On October 24, 2020, we arrived in Georgia, my 50th and final state to visit. Eleven days later, on November 5, Ellen set foot in Kentucky, her 50th state as well. At the same time, we completed our other major goal for 2020 — visiting all 48 continental states in an RV. The picture below commemorates Ellen adding the final state to the map mounted on the outside of our RV.
When we left home on Labor day, we had RV’ed through 28 states over the course of about 2 years. We were essentially missing almost all of the states that made up the eastern time zone. Our primary goal was to visit family as far east as Virginia, which would pick up a few of the missing states. This goal alone would require a round trip of around 7,000 to 8,000 miles, and take around 6-7 weeks. Using RV Trip Wizard, I was able to construct a trip that would take us through ALL of the missing states, adding only nominally to the mileage and time.
So in the end, we were gone for just over 10 weeks (73 days) and just over 10,000 miles. We traversed 33 states, including the missing 20. Stepping back and looking at the big picture, this trip looks like the perfect complement to our 12 month trip in 2018-2019 (which covered the bulk of the center of the country) and the 7 month “snowbird” experience of 2019-2020 (which focused on California and the western US). The map below shows the 3 trips all put together, with blue, red, and purple markers representing trips 1, 2, and 3, respectively.
In all, we have made approximately 130 stops and traveled about 25,000 miles over about 22 months of actually living in an RV. And amazingly, I could easily create similar length trips just of places that I know we missed the first time around but still want to see.
Are we glad we did it? Absolutely. Do we plan to continue RV’ing? Yes, but on shorter, more focused trips. Favorite states? Well, we found nothing we like better than home in Washington, but we feel a certain kinship with Wyoming. And of course we have the broadest collection of fond memories of places we stayed the longest (Arizona, Texas hill country, Branson, MO).
It is a beautiful country, filled with rich history and wonderful people. Take time to see it.