over to the vacuum department at Wal-mart.  I found a Eureka upright with a removable handle which just snaps into place.  Perfect.  The vacuum part is not much larger than the first Shark I had.  And it was only $22.  It is so easy to use I’ve vacuumed every day.  I love it.  It might not last long, but for $22 it doesn’t have to last a lifetime.

Gene’s big project for the day has been the budget for next year.  That always leads to interesting discussions.  Most categories stayed the same.  We increased groceries, but lowered gasoline.  Of course, 2011 was the year our gas budget was $800/month to get us to Alaska and back.  We have a more reasonable $450/month for gas this year.  At the beginning of 2011 we had lowered our campground fees to $22/night.  We were slightly under that budget for the year, so we’re leaving it at $22 for 2012.  Of course, we had several boondocking nights this year and will try to do that again next year.  Besides gas, groceries seems to be the thing we are consistently over budget on.  We’ve increased groceries by almost $100/month.  Lipitor has just gone generic and we’re really hoping to see a reduction in that big bill each month.  In the end, it looks like we’ll be able to continue this lifestyle for another year.

Well, I’ve rattled on plenty with nothing much to say.  We’re moving tomorrow to Oak Mountain State Park just south of Birmingham.  They’ve got trails there, too.

That’s it.  Thanks for tagging along.


  1. have fun with the new vaccum!!..small and easy to store is a good thing!

  2. Having to select a new vacuum sucks. We have the central vac, but also have a Dirt Devil upright (on sale at Walmart for $32 right now). We, also, have room for both and use both.

    We've stayed at Oak Mountain State Park - nice place and we even walked a couple of their trails. You'll like it.

  3. I can relate to the vacuum woes. We went through three before we found one that works well. It looks rather like yours but is not a Eureka. We store ours mainly in the toad when we're on the road and then put it in the front seat of the motorhome when we stop.

  4. That small upright looks easy to manage and probably has good suction on the carpet. Glad you found it and that it works good.
    Ypu guys take care.